Royals loss

We own you: each team’s best record vs. another franchise since 2000

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Here’s something I thought would be quick and fun on a slow news day: each team’s best record versus a league opponent since 2000.  I’m not including the small-sample interleague results.

Arizona: 46-32 vs. Pittsburgh (.590 winning pct.)
Atlanta: 52-31 vs. San Diego (.627)
Chicago: 107-82 vs. Pittsburgh (.566)
Cincinnati: 43-33 vs. Florida (.566)
Colorado: 52-32 vs. Wash/Mon (.619)
Florida: 128-80 vs. Wash/Mon (.615)
Houston: 43-28 vs. Colorado (.606)
Los Angeles: 57-27 vs. Pittsburgh (.679)
Milwaukee: 45-35 vs. Arizona (.563)
New York: 48-35 vs. Colorado (.578)
Philadelphia: 51-29 vs. San Diego (.638)
Pittsburgh: 43-46 vs. Colorado (.483)
St. Louis: 55-25 vs. San Diego (.688)
San Diego: 50-28 vs. Washington (.641)
San Francisco: 49-26 vs. Houston (.653)
Wash/Mon: 44-34 vs. Pittsburgh (.564)

Baltimore: 56-34 vs. Kansas City (.622)
Boston: 61-34 vs. Detroit (.642)
Chicago: 124-81 vs. Kansas City (.605)
Cleveland: 57-35 vs. Tampa Bay (.620)
Detroit: 59-46 vs. Texas (.562)
Kansas City: 105-104 vs. Detroit (.502)
Los Angeles: 68-39 vs. Kansas City (.636)
Minnesota: 131-80 vs. Kansas City (.621)
New York: 62-24 vs. Kansas City (.721)
Oakland: 68-29 vs. Baltimore (.701)
Seattle: 59-44 vs. Kansas City (.573)
Tampa Bay: 51-38 vs. Kansas City (.573)
Texas: 59-44 vs. Kansas City (.573)
Toronto: 127-84 vs. Baltimore (.602)

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that a lot of clubs are beating up on the Royals and Pirates. Seven of the 13 AL clubs have their best records against Kansas City, which is pretty amazing even if somewhat expected. Only four of the 15 NL possibilities have their top marks against the Pirates, but the Pirates have the singular distinction of not being above .500 against any leaguemates. Even in interleague play, the best they can boast is 5-4 records against the Orioles and Rays.

Of course, the Royals are only above .500 against the one team (Detroit). Their next best mark is .455, coming against the Indians (95-114).

We can see here that it’s easier to compile a big winning percentage over 70-90 games, rather than 200+. That’s why most of the clubs above have a non-division rival listed as their top opponent. The best mark for any club against a division rival is the Yankees’ .670 winning percentage against the Orioles (138-68). The Red Sox have also feasted on Baltimore, coming in at .633 (131-76).

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.

Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.

The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.

Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.

Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.

EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.