Jeter's fake HBP was child's play. Watch the real pros work.

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Derek Jeter kind of sold his fake HBP last night. I mean, yeah, he got the call and I guess that’s the whole point. But he has a long way to go until he can consider himself a master of the genre.

For example, check out this fine work by Yunel Escobar last year. He didn’t merely hop around and grimace. He hit the dirt, baby! If I didn’t know any better I’d say he had taken method acting at the Actor’s Studio and was playing the role of Andre Dawson in his 1987 ball-to-the-face performance.

Or how about this guy?  Sure, he ultimately didn’t get the call and was ejected for trying too hard. But hey, just because Eric Bogosian didn’t win the 1988 Best Actor Oscar for “Talk Radio” doesn’t mean he didn’t act circles around Dustin Hoffman’s embarrassing turn in “Rain Man.” It’s about the quality, not about the politics of awards season!

 

The Phillies are considering making a play for Jake Arrieta

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Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies are considering free agent starter Jake Arrieta.

That may seem kind of weird on the surface given that the Phillies, as Heyman notes, are considered to be at least a year from contention. Thing is, though, we really never know for sure when a team will definitely be in contention, do we? We’ve seen a handful of teams’ rebuilding efforts bear competitive fruit ahead of schedule in recent years, including the current World Series champion Houston Astros. They made the dang playoffs a year after losing 92 games, when everyone thought their true competitive window was several years away. Arrieta’s Cubs were much the same way, improving by 24 wins in 2015 to make the playoffs, in large part because of . . . acquiring Jake Arrieta.

Whether Arrieta, who is coming off of a 14-10, 3.53 ERA season, would be interested in the Phillies is unknown, but if I’m a Phillies fan, I’m happy that my club is being aggressive and is at least considering it.