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Craig Calcaterra

  1. Josh Thole to get a crack at the Mets' catching job

    Feb 16, 2010, 3:53 PM EDT

    The Newark Star-Ledger reported today that Josh Thole will compete with Omir Santos to be the Mets’ starting catcher. Omar Minaya: “I think Thole is going to compete for a job in spring training. We’ll see how he plays coming off a very good year. He led the league in hitting in Venezuela (winter ball).…

  2. Who's gonna have the best record in baseball this year?

    Feb 16, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

    Buster Olney runs down the teams who have had the best overall record in the regular season the most times. The Yankees, nor surprisingly lead the pack with 30, the Athletics nine times, the Cardinals seven, and then a whole bunch of teams such as the Reds, Cubs and Indians did it six times.  But…

  3. Negro League and Cuban League stats coming to Baseball-Reference.com

    Feb 16, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

    Very cool news: Friend of the blog Scott Simkus and his partner in crime Gary Ashwill have entered into a deal with Sean Forman to build a Negro League and Cuban League database for Baseball-Reference.com. As you’ll recall, Simkus is the man behind the Negro Leagues version of Strat-O-Matic which was just released to very…

  4. Umpire Randy Marsh apologizes to Jim Leyland

    Feb 16, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

    You’ll recall the little controversy in the 12th inning of Game 163 between the Twins and Tigers last year? The one in which home plate umpire Randy Marsh missed the fact that Brandon Inge got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded that would have given the Tigers at least a one-run lead and,…

  5. How will Mike Lowell do in Sox camp?

    Feb 16, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

    Rob Bradford of WEEI checks in from Fort Myers where he spoke with Theo Epstein about the awkwardness that will be the Mike-Lowell-in-camp dynamic: “I don’t know that it will be that dicey. As I’ve said, it’s one of those things that will take care of itself. Mike’s priority is our priority, which is to…

  6. UPDATE: Indians make Russell Branyan an offer

    Feb 16, 2010, 12:07 PM EDT

    UPDATE: The Indians have reportedly made an offer to Branyan. It’s unclear at present if it’s a minor league deal or something with some real dollars attached.  Either way, I think Branyan and the Indians go well together, so here’s hoping this gets done. 7:57 A.M.: Ken Rosenthal reports that Russell Branyan — a guy…

  7. Cody Ross wins his arbitration

    Feb 16, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

    Marlins outfielder Cody Ross has won his salary arbitration, receiving $4.45 million. The team offered $4.2 million. Ross hit .290 with 24 homers and 90 RBIs last season and made $2.3 million. As Sports Law Blog mentioned yesterday, Ross and Corey Hart have the same amount of service time, so the fact that Hart won…

  8. Mark McGwire: hitting coach

    Feb 16, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an in depth article on Mark McGwire today. And — surprise! — it’s about Mark McGwire the hitting coach, not Mark McGwire the sideshow freak: “I used to have a different swing for every type of pitch, like it was this advanced game of pepper up there,”…

  9. The Danger of assuming someone is clean

    Feb 16, 2010, 9:59 AM EDT

    At the outset of his righteous defense of Frank Thomas’ Hall of Fame credentials, Joe Posnanski launches into discussion of steroids. The interesting part: after dealing with the usual steroid suspects, he wonders whether it’s possible to create a list of clean players, which he refers to as his “Fair Play” list: Then there is…

  10. Female knuckler Eri Yoshida gets a win

    Feb 16, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    The Arizona Winter League is not exactly the highest level of baseball imaginable — if the guys playing there were such great shakes they’d be on their way to an actual spring training camp right now — but they’re better than you and I are.  That’s where the famous Japanese female knuckleballer Eri Yoshida is…

  11. Yes, Joe Mauer is worth the long-term risk

    Feb 16, 2010, 8:57 AM EDT

    Headline in today’s Star Tribune: “Is Mauer worth the long-term risk.” I play around with headlines sometimes too, but in this case I’m not sure what the answer could be besides yes.  And Joe Christensen agrees in the body of the article: My view is simple: Get it done. Give him a blank check. If…

  12. The All-Mustache All-Stars

    Feb 16, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    When you think 1980s baseball, what do you think of first?  Um, OK, fine, cocaine.  How about after that?  Well, yeah, tight pants are right up there, aren’t they?  After that. That’s right, mustaches!  At least longtime reader and frequent commenter The Common Man, does, and to that end he has put together The All-Time…

  13. Yadier Molina is in the best shape of his life

    Feb 15, 2010, 5:45 PM EDT

    Because once you start something you just can’t stop, here’s Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweeting from spring training: Dept. of First Impressions: Yadier Molina looks in best shape I can remember. If one reporter would write “Just saw [Player X]; he looks like he hasn’t lifted anything heavier than a bottle of…

  14. Ichiro a ratings hit; a fashion liability

    Feb 15, 2010, 5:20 PM EDT

    From the Seattle Times comes word that from midnight to 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day, Japanese TV ran an Ichiro marathon.  But it wasn’t a highlights package per se, it was video of each and every one of his 2,030 Major League hits.  And it got pretty darn good ratings too. Not sure how…

  15. The Presidential All-Stars

    Feb 15, 2010, 4:50 PM EDT

    Because there’s not a heck of lot else going on, MLB.com’s Tom Singer gives you an All-Star name full of players with presidents’ names.  Three observations: (1) No Billy Pierce? (2) If it weren’t for that scoundrel Rutherford B. Hayes and his cronies, Former Giants and Cardinals catcher David William Tilden Zearfoss would have a…

  16. Why did Felipe Lopez and Kendry Morales leave their agents?

    Feb 15, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

    As was reported over the weekend, Felipe Lopez fired his agent, Scott Boras, and Kendry Morales fired his agents, the Hendricks brothers . . . and joined up with Scott Boras.  The whys of these sorts of things are always a bit murky, but SI’s Jon Heyman explains in consecutive bullet points in his latest…

  17. Jason Marquis is an optimist

    Feb 15, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

    When Jason Marquis signed with the Nats he had a lot to say about bringing a winning attitude to Washington and mentoring the youngins.  That apparently wasn’t just a function of post-deal euphoria, because he’s still bringing the rah-rah.  Asked whether the Nats’ many moves this offseason translate to, say, a .500 record, Marquis wasn’t…

  18. Mark Mulder to retire . . . Maybe

    Feb 15, 2010, 2:27 PM EDT

    UPDATE: The Chron’s Susan Slusser reports that Mark Mulder’s agent is saying that reports that Mulder is retiring are “not accurate” and that “Mark has not made a decision.” Interesting. Earlier Brewers’ pitching coach Rick Peterson said Mulder was retiring, but maybe he misinterpreted.  Or maybe it’s like when I told my buddy at work…

  19. Optimism for the Braves, Optimism for the Mets

    Feb 15, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

    In the interests of equal time, I report good news relating to both my own team, the Braves, and my team’s quasi-nemesis, the Mets. For the Braves, it’s FanGraph’s David Cameron opining that one of the team’s putative weaknesses — Melky Cabrera in leftfield — will actually be a positive: He may not look like…

  20. MLBAM's Bowman not running for governor of Michigan

    Feb 15, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

    It was reported last week that Bob Bowman, the CEO of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, had filed papers to run for governor of Michigan.  Today, however, he says that he isn’t going to run. My theory: His initial filing was the product of depression brought on by baseball withdrawal, but now that he’s heard…

  21. Victor Martinez wants to stay in Boston, doesn't want to negotiate in-season

    Feb 15, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

    Victor Martinez wants to stay, but just how badly is an open question: “A lot of guys like to be free agents, but I’m going to be really honest on this answer. I don’t want to be jumping around, I don’t want to go somewhere else.” But: “As soon as the season starts, I don’t…

  22. Clay Buchholz is not in the best shape of his life

    Feb 15, 2010, 10:29 AM EDT

    Tweet from WEEI’s Chad Rob Bradford, who is on the ground at Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers this morning: Buchholz at 198 pounds after pitching at 185 last year. Somebody didn’t get the “best shape of his life” memo! In other news, I have come to view Twitter as positively essential to doing…

  23. The Rangers have failed to make deferred compensation payments for months

    Feb 15, 2010, 9:57 AM EDT

    The biggest reason the sale of the Texas Rangers still hasn’t gone final is because the team’s creditors are angry that all kinds of cash is coming off the top of the deal to go to Tom Hicks and others, leaving less for them.  One of the “others,” SBJ reports today, is a deferred compensation…

  24. You can get dibs on Cubs tickets if you want to pay more

    Feb 15, 2010, 9:28 AM EDT

    Money don’t get everything it’s true, but what it don’t get . . . wait, I think it gets pretty much everything these days: On Monday, fans will be able to buy tickets to every Cubs home game, but at a premium of 20 percent over the face value, or 15 percent if they pay…

  25. What should the Yankees do with Jesus Montero?

    Feb 15, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    The Daily News had an in-depth article about Yankees’ catching prospect Jesus Montero over the weekend. The focus follows the standard Montero storyline: kid can hit a ton, but his defense is lacking. As you might expect, there’s lots of stuff in there about bruised arms from ball-in-the-dirt drills, speculation as to whether he can…

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