I hope everyone stays warm and dry. Except those of us in California. We could really use some cold and wet.
I loved seeing all the Dodger fans on Twitter yesterday apologizing to Yu Darvish. Of course, Game 7 of the 2017 World Series was in Los Angeles. And as Yu wrote:
Please don't say that.— ダルビッシュ有(Yu Darvish) (@faridyu) November 12, 2019
I sucked. That'p it.
- Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich report on how the Houston Astros electronically stole signs during the 2017 season. (The Athletic sub. req.) Mike Fiers admits this on the record and it was corroborated by three other Astros on that team who asked to remain anonymous. Also, this article says that the Astros aren’t the only team cheating in this manner. Somehow recently-fired assistant general manager Brandon Taubman is connected to all this, to no one’s surprise. Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Astros tried to blame it all on him.
- If you can’t read the piece in The Athletic, Jeff Passan has a pretty good summary here.
- David Schoenfield also has an FAQ about the entire sign-stealing scandal.
- The Astros say they’ve launched an internal investigation into these charges and Buster Olney can’t stop rolling his eyes over that. Olney is not optimistic that the Astros will accuse themselves of any serious wrongdoing.
- Matt Snyder writes what the Astros are accused of doing crosses a line.
- Eric Stephen argues something similar, saying that while regular sign-stealing is a part of the game, using cameras is not OK. There is also a video in that piece that someone else posted that clearly shows the Astros sign-stealing operation in action.
- Tim Brown writes that the Astros already had a poor reputation throughout the game and that this is only going to make things worse.
- Bob Nightengale calls for MLB to launch a full investigation of the Astros and for some real punishments to come down. And no, Nightengale admits that the Astros aren’t going to have to vacate their 2017 title like an NCAA school would have to.
- The Giants have announced that former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler will be their new manager.
- Giants fans are not happy about this. These are two reasons.
- John Shea and Henry Schulman report that Kapler will be a lightning rod in San Francisco. Which basically means the fans already hate him.
- Astros OF/DH Yordan Alvarez unanimously won the AL 2019 Rookie of the Year Award.
- Mets first baseman Pete Alonso won the NL Rookie of the Year Award, taking 29 of 30 first-place votes.
- Wallace Matthews is skeptical that the Mets will be able to hang on to Alonso through the prime of his career.
- Andrew Baggarly voted for Braves pitcher Mike Soroka instead of Alonso and he explains his reasons why. (The Athletic sub. req.) And seriously, even if you don’t agree with Baggarly’s reasoning, you really shouldn’t care that he voted for Soroka. Alonso still won. It made zero difference. You don’t get an extra award if it’s unanimous. The Mets fans who are calling Baggarly all kinds of nasty names really need to take stock of their lives.
- Eric Chesterton has a collection of interesting quotes by Alonso.
- Cardinals manager Mike Shildt won the National League Manager of the Year Award.
- Tom Verducci thinks Brewers manager Craig Counsell should have won.
- Twins manager Rocco Baldelli won the American League Manager of the Year Award.
- Former Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he’s retired after turning down the Padres’ hitting coach position.
- In case you missed the first three dozen of these rankings, Michael Baumann ranks the top 45 free agents this winter.
- One of them is off the market as pitcher Adam Wainwright re-signed with the Cardinals on a one-year deal.
- Tim Brown notes that the Yankees are keeping their thoughts to themselves as to how much they plan to spend on free agents this winter.
- The GM Meetings have started in Arizona and Ian Browne writes that everyone is talking about a possible trade of Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.
- Mark Feinsand examines how the trade market could have an impact on free agent signings this winter. Or just be another excuse not to sign free agents.
- Tony Wolfe explains why winning baseball teams need both young players and experienced veterans.
- Jay Jaffe looks at the Hall of Fame cases for Lou Whitaker, Ted Simmons and Tommy John. He’s in favor of the first two going in.
- The US Treasury Department has told MLB that a change sanctions on Venezuela will still mean that players signed with US teams are ineligible to play winter ball in Venezuela.
- John Thorne writes that the increase in baseball’s “three true outcomes” is leading to the outcome of boring games.
- The story of the Mason City Bats, an independent league team in Iowa that lived for two months in 1994 and how every player quit the team on the same day the major league players went on strike. It wasn’t a solidarity move—that was just the day they were told there was no more money to pay them.
- And finally, Twins slugger Nelson Cruz is known for hitting the ball a long way. But did you know that he can hit a golf ball even farther away? I don’t know how big that driving range he’s on is, but it’s clearly not big enough for Cruz.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.