David Ortiz after last night’s game:
“(Bleep) happens. Then you guys talk (bleep). Two (bleeping) games already. (Bleepers)
are going crazy. What’s up with that, man? (Bleep). There’s (bleeping)
160 games left. Y’all (bleepers) go ahead and hit for me.”
I’m with Papi on this one. Two games is way, way too early to start in with this business. But start in the Boston media has, with story after story after story about Ortiz’s slow start, written with an apparent ignorance of the fact that, yeah, on occasion, guys go 0 for 7.
I mean sure, everyone will be and probably should be paying close attention to Ortiz’s start given what happened last year, but why not wait, oh, a week before the hand-wringing?
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.