For the Phillies fan who has everything

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It’s the Ryan Howard Garden Gnome.  You know you want one. And as soon as you get one, be prepared to be the target of a righteous liberation army.

In other barely-passable Phillies news, Jayson Werth apparently shaved his beard after last night’s game.  We’ll see it the next time he takes the field, but know that before today he looked like this.  Before he had his beard he looked like this.  Methinks the shave was a bad move.

OK, now might be the time to acknowledge that it may be a slow news day in the baseball world. Bring on the day games.

Report: Mariners enter into a ballpark naming rights deal with T-Mobile

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Maury Brown of Forbes reports that T-Mobile will be the new naming rights partner for the Seattle Mariners’ ballpark beginning in 2019. Their park had been known as Safeco Field since it first opened in the summer of 1999. The 20-year naming rights deal with Safeco ended with the close of the 2018 season.

Brown reports that the deal will be around $3 million a year, which doesn’t seem like a whole lot. Then again, I have long been skeptical of how much naming rights actually bring back to the naming rights partner. That’s especially true when the partner is slapping its name on a ballpark that was known as something else beforehand. People tend to still use the old name and, I suspect, resent the new one a bit. Maybe that’s less the case when the park has only been known by corporate names, and no beloved traditional name is being displaced, but I still question if anyone really makes a single purchasing decision based on the name of a ballpark.

I know this much for sure, though: despite the relatively small cost of naming rights here, none of the most notable Seattle-based companies — which include Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, Microsoft, Costco and Alaska Airlines — felt it was worth it. Possibly because they know people are gonna call the place “Safeco” for several years regardless.