There was a time in the country when if a fabulously wealthy person wished to be left alone he’d build a fortified compound well outside the city limits and have its massive grounds patrolled by hounds with a taste for flesh and blood.
Urbanization has changed things, though, and our gentry is no longer quite as landed. They like to live in cities, and that creates problems. Problems like people hanging out on their sidewalk, gawkers peering onto their property — inevitably trespassing and causing damage — and the paparazzi taking pictures of them. Apart from the trespassing and property damage that’s all legal as we still have a First Amendment and the right to gather in public spaces in this country, but it’s still pretty annoying.
Derek Jeter is one of those urban-dwelling members of the gentry, and he’s taking measures to deal with things.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Jeter got the city of Tampa to grant him special permission build taller-than-code barriers around his nine-bedroom home to thwart the paparazzi and assorted gawkers. His neighbors were fully behind the move to give him a variance to build an eight-foot fence, which is two feet higher than code provides. The paparazzi and gawkers bug them and damage their property too.
First Amendment rights are First Amendment rights, but it’s sad to me that people think that hanging outside of someone’s house like that is a great use of their time. If two feet more of fence puts a stop to it, viva Derek Jeter and his actions before the zoning variance board.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.
The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.
Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.
We wait see.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.