Two MLB.com writers robbed at gunpoint at Great American

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MLB.com’s Barry Bloom and Thomas Harding were robbed at 1:30 a.m. this morning about 15 feet outside Gate 3 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News reports.

“I thought the guy was a fan as he approached, but he said, ‘We can do this the easy way or the hard way,’” said Bloom. “I started to walk away and he began yelling at me and pulled this big gun that looked like a Glock. He said, ‘Put your wallets on the ground.’ We did and he picked them up and ran off.”

Bloom said he lost about $500 in cash, while Harding was carrying $100.  Their credit cards were also stolen.

The two writers were covering the Rockies-Reds game that didn’t end until after midnight as the result of a long rain delay.

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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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.