Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., on criticism of the Ryan Howard contract extension:
The sabermetricians are welcome to have their opinions about our business. However, I choose to ignore their opinions.
Fair enough. However, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com notes: “Amaro is getting criticized for the Howard deal not just by sabermetricians, but also by rival executives.” And of course there are plenty of “sabermetricians” who are also “rival executives.”
Plus, hard as it may be for some to believe, sabermetricians aren’t the only folks who think committing $25 million per season to Howard through age 36 is a mistake.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.