While Braves outfielder Jason Heyward had earlier surgery today to repair a fractured jaw, the news is more encouraging for Astros rookie catcher Max Stassi, who had a pitch deflect off his shoulder and hit him in the mouth last night against the Rangers.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports that Stassi stayed at the Medical Center of Arlington last night, during which CAT scan and X-rays showed no facial fractures. The 22-year-old was scheduled to travel to Houston today to undergo concussion tests, but the early signs are promising.
“We were relieved because looking at it live it seemed like it might be worse,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “He was fortunate that there’s no fracture. Obviously any time there’s a blow to the head you have to be careful.”
Stassi was called up by the Astros this week after batting .277/.333/.529 with 17 home runs and 60 RBI over 76 games this season with Double-A Corpus Christi. He is 2-for-6 through his first two games in the majors while the bases-loaded hit-by-pitch last night gave him his first career RBI. That’s probably not the way he dreamed it up.
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.