Albuquerque Isotopes to give away Joc Pederson’s 1994 Buick Century

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This pic is not of Pederson’s Century. This one is far nicer.

Joc Pederson is going to be playing in Los Angeles once the rosters expand on September 1. And, assuming the Dodgers figure out their logjam in the outfield, he could never be retuning to the minor leagues. As such, he probably won’t have much use for his sweet ride: a 1994 Buick Century with 166,000 miles on it. Maybe it can be yours! From the Isotopes’ press release:

One lucky fan at the Albuquerque Isotopes game next Friday, Aug. 29, will drive away (or tow away) outfielder Joc Pederson’s luxurious 1994 Buick Century. Fans will not want to miss the chance to win this one-of-a-kind car driven by the next Los Angeles Dodgers superstar.

The car, nicknamed “Little Chucky,” has only 166,000 miles on it and has at least one operable window, which is really all you need. It is perfect for cruising around during the New Mexico summers with its “awesome” stereo system and lack of air conditioning. Kelly Blue Book estimates the value at nearly $1,000 (depending on if it has a full tank of gas). Little Chucky will also come with two complimentary air fresheners and whatever else Pederson forgets to clean out.

You can enter by going to the Isotopes’ game on August 29 and filling out an entry. The “winner” will be picked after the game. If you want to see the car in question, click through to the story here.

Pederson has hit .300/.430/.580 with 31 homers and 28 stolen bases this year. I would presume his next car will be something better. Like, I dunno, a 2002 Buick Century.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.