Baseball game as symphony

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This is neat.  I’m surprised I’m reading this in the New York Times instead of hearing it on some longish NPR segment, but it’s neat anyway.  Anthony Tommasini, chief music critic of the Times, describes a day at Yankee Stadium — a week ago Sunday, in fact — from an aural point of view, as though the game itself and all of the surrounding noise was a symphony of sorts:

For all the hubbub of constant sound it is amazing how clearly the crack of a bat, the whoosh of a pitch (at least from the powerhouse Sabathia), and the leathery thud of the ball smothered in the catcher’s mitt cut through the textures. And if the hum of chattering provides the unbroken timeline and undulant ripple of this baseball symphony, the voices that break through from all around are like striking, if fleeting, solo instruments.

That passage may sound a bit over-the-top, but it’s a really great column overall.

I don’t go to nearly as many baseball games as a lot of you, so maybe I’m just more sensitive to it, but I always take a few minutes to simply listen to it all, often with my eyes closed, so I get exactly what Tommasini is going on about.

The Tigers decline Anibal Sanchez’s 2018 option

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From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.

The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.