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Saturday, August 01, 2009
Pete Toms is the dean of ShysterBall commenters.
His son -- age 6 -- is a Blue Jays fan.
His son -- age 6 -- has a blog.
He needs traffic. Let's all go read it and leave some comments.
And remember: he's 6, dudes. Be cool. And don't patronize him. Let's talk Jays ball.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 4:14pm
Monday, August 03, 2009
Sorry folks, no ATH today, as I am spending the morning in beautiful downtown Cincinnati, Ohio arguing a case before the Court of Appeals for the First Appellate District of the State of Ohio (I'm assuming it's the "first" because they started counting them south-to-north). It's a complex case involving state constitutional issues, procedural matters, and zoning ordinances.
Why yes, it is boring me to tears.
Nevertheless, it is my duty to represent my client zealously, and I simply wouldn't be able to do that if I spent my mental energy last night thinking up new and exciting ways to describe how much Kevin Gregg sucks.
If you're reading this before 9:00 A.M. wish me luck. If you're reading this after 9:00 A.M., man didn't I do a hell of a job in that oral argument?
You bet I did.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:30am
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
All law and no blogs makes Craig a dull boy. Let's try to remedy that today, shall we?
Nationals 8, Pirates 4: The Laughingstock Series went four games, and nothing was decided. Adam Dunn went 3-for-4 and was a triple short of the cycle. He may as well have been eight unicorns, cold fusion and a perpetual motion machine short, because you were just as likely to see that stuff as an Adam Dunn triple.
Tigers 6, Orioles 5: I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that not many teams have tagged Justin Verlander for five runs right out the box and have gone on to lose the game. Heck, the Os had five hits in that first frame and only had three the rest of the night. I haven't seen anyone start so fast and peter out so quickly since Christopher Cross won all those Grammy awards back in '81.
Padres 4, Braves 2: Can someone explain to me why the Braves had to play the Sunday night game right before flying across the damn country and playing on the west coast without an off day? Twelve teams had friggin' off days yesterday, but not the team who played the late game and had to fly to California? Sure, that's fair. And tired or not tired, I couldn't be more proud of my Bravos here, losing to perhaps the worst team in baseball on a night when they did not even play Adrian Gonzalez.
Brewers 6, Dodgers 5: And lest you think that previous bit is my Braves' homerism coming out, it stunk that the Dodgers had to fly home and play without a day off too. Totally weak scheduling, here. At least the Dodgers had a chance here. Down 6-2 entering the ninth, the Dodgers came back to within one, loaded the bases and Manny Ramirez came to the plate . . . and flew out, alas.
Diamondbacks 6, Mets 5: The Dbacks teed off on Nelson Figueroa (1.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER) and could have turned it into a laugher. Instead, New York clawed back, though just not quite enough. You'll all be shocked to learn that Jeff Francoeur made the third out in the eighth inning with a bouncer to third to end a potential rally. Mark Reynolds took Sunday off, but still finished the series 5-for-12 with four homers and five RBIs.
Cubs 4, Reds 2: Thank goodness for Kevin Gregg's tired arm, or else Lou might have been tempted to use him in this one. As it stood, Carlos Marmol just didn't have it in him to cough this one away, instead only allowing one late run. Mike Fontenot's three-run homer in the second was the big blow here. The Cubs are now 13-5 since the break. Paid attendance: 22,222. This means something. This is important.
Astros 4, Giants 3: You don't see a ton of complete game losses anymore, but Matt Cain had one (8 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 5K).
Rays 10, Royals 4: Zack Greinke has his worst start of the year. He hasn't won since June 28th, though apart from last night he hasn't pitched too terribly. Eventually you just sort of get dragged down by the folks around you, I guess. More surprising than Greinke getting roughed up -- and maybe even more surprising than an Adam Dunn triple would be -- was Yunieksy Betancourt hitting a homer. As for the Rays, Willy Aybar hit two homers and Scott Kazmir got his second straight win.
A's 3, Rangers 2: Just a thought, but if you're going to use Neftali Feliz out of the pen, maybe you want to think about using him as the closer. Dude pitched two innings, retired all six batters he faced in order, struck out the first four, in fact, with several pitches registering at 100 miles per hour. In the ninth, C.J. Wilson gave up three singles and a pinch hit triple to Rajai Davis, blowing a 2-0 lead.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:42am
Thanks to the law, my day just exploded again. I don't think it will take me out of blogging all afternoon, but things may once again be light today. A thousand pardons. For now:
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 11:53am
From Florio at PFT:
Multiple league sources tell us that the Chargers have fined cornerback Antonio Cromartie $2,500 for complaining on Twitter about the quality of the food at training camp.
For one thing, baseball almost always lets its players, you know, go out and eat whatever the hell they want, even during spring training. Even if they didn't, if someone complained about it, the next day there would be some kangaroo court cooking contest or something silly in which the guy complaining would be forced to do better. Or else someone would spike his burger with vinegar or something to show him what real bad food tasted like, and then they'd all giggle like junior high school students. No one would be fining anyone $2,500, that's for sure. I don't think the Army would even make you do push-ups for criticizing the sh*t on a shingle. They know it's sh*t and they don't care: you're eating it, and that's all that matters.
I know this is a silly example of it, but there's a basic humanity about baseball that is almost nonexistent in modern football's, robotic, gladiatorial culture, and I just can't look past it and enjoy the game.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:35pm
That dude who threw that ball at that fan got convicted.
Sorry for the brevity. I'm thinking about fair use and attribution and stuff right now, so I'm kind of afraid to type anything (another post to follow).
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 3:19pm
Lots of talk recently about the ethics of blockquotes and linkbacks and all of that. First you had the AP being silly. Then, on Sunday, came the much-discussed Ian Shapira article in the Washington Post. Today Maury applies that to baseball, talking about the role of "aggregators" such as Baseball Think Factory, MLB Trade Rumors, MetsBlog and the like. Upshot: a lot of people are uncomfortable with how much use of primary material others are making.
While those articles don't deal with blog like this one directly -- they're really aimed more at spaces that put bunches of links together -- I think it's worthy to examine what common blogs do and to think about what's kosher and what's not when it comes to linking and blockquoting and what have you. This is not a legal fair use thing. That matters, of course -- the law is certainly the baseline -- but I'm not interested in talking about that right now. I'm talkin' about friendship. I'm talkin' about character. I'm talkin' about - hell, Leo, I ain't embarrassed to use the word - I'm talkin' about ethics.
To the extent I have a blog philosophy, it's that a blog should try to add independent value to everything he or she writes. Simply regurgitating a news article and extreme blockquoting is both useless and, well, wrong. You have to add something to it, be it insight, analysis, commentary or humor. For example, let's say that aliens invaded planet Earth on July 13th, and AP came out with a story headlined "Bud Selig cancels All-Star Game due to alien invasion." If you're a blog and you do any of the following, I think you're cool:
If, on the other hand, you simply write a post that links the AP, says "that alien invasion is cancelling the All-Star game," quotes lots of text and ends with you simply sayng the equivalent of "hmm, interesting" or something similarly cursory, that's kind of a problem. If you don't have any sort of original commentary about it, but you still want your readers to read it -- something which represents "web-logging" in its original and perhaps most pure form -- do it link-o-rama style and just give a link that encourages click-through ("Plaschke thinks the alien All-Star thing is all Manny's fault; check it out"). Olney does that every day, and there's a lot of value it simply because you're turning on people to the story who wouldn't have otherwise read.
The idea is a simple one: either add independent value, strongly encourage click-throughs to the original source, or forget it. Ultimately, if you can't point to a blog post and identify what it's doing differently than the news story, then there is probably something wrong with the blog post.
No, I can't say I always abide by this perfectly, but that's certainly what we as blog should be shooting for.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 4:20pm
Rob, please come back from your vacation soon, because I don't know that I can take much more of this.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 4:46pm
All I have to say is boo friggin' hoo to these guys who get paid 7 or 8 figures a year to play a game... Suck it up and deal with it. Not like baseball requires much physical exertion, you stand out in the field and maybe sprint 8 or 9 times in a 3 hour span.
-- commenter "Cry4the$$$," who didn't take too kindly to my complaints about the Braves and Dodgers playing on the west coast last night following a late, east coast game on Sunday night.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:25pm
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Dodgers 17, Brewers 4: In a scene out of late-80s WCW, after the game, Prince Fielder ran through the underground tunnels to go put a hurt on Guillermo Mota in retaliation for a ninth-inning plunking. Fortunately for Mota's health and Fielder's wallet, he was stopped at the Dodgers' clubhouse door (though I'm guessing he's gonna get a fine anyway). No word on whether he had a folding chair with him. Kind of a bush league move on Fielder's part, though, wasn't it? I mean, everyone knows that if you're going to go after a guy, you don't do it in the clubhouse. You ambush him while he's doing a standup interview with Tony Schiavone.
Cardinals 12, Mets 7: Albert's little slump appears to be over. Big shot in the 8th to bring the Cards closer, much bigger shot in the 10th -- grand slam -- to put the game out of reach. “I’m human. I’m not a machine,” said Pujols after the game. Sorry dude, I ain't buyin' it. Great moments in Mets history: Luis Castillo sprained his ankle after slipping on the dugout steps in the seventh inning. Apparently he was trying to avoid stepping on someone's glove or something. I'm guessing it was Francoeur's, mostly because I don't like him and I want to believe it was his. Also because I don't like Francoeur, I'll note that he went 0-5, seeing a grand total of 12 pitches in those at bats.
Braves 9, Padres 2: Martin Prado homered and drove in three runs and Matt Diaz hit a two-run homer as the Braves broke out the whuppin' sticks in support of Javier Vazquez. Neither of these guys were the starters at their respective positions for most of the season. Prado certainly has been a marked improvement over Kelly Johnson and Diaz too, over Francoeur. Diaz did, however, perform a tribute to the departed Jeffy last night as, in addition to the homer, he hit into three double plays and struck out. Adam LaRoche was 4 for 4 and Garret Anderson was 3-5, adding to the hit parade. Adrian Gonzalez's consecutive games streak was ended at 314.
Athletics 6, Rangers 0: Someone should detain the guy who started for the A's last night and ask him what he has done with the real Gio Gonzalez. Whoever this impostor was, he lowered Gonzalez's ERA a full run with this 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER performance. The pod people apparently got to Mark Ellis too, as he drove in three.
Orioles 8, Tigers 2: Welcome to the majors, Brian Matusz! The 2008 draftee gave up a run and six hits in five innings, walking three and striking out five. He had some nifty defensive help from Cesar Izturis too, as he dove to pluck a bases loaded grounder in the second to bail the kid out of a jam. Hit a homer too. Jarrod Washburn's debut -- for the Tigers, not in the majors, because he's been there for a while -- was not as nice (5.1 IP, 6 H, 6 ER).
Giants 8, Astros 1: Jonathan Sanchez struck out eight in seven shutout innings, winning his first road game of the season. Freddy Sanchez and Pablo Sandoval hit back-to-back homers in the sixth and Aaron Rowand drove in three runs in an unusually potent Giants offensive attack.
Cubs 6, Reds 3: Pirates' import Tom Gorzellany shuts down a Reds team that is on the fast track to oblivion. No one -- and I mean no one -- is playing as pathetically as this Reds team is right now.
Diamondbacks 6, Pirates 0: Yusmeiro Petit threw eight shutout innings and took a no-hitter into the eighth, when it was broken up by Ronny "Buzzkill" Cedeno.
White Sox 5, Angels 4: Scott Podsednik hit a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth as the Sox -- fresh off of takin' it to the Yankees over the weekend, beat the red-hot Angels. Not that killing giants like that bodes well or anything. Oh, and Bobby Jenks was unavailable for the game because he had to be treated for a kidney stone, which is the kind of thing I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.
Mariners 7, Royals 6: Ichiro started the game with a homer and ended it with a pretty spiffy sliding catch in right. In between he walked and got another hit, scoring each time. He's pretty good, ya know?
Rays 4, Red Sox 2: Walkoff bomb from Evan Longoria. An all or nothing kind of night for him, as he hit another homer earlier, and struck out in his four other times at the plate. Game story: "It was the Rays' longest game of the season and tied for the Red Sox's longest game in innings." Which means that the Red Sox played a game longer than 4:57 in less than 13 innings at some point this season. AL East baseball: it's fantastic!
Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3: The Sox loss and the Yankees' win gives the bombers some breathing room. A day after I say that you don't see many complete game losses anymore, Roy Halladay pitched a complete game, but lost, giving up five runs on ten hits.
Rockies 8, Phillies 3: Thirty-two of the Rockies' 59 wins have come on the road this season. They didn't used to do that sort of thing. Game story: "Moyer extended his 10-start pattern of alternating good starts and bad ones, with a subpar effort." Maybe Manuel should skip every other Moyer start. Or does it not work that way?
Nationals 6, Marlins 4: The Nats rallied for six in the eighth inning, capped off with an Adam Dunn homer, to beat the fish. Dunn pulled a Longoria in this one, striking out three times before connecting. Wait, Dunn's been doing that for years, so I guess Longoria pulled a Dunn.
Twins 10, Indians 1: "Doubles are nice," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said after the game. The Twins hit seven on them -- three from Joe Mauer -- as the pound the Tribe. Scott Baker was on (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER). David Huff was not (4.2 IP, 11 H, 7 ER). Makes me wish that I hadn't already burned my "minute and a Huff" joke a couple of weeks ago.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:53am