My friend Stephen Silver has lived in both Boston and Philly, and is intimately familiar with the respective sports scenes. And he writes something today that is likely to make the fans in both of those cities mad:
… as someone who has lived in both cities and has a lot of family and friends in them, I can say confidently: the Red Sox and Phillies’ fan communities have way more in common than either would probably like to admit. In fact, it’s hard to think of two fan bases in American sports that are more alike.
He goes on to explain. And it’s pretty persuasive. Maybe the most persuasive part is when he says “Both cities love Curt Schilling and hate J.D. Drew, and both drove manager Terry Francona out of town …”
Jeez, what is wrong with you Boston and Philly people?
UPDATE: This ran on NBC SportsTalk last week. How appropriate:
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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.
It’s been on the verge of happening for a few days now, but now it’s official: the Toronto Blue Jays and Jose Bautista have reached a one-year deal with a mutual option. The deal is pending physical. An announcement making the deal official is expected later in week.
The exact financial figures have not been disclosed, but Jon Heyman reports that it will be in excess of the $17.2 million Bautista turned down when he turned down the Jays’ qualifying offer.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.