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Craig Calcaterra

  1. Scenes from Spring Training: A photo tour of the Royals camp

    Mar 1, 2011, 2:24 PM EDT

    IMG_1574

    George:  “Kevin, you and I are pretty awesome, aren’t we?” Kevin: “Yes, George. Yes we are. We could probably make this team if we tried, couldn’t we?” George: “Yes, Kevin, we could.  Oh, Kevin: did I ever tell you about that night I had in Vegas?” Kevin: “I swear, George, if you tell that story…

  2. Scenes from Spring Training: I get the Jeff Francoeur love

    Mar 1, 2011, 12:44 PM EDT

    Kansas City Royals Photo Day

    This isn’t going to change my view of his ballplaying skills or anything, but I’m gonna be honest and say it: Jeff Francoeur is a nice guy. So much so that it made me spend some time thinking this morning about my place in the baseball writing world.  But I’ll get to that in a…

  3. Roy Halladay is working on new things? Really?

    Mar 1, 2011, 9:36 AM EDT

    Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay throws during their Grapefruit League baseball game in Dunedin

    Another classic spring cliche is the pitcher who is “working on some things.”  Usually that’s just a way of explaining away a bad early March outing — “I wasn’t really pitching, I was just working on some things!” — but in the case of Roy Halladay, it sounds like he may actually be working on…

  4. Daisuke Matsuzaka is in the best shape of his life

    Mar 1, 2011, 9:11 AM EDT

    Daisuke Matsuzaka

    Maureen Mullen of CSN New England reports! “In the past two years the condition, the overall condition was not excellent and was not to the point where I needed to be,” Matsuzaka said through interpreter Kenta Yamada. “So this year my goal will be to [in] better shape and be on the mound throughout the…

  5. Quotes of the Day: Barry Zito and Prince Fielder

    Mar 1, 2011, 8:44 AM EDT

    Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks

    Yesterday the Giants faced the half of the Brewers squad that wasn’t facing the Cubs over at HoHoKam.  In that game, a nearly two-year old grudge continued to play out as Prince Fielder and Barry Zito jawed at one another after Zito walked Fielder. The grudge, of course, is based on Fielder’s infamous “bowling ball”…

  6. The Mets are seeking another loan to cover expenses

    Mar 1, 2011, 8:20 AM EDT

    Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

    The New York Post reports that the Mets are seeking yet another loan to cover operating expenses: The cash-starved Mets are desperately seeking a new loan — totaling tens of millions of dollars — to cover their basic operating expenses, The Post has learned JPMorgan Chase — which led the banks that loaned the team…

  7. Scenes from Spring Training: The Chase

    Mar 1, 2011, 5:30 AM EDT

    Kansas City Royals Photo Day

    “He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick No reason for that quote. None at all.…

  8. Scenes from Spring Training: Wake me up when Kerry Wood comes in

    Feb 28, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

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    I’m not gonna lie to you: it was not the most riveting day at the ballpark.  Low energy game and a low energy crowd. It happens.  Random notes: The Cubs took the field wearing their full-blown home whites with pinstripes. LOVED it. I’m not a big fan of the lazy looking spring training warmups some…

  9. Photo of the Day: God Bless Midwesterners

    Feb 28, 2011, 3:10 PM EDT

    I encountered these fine women just outside of the main concourse. From afar I assumed they were Brewers fans, by virtue of the hats. When I told them this, they were mildly offended.  I salvaged the situation by noting that the hats actually undermine the Brewers’ stranglehold on beer iconography, appropriating the meme for Cubs…

  10. Scenes from Spring Training: Where’s the press box again?

    Feb 28, 2011, 2:17 PM EDT

    IMG_1551

    I went down to the field to check out the Cubs’ BP.  As the pic suggests, it’s a damn fine day here in Mesa.  A little cold this morning, but it doesn’t take much sun to warm it up, and there is much sun today. Frank Lloyd Wright was right: wintering in Chicago is for…

  11. Scenes from Spring Training: It’s hard not to like Mike Quade

    Feb 28, 2011, 12:43 PM EDT

    Mike Quade

    I got down to the clubhouse a little late — and entered through the wrong door, oops! — but my timing ended up being pretty good, as manager Mike Quade was just opening up his office for the media gaggle.  I walked in and, as I usually do, hung in the back to take it…

  12. Wanna be the P.A. announcer at Wrigley Field?

    Feb 28, 2011, 11:29 AM EDT

    Wrigley Field

    I just got back from the Cubs’ clubhouse — more on that later — and sitting on my laptop was a press release from the team announcing a partnership between the Cubs and CareerBuilder.com to find the next public address announcer at Wrigley Field. Really: they’re taking applications right on the web. Candidates, we’re told, should…

  13. Scenes from Spring Training: Greetings from HoHoKam Park

    Feb 28, 2011, 11:12 AM EDT

    IMG_1550

    Or is it HoHoKam Stadium?  And is that capitalization correct?  Really, I can’t tell you because I’ve seen it written differently in different places.  I think “Stadium” is correct but Park rolls off the tongue better. Probably doesn’t matter considering that they’re building a new place a couple miles from here and will thus be…

  14. Be happy that Oliver Perez got rocked over the weekend, Mets fans

    Feb 28, 2011, 9:12 AM EDT

    New York Mets Workout Sessions

    Oliver Perez worked in the Mexican League this winter and he showed up early to spring training.  Didn’t help, though, as he made his spring training debut against the Braves over the weekend and gave up four runs in two innings, walked three guys and only got the ball up to 86 m.p.h.  Once, that…

  15. Welcome to St. Jetersburg

    Feb 28, 2011, 8:48 AM EDT

    Derek Jeter smiling

    The New York Times has a feature on the outrageously large house Derek Jeter has built down in Tampa. Cost?! No man can say! The 30,875-square-foot mansion, which overlooks Hillsborough Bay, features seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a pool, two boat lifts, a drive-through portico and a pair of three-car garages flanking the north and south…

  16. Bobby Valentine would like to buy into the Mets

    Feb 28, 2011, 8:22 AM EDT

    Bobby Valentine horizontal

    Bobby Valentine wants to buy into the Mets’ ownership group? Wow, Stamford, Connecticut must really overpay their civil servants: Valentine has spoken with serious financial backers about lining up a bid to buy at least a portion of the Mets, a baseball official told ESPNNewYork.com. “I’’ve talked to a number of people interested in purchasing…

  17. HBT Weekend Wrapup

    Feb 28, 2011, 5:30 AM EDT

    Arizona

    You suckers missed the fact that I was blogging spring training all weekend. Don’t try to deny it. I see the web traffic stats. You were spending time with your families or watching that godforsaken Oscars show or something instead of reading my dispatches from Arizona. Shame on you. But I now give you a…

  18. Scenes from Spring Training: No, Marty Brennaman is not Bob Uecker

    Feb 27, 2011, 6:12 PM EDT

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    This morning’s fears of severe cloudiness notwithstanding, it ended up being a very nice day at the ballpark. A bit cool, but not too bad. And a ton of sun, so take that weatherman. The game: OK. Not great, but OK, which is as good as we can hope this time of the year.  Early…

  19. Scenes from Spring Training: What the heck is a feetlong hot dog?

    Feb 27, 2011, 5:22 PM EDT

    IMG_1545

    I met a cool guy today. That’s him. His name is Kwang Min Park, a baseball journalist from South Korea.  His nickname, however, is Agassi.  Yes, because he likes Andre Agassi. As you might expect, Agassi was here today to cover Shin-Soo Choo.  I saw him interviewing Choo in the clubhouse, and he sat next to…

  20. Scenes from Spring Training: Boppin’ around the Indians and the Reds

    Feb 27, 2011, 1:59 PM EDT

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    The Reds and Indians share the Goodyear complex.  The team clubhouses and practice fields are about a half mile down the road from the ballpark. Neither the Reds nor the Indians take their BP or infield in the main park, even on game day, so I’ve spent most of my morning driving and walking long distances…

  21. Photo(s) of the Day: Things you don’t have to do very often in Arizona

    Feb 27, 2011, 10:38 AM EDT

    I got to Goodyear Ballpark just after 8AM this morning to find the groundscrew having to deal with a soaking wet tarp.  Note the giant pool just beyond shortstop: Not something that happens very often in the desert I imagine.  The trick: to rip that thing off the infield fast enough so that the pool…

  22. Scenes From Spring Training: Rainpocalypse

    Feb 27, 2011, 8:32 AM EDT

    Desert Rain

    I awake to light rain and slightly cool temperatures this morning.  Yesterday, multiple people Phoenix residents apologized to me in advance for this weather, trying to explain it away as though it were some personal failing.  Many locals are having the “will we get the game in?” conversation that most of us have when violent…

  23. Scenes from Spring Training: A surprisingly good game in Tempe

    Feb 26, 2011, 6:04 PM EDT

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    These early games are supposed to be sloppy, but no one told that to the Dodgers and Angels.  Epic? Nah. Outside of Hiroki Kuroda, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier the Dodgers had a bunch of third and fourth stringers playing today. But no matter who they were, it was surprisingly well-played. The Angels won 4-1.…

  24. Photo of the Day: The Dodgers take a shortcut

    Feb 26, 2011, 5:00 PM EDT

    I noticed when the Dodgers showed up here at Tempe Diablo Stadium today that they got off a bus in the parking lot behind the wall in right and walked across the field to their clubhouse on the third base line.  No back entrance or anything fancy like that. It makes sense, then, that if…

  25. Scenes from Spring Training: Matt Kemp shows hustle

    Feb 26, 2011, 4:15 PM EDT

    Matt Kemp

    The “Matt Kemp is lazy and out of shape” meme got beat to death last year. Was there any truth to it? Sure, some. But it probably got overplayed because I’m not sure anyone is due as much garbage he got thrown on him in 2010. In light of all of that, I feel justified in…

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