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Craig Calcaterra

  1. 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”…

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. “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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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 ….

  15. 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…

  16. 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.…

  17. 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…

  18. The rain-free rain postponement

    Oct 10, 2011, 5:57 AM EDT

    Detroit Tigers players sit in the dugout during the game's second rain delay in the fifth inning of Game 1 of the MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs against the Texas Rangers in Arlington

    I woke up this morning and had an email from a reader who lives fairly close to the Rangers’ ballpark and tells me that it never rained last night. At least not before the Tigers-Rangers game that was postponed due to the threat of rain would have been over. Oh well, that’s life. And weather.…

  19. Hate monger says baseball’s post-9/11 use of “God Bless America” saved us from terrorist attacks

    Oct 8, 2011, 3:33 PM EDT

    Bryan Fischer

    I’m not a big fan of the singing of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at baseball games.  Yes, I know why it started and it was a sweet and even beautiful thing for a short time after 9/11. But it soon ran its course and became yet another exercise in empty patriotism.…

  20. Destiny denied: The Phillies learn that pitching isn’t enough

    Oct 7, 2011, 11:54 PM EDT

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

    Someone tell me when I can breathe. I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that the Cardinals’ 1-0 win over the Phillies was the best pitching matchup I’ve witnessed since Morris vs. Smoltz.  Not when you figure in the stakes involved. Not when you appreciate just how brilliant Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter each were.…

  21. Eric Chavez is “leaning heavily” toward retirement

    Oct 7, 2011, 5:00 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post just tweeted that, while there’s nothing official yet, he’s hearing that Yankees utilityman Eric Chavez is “leaning heavily” toward retirement. Chavez had more plate appearances this year than he had had since 2007 — a whole 175 of them — but the magic is long gone.  He hit…

  22. The Yankees continue to ensure that their fans will be unhappy most years

    Oct 7, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    George Steinbrenner AP

    George Steinbrenner started and perpetuated the notion that a New York Yankees season is a failure if it doesn’t end with a World Series title.  Not that winning a championship is the goal — it’s obviously every team’s goal — but that in addition to it being the goal, it is the only acceptable outcome.…

  23. Pray that no home runs are hit in the new Marlins ballpark

    Oct 7, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

    unseen

    This is not exactly news — it was announced a couple of years ago and I recall mocking it then — but today Grant Brisbee reminds us of one of the signature features of the Marlins’ new ballpark:  a plug-ugly and gigantic … thing which will light up and go crazy every time there’s a…

  24. Headline of the Day about which I don’t care one single bit

    Oct 7, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    I’m going to dig down deep … deep … deep to find some sympathy for everyone as the result of this story in the L.A. Times and — er, no, can’t find any. Sorry. Fans of the teams that make the LCS and World Series will watch and enjoy.  The networks which bid on the…

  25. HBT Extra: Turning to the NLDS Game 5s

    Oct 7, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    Tiffany and I break down the Snakes vs. the Brew Crew and the Cards vs. the Phills

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. A. Rendon (3515)
  2. J. Hamilton (2984)
  3. D. Span (2870)
  4. D. Wright (2598)
  5. A. Colome (2585)
  1. A. Pujols (2522)
  2. D. Jennings (2507)
  3. A. Escobar (2450)
  4. C. Gomez (2371)
  5. A. Cobb (2328)