Bob Gibson wonders why everyone fusses about the World Series starters going on three days’ rest:
“What’s the big deal? I don’t get it. I don’t think it’s going to kill somebody. A pitcher can’t pitch with three days’ rest? Some of those guys make $8 million a week . . . I don’t imagine you’d want to do that all year, but for playoffs and World Series … if you can’t do it then, when the hell can you do it? I don’t quite get it.”
Gibson’s point is taken — Old Hoot kicked all kinds of butt pitching on three days’ rest in three different World Series — but he’s also missing a larger point: It’s not the number of days’ rest itself. It’s the fact that it’s shorter rest than a guy is used to. Gibson pitched in the era of four man rotations, so three days’ rest was normal rest. Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett and Cliff Lee pitch in the era of five man rotations, and three days is short rest. Asking someone to change their routine and force their body to adjust to it so quickly is a taller order, I think, than Gibson is giving today’s starters credit for.
And as the article reminds us, Bob Gibson actually pitched on short rest himself in the 1964 Series: two days’ rest before the clinching Game 7. And he was great. But (a) he’s Bob Gibson, not some mere mortal like Andy Pettitte or A.J. Burnett; and (b) even he said that he “didn’t feel really dynamite after that.”
So let’s cut these guys some slack, huh?
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.