Believe it or not — and my psychiatrist clearly does not believe it — I read every comment posted to this blog. And based upon reading every comment posted to this blog, I have learned two things:
1. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are rooting for the Phillies; and
2. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are rooting for the Yankees.
Really, the passion with which many of you believe that those knuckleheads are rooting for the other team is incredible. It’s rendered even more incredible in light of the fact that so many of the same people who think that Buck and McCarver root also say that they don’t know what they’re talking about. In an ideal world, the statements “McCarver knows nothing!” and “McCarver roots for the other guys” would represent complementary concepts that shouldn’t bother anyone (after all, if they guy truly is a moron, and truly is rooting for the other team, doesn’t that bode well for your team?) But the former notion seems to make the latter notion all the more intolerable for many of you.
Personally, I don’t think that either of those guys root for anything other than high ratings and a long series. In this, they are no different than so many of their predecessors, including Bob Costas, Tony Kubek, and Joe Garagiola, all of whom have been accused of postseason bias over the years (they’re also all NBC guys . . . hmmmmm), erroneously so in my view. But still the perception persists, and I really want to know why.
Those of you who think that the broadcasters are in the bag for the other team: why do you think so? Give us examples of alleged bias in the comments. It’s an off day and we don’t have to listen to them bleat, so let’s talk about their bleatings a bit, shall we?
UPDATE: This post on the excellent Fack Youk! blog is a week old, but it’s a much more thorough handling of the subject.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.