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Craig Calcaterra

  1. Scenes from Spring Training: The Chase

    Mar 1, 2011, 5:30 AM EST

    Kansas City Royals Photo Day

    “He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it.” – Herman Melville, Moby Dick No reason for that quote. None at all.…

  2. Scenes from Spring Training: Wake me up when Kerry Wood comes in

    Feb 28, 2011, 6:00 PM EST

    IMG_1566

    I’m not gonna lie to you: it was not the most riveting day at the ballpark.  Low energy game and a low energy crowd. It happens.  Random notes: The Cubs took the field wearing their full-blown home whites with pinstripes. LOVED it. I’m not a big fan of the lazy looking spring training warmups some…

  3. Photo of the Day: God Bless Midwesterners

    Feb 28, 2011, 3:10 PM EST

    I encountered these fine women just outside of the main concourse. From afar I assumed they were Brewers fans, by virtue of the hats. When I told them this, they were mildly offended.  I salvaged the situation by noting that the hats actually undermine the Brewers’ stranglehold on beer iconography, appropriating the meme for Cubs…

  4. Scenes from Spring Training: Where’s the press box again?

    Feb 28, 2011, 2:17 PM EST

    IMG_1551

    I went down to the field to check out the Cubs’ BP.  As the pic suggests, it’s a damn fine day here in Mesa.  A little cold this morning, but it doesn’t take much sun to warm it up, and there is much sun today. Frank Lloyd Wright was right: wintering in Chicago is for…

  5. Scenes from Spring Training: It’s hard not to like Mike Quade

    Feb 28, 2011, 12:43 PM EST

    Mike Quade

    I got down to the clubhouse a little late — and entered through the wrong door, oops! — but my timing ended up being pretty good, as manager Mike Quade was just opening up his office for the media gaggle.  I walked in and, as I usually do, hung in the back to take it…

  6. Wanna be the P.A. announcer at Wrigley Field?

    Feb 28, 2011, 11:29 AM EST

    Wrigley Field

    I just got back from the Cubs’ clubhouse — more on that later — and sitting on my laptop was a press release from the team announcing a partnership between the Cubs and CareerBuilder.com to find the next public address announcer at Wrigley Field. Really: they’re taking applications right on the web. Candidates, we’re told, should…

  7. Scenes from Spring Training: Greetings from HoHoKam Park

    Feb 28, 2011, 11:12 AM EST

    IMG_1550

    Or is it HoHoKam Stadium?  And is that capitalization correct?  Really, I can’t tell you because I’ve seen it written differently in different places.  I think “Stadium” is correct but Park rolls off the tongue better. Probably doesn’t matter considering that they’re building a new place a couple miles from here and will thus be…

  8. Be happy that Oliver Perez got rocked over the weekend, Mets fans

    Feb 28, 2011, 9:12 AM EST

    New York Mets Workout Sessions

    Oliver Perez worked in the Mexican League this winter and he showed up early to spring training.  Didn’t help, though, as he made his spring training debut against the Braves over the weekend and gave up four runs in two innings, walked three guys and only got the ball up to 86 m.p.h.  Once, that…

  9. Welcome to St. Jetersburg

    Feb 28, 2011, 8:48 AM EST

    Derek Jeter smiling

    The New York Times has a feature on the outrageously large house Derek Jeter has built down in Tampa. Cost?! No man can say! The 30,875-square-foot mansion, which overlooks Hillsborough Bay, features seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a pool, two boat lifts, a drive-through portico and a pair of three-car garages flanking the north and south…

  10. Bobby Valentine would like to buy into the Mets

    Feb 28, 2011, 8:22 AM EST

    Bobby Valentine horizontal

    Bobby Valentine wants to buy into the Mets’ ownership group? Wow, Stamford, Connecticut must really overpay their civil servants: Valentine has spoken with serious financial backers about lining up a bid to buy at least a portion of the Mets, a baseball official told ESPNNewYork.com. “I’’ve talked to a number of people interested in purchasing…

  11. HBT Weekend Wrapup

    Feb 28, 2011, 5:30 AM EST

    Arizona

    You suckers missed the fact that I was blogging spring training all weekend. Don’t try to deny it. I see the web traffic stats. You were spending time with your families or watching that godforsaken Oscars show or something instead of reading my dispatches from Arizona. Shame on you. But I now give you a…

  12. Scenes from Spring Training: No, Marty Brennaman is not Bob Uecker

    Feb 27, 2011, 6:12 PM EST

    IMG_1540

    This morning’s fears of severe cloudiness notwithstanding, it ended up being a very nice day at the ballpark. A bit cool, but not too bad. And a ton of sun, so take that weatherman. The game: OK. Not great, but OK, which is as good as we can hope this time of the year.  Early…

  13. Scenes from Spring Training: What the heck is a feetlong hot dog?

    Feb 27, 2011, 5:22 PM EST

    IMG_1545

    I met a cool guy today. That’s him. His name is Kwang Min Park, a baseball journalist from South Korea.  His nickname, however, is Agassi.  Yes, because he likes Andre Agassi. As you might expect, Agassi was here today to cover Shin-Soo Choo.  I saw him interviewing Choo in the clubhouse, and he sat next to…

  14. Scenes from Spring Training: Boppin’ around the Indians and the Reds

    Feb 27, 2011, 1:59 PM EST

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    The Reds and Indians share the Goodyear complex.  The team clubhouses and practice fields are about a half mile down the road from the ballpark. Neither the Reds nor the Indians take their BP or infield in the main park, even on game day, so I’ve spent most of my morning driving and walking long distances…

  15. Photo(s) of the Day: Things you don’t have to do very often in Arizona

    Feb 27, 2011, 10:38 AM EST

    I got to Goodyear Ballpark just after 8AM this morning to find the groundscrew having to deal with a soaking wet tarp.  Note the giant pool just beyond shortstop: Not something that happens very often in the desert I imagine.  The trick: to rip that thing off the infield fast enough so that the pool…

  16. Scenes From Spring Training: Rainpocalypse

    Feb 27, 2011, 8:32 AM EST

    Desert Rain

    I awake to light rain and slightly cool temperatures this morning.  Yesterday, multiple people Phoenix residents apologized to me in advance for this weather, trying to explain it away as though it were some personal failing.  Many locals are having the “will we get the game in?” conversation that most of us have when violent…

  17. Scenes from Spring Training: A surprisingly good game in Tempe

    Feb 26, 2011, 6:04 PM EST

    IMG_1516

    These early games are supposed to be sloppy, but no one told that to the Dodgers and Angels.  Epic? Nah. Outside of Hiroki Kuroda, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier the Dodgers had a bunch of third and fourth stringers playing today. But no matter who they were, it was surprisingly well-played. The Angels won 4-1.…

  18. Photo of the Day: The Dodgers take a shortcut

    Feb 26, 2011, 5:00 PM EST

    I noticed when the Dodgers showed up here at Tempe Diablo Stadium today that they got off a bus in the parking lot behind the wall in right and walked across the field to their clubhouse on the third base line.  No back entrance or anything fancy like that. It makes sense, then, that if…

  19. Scenes from Spring Training: Matt Kemp shows hustle

    Feb 26, 2011, 4:15 PM EST

    Matt Kemp

    The “Matt Kemp is lazy and out of shape” meme got beat to death last year. Was there any truth to it? Sure, some. But it probably got overplayed because I’m not sure anyone is due as much garbage he got thrown on him in 2010. In light of all of that, I feel justified in…

  20. Scenes from Spring Training: Random Notes from Tempe Diablo

    Feb 26, 2011, 2:30 PM EST

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    Doing my standard wander-and-observe thing this morning.  Among the highlights so far: Mike Scioscia opened up his office for the media at 10AM.  When we came in he noticed a video camera from a member of the Japanese media and said “if I knew there was gonna be cameras here I would’ve fixed my hair.”…

  21. Scenes from Spring Training: Even the phenoms pay their dues

    Feb 26, 2011, 12:35 PM EST

    Mike Trout

    Last night I was on a radio show, and the host asked me why we don’t tend to see prima donna baseball players making demands on their teams the way we do in the NBA and the NFL. There are a lot of reasons, of course. For one thing, no one baseball player is as…

  22. Scenes from Spring Training: A decision to make

    Feb 26, 2011, 8:13 AM EST

    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,…

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

    Feb 25, 2011, 5:55 PM EST

    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…

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

    Feb 25, 2011, 5:36 PM EST

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    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.…

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

    Feb 25, 2011, 4:10 PM EST

    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…

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