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Craig Calcaterra

  1. Jim Crane to be approved in mid-November

    Oct 12, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    Jim Crane

    We’ve heard so much back-and-forth on whether or not Jim Crane is going to be approved as the owner of the Astros and when that it’s hard to know what to believe anymore. But when Peter Gammons says it all matter-of-factly like this, it rings true: Houston ownership change expected to go through in mid-November,…

  2. The Yankees’ problem? Lack of “killer instinct”

    Oct 12, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

    Killer

    That’s Bob Klapisch’s view in his column this morning anyway. A-Rod and the Yankees couldn’t get a key hit against Joaquin Benoit or Max Scherzer last Thursday because, well, they just couldn’t will it to be so: The past-era Yankees had a ferocious trait that couldn’t be quantified. It was an intangible expectation of victory…

  3. As the leaves turn, the “let’s contract the Rays” talk begins anew

    Oct 12, 2011, 11:05 AM EDT

    Tropicana Field

    I feel like I spent half of last offseason debunking the notion of Major League Baseball contracting a team, be it the A’s or the Rays or whoever. It’s an easy notion to debunk when you actually think about what contraction of a franchise would entail. Just off the top of my head it would…

  4. Theo Epstein in Chicago: Can he break a second curse?

    Oct 12, 2011, 10:29 AM EDT

    Theo Epstein

    The first thing most people thought when the rumors of Theo Epstein possibly joining the Chicago Cubs began to circulate was “can he do it again?”  Can the man credited with ending baseball’s most famous world championship drought end baseball’s longest?  Now that Epstein and the Cubs have a deal, it’s worth taking a look…

  5. The Phillies want Domonic Brown to play another year of Triple-A ball

    Oct 12, 2011, 9:30 AM EDT

    Phillies Brown drops his bat and helmet at the plate after striking out in their MLB National League baseball game in Washington

    From hope-for-the-future to organizational guy?  Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday that he’d like outfielder Domonic Brown to spend another full season at Triple-A. Brown certainly hasn’t busted out in his 280 major league plate appearances, but man, he’s 24 now and he has never truly been given the chance to have a big…

  6. Report: Theo Epstein agrees to a five-year deal with the Cubs

    Oct 12, 2011, 8:56 AM EDT

    Theo Epstein

    John Dennis of WEEI just reported that Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has agreed with the Cubs on a five-year deal worth more than $15 million. This is a huge moment for the Cubs.  Franchise-altering. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of this week. The Cubs and Red Sox still have…

  7. Victor Martinez expects to play today

    Oct 12, 2011, 8:44 AM EDT

    Detroit Tigers' Martinez runs bases after hitting a solo home run against the Texas Rangers in Game 3 in their MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Detroit

    Tigers’ DH Victor Martinez tweaked his oblique when he hit that home run in the fourth inning of last night’s game.  But he told the Detroit Free Press last night that he expects to play in Game 4 this afternoon.  Well, most likely anyway: Q: Are you positive you’ll play tomorrow (this afternoon’s Game 4)? A:…

  8. The 2011 Red Sox: “a story of disunity, disloyalty, and dysfunction like few others in franchise history”

    Oct 12, 2011, 6:09 AM EDT

    File image of Boston Red Sox manager Francona walking back to the dugout during their MLB American League baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park in Boston

    There’s a long and rich history of the folks in the Red Sox organization casting blame, settling scores and throwing people under the bus after things have gone sideways on the field.  It’s been a subdued dynamic for the past several years as success and a new professionalism has asserted itself, but with Terry Francona…

  9. Stepping up: the Tigers’ big guns give them new life

    Oct 11, 2011, 11:33 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera hits a solo home run against the Texas Rangers in the seventh inning of Game 3 of the MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Detroit

    It’s an overused cliche — I know, because I’ve overused it — to say that a team has to have someone “step up” when things go poorly.  I guess what makes it most objectionable is the notion implied in the term itself that a player can simply choose to perform better. To “take a step”…

  10. TBS’ Ernie Johnson is attending to more importmant matters

    Oct 11, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Ernie Johnson

    Ernie Johnson is TBS’ first-team baseball guy, but he’s been absent from this postseason due to his son’s illness.  Today’s USA Today has a story detailing what Johnson and his family are dealing with.  It’s heart-aching stuff. Keep a thought in your heart for Johnson and his family.

  11. Great Moments in Denial: Shaun Marcum edition

    Oct 11, 2011, 9:45 AM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum bobbles a bunt from St. Louis Cardinals' Jon Jay in the 1st inning of Game 2 of the MLB National League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Milwaukee

    If you hadn’t watched last night’s game, and instead, simply read the quotes from manager Ron Roenicke and last night’s starter Shaun Marcum in this Tom Haudricourt blog post, you’d think that Marcum and the Brewers lost a 4-3 game in the late innings or something: “He left the ball up to Pujols in the…

  12. “The sausages don’t talk. It’s one of the basic rules of racing meat.”

    Oct 11, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT

    Sausage races

    We all know and love the sausage races at Miller Park, but I’m guessing there are a lot of New York Times readers who have made quite the point of structuring their lives in such a way as to have the races’ existence and nuances elude them for the past 20 years or so.  So…

  13. Selig: expanded playoffs coming, but maybe not next year

    Oct 11, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

    Commissioner of Baseball Selig gestures to the crowd after throwing out the opening pitch before the start of Game 5 of the MLB National League Divisional League Series baseball playoff in Milwaukee

    When Bud Selig talks to reporters he usually runs thought three or four things and then walks on. He did that last night in Milwaukee. Here are the things: Labor negotiations are moving along just swell. There is no timetable or deadlines for implementing a new collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that expires…

  14. Wally Backman could join the Nationals’ coaching staff

    Oct 11, 2011, 8:15 AM EDT

    Wally Backman

    Wally Backman was a finalist for the Mets’ job last season, didn’t get it and went on to manage Double-A Binghamton. He’s currently expected to be in line for the job at Triple-A Buffalo, but Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that he may leave the Mets organization altogether and take a job…

  15. The Tigers’ next outfield option: Clete Thomas

    Oct 10, 2011, 4:27 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers Photo Day

    I’m not going to say that outfield depth is an issue for the Tigers, because the move they made earlier this afternoon pretty much sums it up: they’ve sent Clete Thomas to the instructional league to get the rust off in the event they need to activate him as a result of another outfielder injury.…

  16. Baseball: it’s better than killing Osama bin Laden

    Oct 10, 2011, 3:50 PM EDT

    Bin Laden

    The problem with the playoffs is that there’s only, like, one or two games a night and after you talk about them you sort of have to wait around all day for more games. If you’re like me, you kill that time by reading a bunch of articles in which people who never ever write…

  17. Great Moments in Cognitive Dissonance: big market/small market edition

    Oct 10, 2011, 3:09 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun celebrates his 2 RBIs against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 5th inning of Game 1 in the MLB National League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Milwaukee

    Here’s Associated Press columnist Tim Dahlberg on September 28th, talking about the “Moneyball” movie: Bottom line is small market teams can’t win consistently, no matter how many numbers they crunch. The deck is stacked against them by the most important numbers in baseball — the size of a team’s payroll. Here’s Associated Press columnist Tim…

  18. Quote of the Day: Jim Leyland

    Oct 10, 2011, 1:33 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers' manager Jim Leyland looks on during a practice in preparation for the MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Arlington, Texas

    Several writers covering the Tigers-Rangers series just tweeted this gem from Jim Leyland, who was asked about yesterday’s no-rain rain postponement:  “If somebody buys an umbrella down here, then they cancel school.” Dude, that rain delay just gave Max Scherzer an extra day of rest after his little bullpen stint against the Yankees on Thursday.…

  19. Photo of the Day: The Philadelphia Daily News

    Oct 10, 2011, 12:23 PM EDT

    I’ll give Philly, its fans and its media this much: for as insufferable as they can be when they’re cruising, they offset it rather appropriately with anger, recriminations and negativity when things go poorly. You won’t hear a lot of “we got robbed” from those guys.  You won’t hear a lot of “oh well, see…

  20. In the future, more players will be in the best shape of their lives

    Oct 10, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

    Atlas

    Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a story about how the Pirates are going to emphasize offseason conditioning for their players this year.  In linking it, Buster Olney makes a good point that, while probably obvious, isn’t something we hear too much about over the winter: You’ll be hearing this kind of thing more…

  21. For Derek Holland’s love of the game

    Oct 10, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    For The Love of the Game

    I’m sure Rangers fans have heard about this a bunch of times but the rest of the nation was introduced to Derek Holland‘s pre-game routine in the New York Times this morning.  Seems that before every start he watches the 15 minute segment of the Kevin Costner movie “For Love of the Game” in which…

  22. OK, here’s an even better “Moneyball” parody

    Oct 10, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    The “Moneyball” parody about the Yankees was pretty funny. But this one from “Saturday Night Live” is even better. It’s funny because it’s true ….

  23. Maddux, Glavine and the wide strike zone of the 1990s

    Oct 10, 2011, 9:48 AM EDT

    Maddux Glavine Smoltz

    Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times has a story about the evolution of the strike zone over the past 30 or 40 years and how monitoring of it by Major League Baseball via first the QuesTec system and then Pitch f/x has changed things and made it more uniform. The overall story is good…

  24. Hideki Irabu’s sad final years

    Oct 10, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT

    Hideki Irabu

    Ken Belson of the New York Times had an excellent albeit sad story in yesterday’s New York Times about the final years of Hideki Irabu, who committed suicide in late July. In some ways it’s a familiar story of an athlete who doesn’t know what to do with himself after his playing days are over.…

  25. If you missed our Phillies postmortem over the weekend

    Oct 10, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

    Phillies' Ibanez reacts to grounding out to end the seventh inning of their MLB baseball playoff game against the Cardinals in Philadelphia

    I know some of you don’t read the site much over the weekend. That’s cool. We’d love to have a more meaningful relationship with you, but we can handle being your workplace fling if that’s all you want of us. Anyway, given how much real estate has been devoted to the Phillies on this blog…

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