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MLB ends “Papa Slam” promotion following Papa John founders’ use of the n-word

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John Schnatter, the founder of Papa John’s pizza, resigned as chairman of the company’s board last night after it was reported that he used the n-word and said other insensitive stuff on a conference call. Of course, in typical corporate America style, he said it a couple of months ago and everyone at the company knew about it. It was just reported yesterday. So, in essence, he was fired not for being a racist jackwagon, but for the public finding out he was a racist jackwagon.

If you watch a lot of baseball and spend any time looking at baseball highlights at MLB.com, you know that one of the more visible promotions going on these days is the “Papa Slam” promotion, in which people got discounts on pizza after players hit grand slams. Baseball is part of corporate America too, and I wondered yesterday if the Papa John n-word fiasco would impact the promotion:

Guess someone at MLB was listening, because according to Yahoo Sports, MLB has suspended the promotion. It stopped counting the “Papa Slams” yesterday, not including Greg Bird‘s slam last night. Yahoo later confirmed that, no, this was no oversight and the promotion had been suspended.

All submissions for new grand slam promotional partners can be placed in the comments. I’ll start: “Poetry Slams.” Sponsored by that place that used to do an open mic but got tired of dudes strumming bad versions of “Wonderwall,” so they started something new. For each grand slam hit in baseball, you can take a coupon code down there and get 40% off a chai latte while listening to some college sophomore’s patter about how growing up in the suburbs sucked but provided the basis for a rebirth, now, with “eyes open forward/back turned to my father’s oppression” or whatever it is kids who are killing time before going to law school are going on about these days.

 

Report: Nathan Eovaldi drawing interest from at least nine teams

Nathan Eovaldi
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Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.

Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.

A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.