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Tom Brady tries to trademark ‘Tom Terrific.’ Um, about that.

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This is fun: apparently, on May 24, Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady’s business management company filed two trademark applications for the name “Tom Terrific.” One of them is to use the phrase to market collectibles such as trading cards, posters and printed photographs, the other is for T-shirts and other clothing.

The problem: that name is already taken, ain’t it?

Tom Seaver broke into into the bigs in 1967 and, by 1969, was the best pitcher on the planet, winning the Cy Young Award and leading the Miracle Mets to the most improbable World Series title in history. He pitched 20 years, won 311 games, and three Cy Young Awards. To this day you cannot talk about the best pitchers in baseball history and not include him in the conversation. You likewise cannot find many Mets fans — or Reds or White Sox fans for that matter — who can’t immediately tell you “Tom Terrific” if you ask them if Seaver has a nickname. I don’t know when the first time was that someone applied the name “Tom Terrific” to Seaver, but it was at least seven or eight years before Tom Brady was born.

Which is to say that Tom Brady sure has some friggin’ chutzpah, doesn’t he?

Seaver’s family, you may remember, said in March that the Hall of Famer has been diagnosed with dementia and has retired from public life. In late March the Mets announced that they were going to put a statue of the original Tom Terrific at Citi Field and rename a street that gives Citi Field its address after Seaver. The family, as far as I can tell, has not commented on Brady’s application.

I have no idea whether Brady’s trademark application is going to be successful or not. Neither Seaver nor his family ever applied to trademark the nickname. I would think that common usage on the part of people referring to Seaver may prevent Brady’s application from passing muster, but that’s just a guess. Intellectual property law can be complicated and I know almost nothing about it. Any IP experts out there can help us out in the comments, yes?

In the meantime, let us all do something rare in these divisive and fractured times: come together and agree that Brady’s trademark application is trash, hope that it fails and hope that everyone involved in pushing it feels bad about it because they should feel bad about it.

Nationals succeeded by spending money

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Throughout the playoffs, the Nationals have been cast as plucky underdogs fighting and scrapping their way into the World Series. It’s somewhat true: the Nats overcame a dreadful start to the regular season after losing their star outfielder in Bryce Harper, and were heavy underdogs in the NLDS against the Dodgers, who won 13 more games. But the Nationals are not David in a David vs. Goliath story. They’re closer to Goliath because they have flexed their payroll muscle to fill the roster with talented players.

The Nationals didn’t come close to matching the 13-year, $330 million contract the Phillies wound up agreeing to with Harper, instead offering a 10-year, $300 million deal of which about $100 million was deferred. Losing Harper has somewhat defined their 2019. But they did sign starter Patrick Corbin to a six-year, $140 million contract, and they’re paying Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg $38.33 million and $37.4 million, respectively. As we saw in the NLCS, it was the starting rotation that carried them into the World Series.

Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, will not win the award again this year most likely, but he once again ranked among the game’s best pitchers. During the regular season, he posted a 2.92 ERA with 243 strikeouts across 172 1/3 innings. Strasburg led the league in wins with 18 and innings with 209 while authoring a 3.32 ERA with 251 strikeouts. Corbin continued to impress with a 3.25 ERA and 328 strikeouts in 202 innings. As a unit, the Nationals’ 3.53 ERA from starting pitchers ranked second-best in baseball behind the Dodgers. Sounds about right for a rotation collectively earning about $100 million.

We — the royal we — have been quick to point out when an uncommon strategy works, like the Cubs’ and Astros’ rebuilding strategies before they came in vogue or the Rays’ use of the “opener.” It’s only fair to point out that a time-tested strategy, spending money on good baseball players, also works. The Nationals’ current payroll of about $204.5 million is third-highest in baseball, according to USA TODAY.

In September, the Nationals’ NL East rival Phillies were reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal to have curtailed efforts to compete for a Wild Card because of a lack of certainty. The front office didn’t want to invest significant resources into grabbing a lowly Wild Card only to have to match up with the behemoth Dodgers in the NLDS. But that’s exactly what the Nationals did. The Nationals also swept the slumping Phillies in a five-game series September 23-26.

The Phillies aren’t alone. We’ve seen in the last few offseasons that teams have become loath to invest in free agents, particularly ones 30 and older. Even Scherzer took notice. Asked about the Nationals’ collective age, Scherzer said via The Athletic’s Rustin Dodd, “It just seems everybody wants younger and younger players. And everybody wants to forget about all the old guys. We see it in free agency, we’re not dumb. And the fact (is) we’re the oldest team and we won the National League.”

Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Josh Donaldson will highlight the upcoming free agent class. They could be joined by Strasburg, Aroldis Chapman, and J.D. Martinez if they exercise the opt-out clauses in their contracts. In the cases of Cole and Rendon, at least two-thirds of the league should be actively pursuing them but if the past few years are any indication, the actual interest will be muted and they won’t end up signing until after the new year. Front offices have continued to blindly recite the phrase “aging curve” while pointing at the Rays in an effort to scale back payroll. The Nationals, meanwhile, are putting the “money” back in Moneyball and they might win a championship because of it.