Here’s an odd story with odder timing.
According to Sam Strong of the Long Beach Press-Telegram, hundreds of Dodgers fans arrived in Chavez Ravine around 7 PM on Saturday, hours after the team had completed a 1-0 defeat of the visiting Padres. Those fans were unaware that FOX had selected the game for its national broadcast and moved first pitch to the early afternoon. They were issued ticket vouchers for a future home game.
As noted by the Press-Telegram, an advertiser for HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” might have also been thrown off, as an airplane carrying a promotional banner for the show was making loops above an empty Dodger Stadium just before 7 PM.
It all represents the sudden lack of interest in Frank McCourt’s sinking ship.
According to Jon Weisman of ESPN Los Angeles, less than 80 people gathered on a block near the stadium an hour before the actual 1:10 PM first pitch to protest the bankrupt owner with homemade signs and a megaphone. These days in Dodgerland, not even the protests are well-attended.
The Reds announced on Wednesday that the club and pitcher Raisel Iglesias agreed to a three-year contract. Iglesias had been on a seven-year, $27 million contract signed in June 2014 and had two years with $10 million remaining. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the new contract is worth $24.125 million, so it’s a hefty pay raise for Iglesias.
Iglesias, who turns 29 years old in January, has gotten better every season pitching out of the Reds’ bullpen. In 2018, he posted a 2.38 ERA with 30 saves and an 80/25 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. Over his four-year career, the right-hander has 64 saves with a 2.97 ERA and a 359/106 K/BB ratio in 321 2/3 innings.
Iglesias gets little fanfare pitching for the Reds, fifth-place finishers in each of his four years, but he is certainly among baseball’s better relievers. Signing him to a new three-year deal gives them some certainty at the back of the bullpen in the near future.
There was a bit of confusion regarding his previous contract, which allowed him to opt out and file for arbitration if eligible. Iglesias has three years and 154 days of service time, so his new contract essentially covers his arbitration-eligible years.