Bobby Valentine: Japanese pitchers want to go 3-2

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Why is it that Daisuke Matsuzaka and now Yu Darvish have walked so many more batters in the U.S. than they did back in Japan? Red Sox skipper Bobby Valentine, who previously managed the Chiba Lotte Mariners for seven years,  has an idea that Japanese pitchers actually strive to get to the 3-2 count before trying to put away a batter.

Astros Extend Jeff Luhnow Through 2023

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The Astros have agreed to a contract extension with Jeff Luhnow through 2023. They’ve also given him a promotion. Or, at the very least, a new title, as he is now president of baseball operations as well as GM.

Luhnow, who was hired following the 2011 season, quite obviously built the Astros from a 100+ loss train wreck into the World Series champions. They are a top contender for that title once again in 2018. That the Astros would even think about shaking him loose any time soon was a fantasy, so this move should be considered a formality.