The Yankees technology-unfriendly policies remain in place for 2011

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I get why the Yankees want to charge so much to park at a game — encouraging the use of mass transit is a good thing — but I don’t get why they don’t wish to encourage mass communications as well. Specifically, why they have continued their policy of not allowing iPads, e-readers and the like into the ballpark.  Jason at IIATMS has a detailed explanation and takedown of the policy here, noting the utter incoherence of the Yankees position on such devices.

I don’t know that such appeals will help because the Yankees tend to be more resistant to the complaints of cranky fans than other trams.  But I do wonder if commerce may change their tune. As in, Major League Baseball continuing its expansion into technology and social media, finding business partners in and creating business opportunities with the purveyors of handheld devices.  At some point — if we aren’t there already — the easiest way for fans to vote for All-Stars, buy concessions, enter contests and do all manner of other things in the ballpark will be to do so via handhelds, and absent a change, that will leave Yankees fans out in the cold.

Maybe phones will always be the number one choice for that sort of thing — and Yankee Stadium’s policies do not ban smart phones even though they would seem to present the same “risks” the Yankees think iPads do — but handheld use will only increase and, as it does, the Yankees’ policy will be increasingly annoying and out of touch.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.