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Craig Calcaterra

  1. The Padres are considering Russell Branyan

    Dec 23, 2010, 9:37 AM EDT

    Cleveland Indians v Detroit Tigers

    Buster Olney says that the Padres — the odd men out on Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee, it seems — are considering signing Russell Branyan and using him in a platoon at first base.  Olney mentions Kyle Blanks as a potential platoon partner but he’s going to miss a good chunk of next season due…

  2. The Reds are interested in Scott Podsednik

    Dec 23, 2010, 9:14 AM EDT

    scott-podsednik-dodgers-swinging

    Adrian Beltre and Rafael Soriano are still on the market with only vague interest, but two teams are after Scott Podsednik. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Reds have joined the Angels as a team interested in the limited leadoff man. Podsednik, turns 35 in March. He hit a respectable .297/.342/.382 with six homers and 51 RBI between…

  3. Jack Morris + Mariano Rivera = Bert Blyleven

    Dec 23, 2010, 8:46 AM EDT

    Jack Morris

    This is fun: Bill at the Platoon Advantage engaged in a little alternate history exercise. He pretended that, rather than retire, Jack Morris came back in 1995 as a knuckleball-throwing closer and tacked the entire career of Mariano Rivera onto his career stat line. Aside from that being the most awesome thing that would have ever…

  4. You know Yankees fans are kind of nuts when …

    Dec 23, 2010, 8:20 AM EDT

    Felix Hernandez crop

    … The Daily News actually feels it necessary to get comment from Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik that, no, he does not plan on trading their young, reasonably-priced reigning Cy Young Award winning ace to the Yankees: “I have no interest in trading Felix,” Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik told the Daily News Wednesday. “He’s a true ace, a…

  5. The Royals may want to rethink the way they talk about the Greinke trade

    Dec 22, 2010, 5:35 PM EDT

    Zack Greinke

    Unlike a lot of folks, I’m actually pretty OK with the Zack Greinke trade from the Royals’ perspective.  No, you don’t always “win” a trade when you give up the best player in the deal — indeed, you rarely do — but “Zack Greinke: Kansas City Royal” was just not a viable possibility going forward…

  6. Adrian Gonzalez made a promise to the Red Sox

    Dec 22, 2010, 5:05 PM EDT

    Newly acquired Boston Red Sox player Adrian Gonzalez smiles during a news conference at Fenway Park in Boston

    If you can get past the introductory love story about Adrian Gonzalez and his high school sweetheart (and now wife) in Gordon Edes’ latest at ESPN Boston, you’ll read an interesting inside account of the negotiations between Adrian Gonzalez and the Boston Red Sox during their 24-hour negotiating window earlier this month. Edes reports that…

  7. How do you market the Royals?

    Dec 22, 2010, 4:34 PM EDT

    Kansas City's Soria and Pena celebrate after the Royals' win over Tampa Bay during their MLB baseball game in Kansas City

    The biggest star on the Kansas City Royals was Zack Greinke. With him gone, James Dornbrook of KC Biz Beat wonders how the team will go about marketing itself.  He asked Royals spokesman Toby Cook. The response: Cook said that right now, the Royals will focus on marketing the ball park and slowly introduce the…

  8. Graphing the recent decade-leading pitchers

    Dec 22, 2010, 3:10 PM EDT

    jack morris-thumb-250x375-4861

    My friend Ethan Stock — the same one who suggested that I make that list of pitchers who lead a given decade in wins — made a graph for us.  His comment in the email accompanying the graph is Quote of the Day material: “Saying Jack Morris is a Hall of Fame pitcher because he…

  9. Driver who killed Nick Adenhart sentenced to 51 years-to-life in prison

    Dec 22, 2010, 2:14 PM EDT

    Nick Adenhart large

    Andrew Gallo, the driver who killed Angels’ pitcher Nick Adenhart has been sentenced to 51 years-to-life in prison. In addition to Adenhart, Gallo killed Adenhart’s friends Courtney Frances Stewart and Henry Pearson and critically injured a fourth victim, Jon Wilhite. I’m not sure how sentencing goes in California, but in jurisdictions I’m familiar with, when you…

  10. Winningest pitchers of decades that happened to touch the 1980s

    Dec 22, 2010, 1:25 PM EDT

    Mr. T

    This morning I noted how random and misleading it was to give credit to Jack Morris for being the winningest pitcher of the 1980s.  After reading it, my friend Ethan suggested that I try to figure out who the winningest pitchers were for decades that happened to intersect with the 1980s. So I did.  Here…

  11. Buster Olney’s Hall of Fame ballot is unique

    Dec 22, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

    roberto alomar indians-thumb-270x270-4767

    Buster Olney’s Hall of Fame selections are buried in his column today. He doesn’t explain his picks there, but I think it’s safe to say that no one will have a ballot quite like his: Roberto Alomar, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell, and Mark McGwire. There’s obviously no PED stigma for Olney (which he has explained in…

  12. A third option for the Orioles at first base

    Dec 22, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    Troy Glaus third base

    The Orioles have a three-year $21 million offer on the table to Adam LaRoche. For reasons that remain unclear, he has not jumped at it yet.  Realizing that maybe going three-years on LaRoche isn’t the best idea, they have reportedly contacted Derrek Lee, who may be amenable to a one-year deal.  Makes sense. Know what…

  13. Zack Greinke is already paying dividends for Milwaukee

    Dec 22, 2010, 10:03 AM EDT

    Brewers-Getting Greinke

    Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the Zack Greinke deal is going over well with Brewers fans: Rick Schlesinger, the team’s executive vice president for business operations, said Tuesday that between Sunday afternoon and Monday night the team sold 1,100 new season-ticket packages. “Those are brand new account holders whom I’m convinced wouldn’t…

  14. Five teams — including the Yankees — are interested in Jeff Francis

    Dec 22, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    Jeff Francis

    Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mets, Nationals, Pirates, Rangers and Yankees have shown interest in Jeff Francis, who most recently pitched for the Rockies.  Some of those other teams have been mentioned before, but this is the first time anyone has reported the Yankees’ interest. As Drew noted over the weekend, Francis was rusty at times…

  15. Hey! There’s a mystery team interested in Brandon Webb!

    Dec 22, 2010, 9:07 AM EDT

    Brandon Webb

    Brandon Webb is being pursued by the Rangers, Cubs and maybe the Nationals.  And, according to Jerry Crasnick, there’s “an unidentified NL Central team” interested as well. You can’t fool me with your calm, precise and non-inflammatory rhetoric, Jerry. That’s a mystery team.  Don’t worry, I’m a lawyer and I checked. You don’t have to pay…

  16. Jack Morris won more games in the 80s than anyone. So what?

    Dec 22, 2010, 8:26 AM EDT

    Jack Morris

    So much of the Hall of Fame support for Jack Morris is premised on the idea that he won more games in the 80s than anyone.  FanHouse’s John Hickey wrote about that just yesterday. There are many others who have and will as well.  Question: why does that matter? Any single decade is an arbitrary…

  17. Oh joy! It’s Dan Shaughnessy’s Hall of Fame column

    Dec 22, 2010, 7:20 AM EDT

    dan shaughnessy

    Dan Shaughnessy has a Hall of Fame vote. Every year he uses his Hall of Fame column to trot out his latest pejorative terms for bloggers or even just younger baseball writers.  Last year he called us “stat geeks, those get-a-lifers who are sucking all the joy out of our national pastime.”  He’s not as creative this…

  18. Theo: Papelbon is the closer

    Dec 21, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    papelbon-100801

    Ian Browne tweets that Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said today that despite Jonathan Papelbon’s shakiness last year, despite the signing of Bobby Jenks and despite the fact that Daniel Bard is pretty tough stuff himself, he has assured Papelbon that he is still the team’s closer. And that assurance will matter until the…

  19. What kind of reception would the first active gay baseball player receive?

    Dec 21, 2010, 4:28 PM EDT

    John Amaechi

    I don’t think it would be quite what most of us expect. And I think that what he’d face would be even more daunting than dealing with simple bigotry.

  20. UPDATE: The Angels pull their offer to Adrian Beltre, but leave the door open.

    Dec 21, 2010, 3:41 PM EDT

    Adrian Beltre

    UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have pulled their offer to Adrian Beltre off the table.  They haven’t, however, closed the door completely on him, contrary to those earlier reports discussed below. It sounds to me that they simply don’t want to be used by Scott Boras and have their offer shopped…

  21. Pete Abraham’s Hall of Fame ballot

    Dec 21, 2010, 3:06 PM EDT

    Tim Raines

    Like I said yesterday, I’m not going to go over every voter’s Hall of Fame ballot.  But we did touch on Pete Abraham’s Hall of Fame methodology last week, so now that he has released his ballot, it’s worth a look. Pete has Roberto Almomar, Bert Blyleven, Barry Larkin, Alan Trammell and Tim Raines.  Damn…

  22. Lenny Dykstra speaks

    Dec 21, 2010, 1:04 PM EDT

    Lenny Dykstra

    Len Dykstra was on WIP in Philly with Howard Eskin yesterday. It was the first time that I can recall that he’s spoken at length about his financial implosion, highly-publicized bankruptcy and the like. So, Lenny, what went wrong? “It is very simple and it is called, predatory lending, meaning, look, I don’t want to…

  23. UPDATE: Brandon Webb won’t choose a team by today

    Dec 21, 2010, 11:58 AM EDT

    Brandon Webb dugout

    UPDATE: Jon Paul Morosi says that Webb is expected to decide on a team by this evening. Correction: Morosi said Webb isn’t expected to pick a team today.  I win the award for reading comprehension fail. I don’t think that changes anything in the analysis, however: the Rangers and Cubs are the front runners, but the Nats…

  24. Getting to know Freddie Freeman

    Dec 21, 2010, 11:32 AM EDT

    Freddie Freeman

    I had the pleasure of meeting Kevin Orris at the Winter Meetings. Two takeaways from meeting Kevin: (1) he’s impossibly, ridiculously, painfully young; and (2) he’s really, really damn bright.  If any of us had it as together as he does at his age we’d all be running teams right now. Anyway, today Kevin has…

  25. Great Moments in Self-Promotion

    Dec 21, 2010, 11:06 AM EDT

    Craig Closeup BW

    Our friend Eno Sarris conducted an email interview of little old me over the past couple of days and the results of it are up over at FanGraphs.  Well, NotGraphs, which is where people like me who are afraid of math go for levity and more right-brained thinking. I talk a bit about my background,…

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