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Craig Calcaterra

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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.…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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?

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Twins > Vikings

    Dec 27, 2010, 8:48 AM EDT

    target-field-100407

    I know it’s not their fault — and that this week it’s not even their city — but I find it somewhat hilarious that the Minnesota Vikings have now had three football games postponed by weather this year.  In contrast the Twins, who everyone thought were morons for building an open-air stadium, had (I think)…

  18. The Phillies sign J.C. Romero

    Dec 27, 2010, 6:06 AM EDT

    Romero

    Earlier this month the Phillies reached an agreement with Dennys Reyes. It fell apart following Reyes’ physical, however, leaving the Phils in need of a lefty reliever. At the time J.C. Romero said he hoped it gave him a chance to stay in Philly. It did: the Phillies signed him to a one-year deal. Terms…

  19. Topps

    Dec 25, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT

    Curt Topps hat

    I wrote this on my old Shysterball blog back in 2007. Sorry for the re-run, but (a) it’s Christmas and I have better things to be doing this morning than blogging; and (b) only a handful of people read Shysterball back in the day, so I’m sure most of you haven’t seen this anyway.  Either…

  20. Merry Christmas, HBT Nation

    Dec 24, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    Wonderful Life

    As soon as I hit “publish” on this post, I’m going to take the family to my folks’ house for a nice Christmas Eve dinner. Then I’m going to come back, do my very best to settle Mookie and Tyrus Raymond down and get them to bed under threat of Santa skipping our house.  Then…

  21. The Giants are locking up Krukow and Kuiper for six more years

    Dec 24, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

    Krukow and Kuiper

    I never had a chance to listen Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper doing Giants games until this year when I began surfing between multiple games each night for a living.  But having had a chance to check them out in 2010, I agree: they’re near the top of the heap as far as broadcasters go.…

  22. Papi Claus

    Dec 24, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

    Daisuke Matsuzaka

    Christmas Eve is a good day for stories about ballplayers doing philanthropic things. Though the stories tend to sound the same, the underlying message never gets old. And that’s especially true when the message involves David Ortiz dressed up like Santa Claus: In many ways, Ortiz is like a Dominican Santa — gregarious in nature, large…

  23. The most depressing baseball-related Christmas song ever

    Dec 24, 2010, 2:10 PM EDT

    Halladay Jays

    It’s actually kinda jumpy in a western swing sort of way, but this song by Canadian country singer Gord Bramford is mostly sad. Why? Because all the little boy in the video wants is a baseball glove autographed by Roy Halladay. The same Roy Halladay of whom he has a poster on the wall of…

  24. A Tony La Russa roast? I LOVE it

    Dec 24, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

    La Russa closeup

    The St. Louis chapter of the BBWAA is having its annual dinner on January 16th. And in addition to the usual awards and things, they’re shaking things up by roasting Tony La Russa: To mark manager Tony La Russa’s return for a 16th season in the Cardinals dugout, the writers have invited some of his close…

  25. Get Mets-merized!

    Dec 24, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

    1986 Mets

    I’m sure some of you have heard this. I had not. And until I did a few minutes ago, my life was incomplete. Resolved: Darryl Strawberry is the worst rapper in history.  Further resolved: George Foster’s boast that the Mets were better than “the Red Machine,” likely did not go over very well at Sparky…

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