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Craig Calcaterra

  1. The Braves fire hitting coach Larry Parrish

    Sep 30, 2011, 4:04 PM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals

    My official view of hitting coaches is that they really don’t make a hell of a lot of difference. Maybe they help a guy here or there, maybe they don’t, but I bet that if we studied the matter closely, we’d find a pretty strong correlation between successful hitting coaches and hitting coaches who happened…

  2. Matt Kemp won’t negotiate a contract extension after the 2012 season begins

    Sep 30, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

    Matt Kemp

    Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times spoke with Dave Stewart, the agent for Matt Kemp.  The upshot: Kemp is willing to talk to the Dodgers about a long term deal, but that he won’t negotiate with the team once next season begins.  absent an extension Kemp would become a free agent after the 2012 season.…

  3. People were mad at the Orioles’ celebration on Wednesday night?

    Sep 30, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

    Orioles players celebrate their win over the Red Sox in Baltimore

    I, like most people, was lost in all of the chaos of Wednesday night. So forgive me if I missed people complaining about the Orioles’ celebrating their walkoff win that eliminated the Red Sox from the postseason.  But according to Steve Melewski of MASN, “some fans and media members were whining about the Orioles celebration.”…

  4. We’re gonna be live-chatting and live-blogging the hell out of the postseason

    Sep 30, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    ozymandias

    Your attention please: There will be a lot of playoff games happening in the next few weeks.  As usual, we here at HardballTalk will be covering them like Lester freakin’ Hayes.  But in addition to our usual thing, we’re going to be live-blogging or live-chatting a great many of these bad boys.  It starts in…

  5. HBT Extra: Tiffany and I talk about the ALDS

    Sep 30, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    I feel like I’ve previewed this stuff 1000 times already across three or four different media platforms. But you all will kill me if I don’t post a Tiffany video, so let’s do it again.

  6. Quote of the Day: Roy Halladay channels Shakespeare

    Sep 30, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

    Roy Halladay

    Roy Halladay was asked today about facing the Cardinals. And ask you can see from the reporter’s question, the reporter anticipated the whole thing in which athletes always say nice things about their opposition.  Halladay wasn’t having it: Reporter: Can you talk about the balance of being in touch with what the other team’s capable…

  7. Must-click link: a map of playoff rooting interests

    Sep 30, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    The geniuses behind Interpreted by Design have created a map representing who is rooting for whom in the 2011 playoffs. It’s pretty much genius. Mostly because it’s about 100% accurate.

  8. The Yankees are going with a three-man rotation for the ALDS

    Sep 30, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

    CC Sabathia

    What do you do when you don’t have four starters you can depend on? You go with three.  That’s what the Yankees are doing anyway, carrying an 11-man pitching staff, but having only CC Sabathia, Freddy Garcia and Ivan Nova start. That means Sabathia would go on short rest for a potential Game 4.  No…

  9. Theo Epstein would “embrace the challenge” of taking over the Cubs

    Sep 30, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    Theo Epstein

    With Terry Francona going bye-bye, it’s probably worth Red Sox’ fans time to turn their pitchforks and torches toward Theo Epstein’s house because, hey, what else is there to do? Cheer for the Yankees? To that end, there’s a goodly bit of low-level rumor-churning going on in the past 24 hours. First came Buster Olney’s…

  10. Quote of the Day: Buster Olney and the MVP Award

    Sep 30, 2011, 11:35 AM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs

    Here’s Buster Olney in his column today, in which he picked Ryan Braun and Justin Verlander as his MVP choices. First, on Braun: For his work, and for his importance to the Brewers’ success, Braun should be the NL MVP; Matt Kemp had a spectacular season for the Dodgers, but Los Angeles — hampered by ownership issues…

  11. Cardinals broadcaster Dan McLaughlin was arrested for DWI last weekend

    Sep 30, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Dan McLaughlin mugshot

    I’m not going to say they’re related or anything, but the fact is that there have been a LOT of alcohol-related incidents in and around the St. Louis Cardinals over the past several years.  The latest: broadcaster Dan McLaughlin, who does Cardinals play-by-play for FOX Sports Midwest, was arrested on Sunday for driving while intoxicated.…

  12. The Braves are thinking about trading Jason Heyward? Have they lost their damn minds?

    Sep 30, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    heyward getty wide

    I was too busy recovering from shock to have seen this Buster Olney item from yesterday, but I’m sane today and … it’s probably going to send me back into insanity if there are any legs to it: The Braves need power production out of right field. Now there is some sentiment within the organization…

  13. It’s happening: Terry Francona is leaving the Red Sox

    Sep 30, 2011, 9:50 AM EDT

    Terry Francona

    The reports from late last night are apparently true. Jon Heyman reports that Terry Francona has managed his last game in Boston.  No sense yet if it will be couched as a resignation or the Red Sox deciding not to pick up his 2012 option or Francona requesting that they not do it or whatever.…

  14. The 2011 playoff qualifiers represent payrolls of all sizes

    Sep 30, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

    Money Bag

    Blogging is basically about reacting to stuff, but sometimes it helps to get ahead of the narrative a bit.  Just to help you prepare, here are the potential state-of-the-game storylines we can expect to see in the coming weeks: If the Yankees face the Phillies in the World Series baseball is broken because the big…

  15. HBT’s Division Series Preview Extravaganza

    Sep 30, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT

    CC Sabathia

    In case you missed it yesterday, we ran our previews for all four division series. To wit: ALDS: Tigers vs. Yankees ALDS: Rays vs. Rangers NLDS: Cardinals vs. Phillies NLDS: Diamondbacks vs. Brewers Also, if you’re not into the whole “reading” thing, Sports Illustrated’s Joe Sheehan and I were on NBC SportsTalk last night and…

  16. Offense was at its lowest level since 1992

    Sep 30, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    Adam Dunn

    With the final totals in we can officially see what was pretty darn obvious throughout the season. Offense was down. Way down. Down to a level we had not seen since there were 26 teams in the league, I had a full head of hair and people actually thought that Mike Myers was hilarious. 1992,…

  17. “Team chemistry” was to blame for the Sox collapse? Really?

    Sep 30, 2011, 8:20 AM EDT

    David Ortiz

    I hate Terry Francona’s likely departure for a bunch of reasons. He’s a great manager. Like Matthew said, there are no better options. Whether it’s Francona getting nudged out or him simply wanting out, him leaving smells of scapegoat-creation.  It’s just not the kind of thing that happens in otherwise well-run organizations. But it’s apparently…

  18. The Indians will raise payroll “significantly” for 2012

    Sep 29, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT

    Progressive Field

    A funny thing happened to the Cleveland Indians in 2011. They won a lot more games than many thought they would, especially early in the season.  That led to a lot more people coming out to the ballpark — about 450,000 more — which made the team money.  And because generally smart people run the…

  19. The Giants are very much interested in bringing Carlos Beltran back

    Sep 29, 2011, 5:00 PM EDT

    beltran scores getty

    On this day of rest, let us take a sneak peak at what basically every post on HBT will look like between November and February: Andrew Baggarly reports that Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy have already reached out to Scott Boras “to let him know the Giants are very much interested” in re-signing Carlos Beltran.…

  20. Baseball has best attendance since 2008; fifth best season ever

    Sep 29, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    old turnstile

    Remember how the first half of the season was dominated by stories about how attendance was down? Yeah, funny you mention that, because the final totals are all in and attendance ended up being up over last year. And the year before that. In fact, it was the fifth best season ever: 73,425,568 tickets sold. No…

  21. ALDS Preview: Tigers vs. Yankees

    Sep 29, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander

    You can’t predict baseball, but you can at least lay out the parameters. So let’s take a look at what the Yankees and the Tigers have in store for us in the American League Division Series. The Teams Detroit Tigers (95-67) vs. New York Yankees (97-65) The Matchups Game 1 Friday in New York: Justin Verlander vs.…

  22. HBT Extra: looking ahead to the NLDS

    Sep 29, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

    You can’t predict baseball. Yet Tiffany and I try to do just that with the NLDS.

  23. Oh look: Joe West and Angel Hernandez get to umpire the postseason

    Sep 29, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    Terry Francona, Joe West, Angel Hernandez

    Major League Baseball just announced its umps and, to my surprise, fear and — on some strange level amusement — Cowboy Joe West and his notorious crew get to work the Milwaukee-Arizona series. The whole crew: West, Ron Kulpa, Alfonso Marquez, Bruce Dreckman, and additions Jeff Kellogg and James Hoye for outfield duty. It’s a way better…

  24. NLDS Preview: Cardinals vs. Phillies

    Sep 29, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    Roy Halladay

    You can’t predict baseball, but you can at least lay out the parameters. So let’s take a look at what the Phillies and the Cardinals have in store for us in the National League Division Series. The Teams St. Louis Cardinals (90-72) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (102-60) The Matchups Game 1 Saturday in Philadelphia: Kyle Lohse vs.…

  25. A visual representation of soul-killing collapses

    Sep 29, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

    graph.bmp

    This is not for the weak-of-stomach, at least in Boston and Atlanta. But it’s fantastic all the same. From Sportsclubstats.com, they’re graphs representing the probability of reaching the playoffs throughout the season for both the Braves and the Red Sox. Yes, we all can intellectually understand just how swiftly each team snatched failure from the…

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