I want to find a genie in a bottle who bucks convention and doesn’t mind it when you wish for more wishes. The odds of that happening are about the same odds as Josh Hamilton getting what he wants:
That’s $25 million a year for seven years. I think it’s a stretch to think he’ll get seven years at anything even approaching that level, if he gets that many years at all. If he does get $25 million it would probably be some four-year thing maybe with a series of options afterward. No way someone goes both big and long on his deal.
Whatever. They’re all rumors until something happens. I would expect that, if it hasn’t happened already, Hamilton’s people have denied this. Not because they don’t want it — they may actually be asking for it — but because there is no percentage in having a perception that Hamilton is asking for the moon out there. At least until he’s in serious negotiations with someone.
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.