Partying like 1999: Get ready for a Royals-Pirates World Series

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David Schoenfield of ESPN.com just tweeted this note and I had to share it:

First time both the Pirates and Royals have been over .500 on the same day 30 games into a season since May 16, 1999.

How long ago was that?

Well, that day the Pirates were playing the Expos and Vladimir Guerrero was Montreal’s cleanup hitter, Javier Vazquez was the starting pitcher, and Ted Lilly relieved him. Oh, and Jason Kendall was hitting fifth for Pittsburgh, which probably sounds impossible to anyone who only remembers the current version.

Also, the Royals’ cleanup hitter was Jeff King, who retired that season, and their outfield was Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran, and Jermaine Dye. They were playing a Mariners team that had Alex Rodriguez batting second with Ken Griffey Jr. hitting third and Seattle’s starting pitcher that day was a 36-year-old Jamie Moyer.

Oh, and I was a sophomore in high school who’d just passed his driver’s license test and had big plans for a 1988 Chevy Corsica.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Free-agent ace Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner leaves the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened by injuries.

After making his first start last season in early August, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then opted out of his contract to become a free agent.

Texas announced the signing Friday night after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

“We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger,” executive vice president and general manager Chris Young said in a statement. “Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout major league pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our primary goals this offseason is to strengthen our starting pitching, and we are adding one of the best.”

Texas went 68-94 last season and then hired Bruce Bochy as its new manager. The Rangers’ six straight losing seasons are their worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

The Rangers were big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).