The Red Sox are in trouble with the American Mustache Institute

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This is somewhat less serious than an investigation from the Department of Labor.  But it is scary all the same!  A letter from the American Mustache Institute to the General Counsel of the Boston Red Sox:

We at the American Mustache Institute (AMI) applaud you and the Boston Red Sox for your extraordinary success in this 2013 Major League Baseball Season and wish you the best against the St. Louis Cardinals in what all of America hopes will be a competitive World Series matchup.

However, while each member of the Mustached American community appreciates your team’s harnessing of facial hair towards athletic excellence, your marketing of beardism violates the expressed federal trademark of AMI’s ownership of the Sexually Dynamic Mustached American Lifestyle, and in particular, our legal right to approve via “expressed written consent” of any use of said beardism or mustacheularity in marketing the Red Sox’s winning ways or merchandise.

It’s an open and shut case, frankly. They’re probably seeking an injunction to force-shave the Sox before tomorrow night’s game as we speak.

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

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The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.

Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.

The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.