I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess that Nolan Ryan was a pretty good source for Randy Galloway of the Star-Telegram:
So there you go. And there goes Nolan Ryan, gone for good. Backstabbing and ego trips won out, and a state of Texas legend is forced out. Give it up for Jon Daniels, the general manager who successfully hijacked the Texas Rangers, and as of Thursday officially, became the baseball god of Arlington.
He adds that “the geek element of fandom will cheer on Daniels” while most fans — real fans, I assume he believes — will lament Nolan Ryan leaving. He says a “kill-shot” was fired at Ryan too, so he’s not being dramatic or anything.
I would love for Galloway and the real fans to point out the different moves made by Nolan Ryan vs. Jon Daniels in an effort to actually explain who did what better and why. Because if they can’t, I’d dare say that this is about emotion and attitude and — quite possibly — friendship between the reporter and the figure being reported on rather than it being about baseball merit.
Or maybe I’m wrong. I mean, we see temper tantrums like this from professional sports columnists in the wake of personnel moves all the time, right?
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.