I liked the early start to Game 3 on Saturday. With the game getting underway just before 7PM my kids were able to watch a bit of it — even if it was Justin Bieber-inspired — and the thing ended early enough to where I was able to not only watch the whole game without getting sleepy, but I was able to watch both (a) the Ohio State-Minnesota game I had recorded; and (b) the last hour of “Evil Dead II” on AMC. Epic television night at the Calcaterra house, I can tell you. Groovy.
But sadly, we’ve probably seen our last early start World Series game, because this one got killed in the ratings. In fact, it was the second lowest-rated World Series game of all time. The only one worse was the weather-delayed game in the 2008 series that didn’t get going until after 10PM. Yikes!
I’ll always maintain that low ratings are no reason to hate on a given World Series matchup and that they shouldn’t affect a true baseball fan’s enjoyment of the thing. But the folks in charge can’t ignore it, and you have to imagine that they’ll respond to this by ensuring that every future World Series game either (a) starts in prime time; or (b) involves the Yankees.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.