Matthew gave us Kolten Wong’s side of the story on that game-ending pickoff play last night. Here’s history’s side of the story.
Via an email from my friend Mark Armour, I am reminded of another World Series pickoff play. It didn’t actually end a game, but it did end the last good chance for the losing team to make something happen. And the players, at least a couple of them anyway, are familiar with it.
Specifically: Game 2 of the 2007 Series. The Red Sox vs. the Rockies. It’s the eighth inning of a 2-1 game. The Rockies finally get a base runner by virtue of a single. Their most fearsome hitter, Todd Helton, is up to bat against the Red Sox’ closer. Then …
Yup, the Rockies player who hit the single and who got picked off was Matt Holliday, current St. Louis Cardinals left fielder. I imagine, then, that he can console Wong a bit, even if he can’t tell him that everything will be alright in the end.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.