Remember that petition the guy at The Daily ‘Stache put up, trying to get Fox to replace Joe Buck with Vin Scully for the World Series this year? Well, it has an unexpected supporter: Joe Buck:
Personally, I’d love it,” Buck said the other day. “We’ve always toyed with the idea of having the hometown guy involved in a World Series broadcast. I’m from that camp. In my dad’s era, we paid a nod of tribute to the greats. And there’s no one like Vin, or close to Vin.
“I’d happily step aside to hear his voice (on the World Series). I would not fight that at all. That’s just how I grew up.
Joe Buck is not my personal cup of tea as a baseball announcer, but he seems like he has pretty good taste and an awful lot of sense.
But a cautionary note to Fox: If you do anything with this idea, either go all the way or just forget it. I still remember a few years ago when Fox invited Ernie Harwell — who was retired — to do an inning or two in a playoff series. He came in, his usual professional self and just took off like it was 1965 or something. The other people in the booth — I can’t recall who, but one was a woman and I don’t think either Buck or McCarver were around — started treating him like a museum piece, interviewing him and acting in, what I felt anyway, a patronizing fashion.
If Scully is asked to join the World Series broadcast, you do with him what the Dodgers do with him: give him the mic, empty the booth and get the hell out of his way.
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.
In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler Austin–Greg Bird combo in 2017.
The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.
Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.