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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MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.