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Craig Calcaterra

  1. Fox sports honcho: baseball is a regional game

    Sep 15, 2011, 9:13 AM EDT

    old TV

    Every time someone talks smack about baseball by bringing up the relatively low ratings for national games of the week, the All-Star Game or the playoffs, I go off on some rant about how that person is ignorant of how baseball works on television.  About how baseball is a local game and how you can’t…

  2. Matt Moore makes an inauspicious debut

    Sep 15, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    Matt Moore

    Rays pitching prospect Matt Moore made his major-league debut in last night’s 6-2 loss to the O’s.  It wasn’t fantastic: he allowed two runs on three hits in one and a third in relief. It was a weird first appearance too.  He and the bullpen coaches thought he was supposed to start the seventh inning,…

  3. Programming Note: Announcing the Story Explorer

    Sep 15, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

    Power House

    Sometime later today you’re going to notice a minor change to HBT and the other NBC SportsTalk blogs.  At the bottom of each story there will be a little navigation bar we call the Story Explorer. The idea is that once you’ve finished reading a post you will be able to browse and then —…

  4. And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

    Sep 15, 2011, 5:48 AM EDT

    Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox

    Tigers 6, White Sox 5: Detroit continues to be ridiculous. Alex Avila was a hero, tying it up at five with a big fly. Carlos Guillen won it with an RBI single in extras. I know there are people who want to pretend that Justin Verlander is single-handedly carrying the Tigers into the playoffs, but…

  5. The Red Sox lose again

    Sep 14, 2011, 5:46 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox

    The Red Sox are intent on making this interesting, aren’t they? Boston had a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning when all hell broke loose. Daniel Bard came in to start things off and walked the first two batters. Then he threw the ball away on a sacrifice attempt, loading the bases. Then Edwin Encarnacion…

  6. The Phillies clinch a playoff spot

    Sep 14, 2011, 5:00 PM EDT

    Roy Halladay

    And now for the most inevitable thing since Newton’s Laws: the Phillies have clinched a playoff spot. Philadelphia beat the Astros 1-0 today behind Roy Halladay‘s first shutout of the season. Indeed, it was the first shutout for any Phillies pitcher this season not named Cliff Lee. Lee has six.  Halladay scattered six hits and…

  7. Rockies catcher Eliezer Alfonzo suspended for 100 games for PEDs

    Sep 14, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres

    Colorado Rockies catcher Eliezer Alfonzo has received a 100-game suspension after a second positive test for a performance-enhancing substance.  The suspension takes effect immediately.  His first suspension came back in 2008 when he was with the Giants. Alfonso played 25 games for the Rockies this year and notched a .267/.304/.320 line in 79 plate appearances.…

  8. A.J. Pierzynski is baseball’s meanest player

    Sep 14, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

    Pierzynski_A.J.

    Sports Illustrated polls major leaguers about a number of things throughout the year. Or else it polls them once and then releases the results in drips and drabs throughout the year.  Today’s drip/drab:  “Baseball’s Meanest Players.” Problem: it doesn’t really list a criteria.  Which matters here, because “meanest” could be the most personally unpleasant. It…

  9. The Pirates clinch their 19th straight losing season

    Sep 14, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

    Charlie Morton

    There was a time this summer — maybe for about two weeks — when everyone was high on the Pirates. It was damn nigh magical. Some considered them a contender. I wasn’t quite that optimistic, but I did wonder whether they could at least break .500 and thus break their string of uninterrupted losing seasons…

  10. I’ll be on NBC SportsTalk tonight at 6

    Sep 14, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

    old TV

    Because you guys simply don’t have enough access to my opinions, I feel obligated to let you know that tonight I will be making my debut on NBC SportsTalk, our new studio show on the Versus Network.  The show comes on at 6PM Eastern. I’ll be the bald gent with the horn-rimmed glasses offering my…

  11. Charlie Manuel chewed out the Phillies last night

    Sep 14, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Charlie Manuel

    It probably doesn’t matter. Late season road trip against the worst team in baseball.  Nothing to truly play for at the moment other than good health. The Phillies can be forgiven for dropping a couple of games against the Astros.  Charlie Manuel isn’t all that willing to let it slide, however. Here’s Jim Salisbury of…

  12. MLB releases the 2012 schedule

    Sep 14, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Schedule

    Major League Baseball has announced the 2012 schedule this morning. The season begins on Wednesday, April 4.  It ends on Wednesday, October 3. In between: lots of baseball games. There will be a single game at the Marlins new stadium — make that the Miami Marlins new stadium —  on the 4th, with the Cardinals…

  13. Keith Law did NOT like “Moneyball”

    Sep 14, 2011, 10:02 AM EDT

    Moneyball

    Aaron had his review of “Moneyball” yesterday, and if you didn’t read it, you should. Today I link a counterpoint review: Keith Law’s.  It’s on his own site, not ESPN, so it’s free. I won’t give it away, but Law didn’t like it. At all.  And it’s not just some insider baseball geek takedown. He reviews…

  14. Matt Holliday could be gone for the season

    Sep 14, 2011, 9:39 AM EDT

    Matt Holliday

    We noted last night that Matt Holliday left the Cardinals-Pirates game with an injury to his right hand.  At the time it was unclear how serious the injury was, but Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that  Holliday “could be out most, if not all, the final two weeks of the season. Holliday…

  15. Photo of the Day: TK-421, why aren’t you at your post? TK-421, do you copy?

    Sep 14, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT

    Ever notice in the “Star Wars” movies that the Stormtroopers never can actually hit anything? Really, they fire and fire, but they rarely if ever actually hit the target. No reason.

  16. Johnny Damon steals his 400th base

    Sep 14, 2011, 8:48 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles

    Wakefield, Rivera, Damon … anyone on the Orioles or Jays hit a round number? Any other milestones to report in the AL East? Johnny Damon stole his 400th base in last night’s O’s-Rays game. That, combined with his 229 career homers, made him the ninth player in Major League history to reach the 200/400 club.  He…

  17. Mariano Rivera gets his 600th save

    Sep 14, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

    Mariano Rivera

    On the same night Tim Wakefield got his 200th win, Mariano Rivera got his 600th save.  As Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe observed last night, I guess that’s evidence that having a second pitch is overrated. It was a usual night’s work for Rivera. A one run lead, an overmatched offense, and — while…

  18. And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

    Sep 14, 2011, 5:55 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles

    Orioles 4, Rays 2; Red Sox 18, Blue Jays 6:  Tampa Bay, you’re not adhering to the narrative. We all decided that you’d put the pressure on the Red Sox until Boston was literally burning and being looted with panic.  And you, Boston: you’re supposed to lose these games to Toronto due to trotting out…

  19. So when will all of the European baseball players arrive?

    Sep 13, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT

    European Flag

    This is essentially a must-click link, though I offer it with the caveat that it is an ESPN Insider piece, so many of you won’t be able to click it.  My antipathy toward paywalls aside — and notwithstanding the fact that ESPN’s fortunes do not benefit me whatsoever — I believe that Insider subscription is…

  20. The Pirates pull out of Venezuela

    Sep 13, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

    Venezuela flag

    I wonder if this is something that extends beyond the Pirates and will have implications for other teams as well: The Pirates have notified their Venezuelan academy that the organization will be terminating its lease and no longer participating in the six-team Venezuelan Summer League. Though the Pirates have not commented publicly on the situation, the…

  21. Baseball announces Roberto Clemente Award nominees

    Sep 13, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    Clemente

    The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.”  Tim Wakefield won it last year.  The 2011 nominees — one per team — were just announced. They are as follows: Arizona Diamondbacks – Joe Saunders Atlanta Braves – Tim Hudson…

  22. Phillies fans care more than fans of any other team

    Sep 13, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    As a Braves fan, I often have the lack of enthusiasm of Braves fans thrown back in my face by Philly fans. “Why don’t they sell out their ballpark, even for playoff games?” I’m asked. “We may be overly enthusiastic,” they say, “but it’s just because we’re passionate.” And I can’t argue those points. Really,…

  23. Stephen Strasburg drops some wisdom

    Sep 13, 2011, 1:32 PM EDT

    Stephen Strasburg

    Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post spoke with Stephen Strasburg recently, and Strasburg said something that — though no one has really mentioned it — seems super obvious the minute Strasburg says it: I just need to keep working to get into a routine to where it’s just auto-pilot. Answer the bell every fifth day.…

  24. A Negro Leagues database? Yes please!

    Sep 13, 2011, 1:01 PM EDT

    Bingo DeMoss

    This is cool:  Seamheads.com has launched an effort to create the first comprehensive statistical encyclopedia of Negro Leagues baseball statistics.  It’s called the Negro Leagues Database, and it has just launched with the first three Negro Leagues seasons (1920-23) and some assorted Cuban winter league results of that era.  The site has biographical information as…

  25. Great Moments in Fan Fiction

    Sep 13, 2011, 12:40 PM EDT

    Misery

    Those of you who hang out in the comments are aware of poster FC and his recent foray into fan fiction. Basically, he imagines me in an underground lair, wearing a Braves bathrobe, smoking a bubble pipe, sitting before large TV monitors and basically treating baseball like a Bond villain treats the world. He has…

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