Wanna buy B.J. Upton’s house?

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B.J. Upton’s Tampa home is for sale for $1.6 million.  Sounds like a nice joint.  Word is that the ventilation is great, provided by ceiling fans with baseball bats for blades which, in keeping with the owner’s habits, cut swiftly and silently into the humid night air:

Inside, the two-story residence boats a host of luxury appointments, including a wrought-iron staircase in the foyer, vaulted ceilings and wood flooring throughout. An entertainer’s dream, Upton’s home features a host of high-end amenities, including a custom wine cellar, a media room and a gourmet kitchen with top-tier appliances. The all-star pad rounds out with a resort-style pool with a spa, a poolside kitchen and a tiki wet bar.

Pretty nice as far as these things go, though since he’s obviously not lived in the thing for months it has that “real estate agent rented some furniture for showings and now it looks like a model home” feel that so many of these ballplayer houses do. I feel like Upton has a bit more style about him than what is shown here. At any rate, if you hired a decent decorator this could be a pretty happening place.

And note: the fact that Realtor.com puts Upton’s batting line in the listing and notes his season-long struggles is pretty awesome. Baseball fans over there.

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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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.