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Craig Calcaterra

  1. Walking through the Tigers 1979 Yearbook

    Dec 29, 2010, 11:08 AM EDT

    Tigers yearbook

    That last post about Bill Lajoie caused me to reach for my favorite baseball yearbook of all time: the Tigers 1979 yearbook.  I used to get them every year — I have them all from ’78 through ’85 — but this one was my favorite because I distinctly remember bringing it home from the ballpark…

  2. Former Tigers GM Bill Lajoie dies

    Dec 29, 2010, 10:08 AM EDT

    Bill Jajoie

    Sad news: Longtime baseball executive Bill Lajoie, whose eye for talent helped build the Detroit Tigers team that won the 1984 World Series championship, died Tuesday. He was 76. The key to that Tigers team’s success was not Lajoie’s general manager moves, however. It was the work he had put in the previous fifteen or sixteen…

  3. Posnanski takes on the Hall cases for Baines, Mattingly, Morris and … Charlie Joiner?

    Dec 29, 2010, 9:16 AM EDT

    Lee Smith

    We’ve been following Joe Posnanski’s week of Hall of Fame columns so far, so there’s no sense in stopping now.  Today he discusses the Hall of Very Good players on the ballot.  After his nice appreciations of Harold Baines and Don Mattingly — each of whom really should be appreciated, because they were darn good…

  4. Ozzie Guillen’s son needs a time out

    Dec 29, 2010, 8:36 AM EDT

    Don Corleone and Sonny

    In that MLB.com interview yesterday former White Sox’ closer Bobby Jenks said that he “was looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen.”  Not the best thing to say about Ozzie Guillen — and probably not true, because I think Ozzie actually does a pretty good overall in terms…

  5. Yankees’ team president on Pettitte: “I think he knows we need him”

    Dec 29, 2010, 8:25 AM EDT

    Andy Pettitte

    Yankees president Randy Levine had this to say about Andy Pettitte yesterday: “Every day I hope Andy comes back.  Andy’s a great Yankee and a great person and I know he’ll give it thought and follow his heart and we’ll respect his decision. But we’re out there, all of us, hoping every day that he…

  6. The Orioles continue to target Derrek Lee

    Dec 29, 2010, 5:34 AM EDT

    Derrek Lee braves

    Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun first reported this back on the 21st, but Ken Rosenthal said again last night that the Orioles are continuing to target Derrek Lee.  They’re apparently not high on the idea of getting a DH and moving Luke Scott to first base, and with the rumored Adam LaRoche offer seemingly…

  7. Bobby Jenks thinks he was disrespected by the White Sox

    Dec 28, 2010, 5:23 PM EDT

    Bobby Jenks

    MLB.com’s Scott Merkin caught up with Bobby Jenks, and it seems that the White Sox’ former closer isn’t entirely pleased with his departure from the Windy City: Confusion began after free-agent slugger Adam Dunn and the White Sox agreed upon a four-year, $56 million deal. Dunn had worn jersey No. 44 in the past, but…

  8. Danny Knobler won’t vote for Bagwell, but he won’t tell you why

    Dec 28, 2010, 4:22 PM EDT

    Bagwell

    Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.com has a Hall of Fame vote. This year he gives it to Roberto Alomar and Jack Morris.  Why not anyone else? There are players I’m not voting for this year because I strongly suspect they built their credentials by cheating. And I’ve decided, after much consternation, that I’m not going…

  9. Phillies fans don’t mind the higher ticket prices

    Dec 28, 2010, 3:52 PM EDT

    Phillies-Fans

    The Philadelphia Daily News conducted a survey of Phillies fans and found that 52 percent of them were cool with the team raising ticket prices. Thirteen percent were “disappointed,” 3 percent were “angry” and 1 percent were “not sure.”  This was before the team got Cliff Lee. Am I the only one who finds Philly fans…

  10. We now have a reason to explain why Matt Kemp will improve or regress in 2011

    Dec 28, 2010, 2:56 PM EDT

    Matt Kemp

    I do not believe that anyone can know what a ballplayer’s social life means to his on-the-field performance. These aren’t figures of Greek mythology we’re talking about here. Cutting their hair, taking their prized lute, or pairing them up with or separating them from a maiden fair is just as likely to help them as…

  11. Apparently the Red Sox are building an uber-bullpen

    Dec 28, 2010, 1:39 PM EDT

    brian-fuentes-twins

    They’ve already got Papelbon, Bard and Jenks.  It would seem, however, that Theo Epstein will not rest until he has ensured that all teams playing the Red Sox have but five innings in which to work: Jon Heyman reports that the Red Sox are still eying Brian Fuentes. This is a long-term eyeing, as reports of the…

  12. Must-Click Link: The Case Against Jack Morris

    Dec 28, 2010, 12:40 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    We’ve seen a lot of tortured arguments in favor of Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame case.  I’d recap some of the best ones, but really, you had to be there. Anyway, today comes what I think is the definitive case against Jack Morris.  It’s by Dan Szymborski over at ESPN (sorry; Insider only).  It’s not hysterical.…

  13. The guys on the Hall of Fame ballot who have no shot but are worth talking about anyway

    Dec 28, 2010, 11:42 AM EDT

    Marquis Grissom

    Day two of Joe Posnanski’s week-long look at the Hall of Fame consists of his review of the 11 players on this year’s ballot who are clearly not Hall of Famers, but who, according to Joe, are worth spending a few minutes remembering.  The Carlos Baergas and Brett Boones of the world, don’t you know. I’m…

  14. This is how silly rumors get started

    Dec 28, 2010, 10:40 AM EDT

    blanton

    The sole line about Joe Blanton in this morning’s story about the Yankees’ rotation by Pete Caldera of the Record: “The Phillies’ Joe Blanton is said to be available as a possible trade target” The headline to same story: “Yanks interested in Blanton, Garcia” There isn’t a single quote or even an allusion to the…

  15. Cardinals’ GM thinks the defense will be better

    Dec 28, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    New York Yankees' first baseman Lance Berkman falls while chasing a foul ball hit by Texas Rangers' Ian Kinsler in the fourth inning during Game 5 of their Major League Baseball ALCS playoff series in New York

    Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak thinks that team defense will be better in 2011: “I’m of the belief that the defense question is being overstated. Overall, the idea that we’ve lessened our club that much defensively I guess I understand from the comment that we traded Brendan. But I don’t see the big change. I think this is…

  16. Great moments in backhanded compliments: Jonathan Papelbon edition

    Dec 28, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    papelbon-100801

    There’s no actual news in Scott Lauber’s story about Jonathan Papelbon in today’s Boston Herald — note: there are other relievers who could take his job and if he wants a big payday next winter he had better perform in 2011 – but there’s a great line, dropped after Lauber wonders whether Papelbon was even aware…

  17. George Steinbrenner and college football

    Dec 28, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    1970s Steinbrenner

    Bill Madden has a great piece up over at the Daily News today. Inspired by the bowl game that will be played in Yankee Stadium on Thursday, Madden reminds us of George Steinbrenner’s many ties — and undeniable love — for college football.  It’s a good history lesson. Also, if you’re at all familiar with…

  18. Nolan Ryan: “we’re overpaying some free agents that probably shouldn’t be getting paid what they are”

    Dec 28, 2010, 6:18 AM EDT

    Nolan Ryan Rangers

    Bonus question: what would Nolan Ryan have made if he were a free agent on today’s market?

  19. Joe Posnanski is going Hall of Fame crazy this week

    Dec 27, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

    hall of fame

    If you’ve grown weary of all of the Hall of Fame posts I’ve been writing over the past couple of weeks you may not want to read Joe Posnanski this week. He’s doing a lengthy Hall of Fame post each day, starting with today’s introductory post in which he talks about his Hall of Fame…

  20. FIU baseball player Garrett Wittels arrested and charged with rape in the Bahamas

    Dec 27, 2010, 2:39 PM EDT

    Image (1) garrett%20wittels-thumb-200x186-12395.jpg for post 6535

    Remember last summer when Florida International shortstop Garrett Wittels hit in 56 straight games? And remember how the streak is still alive because his team got eliminated from the NCAA tournament?  Yeah, well, he has other things on his mind at the moment: Florida International University baseball star Garrett Wittels and a group of friends were…

  21. Great Moments in trash talking

    Dec 27, 2010, 1:44 PM EDT

    Red Sox fans

    The Boston Globe’s Kevin Cullen relished spending Christmas in New Jersey because he could use the time to taunt his Yankees-fan relatives: As the snow and the wind got worse, all the people from North Jersey who were supposed to come for dinner wimped out. They called to cancel. Of course, they cited the weather.…

  22. A man struggles with tobacco addiction. But it’s not what you think.

    Dec 27, 2010, 12:44 PM EDT

    T206

    I used to think that I had a baseball card problem.  I was a mere piker compared to Amar Shah, however, who shares his tale of collecting T206 tobacco cards over at ESPN.com today: A few weeks later came the T206 tipping point. Tejal was working all day and I had the entire day to…

  23. Takashi Saito is near a one-year deal with the Brewers

    Dec 27, 2010, 11:42 AM EDT

    Saito

    NPB Tracker translates and tweets an article from Nikkan Sports reporting that the Milwaukee Brewers are nearing a one-year contract with Takashi Saito worth around $3 million, including incentives. Saito was solid for the Braves last season.  He has some reliability questions concerning his shoulder and, yeah, he’s 40. Still, he would be yet another nice…

  24. Dis of the Day: Buster Olney on Manny Ramirez

    Dec 27, 2010, 10:44 AM EDT

    Chicago White Sox designated hitter Manny Ramirez smiles in the dugout during their MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim

    This isn’t a slam or anything. It’s actually a fair assessment on Buster Olney’s part. But it’s not exactly the sort of way we’re used to hearing guys like Manny Ramirez described: Heard this: The Yankees have no interest in signing Manny Ramirez … if the Yankees were comfortable with having a oft-injured, right-handed DH/OF type for…

  25. If you suspect Jeff Bagwell of ‘roiding, why not suspect everyone?

    Dec 27, 2010, 9:50 AM EDT

    Jeff Bagwell

    My totally unscientific sense of things is that Jeff Bagwell is going to fall well short of the Hall of Fame in this his first year on the ballot. Peter Gammons suspects as much. And, after making the case of just how clear a Hall of Famer Bagwell is, has some pointed words for the…

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