Tag: Kyle Farnsworth

Roger Clemens closeup head

Roger Clemens settles the Brian McNamee lawsuit


The New York Post reports that Roger Clemens and his former trainer Brian McNamee have settled the defamation lawsuit brought against him by his former trainer, Brian McNamee. The terms have not been disclosed.

The roots of this go back over seven years, to the time just after the Mitchell Report was released. McNamee was one of George Mitchell’s primary sources, and he claimed that he had sold, given or had administered performance enhancing drugs to Clemens, among others. Clemens vehemently denied this after the report was released and engaged in a legal and public relations onslaught against his former trainer. Clemens filed a defamation suit of his own, but it was almost completely eviscerated by a federal court and what little was left of it was eventually dismissed. McNamee’s suit against Clemens, however, has had legs, and now it presumably involves Clemens paying McNamee a great deal of money to make it go away.

That it got this far is pretty amazing. Clemens was always a physically gifted pitcher, but so was Kyle Farnsworth and any number of guys who could throw amazing heat. Clemens’ success, like the success of any all-time great hurler, came from combining those gifts with a good strategic mind. Clemens always had a plan on the mound and new how he’d get the batter out. His post-Mitchell Report behavior, in contrast, was unexpected, bizarre and ultimately self-destructive.

If, as he claimed, he never took PEDs, he could’ve issued a simple denial and gone on with his life. Heck, he could’ve done that even if it was a lie and nothing would have happened to him. Alternatively, if he took PEDs, as most of us suspect he did, he could’ve admitted it. No matter which of those courses he took, the fallout — apart from as it related to his Hall of Fame case — would’ve ended for him in early 2008. He never would’ve been sued. He never would’ve been hauled before Congress and, eventually, subjected to a perjury prosecution. He never would’ve had the sordid details of his personal life printed in every newspaper and broadcast on every channel.  All of that was a function of his combative and litigious response to the release of the Mitchell Report.

But that’s what he did, either out of stubbornness, arrogance, miscalculation or some combination of all of those things. And that’s why, only now, over seven years later, the matter is finally being settled.

The Astros release Kyle Farnsworth

Kyle Farnsworth

Is the end nigh for The Professor?

Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros have outrighted  Kyle Farnsworth. They’ve called up Jose Veras to replace him in the pen.

Farnsworth is 38 and he’s been awful this year, posting a 6.17 ERA in 11 and two-thirds innings since joining the Astros and walking more guys than he has struck out. He was a bit better than that with the Mets to start the season, but the fact is that two teams going nowhere and who are predisposed at this point to put up with less-than-stellar production in the name of saving some money and saving their young arms has decided that Farnsworth wasn’t worth keeping him around.

That’s a bad sign if he wants to keep pitching.

Tony Sipp pulls double-duty for the Astros

Tony Sipp Astros

Tony Sipp was a centerfielder at Clemson, but once he became a pitcher he thought the days of patrolling the outfield were behind him.


Welcome back to National League baseball, home of the double-switch and creative substitutions.

The Astros were shorthanded in the bullpen on Monday. Fellow lefty Darin Downs, who pitched two innings the day before, was unavailable and Rudy Owens was the long man in the pen, ready to come in if the one-run game went to extra innings.

“Coming into that situation as a staff we kind of knew that once Cosart came out of the game we were going to have to be creative and try to match our guys up as best we could. Having a guy like Tony Sipp who can play the outfield, it gives you that kind of flexibility.”

So Sipp became a strategic pawn in Bo Porter’s master plan.

“When (Sipp) left the dugout (in the eighth inning) he knew he was going to get the first guy and that Williams was going to come in and get Goldschmidt, and then he was going to have (Miguel) Montero,” Porter said. “So it was pretty much explained to him before he left the dugout, so no one was shocked.”

Knowing and being prepared might be two entirely different things, though. Sipp struck out Gerardo Parra and out came Porter to make his unusual double switch, bringing in Jerome Williams to face right-handed hitting Paul Goldschmidt and sending Sipp to right field.

“I didn’t think it was actually going to happen, though. He gave me a warning, but I’m like, ‘Alright, okay Bo,’” Sipp said.

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Once in the outfield, Sipp started running the possibilities through his head.

“I don’t think I had time to be nervous, I was just more focused more than anything because obviously if I let a guy, if I misplay a ball then I put myself in a worse situation because I have to come back and face Montero, I knew that,” Sipp said. “I joked around with Dexter and told him, ‘Hey, if I have to dive for a ball back me up.’ He was like, ‘Hey, you better not dive.’ Ultimately I would have had to work with whatever situation I had out there so I was fully prepared to dive.”

Williams ended up walking Goldschmidt and Sipp was brought back to the mound to face Miguel Montero, who he also struck out. Kyle Farnsworth then replaced Sipp, who took a seat on the bench to watch Martin Prado strike out to end the inning and preserve the one run lead.

Diamondbacks sticking with Addison Reed as their closer despite all the homers

Addison Reed Diamondbacks

Arizona invested a ton of money and resources into building a strong, deep bullpen this season and yet Addison Reed has a 4.13 ERA with an astounding eight home runs allowed in 28 innings as the closer.

He’s also blown two saves and taken three losses, and when the Diamondbacks needed a save converted Sunday it was Brad Zeigler getting the call, but afterward manager Kirk Gibson made it clear that he’s sticking with Reed in the ninth inning:

He’s pitched a lot. If you look at his games you wouldn’t think he’s pitched as much as the other guys, but when you’re a closer you have to get up a lot. He just has a tired arm. It’s nothing serious or anything like that. We’re just giving him a day to recover.

Of course, as Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic notes, Zeigler had actually pitched on four of the previous five days, so using him over Reed because Reed was overworked is an interesting explanation.

Reed has always had a problem serving up too many homers and that’s one of the reasons why many people (myself included) felt the Diamondbacks gave up too much to acquire him from the White Sox this offseason. There are 46 active pitchers with 50 or more career saves and Reed has the second-highest home run rate behind only Kyle Farnsworth.

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Astros sign Mets castoff Kyle Farnsworth

New York Mets v Miami Marlins

Released by the Mets earlier this week, veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth has found a new home with the Astros.

Farnsworth was pretty upset with the Mets at the time of the release and talked about wanting to “find a team where I can play against this one.”

Houston is in the AL, but the Astros’ final series of the season–September 26-28–is actually against the Mets, in New York. So Farnsworth would get a chance to pitch against the team that cut him loose, assuming he can find a way not to get released by the Astros before then.

Farnsworth actually pitched relatively well for the Mets with a 3.18 ERA in 17 innings, although his 10/6 K/BB ratio was unimpressive and his average fastball velocity was down to 92.0 miles per hour compared to his peak levels of 94-96 mph.

Chad Qualls was recently promoted to the full-time closer role by the Astros, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Farnsworth get some save chances at some point.