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Let us talk more about baseball in London


Since we talked about British stuff in the last post, let’s keep that ball rolling and link to the Boston Globe’s story about how Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts is distantly related to Meghan Markle, who is going to marry Prince Harry a week from Saturday. It’s an interesting article if you’re into genealogy, the history of slavery and everything tied up in that.

Oh, and I learned by reading it that Mookie Betts‘ dad and my dad are the same age even though I’m 19 years older than Betts. I’m trying now to picture my dad raising kids in the late 1990s and early-to-mid-2000s and the picture is an exhausting one. My dad was bragging about getting AARP discounts when Betts was still in diapers. If he had to raise me then he’d have keeled over and died, I’m sure of it.

Obviously, though, the story has little to do with actual baseball, apart from Betts wondering if Markle is a baseball fan, so let me use this post as a platform to muse a bit more about that London Series next year. Randomly:

  • MLB should definitely, immediately, print up posters with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge on them with the words “Bangers and Mash.” They’d sell a million of them;
  • As I’ve written about before, baseball was not invented. Rather, it evolved from a number of different bat-and-ball games from England, including rounders, cricket and bat-and-trap. Worth noting that they play bat-and-trap at pubs and the players drink beer while they’re doing it. Just throwing that out there, Rob Manfred.
  • A commenter on the London Series post said that we shouldn’t send the Yankees and Red Sox to the UK because they’re good and their games matter. He said we should send the Reds and Marlins instead. Can you imagine that? I know the NFL sends the Jaguars to London all the time, but I’d like to think Rob Manfred is too smart to send two of our absolutely crappiest teams on a mission to create interest in baseball across the pond. Making Brits watch Homer Bailey pitch probably violates all manner of international humanitarian treaties. It’d risk the biggest rift in US-UK relations since The Trent Affair;
  • In the London Series, Aaron Judge and Mookie Betts play left field, Brett Gardner and Andrew Benintendi play right and everyone runs the bases clockwise. The bullpen carts don’t have right-hand drive, though, because bullpen carts are dumb and no one uses them;
  • If we ever have a team over there permanently, the new hit milestone will be 2222.25, due to the exchange rate;
  • John Sterling has a little over a year to come up with a home run call that involves “Brexit.” yes, I know that may alienate half of the British population, but Sterling alienates a lot of Americans too, so it’ll put everyone in the proper mood for a Yankees game;
  • If Aaron Boone and Alex Cora come out to argue with an umpire, they are required to start off with “Wot’s all this, then?”

Finally, let us circle back to this whole “Mookie Betts is related to future royalty” thing. From what I understand this Meghan Markle is a nice woman and I wish her the best of things in life. That said, while I’ve got some English blood in my veins and while I’ll cop to being something of an Anglophile, I can’t abide monarchy, and especially can’t abide it infiltrating our National Pastime.

The only royalty I want in baseball is King Felix, Prince Fielder, Duke Snider, the team from Kansas City and an occasional reference to a curveball as “Sir Charles.” The only ancient, anachronistic relic I will tolerate in the game is pitchers batting. The only people I’ll abide being elevated to positions of prominence due to nothing other than accident of birth are play-by-play announcers. In fact, the only connection to the British monarchy in baseball that I approve of is the Reggie Jackson “I. Must. Kill. The. Queen” scene in “The Naked Gun.” My God, does that still hold up.

Ok, that’s all I got right now. I am — for real — leaving for the UK a week from today for my delayed honeymoon and will be there for like nine days. While I’m gone I’ll make a point to soak up more British culture so I can properly traffic in British stereotypes and find more fuel for sone anti-monarchy rants, as I know that’s why you come to this website.






Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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1 Comment’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.