The Little Girl, who turns nine this week (which is nuts), is down with the flu. She rarely needs ‘ole dad these days, so I am taking the opportunity to make myself useful to her, providing food and drink and tissues and medicines all the amenities of a five-star influenza joint.
- The Washington Post drops the latest bombshell on the Astros cheating scandal, with 10 to 12 teams(!) complaining to the league about the Astros’ rampant cheating over the course of several years(!):
“The whole industry knows they’ve been cheating their asses off for three or four years.” On how suspicions about the Astros filtered through all levels of their opponents — sometimes crippling staff. With @DaveSheinin https://t.co/A1GBdEwOTh
— Barry Svrluga (@barrysvrluga) February 11, 2020
- The article presents an “open secret” around baseball that the Astros were cheating in all kinds of ways going as far back as 2016 and through 2019 (so much so that the Washington Nationals made specific preparations to hinder the Astros’ cheating in the dang 2019 World Series – in part because so many people came out of the woodwork to warn them in advance of the series!). Why in the world did it take Mike Fiers going public for the investigation to really ramp up?
- Also, with A.J. Hinch failing – suspiciously – to deny the use of buzzers, the questions about Jose Altuve’s now infamous walk-off homer in the 2019 ALCS has executives talking (an anonymous exec, via the Post): “You’re covering up and holding your shirt closed when you hit a homer to win the pennant? Who ever hit a home run to win the pennant and goes to the clubhouse and 20 seconds later comes out in a different shirt? No. You celebrate with your teammates.”
- More here at The Athletic on Carlos Beltran’s role, together with Alex Cora, in deciding that the front office’s illegal “Codebreaker” scheme wasn’t going far enough, hence the video monitors and trash-can-banging. Remember how the Astros kept hinting that Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches … watch Beltran discussing it now, with the knowledge we now have, and it makes you very, very angry:
RE last tweet: this is so ugly in retrospect. Beltran’s arrogance. The grinning PED champ asking the questions only adds to the levels. https://t.co/fuC2bFAlmT
- Again I say: the Astros should no longer be permitted to claim a 2017 World Series title. They cheated, rampantly, on their way to the postseason and then on through the postseason. The title should be stripped. It’s clear as day now.
- Although we noted the competitiveness of the Cubs in the initial PECOTA projections this week, we didn’t discuss the bizarre NL East, which has – among other things – the Braves winning fewer games than the Cubs:
The full PECOTA NL East projections ✅ pic.twitter.com/wYtl4d9KSj
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) February 12, 2020
- Speaking of the Braves, this is not what you want to see:
Cole Hamels irritated pitching shoulder doing weighted-ball exercises, #Braves’ Snitker said. Hamels is in Dallas, will be re-evaluated in 3 weeks. Hope is that it’s nothing serious and he’ll have time to get ready.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) February 12, 2020
- And speaking of projections, this is the most insanely bad position group projection I think I’ve ever seen on a team that fancies itself a contender:
2020 ZiPS Projections: Texas Rangers https://t.co/WEvclVMBy5
— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) February 12, 2020
- That’s below average (2.0 WAR) at every single position except right field, and even that is only barely above average. It’s been true all offseason, but lord. If the Rangers want to compete in the AL West, they need a major offensive infusion.
- With Starling Marte shipped out to Arizona, the former center fielder there is taking his job in Pittsburgh:
Outfielder Jarrod Dyson and the Pittsburgh Pirates are in agreement on a one-year major league deal, sources tell ESPN. Dyson will take a physical today, and if all goes as expected the deal will be official and they'll have their center fielder to replaced Starling Marte.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 12, 2020
- Like all Pirates at this point, Dyson will be eyed as a midseason trade candidate if he performs well in the first half – he could wind up a useful bench piece on a contender down the stretch.
- A star hitter from the ’90s finally returns to the Cubs organization – no, not that guy, the other guy:
— Marquee Sports Network (@WatchMarquee) February 11, 2020
- Since departing the Cubs organization after the 2000 season, Grace has been attached to the Diamondbacks organization as a player, a coach, and a broadcaster. Elise Menaker is also coming on board Marquee from the Big Ten Network.
- Cleaning stuff, heating apparel, and shaving stuff are among your Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad