Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks

Kirk Gibson used to walk uphill both ways and the Diamondbacks will too


Kirk Gibson has had enough of the tomfoolery in the Dbacks’ clubhouse, particularly when it comes to cell phones:

Gibson probably would prefer to keep all cellphones out of the clubhouse. Players can use them up to a certain point in the day, as long as they get their work done.

“You’re talking to somebody in the clubhouse, your phone rings and you go to get it, I think it’s rude, Number 1, OK?” Gibson said. “I just don’t like it. I’m from an era where we had no phones to begin with. It just gets to be too much.

I guess Gibson would be totally old school whenever he managed, but he was playing as late as 1995, so this “back in my day” stuff is kind of rich coming from him.

Still, he’s serious about the cell phones thing. When I was at Dbacks camp last Thursday, the Arizona beat writers were talking about how nuts Gibson is about them. But he does seem to have a bit of a sense of humor about it. Before his little press conference, as a joke, a couple of the beat guys collected everyone’s cell phone and put them up on the podium where Gibson was going to speak so they were all right up in his face.

I thought that when Gibson saw them he’d freak. And I was worried about it because my phone was on that pile. I was half-convinced that Gibson would keep it until the end of the semester as a lesson to me.  But he didn’t freak. He may have seethed a bit — I think Gibson is a big seether — but he didn’t freak.

Michael Cuddyer not shining in left field early in NLDS Game 1

Michael Cuddyer
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.

Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.

With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.

Mets take lead during NLDS Game 1 with Daniel Murphy’s solo homer

Daniel Murphy
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek
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Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, belting a solo home run to right field at Dodger Stadium off of starter Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw threw a 2-0, 94 MPH fastball and Murphy didn’t miss it.

Both teams’ starters are pitching quite well overall. Kershaw has allowed the one run on three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Jacob deGrom started off the game with six consecutive strikeouts and has struck out seven total while blanking the Dodgers on three hits and a walk in three innings.

Kershaw doesn’t have the most impressive post-season track record, owning a career 5.12 ERA across eight starts and three relief appearances spanning 51 innings. Aside from the homer, the lefty appears to be putting that notion aside.

Qualifying offer for free agents set at $15.8 million

Jason Heyward
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Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal reports that the value of a qualifying offer for free agents this off-season has been set at $15.8 million. That represents an increase of a half-million dollars over last year’s value.

This is of particular interest with regards to the big-name free agents, including Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, Yovani Gallardo, Jordan Zimmermann, and Jeff Samardzija.

Teams that make a qualifying offer to a player that ends up being rejected receive a compensation draft pick in the upcoming draft. The team that signs the player who rejected a qualifying offer gives up their earliest non-protected draft pick.

Free agents who had been traded mid-season aren’t eligible to receive a qualifying offer. This includes Yoenis Cespedes, David Price, Johnny Cueto, and Ben Zobrist, among others.

A player has yet to accept a qualifying offer since the QO system was implemented.