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Craig Calcaterra

  1. Jose Valverde wins the Delivery Man of the Year award. Um, OK.

    Oct 5, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT

    Jose Valverde

    Jose Valverde was named Major League Baseball’s Delivery Man of the Year today.  It’s a fan vote, so take it for what it’s worth.  And from where I’m sitting, it’s not worth a heck of a lot.  Here’s part of that: Other relievers receiving votes from the MLB panel this year included John Axford of…

  2. Mike Napoli swallowed a wad of chewing tobacco during that home plate collision

    Oct 5, 2011, 5:00 PM EDT

    Rays' Rodriguez runs to collide with Rangers catcher Napoli at home plate, before knocking the ball loose to score in the second inning on a double by teammate Joyce in Game 4 in their MLB playoffs in St. Petersburg

    Reason number 1,246 not to use smokeless tobacco.  Yesterday, during the Rays-Rangers game, Mike Napoli was leveled by Sean Rodriguez at a play at the plate.  The initial concern was that Napoli might have gotten a concussion, but he was examined after the game and his head seems to be fine. His stomach, though? Eh,…

  3. What constitutes an emergency in Wisconsin

    Oct 5, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    911

    I’m against abuse of emergency services, but given the caller’s age and the situation, I wholeheartedly endorse this use of 911 and offer thanks to our brave first responders: A 97-year-old man who wanted to watch a Milwaukee Brewers game called 911 to report someone had stolen his remote control … The remote control was found…

  4. The Mets fire a bunch of coaches … including Mookie!

    Oct 5, 2011, 3:50 PM EDT

    Mookie Wilson

    UPDATE: Chip Hale has been hired by the Athletics. Quick work, there, Chip! 3:50 PM: The Mets announced a few minutes ago that bench coach Ken Oberkfell, third base coach Chip Hale, first base coach Mookie Wilson, and bullpen coach Jon Debus won’t be with the the major league club in 2012.  It’s not clear…

  5. Mike Francesa has never heard of Al Alburquerque

    Oct 5, 2011, 3:01 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Al Alburquerque reacts after called for a balk which scored New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez during the fifth inning of Game 4 in their MLB  American League Division Series baseball playoffs in Detroit

    There are a times when a guy I’ve never heard of shows up in a box score. I try to cover every team as much as possible and that hurt’s one’s depth of baseball knowledge, so it happens. I don’t know every fourth outfielder or fifth bullpen arm in the game and if a dude…

  6. Rays owner Stuart Sternberg: “This is untenable as a model going forward.”

    Oct 5, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game 3

    After yesterday’s loss to the Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg held court and he brought the noise regarding the Rays’ future. The extremely pessimistic and damn nigh depressing noise. The upshot: the Rays keep winning but attendance goes down. About how the model that he and everyone believed in — win games, get…

  7. Prepare for Brian Wilson to sell you Chalupas

    Oct 5, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    brian wilson getty wide

    I thought the idea behind those Taco Bell ads with Mariano Rivera from last postseason was pretty clever.  The execution was a bit off — seemed rather local-used-car-ad-quality and Joe Girardi and Rivera are not, alas, a great actors — but the ad was fun, at least before they decided to run it every half…

  8. Terry Francona was offered a job

    Oct 5, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Terry Francona

    White Sox? No. Muskrats: The Laconia Muskrats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League faxed a job offer to Francona’s agent immediately after he was released from his contract with the major league club last week, but haven’t heard back. Horrible fit for Francona, really.  A collegiate league is going to have a number of players under the…

  9. The Mets to reduce season ticket prices

    Oct 5, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

    supply and demand curve

    Supply, meet demand: for the third straight year the Mets are going to reduce season ticket prices.  This in the face of attendance dropping off seven percent in 2011: Next year, no full 81-game season-ticket holder will pay more than this year, and more than 80 percent of them will have their ticket prices fall…

  10. Wanna buy the Bill Buckner ball?

    Oct 5, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

    "The Summer of 86: The Rise and Fall Of The World Champion Mets" Premiere

    The great thing about the Red Sox’ collapse is that it’s now apparently OK to go back and make fun of their historic bad luck and wallow in all of that dubious history.  At least that’s what I’m gathering based on stuff like this: The curse may be over, but the evidence remains. One of…

  11. Timo Perez and three other minor leaguers suspended for PEDs

    Oct 5, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT

    Timo Perez

    I had no idea that former Mets outfielder Timo Perez was still playing baseball, but apparently he is — or at least was — because he was just suspended for violating baseball’s drug program, presumably for PEDs.  He and three other minor leaguers — Oakland outfielder Mitchell LeVier and minor league free agents Oscar Rodriguez…

  12. Exclusive sneak peak at the trailer for the “Moneyball” sequel

    Oct 5, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    Like “The Godfather Part II” and “Empire Strikes Back,” I think this is going to be one of the rare instances in which the sequel is better than the original: UPDATE: The video — which was made by College Humor — has been taken down from YouTube on copyright grounds. Apologies to the College Humor…

  13. Quote of the Day: Tony La Russa on “Moneyball”

    Oct 5, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks

    Well, it’s the quote of yesterday anyway.  La Russa was asked why he put Lance Berkman in left field and Allen Craig in right field for Game 3 on Sunday night.  His answer: “It’s my tribute to Moneyball. I’m not a big Moneyball fan. I have this little place, don’t have a big place. So…

  14. Adrian Beltre hits three homers, clubs the Rangers past the Rays and into the ALCS

    Oct 4, 2011, 5:14 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game 4

    Adrian Beltre hit three homers — all solo shots — to lead the Rangers past the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3.  That win makes three which puts the Rangers in the ALCS, making it there by beating the Rays in the division series for the second straight year. For the Rays, the season ends six days…

  15. Quote of the Day: Josh Hamilton on the Angels

    Oct 4, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

    Kelso burn

    Josh Hamilton spoke to the media a few moments ago and was asked about the success of Vlad Guerrero in a Rangers uniform last season and Mike Napoli in one in 2011:  “I think we’re going to look at who we can get from the Angels next year.” Boom. Roasted. (quote via a bunch of…

  16. Are you experienced? Who cares?

    Oct 4, 2011, 12:32 PM EDT

    Experience

    Dan Szymborski — who I will call “Baseball Think Factory’s Dan Szymborski” even though he’s writing this piece for ESPN Insider — has a good column up today.  In it he breaks down playoff performance by players with “playoff experience,” which we are told by so many commentators matters this time of year. Of course, if…

  17. Hey Detroiters: does this bother you?

    Oct 4, 2011, 12:02 PM EDT

    Detroit

    I have never lived in Detroit, so I am an outsider to the place in most every respect.  My parents were both born and raised there. My extended family calls the Detroit suburbs home now (like a lot of folks they started moving out after the 1967 riots). But I was born and lived until…

  18. Rafael Palmeiro: 3000 hits was “a nightmare”

    Oct 4, 2011, 11:04 AM EDT

    Palmeiro Orioles

    We hear from Rafael Palmeiro, and others in his particular place in baseball history, once or twice a year. Usually around Hall of Fame vote time in the winter and then around the time of the inductions in the summer.  They’re asked how he feels to be on the outside looking in because of their…

  19. HBT Extra: Talking NLDS Game 3

    Oct 4, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Tiffany asks me if the Phillies should panic. Though the thought would make me happy I, alas, had to answer truthfully.

  20. No, it is not all up to A.J.

    Oct 4, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

    A.J. Burnett

    I had one earlier, but here’s one more little sharp jab at the “A.J.-Burnett-Will-Be-The-Death-of-Us-All” balloon:  he may not actually pitch too terribly much of tonight’s game. Joe Girardi said last night that Burnett will have a short leash, so we can presume that he will not be allowed to give up five runs on eleventeen…

  21. Verlander was fantastic! Um … wasn’t he?

    Oct 4, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

    New York Yankees v Detroit Tigers - Game 3

    Posnanski makes a great point today about how sports commentators, columnists, broadcasters and the like tend to fall in love with narratives, even if they don’t really hold up.  His example: how everyone during and after last night’s Tigers game was gushing about Justin Verlander, and sticking with that narrative even though, on the merits,…

  22. The Comments Section

    Oct 4, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT

    Internet Tough Guy

    I’m old and I go to sleep early so I never watch SNL these days. Given that people have been saying that it’s no good anymore for about the last 30 years, I suppose it’s the same as it ever was: some good stuff, some bad stuff, with the quality ebbing and flowing because that’s…

  23. Photo of the Day: Gut Check Time

    Oct 4, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    Whoever was in charge of the baseball front of ESPN.com during last night’s Yankees-Tigers game is owed a golf clap for this one. And no, it’s not mean and insensitive to make fun of the appearance of a really rich and successful professional athlete. It’s written down right … well, I’m sure it’s written somewhere.…

  24. A.J. Burnett in an elimination game is scary, but it could be worse

    Oct 4, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

    A.J. Burnett

    The first thing you’ll read in any story about tonight’s Yankees-Tigers game is that the Yankees are throwing out A.J. Burnett in an elimination game.  And yes, that is far from ideal given how unreliable Burnett has been since arriving in New York. He wouldn’t have gotten a start absent last Friday night’s rain, and…

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