I liked that new New Era cap ad featuring Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski yesterday. I think the ads in that series are pretty funny. Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News disagrees:
The real heat between the Yanks and Red Sox burns off the field, in television commercials. Some of the spots are funny and nuanced, like the Avis ad about the Yankee fans snubbing a Red Sox fan in the office. Unfortunately, the New Era commercials featuring Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski are way over the top.
Baldwin plays a Yankee fan. In one spot, he vaguely threatens to kill Krasinski, a Red Sox rooter. In another, Baldwin travels to Boston to punch Krasinski unapologetically in the face. Given the recent fan violence in Los Angeles, this stuff is far too provocative.
Call me crazy, but I bet that when they catch and interrogate the guys who attacked Bryan Stow, they’ll find that there are a lot more things wrong with them than exposure to some funny TV violence.
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.