I didn’t watch the Yankees-Red Sox game for a number of reasons, but I can gather from the box score and what people are saying today that it was pretty thrilling. And no matter what I think of the length of these affairs, I should probably just put a sock in my complaints. Why? This tweet from Eric Fisher of Sports Business Journal:
Appears to be a strong chance that last night’s 4 hr+ NYY-BOS epic will be YES’ highest rated game of the year. Will know more later today.
I don’t think this stuff translates to the national broadcasts in the postseason, as non-Yankees or Red Sox fans just aren’t going to want to stay up until 1AM for an ALCS game like this. But to that we should probably just say “who cares?” It goes back to what I always say when playoff ratings come up: baseball is a local thing. Last night’s game proved it. If you love the Yankees and the Red Sox, that stuff is manna from heaven. If you don’t, it ain’t.
I don’t, so it ain’t, but that’s a subjective aesthetic opinion. And even if I’d like to see baseball do something to move these things along, I must concede that failing to do so will not represent the end of the world.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.
Rangers reliever Jake Diekman will have surgery on January 25 to help alleviate ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease. As a result, the lefty will miss at least half of the 2017 regular season, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Diekman was diagnosed with the illness when he was 11 years old. He has brought awareness to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America with a “Gut It Out” campaign.
Diekman, who turns 30 years old on Saturday, finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.40 ERA and a 59/26 K/BB ratio in 53 innings. He came to the Rangers from the Phillies in the Cole Hamels trade on July 31, 2015.
The Rangers and Diekman avoided arbitration last Friday, agreeing to a $2.55 million salary for the 2017 season.