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Craig Calcaterra

  1. Carlos Zambrano is in the best shape of his life

    Feb 5, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

    Carlos Zambrano has lost some weight and has already been in Arizona a week getting ready for the season despite the fact that pitchers and catchers don’t report until Februay 17th.  Lou likes it: “Carlos was a little heavy last year, there’s no question,” manager  Lou Piniella told fans at the Cubs Convention. “He’s another…

  2. Dbacks, Reynolds are talking extension

    Feb 5, 2010, 10:55 AM EDT

    Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks are talking to third baseman Mark Reynolds about a three-year extension that would buy out two of his three arbitration years.  There are no hard numbers attached to the negotiations, but Piecoro does some back-of-the-envelope calculations which, reasonably in my mind, suggests that a three-year,…

  3. Some fun baseball stories for your Friday snowstorm

    Feb 5, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    The Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states are going to experience snowpocalypse today.  To fight off the cabin fever, head on over to Seamheads, where Mike Lynch relays a bunch of fun baseball anecdotes from 1912-13 he came across while researching a book he’s writing. My favorite: the one which ends with Hall of Famer Rube Marquard…

  4. Jarrod Washburn could retire

    Feb 5, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    It’s not been a great offseason for Jarrod Washburn.  Rumored at various times to be going various places, Washburn still doesn’t have a job.  The two teams most prominently mentioned in Washburn rumors — the Twins and Mariners — don’t seem particularly interested in him.  In light of that, Jon Paul Morosi reports that Washburn…

  5. Hey look, a Hank Steinbrenner sighting

    Feb 5, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    All of the Yankees brass is in the far east on a goodwill tour, leaving Hank Steinbrenner back home to mind the store.  A reporter caught up with him, no doubt hoping that with his minders away Hank would revert to 2008 form and bring the crazy.  Take it away Hankenstein! “The two trades that…

  6. Steve Phillips to speak on Monday

    Feb 5, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    If you’re like me, the airwaves just haven’t been the same since Steve Phillips got fired.  But never fear! My corporate parent has seen to it that you’ll get your fix on Monday: Steve Phillips, fired late last October from ESPN over an embarrassing extramarital affair with a young staffer at the network, will go…

  7. Javy Lopez on steroids: "I'd be stupid enough not to use 'nitro' too"

    Feb 5, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

    The AJC’s Dave O’Brien points us to an extended podcast interview of Former Braves catcher Javy Lopez on Atlanta Baseball Talk last weekend, in which the topic turned to steroids. While the hosts did not explicitly ask Lopez if he personally did steroids, he was pretty candid all the same: “Well, everybody seen players getting…

  8. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to Bob Nutting: Get Lost

    Feb 4, 2010, 6:25 PM EDT

    You know how I feel about open letters, but this one from the editors of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to Pirate owner Bob Nutting is pretty good for the genre: Dear Mr. Nutting, Major league sports is a brutal business. What with aggressive player agents, deep-pocketed competitors and more venues vying for the public’s entertainment dollar,…

  9. Test your baseball Jeopardy! skills

    Feb 4, 2010, 5:50 PM EDT

    I tried out for Jeopardy! when I was in law school.  I passed the quiz and got to play the little pretend Jeopardy! game with the real buzzers and everything and was put in the contestant pool. Sadly — and unlike my former boss and unlike long time CTB reader Sara K — I never…

  10. The Yankees on making Joba and Phil super relievers: "No (bleeping) way"

    Feb 4, 2010, 5:10 PM EDT

    That idea from Dave Pinto from this morning? That one about making Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes 100-inning a piece relievers, thereby allowing the team to have a 10-man staff and add a bench player or two? Well, Baseball Prospectus’ Will Carroll asked someone in the Yankees front office about it: Pinto (@statsguru) mentions Yankees…

  11. Roger Maris honored in North Dakota

    Feb 4, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

    A billboard company in North Dakota has decided to give Roger Maris his due: A North Dakota billboard company has erected a pair of signs in Fargo honoring local hero Roger Maris, whose record 61 home runs in 1961 have long been clouded with an asterisk. Because he clubbed the homers in more games than…

  12. Defense in sex-for-World Series tickets case: "You can be a slut; that's not illegal"

    Feb 4, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

    I missed this one the other day, but our colleagues over at Out of Bounds pass along news of that lady who — allegedly! —  tried to get World Series tickets in exchange for sex. The news:  her lawyer is totally, totally awesome: Even if Finkelstein intended to trade sex for tickets – which she…

  13. UPDATE to the UPDATE: The Mariners and Bedard are now reported close to a deal

    Feb 4, 2010, 4:05 PM EDT

    UPDATE: Now Jon Paul Morosi reports that, yes, they M’s and Bedard are close to a one year deal, though at this rate that could change five times by dinner. And with that I’ve just about had it with the Hot Stove season.  Someone sign Johnny Damon, everyone else start playing long toss and doing…

  14. Bobby Valentine is keeping busy

    Feb 4, 2010, 2:22 PM EDT

    Many thought that Bobby Valentine’s return from Japan would mean a manager’s job. Washington? Pass.  Cleveland?  Pass. Queens? Pending.  In the meantime, however, it’s good to see that he’s keeping busy: Bobby Valentine has guided baseball teams to championship titles in faraway countries, helped professional baseball players gain free agency rights and won a National…

  15. When ballplayers meet Twitter

    Feb 4, 2010, 1:38 PM EDT

    Walkoff Walk runs an excellent weekly feature called “This Tweet in Baseball” in which the week’s finest real ballplayer tweets are collected.  The latest is up today.  Sadly, it was posted before new Twitter user Matt Holliday decided to tweet thusly: “Big fan of the new Creed album, helps me get through long bike workout”…

  16. Fernando Martinez's future is uncertain

    Feb 4, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

    F-Mart channels Johnny Fontaine: “When [Carlos] Beltran had surgery, I thought I had a chance, and maybe they would give me a chance at center, but they get Matthews Jr., and now I’m not sure where I am.” To be fair he followed that up by saying a lot of positive things about not giving…

  17. Carlos Marmol and the Cubs come to terms

    Feb 4, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

    The Cubs and Carlos Marmol have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.125 million deal that splits the difference between their competing demands. Marmol stunk on ice as the setup guy last year, but once he took over for Kevin Gregg as closer in August he stopped hitting as many guys and throwing the…

  18. Butchering the National Anthem

    Feb 4, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

    I’m not a fanatic about it — I think some of the more unique interpretations of the National Anthem are kinda neat — but’s Mike Bauman has a point: “The Star-Spangled Banner” has been trivialized, tortured and trampled upon at ballparks throughout America. Obviously, there are completely acceptable renditions of the anthem sung before…

  19. FOX to air Saturday night games

    Feb 4, 2010, 10:58 AM EDT

    But . . . but what excuse will I use to get out of mowing the lawn now? For the first time in the network’s 15 years of broadcasting Major League Baseball games, FOX has scheduled two nights of regular-season games as part of its 2010 Saturday schedule, according to a news release issued Wednesday…

  20. If you're gonna put Joba in the pen, make it count

    Feb 4, 2010, 10:58 AM EDT

    If the Yankees are hellbent on keeping Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes in the pen, David Pinto has a great idea of how to maximize their value: It strikes me that both in the pen could radically alter the Yankees roster. The Yankees would only need nine pitchers, maybe ten. The starting staff is more…

  21. Pujols and the Cardinals are negotiating

    Feb 4, 2010, 10:28 AM EDT

    Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch, in response to a reader’s question about why the Cardinals front office has been so quiet since the Holliday signing, says “Though the club won’t confirm talks, negotiations with Pujols are also taking up time.” That’s got to be encouraging for Cards fans, though I wonder if any real progress…

  22. The Mets can't walk and chew gum at the same time

    Feb 4, 2010, 9:28 AM EDT

    That’s not just some jerky Braves fan saying that, according to Murray Chass, the people that try to deal with them are saying it: But more than one agent cited the Mets’ inability to deal with more than one free agent at a time as the primary reason they lost out on free agents. “We’re…

  23. Things aren't going well between the Giants and Tim Lincecum

    Feb 4, 2010, 8:58 AM EDT

    So, how are those pre-arbitration negotiations goin’, fellas? To say the recent discussions between the Giants and Thurman [Lincecum's agent], who exchanged arbitration numbers featuring the largest gap in the history of the process, have not gone well is an understatement. According to several sources, what’s been going on between the Giants and Lincecum/Thurman shouldn’t…

  24. The Yankees: the worst case scenario Part II

    Feb 4, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    On Tuesday Andrew from NYaT imagined what it would look like if every bat in the Yankee lineup went sideways.  Yesterday he moved on to the pitchers: CC Sabathia: What it would look like: Alex Fernandez after Marlins won the 1997 World Series. In December of 1996, the Florida Marlins General Manager Dave Dombrowski brought…

  25. MLB and MLBPA agree: Clubs can't force players to donate to team charities

    Feb 4, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT

    You’ll recall there was a bit of a hubub last spring when it was revealed that Manny Ramirez’s contract with the Dodgers required him to donate $1 million to Dodgers’ charitable foundation.  At the time Frank McCourt said that, going forward, all Dodgers contracts would contain similar provisions. It was later revealed that over 100…

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