There are varying degrees of interest here — from the previously reported “serious” interest in Haren from the Tigers — to the Twins, who are said to be “barely monitoring” Haren at the moment, but the upshot is that a lot more teams are falling into what can only be described as the Dan Haren Sweepstakes.
Well, I guess it could be described in a more original way, but I’ve been up and blogging since 5:20 this morning and my originality is just about spent.
Anyway, those teams, according to RosenthalMorosiFOXGolem include the Yankees, Cardinals and Phillies as well.
Basically there is no reason for anyone who is interested in Roy Oswalt to not be interested in Dan Haren, so the additional interest here seems to be a function of the Diamondbacks loosening up, not some sudden realization that Haren is, you know, a darn fine pitcher.
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.