<span class="vcard">Aaron Gleeman</span>

Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics

Report: Joe Maddon and the Cubs “have been in discussions”

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As soon as the presumed marriage between Joe Maddon and the Dodgers was shot down by Andrew Friedman–at least for this year–speculation shifted to Maddon and the Cubs.

Now, the Cubs have a manager under contract for 2015 in Rick Renteria, but sure enough Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun Times reports that Maddon and the Cubs “have been in discussions this week” and “could have an answer by Friday.”

Previous reports had Maddon seeking something in the range of a five-year, $25 million contract and he made it clear that he’d prefer to manage again immediately rather than sitting out a year, so Chicago–with its stocked farm system and analytical front office–is the most obvious landing spot.

97+ mph pitches this season: Royals 2,287, Twins 1

speed limit 100
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Parker Hageman of Twins Daily put together a list of how many pitches each team threw this season that clocked in at 97 miles per hour or faster.

He probably did so mostly to depress Twins fans, but it also works as a way to highlight the Royals’ pitching staff:

source:

Kansas City threw 2,287 pitches at least 97 mph. Minnesota threw one pitch at least 97 mph.

(Lester Oliveros threw the Twins’ lone 97+ mph pitch, in September.)

Game 7 odds: Royals are slight favorites over Giants

gambling poster
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Based on the betting odds the Royals are seen as a small favorite against the Giants in Game 7 tonight.

Exact lines vary depending on the source, but in general the Royals are around -140 favorites. Which means to win $100 on the Royals you’d need to bet $140 and the break-even win rate for such a bet would be 58 percent.

By comparison, the same Tim Hudson vs. Jeremy Guthrie matchup in Game 3 of the series on October 24 had the Giants as -125 favorites. That game was played in San Francisco, which is obviously one key difference.

My analysis of this series, and the playoffs in general, has basically been that everything is one big coin clip, so I’m of no real use here. I trust Hudson slightly more than I trust Guthrie, but being in Kansas City is a pretty big factor. What say you, HBT’ers?

Diamondbacks close to new 15-20 year television deal for 2-3 times as much money

Baltimore Orioles v Arizona Diamondbacks
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Local television contracts are becoming increasingly important as teams like the Dodgers and Yankees get massive annual revenue steams and many other teams struggle to secure a fraction of their totals.

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks’ contract with FOX Sports Arizona expires after next season and the team is close to signing a new deal that would cover 15-20 more years.

According to Piecoro the new deal “will at least double or maybe triple the previous contract reportedly worth $31 million a year.” That would put the Diamondbacks in line with the Rangers, who recently signed a deal worth around $80 million per season.

John Farrell responds to report that Red Sox coaches “all hate” Yoenis Cespedes

Yoenis Cespedes
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Earlier this week Bill Madden of the New York Daily News wrote that the Red Sox will likely trade outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in part because of “his open disenchantment with Boston and his refusal to pay any heed to their coaches.”

Madden also quoted “a Red Sox insider” source who said: “He marches to his own drum and the coaches all hate him.”

Red Sox manager John Farrell responded to those claims yesterday–and particularly the “coaches all hate him” part–during an interview with MLB Network Radio, saying:

Totally surprised and completely off-guard. It’s unfortunate that a comment like that is made from elsewhere. We had two full months with Yoenis. I think you get a pretty good feel for a player or a person when you’re around them every day for the length of time in a given day that we are. We know him to be one thing, and that is a guy that works well. He became a very good and strong performer in the middle of our lineup.

We’re happy he’s here. We’re certainly looking forward to building a lineup with him in the middle of it next year. Completely unfounded and kind of a shame that someone would write something like that because we see him and from what we know of him is completely 180 degrees from what was written.

Two things: One, it’s not as if Farrell would ever say “well, yeah, it’s true we all hate Cespedes” even if it were true. And two, regardless of what they think of Cespedes as a person the Red Sox’s glut of outfielders could lead to them trading him with one season remaining on his contract and good but not great numbers over the past two years.