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Craig Calcaterra

  1. Scenes from Spring Training: A decision to make

    Feb 26, 2011, 8:13 AM EDT

    Sunrise Cactus

    Not that there is anything on the planet truly worth complaining about down here in Arizona — life is grand, and don’t think for a moment I have forgotten that — but I do face a bit of a conundrum this morning.  Here’s the entire Cactus League schedule for the day: Rockies vs. Diamondbacks 1:10,…

  2. Major League Baseball gave the Mets $20-25 million in financial assistance last fall

    Feb 25, 2011, 5:55 PM EDT

    Fred Wilpon

    The Mets may be a big market team but they have big financial problems. Bigger than they’ve been letting on, it seems, because the New York Times is reporting that Major League Baseball provided the Mets $20 million to cover operating expenses last fall. Or maybe it was more, because the Daily News is reporting…

  3. Scenes from Spring Training: Alas, the games are a letdown

    Feb 25, 2011, 5:36 PM EDT

    IMG_1503

    The nice weather of spring training is intoxicating. Sunrise at an empty ballpark is electrifying. Watching the ballplayers getting ready and running through drills is beyond cool. And then, just as you’re totally stoked, when the grills are sizzling and fans are settling in for the first pitch … you get a rather crappy game.…

  4. Russell Martin has been in the best shape of his life since 2008

    Feb 25, 2011, 4:10 PM EDT

    Russell Martin

    I thought that Jim Leyland’s claim that Miguel Cabrera was in the best shape of his life was the final nail in the coffin of my favorite spring training cliche.  It seems, however, that Russell Martin is truly the man who took the BSOML meme out back and beat it to death with a large…

  5. Part of Alfredo Simon’s legal problems are over

    Feb 25, 2011, 3:47 PM EDT

    File photo of Baltimore Orioles' Alfredo Simon pitching against the New York Yankees during a MLB spring training baseball game in Tampa

    Unfortunately for him, it’s the far less scary part: the civil lawsuit filed against him by the victim’s family has been dropped. With the outrageously large caveat that the Dominican Republic legal system is different than our own, I’ll note that you often see this sort of thing happen right before charges are dropped because…

  6. Photo of the day: This one is especially for Tigers fans over 30

    Feb 25, 2011, 2:32 PM EDT

    Just witnessed in Scottsdale Stadium.  I couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but I imagine it went something like this: Trammell:  Gee Kirk, weren’t the 1980s Tigers totally awesome? Gibson: Yes, Alan. Yes we were.

  7. Scenes from Spring Training: The Giants are relaxed

    Feb 25, 2011, 1:44 PM EDT

    IMG_1500

    I got here just as the Giants’ clubhouse was opening.  What it lacks in luxury compare to the Diamondbacks’ palace out at Salt River, it makes up for in tranquility.  Bruce Bochy doesn’t need to bring in Navy Seals to teach the Giants how to deal with it. They’ve dealt with it.  They’re the champs…

  8. Scenes from Spring Training: Finding cool things in Scottsdale

    Feb 25, 2011, 12:11 PM EDT

    IMG_1492

    Scottsdale is a strange place. It was once named one of “America’s most livable cities,” but most of it gives off an air of exclusivity, telling you that if you don’t like golf, trendy restaurants and expensive planned communities, you’re not going to enjoy yourself very much here.  Which is fine for Scottsdale, because there…

  9. Bud gives Frank McCourt the high hat on FOX TV money

    Feb 25, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    Frank McCourt

    Frank McCourt needs money to keep the Dodgers running. Fox wants to loan it to him, with the team’s TV rights as collateral. Bill Shaikin reports, however, that Bud Selig has rejected a proposal under which FOX would have loaned $200 million to Dodgers in a deal that would have met both of the parties’…

  10. Are the Tigers doing right by Miguel Cabrera?

    Feb 25, 2011, 8:08 AM EDT

    Miguel Cabrera

    Yesterday Miguel Cabrera met the media and the Tigers explained that he’ll begin workouts with the Tigers today.  Some folks have a problem with that. One of them is Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan, who thinks that the Tigers’ failure to force Cabrera into an alcohol treatment program is a major mistake: The Pussy Cats are, essentially,…

  11. Juan Pierre is a beast

    Feb 25, 2011, 5:55 AM EDT

    Juan Pierre

    I got to the Dbacks’ camp pretty early yesterday. Earlier than a lot of writers did. But almost all the players were there before I was. That’s just what they do this time of year  And one player — Juan Pierre — was at White Sox camp earlier than all of the other players are:…

  12. Ken Rosenthal is beating the contraction drum again

    Feb 24, 2011, 8:28 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays, Game 1

    Ken Rosenthal wrote a column today — or maybe it was yesterday; I told you that this mountain time stuff was weirding me out — in which he said he’s “hearing rumblings that certain big-market teams want to drop the A’s and Rays.”  Meaning contract them. Rosenthal then quickly proceeded to dismiss the contraction gambit…

  13. Scenes from Spring Training: Random observations from Salt River Fields

    Feb 24, 2011, 4:55 PM EDT

    IMG_1483

    Earlier updates from today’s doings can be found here and here.  And now here are some other random observations from my day at Salt River Fields: I watched the Dbacks’ catching drills.  I caught a little when I was a teenager and I found it to be very difficult. These guys get their butts beat…

  14. Scenes From Spring Training: DWI

    Feb 24, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

    Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day

    No, that’s not what you think it means. It refers to “Deal With It,” and they were the letters written on a white board inside the Diamondbacks’ clubhouse after some Navy Seals visited the team yesterday. The message: when you have a problem, get past it, dude. Navy Seals do that, and the Dbacks should…

  15. Scenes from Spring Training: The Diamondbacks and Rockies are impossibly spoiled

    Feb 24, 2011, 12:39 PM EDT

    IMG_1479

    I am writing this in the press box of Salt River Fields at Talking Stick (note: here’s an explanation for that name).  I’ve been here a little over three hours, and I still haven’t wrapped my brain around it all. The complex sits on the far northeast side of town next to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa…

  16. The first difference I’ve noticed between Florida and Arizona

    Feb 24, 2011, 9:30 AM EDT

    Phoenix

    As the next nine days unfold I’ll be talking a lot about the differences between Florida and Arizona spring trainings. But for now I’ll give you a preliminary observation: the fact that all of the Arizona spring training complexes are located in the same major city is convenient as all hell, but also a bit…

  17. Wanna get paid to watch baseball all season?

    Feb 24, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

    ozymandias

    You may have seen these ads floating around: Major League Baseball is starting a thing — and I think we can only safely call it a “thing” at the moment — in which some lucky sod is going to get paid to immerse themselves in baseball this season. MLB is calling it a “dream job,”…

  18. Wanna watch Derek Jeter get shaved on the side of a building?

    Feb 24, 2011, 8:44 AM EDT

    New York Yankees v Texas Rangers, Game 6

    This is … strange. There’s a giant billboard of Derek Jeter on the side of a building  in Manhattan. It’s for Gillette. Every day it changes, running in a three-day cycle: first he has stubble, then he has shaving cream on and then he’s clean shaven.  The New York Times has the pics. I think…

  19. The Phillies won’t be trading Joe Blanton to the Cardinals

    Feb 24, 2011, 8:20 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton smiles during a news conference in Clearwater

    Maybe that goes without saying, but given that a great number of Phillies fans half-jokingly — at least I hope it was half-jokingly — proposed a silly Joe Blanton-for-Colby Rasums trade after hearing about Adam Wainwright‘s injury yesterday, it’s probably wise that Ruben Amaro put the kibosh on such nonsense immediately: Whether the Phils would deal…

  20. Greetings from the Cactus League

    Feb 24, 2011, 5:50 AM EDT

    Buttes

    I write to you from a strange place, my friends. For one thing, my hotel is carved into the side of a mountain. Really. Picture a fortress built by a 1960s Bond villain, add some down comforters and complimentary toiletries and you’ve got the idea.  Once I’m acclimated to my new environment I intend to search…

  21. On the road to Arizona

    Feb 23, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

    Saguaro

    As much as I love the ice and cold of the great Midwest, it’s time to leave that nonsense behind for a spell.  As you read this, I am en route to Phoenix.  Spring training, my friends. Cactus-style.  I’ll be there until a week from Friday. While I’m in Arizona I’ll be taking in baseball…

  22. Mark Grudzielanek retires

    Feb 23, 2011, 8:40 AM EDT

    Mark Grudzielanek, Brett Gardner

    Jon Paul Morosi reports that Mark Grudzielanek has announced his retirement. Over the course of 15 seasons Grudzielanek hit .289/.332/.393 for six teams.  He finished with over 2000 hits and won the gold glove at 2B in 2006. Not a bad career. Not a bad career at all.  In my book that puts him in the Hall…

  23. The Wilpons could sell more than 25 percent of the team

    Feb 23, 2011, 8:22 AM EDT

    Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

    The New York Times reports today that the proposals fielded by the Wilpons in their efforts to find a “strategic partner” (read: cash infusion) suggest that most of the interested parties are interested in more than the 25 percent share of the Mets that the Wilpons want to sell.  This can be inferred by the…

  24. Great Moments in Cubs Marketing

    Feb 23, 2011, 5:50 AM EDT

    Derek Jeter smiling

    You know, I have to think that it’s somewhat demoralizing for Cubs fans that the team has decided to put Derek Jeter on billboards advertising single-game ticket sales. Yeah, Castro is on there too, but if they really felt it necessary to put a second player on the sign it’s not like there aren’t other…

  25. Quote of the Day: Zack Greinke tells us how he really feels about the press

    Feb 22, 2011, 5:06 PM EDT

    Brewers-Getting Greinke

    Zack Greinke‘s difficulty socializing with fans, the press and his teammates is well-documented. It’s all a part of his struggle with social anxiety disorder and he does the best he can with it. It’s not easy, I’m sure, but if there is one upside to it at all, it’s that he can be be 100%…

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