The Los Angeles Dodgers has a pretty flat Game 3 in the NLCS, striking out 14 times and losing 4-0 to fall into a 1-2 hole in the best-of-seven series.
After the game, Enrique Hernandez called out the fans at Dodger Stadium, saying Game 3 didn’t “feel like a playoff game” because of a lack of energy. A lack of energy from both the teams and the fans:
“We had no energy. The stadium had no energy. The fans had no energy. Overall, it was a pretty bad game for everybody who calls themselves Dodgers.”
Hernandez, a fan favorite and a bright guy, is likely aware that there’s no winning when a player calls out his own fan base, so after he had a night to sleep on it, he decided to clarify and apologize for his comments.
First a joke:
Then a more thorough statement:
As these things tend to go, if the Dodgers win tonight, all will be forgotten. If they don’t, well, it’ll likely still be mostly forgotten because Dodgers fans aren’t likely to be anywhere near as upset with Hernandez as they are with the team as a whole.
Still, the sentiments will likely be appreciated.
Bob Klapisch of The New York Times reports that free agent starter Gerrit Cole has a seven-year, $245 million contract offer on the table from the Yankees. As Klapisch also notes, the deal would set a record for total value and average annual value for a pitcher, besting Zack Greinke‘s $34.4 million AAV and David Price‘s $217 million total.
While it is possible that Cole signs before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday, clients of Scott Boras have tended to sign later in the offseason, so this may be a protracted process with today’s report as a jumping-off point. Both the Yankees’ and Angels’ front offices have received clearance from ownership to break the bank to sign Cole.
Cole, 29, could not have timed having a career year any better. During the regular season, he led all of baseball with 326 strikeouts and led the American League with a 2.50 ERA while also posting a 20-5 record and walking only 48 batters across 212 1/3 innings. He performed brilliantly in the playoffs as well, holding the opposition to seven runs on 21 hits and 11 walks with 47 strikeouts over 36 2/3 innings of work as the Astros narrowly missed out on winning another championship.
Cole is entering his age-29 season, so a deal of at least seven years would take him well into his mid-30’s. Teams, especially lately, have been hesitant to commit to pitchers, but as the Nationals showed with Max Scherzer and Patrick Corbin, sometimes it leads to a championship.
For what it’s worth, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports says the Yankees haven’t made a formal offer to Cole yet, though the club plans to make one this week. During this time of year, both sides — front office personnel and player agents — leak details to the press to help establish leverage. What we can generally take from this is that the Yankees are hot for Cole and he’s going to get a record-setting contract from some team, even if it’s not the Yankees.