File this under “good-natured jab,” not “trash talk,” but it’s still fun:
What would happen if Adam Jones faced Jim Palmer in his prime? Jones answered that and many more questions in a live online Q&A with MASNSports.com‘s Amber Theoharis on Wednesday afternoon.
“I would slap Jim Palmer around,” Jones quickly responded. ”I told Palmer that,” he laughed with Amber.
Jones added that Palmer would have more difficulty today with umpires using a smaller zone. “They had that chest high strike zone back then.”
So he’s being funny, yes, but he also has a good point about that high strike. I came of baseball age when Jim Palmer was still dealing and I can’t remember how many times I heard Ernie Harwell say “a strike at the letters …” The only time you ever see a strike at the letters called these days is on a 3-0 count when the hitter makes it clear from the time the pitcher sets that he has no intention of swinging.
The zone has changed pretty radically over the years. Just one of those things a lot of people forget when talking about the crazy offense we saw in the 90s and 2000s.
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.