A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Exhibit A, Major League Baseball.
The Mets — the team which in many ways served as the focal point of baseball’s return after 9/11 — had petitioned to allow players to wear NYPD and NYFD tribute caps in honor of the 10th anniversary. Just as they did after 9/11 itself. MLB denied it, however, issuing a league-wide memo on uniforms, saying teams must wear their everyday caps with a small flag on the side instead. A no-go for the Mets. A ruling to which they adhered for tonight’s game (the Mets lost to the Cubs 10-6 in 11 innings). A stupid, stupid ruling to which they adhered.
Yes, Major League Baseball routinely denies the requests of teams to alter their caps in any way and yes, it’s understandable. There was a trend several years ago of players writing messages to injured teammates and friends and stuff, and baseball felt the need to crack down lest caps turn into the next generation of Jim McMahon headbands. I get it.
But this is just idiotic. No one’s sensibilities would have been offended by this. Given that the tribute was to be tied to this, the anniversary of a date set in time, it would not open the door to other unofficial hats or “tributes” to more questionable causes. Baseball’s decision here makes no sense to me. It’s mindless adherence to a rule and, ultimately, it’s heartless in effect.
Bad move, Bud. Bad move.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.