Probably a good thing given that Bud Selig appears to have designated Rob Manfred as his chosen successor, but in case anyone gets any idea, no, Joe Torre does not want to be Commissioner of Baseball:
“If they had asked me to do something for the game, I certainly would listen, but I have no aspirations to be commissioner, based on my age. I’m very comfortable working there. I’ve got a significant job. I don’t have a great deal of stress, job-wise in my life and that feels good.’’
Not gonna happen, of course, and I don’t think Torre would be the best guy for the job anyway. But it is something that even asking that question is plausible. Torre was a player, a manager (and a player-manager) and a league executive. I can’t think of anyone — at least anyone recently — who can say they’ve filled up all of those squares on their bingo card. Bill White came closest, I suppose, but rather than managing he went via the broadcaster’s route before becoming N.L. President.
Joe Torre: renaissance man. Who knew?
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.