Cain and the Giants - win win


Cain and the Giants - win win

Matt Cain signed a new deal worth 112.5 million over five years, which means one thing.That ruins the drama of the rest of the exhibition schedule.Cains new deal will average 22.5M per year, well within the parameters of every logical guess on how this would end. Cain knew his value, the Giants knew his value, the agents and the players union knew his value thus obviating the need for all the panic and freakery going on about the deal.There was no hometown discount, which we knew. There was no gouging, which he could have done by coming in at Cliff Lee money. There was very little posturing, in fact. In all ways, this was a lousy contract negotiation for our purposes. Gentlemen and gentlewomen met, they argued a bit, and then they hit the number that was supposed to be hit, given all the numbers that have been hit around them.Now all he has to do is not lose 15 mph on his fastball, or tinker with his delivery every off-season, or be asked to be (the new hellish buzzphrase) the face of the franchise.All Cain has to do is pitch as he has be in the top 10 in innings pitches, pitches thrown, and all the other metrics that show workload and effectiveness.In other words, all he has to do is be him. Thats not as easy as it seems, to be sure, given the bar he has already set, but because baseball contracts have long been about non-baseball things like projecting the future, preventing competitors for bidding, etc., he got what he deserved considering the conditions that prevail.And the Giants got what they needed as well. Without Cain, their entire roster-building strategy would have been shot. Theyd have been a team built on pitching without enough pitching, and a team trying to fake it with their hitting not even managing that.In other words, theyd be the Pittsburgh Pirates a bad team in a good yard. And there are always great seats available in Pittsburgh.So it goes. Wed all congratulate all involved, but since none of the rest of us are getting a taste, we really dont care all that much. But a brief tip othe top to them for reaching the only logical conclusion where nobody looks greedy or stupid or shortsighted a rarity in this day and age.Now lets get down to the business we all know best, and let me be the first -- to wit:When is Cain going to earn his money and win the Lady Byng Trophy? Why cant he lead the NBA in scoring? And why can he not get over the top at the Country Music Awards? God in heaven, when does his contract expire? Hes killing the franchise!Ray Ratto is a columnist for

Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series


Cubs, Indians name starting pitchers for Game 1 of World Series

World Series ace Jon Lester is all set to start Game 1 for the Chicago Cubs.

Lester will be fully rested when he pitches Tuesday night at Cleveland. Corey Kluber will start for the Indians.

The 32-year-old lefty is 2-0 in three starts during this postseason, with wins over the Giants and Dodgers in the NL playoffs. He was 19-5 during the regular season.

Lester is 3-0 in three starts in the World Series with a sparkling 0.43 ERA. He helped the Boston Red Sox win championships in 2007 and 2013.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon says Lester is "really, really in the moment" right now.


Indians ace Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.

Manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he will go with Kluber, an 18-ame winner during the regular season, in the opener on Tuesday night. The right-hander is 2-1 with a 0.98 ERA in his first postseason.

Francona has right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin penciled in for Games 2 and 3, respectively. The order could change depending on how Bauer's injured right pinkie heals over the next few days.

Bauer's start in the AL Championship Series lasted less than one inning after his pinkie began bleeding against Toronto. He injured his finger when he sliced it open while repairing a drone.

Also, injured starter Danny Salazar could be available against the Cubs. Salazar hasn't pitched since Sept. 9 because of forearm tightness but he's made major progress in the past week and could be on the World Series roster.

How Cubs beat Kershaw to move on to World Series

How Cubs beat Kershaw to move on to World Series

Two quick runs off the best pitcher on the planet on Saturday night afforded the Cubs exactly what they needed to snap a 71-year-old drought.

Already confident after consecutive offensive outbursts in the previous two games, a two-run first inning against Clayton Kershaw had Cubs hitters in a positive frame of mind.

They rode the surprising rally and a dominant performance by Kyle Hendricks to a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. The win earned the Cubs their first NL pennant since 1945 and on Tuesday night they’ll seek their first World Series title since 1908 when they face the Cleveland Indians in Game 1.

“It’s huge for the confidence, the positive momentum from LA, to carry over back home,” left fielder Ben Zobrist said. “Those were the biggest moments in the game early on to help everybody keep pushing and that we got this thing -- that we’re in charge of the game early. That’s a huge momentum builder.”

The Cubs did a little bit of everything in the first inning against Kershaw, who dominated them for seven scoreless frames in a 1-0 Dodgers victory in Game 2 on Sunday night. Some hitters took a more aggressive approach against the three-time NL Cy Young winner while others remained patient. The one constant throughout the 30-pitch frame was that Cubs hitters took advantage whenever Kershaw made a mistake.