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Craig Calcaterra

  1. Major League Baseball needs more livestock on the field

    Feb 26, 2010, 11:33 AM EDT

    Athletics’ prospect Michael Taylor spent the winter playing in Mexico. Sounds fun: “Animals on the field. Like chickens and stuff like that. People having barbecues in the stands. Just piling up firewood. The passion. They had bands, a lot of live music,” he said yesterday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. “It was just a different environment.…

  2. The Jason Heyward nets

    Feb 26, 2010, 11:11 AM EDT

    I’m a gigantic fanboy, but even I’m getting a little tired of the Jason Heyward hype. The latest: When manager Bobby Cox said that the Braves will probably install nets to protect cars from Jason Heyward’s prodigious batting-practice home runs, reporters thought he was kidding. He was not kidding. “I’m serious,” Cox said Thursday at…

  3. The bloody sock doctor is in big trouble

    Feb 26, 2010, 10:52 AM EDT

    The doctor who performed the meatball surgery on Curt Schilling’s ankle in 2004 which led to the bloody sock has had his license suspended and is under investigation for . . . something. Unauthorized possession of stage blood?  Complicity to overacting? Accessory to second degree myth-making?

  4. Manny Ramirez has a new endorsement deal

    Feb 26, 2010, 10:37 AM EDT

    But I’m not touching it with a ten foot pole. You can go read about it at FanHouse, which in this instance will serve as the mitts between this site and the oven that is the website for the product Manny Ramirez is now apparently endorsing. 

  5. I rip Jeff Francoeur because I want him to succeed

    Feb 26, 2010, 10:20 AM EDT

    At least that’s the story I’m going with after reading this piece about Kevin Kouzmanoff: And when he was in the Indians’ system, at Triple-A Buffalo, someone told him he was a bad fielder. Well, he wasn’t told, exactly. “I read an article that said how poor my defense was,” he said. “I sort of…

  6. Great Moments in batting practice

    Feb 26, 2010, 9:50 AM EDT

    The last couple of days have seen hitters starting to take live batting practice from honest-to-goodness pitchers.  A lot of this kind of thing is happening: John Bowker took one in the back Wednesday from Jeremy Affeldt, who naturally blamed the hitter for the whole ugly incident. “It was a curveball. I told him it…

  7. Kevin Youkilis doesn't have much use for statistical analysis

    Feb 26, 2010, 9:28 AM EDT

    Youkilis, a guy many people first heard about by virtue of him being prominently mentioned in “Moneyball” — and a guy who plays for arguably the most stat-savvy team in baseball — don’t need no stinkin’ sabermetrics: “I don’t go off all those UZRs . . . is it UZR?” Youkilis said. “I don’t even…

  8. The Twins are like kids out there

    Feb 26, 2010, 9:15 AM EDT

    Really, they are.  LaVelle Neal of the Star Tribune tweets from Twins spring training: A box of baseball cards is in the clubhouse, and players are ripping packs open to find their card. All Alexi Casilla wanted was the Joe Mauer with the big sideburns!

  9. A-Rod offered Damon free agency advice

    Feb 26, 2010, 8:58 AM EDT

    From MLB.com: Rodriguez, speaking publicly Thursday for the first time this spring, said he reached out to Damon this offseason to offer advice on free agency. “Johnny and I are very good friends, and we’ve always had a lot of dialogue, both in the offseason and the season,” Rodriguez said. “I was just trying to…

  10. The Red Sox don't need an insurance company; they ARE an insurance company

    Feb 26, 2010, 8:26 AM EDT

    Interesting story about Red Sox owner John Henry’s approach to insurance on player contracts. Seems that back when he owned the Marlins Henry had a really bad experience dealing with an insurance company while trying to make a claim on an Alex Fernandez.  So he’s now eschewing insurance on player contracts and is doing two…

  11. Carlos Silva is not an athlete

    Feb 26, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

    People say you can’t trust the accuracy of Wikipedia, but I think its occasional lapses are more than compensated for by its often piercing insight: (Thanks to reader Trevor who pointed this out in yesterday’s Silva thread)

  12. Alex Rodriguez is more than "a very good player"

    Feb 25, 2010, 6:35 PM EDT

    Alex Rodriguez sat for a press conference today. He didn’t say anything too terribly interesting.  Winning the World Series wasn’t getting a monkey off his back, “it was a humongous gorilla that came off my back.”  He’s happy. He wants to win more. He knows he’s come a long way since last winter.  Pretty conventional…

  13. Carlos Silva insists he's big boned

    Feb 25, 2010, 5:40 PM EDT

    The Tribune has a story about Carlos Silva and his weight. This is classic: “That was one of the (bad) things with Seattle. Here, they want to get me back on track in my pitching. They don’t worry about my size or my weight. In Seattle, they were worried more about my weight than anything…

  14. Baseball set a revenue record in 2009

    Feb 25, 2010, 4:50 PM EDT

    2009 saw the highest rate of men selling apples on street corners and people eating ketchup and sawdust for dinner since the the Great Depression — maybe; that’s the sense I got from reading recession-porn all year, anyway — but baseball didn’t feel the pinch one bit.  Take it away Maury Brown: The league reports…

  15. McGwire on his brother's book: "It's a sad, sad day for my family."

    Feb 25, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

    Things Mark McGwire said about his brother’s new book while looking meaningfully at Al Neri: “I took care of him for a number of years. I guess this is what I get for payback. It’s sort of sad. It’s a sad day for my family. I don’t know how a family member can do that…

  16. Jason Heyward has a Twitter account

    Feb 25, 2010, 4:09 PM EDT

    Makes my unhealthy fanboy stalking of him much, much easier.

  17. On second thought, let's not get too excited about what Francoeur says

    Feb 25, 2010, 3:47 PM EDT

    That thing I said earlier about being encouraged by Francouer saying he’s going to work on his walk rate?  Ted Berg brings to my attention the fact that Frenchie blew this jazz in 2006, 2007 2008 and 2009 (the sleuth work was done by Kyle S at Work over at BTF). So never mind. You…

  18. UPDATE: Josh Hamilton bangs his shoulder

    Feb 25, 2010, 2:11 PM EDT

    2:11pm: Now MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan tells us that Hamilton will have X-rays taken to make sure nothing is structurally wrong with the shoulder.  Let’s assume it’s just a precautionary measure. THURSDAY, 1:43pm: Hamilton woke up Thursday with a good amount of soreness and may stick to conditioning work for the next few days.  It doesn’t…

  19. Tom Seaver: Atlanta Brave

    Feb 25, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

    And now for my second Tom Seaver reference in an hour. Mark Armour is a fabulous baseball researcher. He’s the man in charge of the Society for American Baseball Research’s indispensable Baseball Biography project. He also just finished what stands to become the definitive book on Joe Cronin, one of the major figures in baseball…

  20. Rarely is the question asked: is our Jeff Francoeur learning?

    Feb 25, 2010, 12:25 PM EDT

    Less than a year ago, Jeff Francoeur famously said “If on-base percentage is so important, then why don’t they put it up on the scoreboard?”  Never mind that OBP had long been on the scoreboard in Atlanta. As evidenced by that quote, my problem with Jeff Francoeur wasn’t so much that he never seemed to…

  21. Quote of the Day: Brittany Ghiroli

    Feb 25, 2010, 11:55 AM EDT

    “No morning access since it was media training for the Orioles players. There goes all my good quotes for the season.” – MLB.com beat writer Brittany Ghiroli from Orioles camp this morning. Brittany is being funny here, but there’s a lot of truth to that.  We live in an age now where controlling the message…

  22. J.D. Drew is tougher than you think

    Feb 25, 2010, 11:25 AM EDT

    J.D. Drew catches a lot of heat for his injuries, with many fans thinking of him as some sort of fragile, pampered child. Not so, says Daniel Barbarisi of the Providence Journal: Drew had bone spurs in his shoulder that would cause him pain when he swung, often forcing him to cut short bating practice.…

  23. Loria: "I expect us to make the playoffs"

    Feb 25, 2010, 10:55 AM EDT

    Marlins owner Jeff Loria has high expectations: “How may wins am I expecting? I never predict but I will say we’re working off an 87-win season last year and I expect us to make the playoffs. Whatever it takes for us to make the playoffs is what we need to win . . . They…

  24. In case you've forgotten, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez are really, really good

    Feb 25, 2010, 10:23 AM EDT

    The New York Times runs some A-Rod and Jeter projections from the Baseball Prospectus gang: In the first year of the new Yankee Stadium, its tenants won the World Series. In its second, Alex Rodriguez could hit his 600th home run. In its third, Derek Jeter should notch his 3,000th hit. More milestones will follow,…

  25. Great Moments in cultural elitism

    Feb 25, 2010, 9:58 AM EDT

    Jon Heyman this morning: lengthy discussion in starbucks now by 2 people regarding their love of hooters’ wings. i gotta get back to NY! Anyone want to tell Heyman that there’s a Hooters on W. 56th Steet? But I don’t mean to single out Heyman. Tim Lincecum likes to mock those with different tastes as…

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