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Craig Calcaterra

  1. So they apparently play baseball in Ireland

    Jan 13, 2011, 9:45 AM EDT

    Irish baseball cap

    The Irish influence on 19th century baseball can’t be overstated. Indeed, in his “Historical Baseball Abstract,” Bill James wrote this: “Baseball in the 1890s was dominated by Irish players to such an extent that many people, in the same way that people today believe that blacks are born athletes, thought that the Irish were born…

  2. Angel Pagan: don’t count the Mets out!

    Jan 13, 2011, 9:13 AM EDT

    Angel Pagan homer

    Angel Pagan is waxing optimistic about the Mets’ chances in 2011: “Everyone is counting on Philadelphia, but they have to do it. I got my money on my team, bro. I love challenges and that’s why I’m looking forward to it. I believe in surprises.” Immediately after that statement, Pagan was banned from baseball for…

  3. Kerry Wood: Cub for life

    Jan 13, 2011, 8:48 AM EDT

    New York Yankees v Texas Rangers, Game 6

    Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that Kerry Wood was told by Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts that he has a job with the Cubs for as long as he likes after he retires.  One radio report yesterday said that Wood was specifically promised a broadcasting job, but Carrie Muskat of MLB.com says that’s baloney. That…

  4. Don’t count on Josh Beckett bouncing back

    Jan 13, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

    Josh Beckett

    John Tomase of the Boston Herald has some bad news for Sox fans who are counting on Josh Beckett bouncing back in 2011: Virtually every pitcher to struggle like Beckett did last season not only was never the same, but almost to a man failed to produce a single, solitary above-average season thereafter. … ……

  5. Andruw Jones is in demand

    Jan 13, 2011, 6:25 AM EDT

    Andruw Jones

    Jon Heyman reports that, in addition to the Yankees and the Rockies, the Tampa Bay Rays are now talking to Andruw Jones. Jones hit  .230/.341/.486 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI for the White Sox last season, but is line against lefties – .256/.373./.558 — is pretty attractive for a lot of teams. He’d certainly…

  6. Hoffman: 300 saves is like 3000 hits

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:59 PM EDT

    trevor hoffman padres

    Trevor Hoffman is all over the news today, having given his farewell press conference and all of that stuff.  He was asked about the role of the closer today too, and to comment on what makes an elite one. His comments: “The 300 (save) mark hasn’t been done by a lot of people,” says Hoffman,…

  7. Must-Click Link: Hank Aaron, Atlanta and integration

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    Howard Bryant wrote a fantastic book on Henry Aaron last year.  Today he has a fantastic column about Aaron’s political awakening in the early 60s, the Braves’ move to Atlanta and what both of those things meant for integration and the dawning of the “New South”: 1963 represented the convergence of Henry’s athletic skill and…

  8. Quote of the Day: Larry King on Barry Zito

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

    Larry King

    Larry King has more time on his hands now that he’s quit doing that show of his.  For example, he’s going out to eat with innings eaters: Had dinner last night with Barry Zito – famed Giants pitcher. He does everything right handed except pitch! Barry! Try the right arm! Actually, I just posted this…

  9. The Phillies are interested in John Maine

    Jan 12, 2011, 3:35 PM EDT

    John Maine

    ESPN is reporting that the Phillies are talking to John Maine.  You’ll recall that he was non-tendered by the Mets.  I guess not every pitcher the Phillies go after can be an ace.  Although, given how stealthy Ruben Amaro has been this winter, this is probably just a cover story as he secretly plots to…

  10. ESPN releases the first-half Sunday Night Baseball schedule

    Jan 12, 2011, 2:58 PM EDT

    dan shulman espn

    The Sunday Night Baseball schedule for the first half of the season has been released, and it breaks down thusly: April 3:   San Francisco at Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN2) April 10:  N.Y. Yankees at Boston April 17:  Texas at N.Y. Yankees April 24:  Cincinnati at St. Louis May 1:  N.Y. Mets at Philadelphia May…

  11. If they can’t get Thome, the Twins have a plan B

    Jan 12, 2011, 2:28 PM EDT

    Troy Glaus third base

    Actually, it’s a plan B, C, and D, I think. Jerry Crasnick says that if the Twins don’t get Jim Thome, they’ll either go after Troy Glaus, Jorge Cantu or just buy some bullpen depth. Glaus wouldn’t bring what Thome brought to the table in terms of mashing right-handers — he’s a righty after all. Cantu…

  12. Vernon Wells agrees: he’s not worth his contract

    Jan 12, 2011, 1:32 PM EDT

    Vernon Wells

    But also doesn’t care. And he actually makes a half-decent case for not really caring: “I think the most important thing about getting contracts like this is you get to go out and do so many different things in the community. “You get to go out and impact lives. The way I feel about it,…

  13. Lew Wolff is not interested in the Dodgers, thank you very much

    Jan 12, 2011, 1:06 PM EDT

    Oakland A's Press Conference

    Yesterday Buster Olney mused — and explicitly said he was musing, not reporting — that Bud Selig could fix it that A’s owner Lew Wolff could end up owning the Dodgers. In response, the Athletics have released a statement declaring that owner Lew Wolff “has no interest whatsoever in purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise.” Wow.…

  14. The Rays sign Kyle Farnsworth

    Jan 12, 2011, 12:19 PM EDT

    Kyle Farnsworth

    UPDATE:  Several other reporters including Buster Olney and Marc Topkin are now following up on DRaysBay’s report, an expanded version of which you can see here.  Of course none of these other people are actually crediting DRaysBay from what I’ve seen because bloggers apparently don’t know nothin’ never, but it does appear that their report…

  15. Carlos Santana has resumed baseball activities

    Jan 12, 2011, 11:30 AM EDT

    Carlos Santana

    Paul Hoynes says that Sandy Alomar says that  Carlos Santana feels “great” and is currently doing baseball activities.  Given the nature of that grapevine, it’s safe to assume that Paul also says that Sandy says that Carlos likes Heather, but that he doesn’t like-like her, but that could all change at the Snowball Dance next…

  16. Once again: baseball has greater parity than the NFL

    Jan 12, 2011, 10:38 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Bartlett tags out Texas Rangers' Andrus as he attempted to steal in the sixth inning during their MLB baseball game in St. Petersburg

    There are some beliefs people hold in their heads and hearts that are simply immune to reasoning. You can’t change someone’s religion via logic and reason (and don’t ever try). It seems that most political beliefs these days are articles of faith rather than fact-based positions. So too is the concept that the NFL has…

  17. The owners are meeting, the owners are meeting!

    Jan 12, 2011, 9:53 AM EDT

    Selig hands up

    The most important part of all of this is that Bud Selig and the owners are meeting in some posh resort just outside of Phoenix while most of you are up to your neck in snow. They just don’t care about us fans, do they? Shame. Shame, I say. Oh, they’re doin’ other stuff too:…

  18. Charlie Manuel is due for an extension

    Jan 12, 2011, 9:24 AM EDT

    Charlie Manuel

    Charlie Manuel’s contract is up after this season. I think the likelihood of Manuel not being extended or this actually turning into some kind of controversy or distraction is somewhere on the order of “bupkis,” to put it in Manuel-speak. Doesn’t mean that it won’t give some folks something to talk about.  Cholly isn’t worried,…

  19. Pitchers and catchers report in 33 days. Or thereabouts.

    Jan 12, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    Use Your Illusion

    The league released the complete list of spring training reporting and workout dates yesterday. To see when your rooting interest gets underway, click here. Pitchers and catchers report as early as February 14th for some teams and as late as February 17th for others. Likewise, full-squad workouts begin as early as February 19th for some teams and as…

  20. Conlin: lose the Hall of Fame morals clause

    Jan 12, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

    cooperstown

    I’m often dismissed as an extremist-nutjob when it comes to PEDs and the Hall of Fame, but Bill Conlin just won the Hall of Fame’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award and will be honored at the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown next summer for cryin’ out loud. Maybe someone will listen to him: I am increasingly uncomfortable determining who is…

  21. Predicting the Hall of Fame ain’t easy

    Jan 12, 2011, 6:20 AM EDT

    Joe Carter homer

    Back in 1995 Bill James wrote a book about the Hall of Fame.* In that book, he tried to predict who would be elected to the Hall between the years 1995-2019.  In that such an exercise is (a) fun; (b) impossible; and (c) intriguing, it was right up James’ alley. Yesterday Bill from The Platoon…

  22. More ugliness for Lenny Dykstra

    Jan 11, 2011, 4:14 PM EDT

    Lenny Dykstra

    Man, it hasn’t been a good couple of years for Lenny Dykstra: Former pro baseball player Lenny Dykstra’s housekeeper accused him of sexual assault, according to records, though prosecutors declined to file charges this month citing a lack of evidence. According to the rejection memo by Los Angeles County prosecutors, a female housekeeper alleged Dykstra…

  23. The Giants are going to have some problems in 2011

    Jan 11, 2011, 3:34 PM EDT

    huff-aubrey-101028

    There will be a metric butt-ton of “10 reasons the Giants won’t repeat” or “10 reasons the Giants will repeat” articles written in the coming weeks.  Hint: avoid the ones with slide shows. They’re awful. Actually, you can probably avoid all of them except (a) the one I inevitably do when I’m hurting for content…

  24. Get a free sneak preview of a cool book about the Tampa Bay Rays

    Jan 11, 2011, 2:59 PM EDT

    Evan Longoria Rays

    Friend of HardballTalk Jonah Keri has a book coming out about the Tampa Bay Rays soon. It’s called “The Extra 2%: How Wall Street Strategies Took a Major League Baseball Team from Worst to First.” I’ve seen parts of it and what I’ve seen is excellent. Though it won’t be available to the general public…

  25. No expanded replay or expanded playoffs in 2011

    Jan 11, 2011, 2:01 PM EDT

    Bud Selig defiant

    Bud Selig does nothing quickly. This is sometimes good and sometimes bad. Sometimes it’s simultaneously good and bad: As owners and general managers prepared to gather this week for their first meetings of the new year, Commissioner Bud Selig told MLB.com that the playoffs and instant replay won’t be expanded this coming season. Boo on…

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