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Greetings from the 2011 Winter Meetings

Dec 5, 2011, 8:31 AM EDT

Winter Meetings Dallas

If it’s 7:30 AM and the only people awake are you and Ned Yost — having a cup coffee and looking deep in thought about 20 feet from me — it must be the Winter Meetings.

I’m in Dallas this week, reporting, more or less, live, more or less, from the 2011 Winter Meetings.  Things got started off with a bang last night with Jose Reyes signing with the Marlins. It’s going to be hard to top that unless the deal involves a fellow named Pujols, but if we learned anything last year it’s that you can expect the unexpected. Although I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to give ridiculous money to Jayson Werth again, so maybe not that unexpected.

As we have the past couple of years, we’ll be posting like crazy, so tune it to HBT and rip off the dial. Well, as long as you can still refresh. If your dial does that, don’t rip it off.

I’m going to go get into trouble and/or talk cordially with baseball people. Back with dish shortly.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Craig, you’re new at this. Don’t be unreasonably offended if they rest their beer cans on your head to free up both hands for grand gestures while they talk at you.

    • bozosforall - Dec 5, 2011 at 2:42 PM

      I thought that they rested their beer cans on Calcaterra’s head to free up both hands to grip his ears as handholds.

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 8:58 PM

        There’s bozo, confirming his gutter pedigree – and not even the Donald ever even challenged him on it.

  2. manute - Dec 5, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    Welcome to the club. In the future, any time you report MLB news, please start with: “Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk has confirmed….”

  3. paperlions - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    Do they have “Baseball Winter Meetings” T-shirts with that logo on it? And how much will you charge to pick one up and mail it to me?

    • Lukehart80 - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:30 AM

      Ditto. That logo is tremendous.

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:41 AM

        When you’ve seen as many of those stupid things skwished on the turnpike as I have – I used to keep my kids busy on the drive up to Disney World by having them count DOR armadillos – they kinda loose their cachet. In fact, after you get a fix on the extent of the mass vehicular immolation of ‘dillies all over Florida, you begin to wonder how any creature so relentlessly stupid – if the native American myth of the animal master has any truth to it, spiritual or otherwise, it’s a spirit familiar that just can’t take a fucking hint – isn’t already extinct.

      • kiwicricket - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        I feel you are being unnecessarily harsh on this armored rat like creature. Panda’s eat only one thing(which happens to be of no nutritional value)and have sex roughly .3 times per year. Yet are in utter decline because of ‘outside influences’. Call Panda’s stupid too, or I will be forced to argue for the Rat with skin disease.

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:14 PM

        You mean leprosy, right? Imagine anything so stupid that it kept knocking at the door of the otherwise exclusive leprosy club for thousands of years of evolutionary inertia snorting to be admitted. What did a panda ever do that was as stupid as that?

        Incidentally, I have more than enough trouble with pandas. I have a few lovely stands of bamboo outside around my Japanese garden and every spring I have to spray it because of those miserable hyperpineal raccoons. It always starts the same way: the leaves begin coming loose and blowing into my swimming pool. A magnifying glass quickly reveals little tiny black and white fuzzy things in clusters around the stems of the leaves. Spray, spray, spray – you have to spray every time it rains, of course, and the late spring is monsoon season in Macondo. If you don’t, the damn things grow to three or four hundred pounds and get stuck in your pool drain. Ever try to haul a soggy panda carcass out of our filter line return?


        Didn’t think so.

    • cur68 - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:43 AM

      Sources confirm that the thing on the logo is know as a “tatu” and is an acquired taste when eaten…but well worth acquiring…and may have a pre-historic giant relative that can hoot…or something…

      • tmohr - Dec 5, 2011 at 10:28 AM

        These guys weighed about 440 pounds. Imagine them as part of the post-game spread.

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:37 AM

        Imagine one sprinting from first to third. Imagine putting that shell on Prince Fielder. Then again, imagine a Brewers uniform on a pampathere, often referred to as a dire armadillo.

      • kiwicricket - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:38 AM

        Is it a land Crustacean? Please confirm Cur

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:43 AM

        It’s a mammal. Can’t you see its boobs? Dear Buddha, you missed all six of them.

      • kiwicricket - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:03 PM

        Gator, how can it be a mammal if it’s laid an egg in the picture

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        You gotta be the only antipodean I ever met who never heard of a monotreme.

      • stex52 - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:17 PM

        You are addressing one of the lesser known icons of Texas. Yes, it is one of the odder evolutionary ideas to come out of the Cenozoic, and yes it is a Mexican invader, but the ‘dillo thrives down here.

        Our roads just wouldn’t be complete without a littering of armadillo corpses.

        Little known fact: There was a strong counter-culture push at the University of Texas in the early ’70’s to change mascots to the armadillo.

      • cur68 - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:33 PM

        Boys we are having two entirely separate conversations here. “Tatu” has more than one meaning, as our fellow gastro-gnome paperlions can confirm. Now THAT’S what I’M talkin’ ’bout…

      • kiwicricket - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        I tend not to pay too much attention to females without nipples, Gator…

        Little tiny black and white fuzzy things in clusters around the stem, should be seen to by a doctor….

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        >Little known fact: There was a strong counter-culture push at the University of Texas in the early ’70′s to change mascots to the armadillo.

        What was wrong with the scorpion in the first place?

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:00 PM


        Then I guess we’ll never catch you reading a Victoria’s Secret catalog.

  4. lewp - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Howdy from Dallas.

    My name is Lew and I’m about 20 minutes up the road from Craig at the winter meetings. I may try to get some of those shirts..sounds like I might can sell some?

    My blog is at

    Let’s hope the Rangers can sign some outstanding talent..

    • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      And I can scan that logo, put it on Cafe Press and undercut your little entrepeneurial misadventure like a Wal-Mart opening out by the interstate wrecking another downtown.

    • kiwicricket - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:43 PM

      You said ‘howdy’ as a joke right?

      • spudchukar - Dec 5, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        …As in Doody.

  5. stex52 - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    See if you can find a GM for the Astros while you are out there.

    • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 2:41 PM

      Who do you think Craig is, Indiana Jones?

      • stex52 - Dec 5, 2011 at 3:34 PM

        Perhaps. All we get is pictures of exotic fauna. (well, stretching the exotic part with armadillos).

        BTW, liked the “scorpion” shot. Spoken as by someone who has actually camped in central Texas.

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:02 PM

        Yep – and with my generator-powered ultraviolet lamp so I could see where the little bastards were before I laid out my sleeping bag.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 5, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Craig, can you please do me a favor and grab the checkbook from Ruben Amaro and lock him in a closet for the week. Thanks in advance.

  7. mojosmagic - Dec 5, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    How bout dem Cowboys.

    • marinersnate - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:37 PM

      The one’s from Stillwater or the one’s from Laramie?

      • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:57 PM

        The one at the bar at the bowling alley, chatting with the Dude.

  8. kiwicricket - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Looking forward to Mr C’s dress-code analysis. I expect picture confirmation of any standouts.

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