Fredi Gonzalez turns down interview for Cubs' manager job

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Fredi Gonzalez is apparently so confident the Braves will choose him as their new manager when Bobby Cox retires at the end of the season that John Hickey of AOL Fanhouse reports he turned down a chance to interview for the open Cubs’ job.
Last month I was in Atlanta for the annual Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convention and Gonzalez was also in attendance. He hung around the hotel and sat in on some presentations. Not coincidentally Cox participated in a Braves panel and former GM and current team president John Schuerholz was the convention’s keynote speaker.
All of which struck me as a pretty strong indication that Gonzalez was more or less already in the Braves’ family (or back in, since he was a Braves coach for years) and just waiting his turn to replace Cox at season’s end, particularly since Schuerholz made it very clear at one point that he felt the Marlins made a mistake in firing Gonzalez.
Under normal circumstances I’m sure Gonzalez would join Bob Melvin, Ryne Sandberg, Mike Quade, Eric Wedge in going after the Cubs job, but these aren’t normal circumstances. He has a better gig lined up.

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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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.