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Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Gray day, everything is gray. I watch but nothing moves today:
But it all turns out all right, you see. And I go back to being me.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 12:05pm
Ahhhh, Wilker goodness. This is more like it. Feel free to take a couple of extra days now, Rob.
BTW I, and I assume many other bloggers, got another baseball card in the mail recently. I don't have it in front of me, but it's a 1975 common whose name I'm forgetting. Lovely card though. Even lovelier was the note from Josh' publisher, the excerpt from his upcoming book, and the picture of the book's cover which is made to look like the a 1970s Topps wax pack. Very, very cool. I can't tell you how excited I am to read the Cardboard Gods book.
Until then, all we have is this bit of wonderfulness. Which will certainly do.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:19pm
Bob Watson is investigating the whole Mota-Fielder incident. Ken Macha: "[Fielder's] been hit a lot. . . . He doesn't like when somebody does it on purpose. I don't blame him. . . . This type of mentality puts everybody in jeopardy. Giving a guy a $500 fine and two-game suspension isn't enough."
Well, yeah, but the article also says that Watson is looking at stadium surveilance tapes to see just how crazy ole Prince was when he tried to get Mota in the Dodger clubhouse. I have this feeling that Fielder's deportment on that tape (i.e. Was he running? Was he raging? Was he strolling casually and not really making a fuss? Did he have to be restrained? How close did he get to the clubhouse?) will dictate whether he's fined or suspended more or less than is Mota.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:40pm
I'm not really making this a daily feature, but today was a red-letter commenting day, so I have to offer the best:
There's no sense arguing with Craig. He is the "know all, "be all" and "end all" of everything related to "the list" or in existence for that matter and we should bow to his greatness! His moral superiority is breathtaking and his wit is unmatched even by God himself. I am going to name every male child and even pets I ever have "Craig" and the females "C.C." in his honor. I only hope one day I have to ultimate pleasure of meeting Craig or at least knowing of a place he has walked so I may bow down and kiss the ground he walks on.
He had a couple of paragraphs after that, but I didn't read them. I can only assume that they were filled with similar, genuine praise, devoid of sarcasm or ulterior motive . . .
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:55pm
I'm prepared to admit that there are many reasons to fire J.P. Ricciardi but, contrary to what Heyman says, not trading Roy Halladay is not one of them.
As far as I know, there was never a truly great offer on the table for him. The Indians kind of killed the market anyway by taking as little as they did for Cliff Lee. Contrary to what seems to be increasingly popular belief, Roy Halladay is not now plummeting in value for the Jays. He's extremely valuable and will remain so for a long time, partially because he's a fabulous pitcher and teams need those, but also because losing him would have been a really tough pill to swallow for Jays fans, whose devotion to the team tends to wane as Leafs camp approaches anyway. Simply put: you don't want to give those guys an excuse to bail on you, because in Toronto, they probably will.
Ricciardi should have probably not talked as much about dealing Halladay as much as he did -- I would have said nothing publicly aside from the "we always listen to offers" line -- but by this point you can set your watch by J.P. putting his foot in his mouth. What no one has adequately explained to me yet is why it was so, so, so important to trade Roy Halladay. At least so important that not doing so justifies canning the GM.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 3:45pm
As you probably saw today, Joe Posnanski has been offered a Senior Writer gig at SI, and will be leaving permanent employment at the Kansas City Star. Great news for a great writer.
One issue, though. Posnanski says he'll keep the blog. I assume it will stay independent, but one can't help but think that either (a) that will change soon; or (b) even if it doesn't, he will be given much more latitude to write more free-form stuff at SI now that he's permanent.
Now, if you read SI stories (like this one), you quickly notice the little "story highlights" capsule to the right of the headline that kind of gives you the first-week-1L-case-brief version of the story. Assuming Joe does get more bloggy/informal at SI, this could present a problem. Specifically, I can't help but think that the people who write the "story highlights" are going to commit mass suicide after the first time they have to distill a 7,500-word, 17-subject, 4-Posterisk post into three bullet points, one of which probably has to reference Skyline Chili per Posnanski's contract.
But good luck all the same, Joe. The staffers' lives are in your hands.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 4:09pm
So a month or so ago I was asked by the New York Post to review Marty Appel's new Thurman Munson biography. They sent me the book. I read it. Liked it. I wrote a review. Then I traded the book to Jason at IIATMS for a Chipper Jones jersey he didn't want anymore (query: what the hell is a Yankees fan doing with a Chipper Jones jersey anyway?). Pretty sweet deal all around (I think I got the better end of the trade, though).
Sadly, the review never ran, which happens sometimes. At least I think it never ran, because it never showed up on the Post's website and I can't find it online anywhere. Despite this, I just received a check in the mail for the full review fee (not a spike fee), which is strange even if the thing did run, because I am a procrastinator and I had neglected to send in the little invoice the Post requires before a check can be cut. Very strange.
Anyway, if anyone did happen to read my Thurman Munson book review someplace, please tell me how it turned out because I'm genuinely curious.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:28pm
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Reds 4, Cubs 0: Justin Lehr? Really? The same Justin Lehr making his second career start at the age of 32? The same Justin Lehr who hadn't previously pitched in the majors since 2006, and was really, really bad when he did that? The same Justin Lehr who the Reds signed in 2007, sold to the freakin' Korean league, signed again with the Reds later in the year, was let go again and allowed to sign with the Phillies, then the Reds traded for AGAIN back in May? The same Justin Lehr who had someone updating his Wikipedia page with news of this shutout against the Cubs (CG SHO, 4 H, 4K, 1BB) mere minutes after the game went final? For Pete's sake, you gotta love baseball.
Phillies 7, Rockies 0: I don't think that anyone was truly serious about moving J.A. Happ out of the rotation in lieu of Pedro Martinez, but to the extent there was even a hint of chatter on this point, it needs to stop now (CG SHO 4 H, 10K 2 BB). Well, maybe. Damn, it's gotta be good to be a Phillies fan right now.
Brewers 4, Dodgers 1: Game story: "The final meeting of the season between the teams was played with a heavier-than-usual presence of security personnel stationed between both clubhouses before and after the game. Usually there is one security guard in front of each door. This time, there were five on the Dodgers' side and eight on the visitors' side." Prince Fielder behaved himself, but he was seen searching for a wheelbarrow and a holocaust cloak between innings, so there was genuine reason for concern.
Tigers 4, Orioles 2: Edwin Jackson gave up a two-run homer to Adam Jones in the ninth on his 117th pitch. Until then, however, it was cream cheese (8 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 8K).
Diamondbacks 4, Pirates 3: Ross Ohlendorf left with a lead, but the pen couldn't hold it for him. From the game's scoring summary in the 8th inning: "S Drew singled to center, C Tracy and A Romero scored, S Drew out stretching at second." Drew probably should have stretched before the game or at the very least kept his foot on the bag while stretching in the 8th.
Indians 8, Twins 1: Minnesota threw five guys out there -- Liriano, Dickey, Keppel, Mijares and Guerrier -- with names that sound like they belong to partisans in some European civil war or something. In fact, I'm pretty sure those were the names of the five main characters from a Hemingway novella I read back in college. I'm blanking on the title right now and don't have time to check, but trust me, those are the dudes. Keppel was a German defector -- once a mid level Weimar bureaucrat -- unhappy with the sinister influence that had come to his homeland and trying to find meaning in the world. Liriano had been close with Franco in their youth, but suffered a falling out over a woman, and now no man truly knows the reason why he fights. Dickey -- the narrator -- was a laconic American expatriate with a deep secret. Mijares and Guerrier, often mistaken for brothers, but unrelated, had met in France after the Great War and formed a life bond. At the risk of giving away the ending, I'll say that it was sad to see those two die in each others arms, their chests pierced by the same Fascist bullet, even if we knew it was inevitable from the first chapter which foreshadowed their doom. Why yes, I was drinking a little last night as I wrote this. Why do you ask?
Rays 6, Red Sox 4: Bad night all around for the Sox as first Penny gets beat up (6 IP, 6 H, 5 ER) and then Jason Bay leaves the game with a hamstring injury. Sutcliffe made this one as unwatchable as usual. I didn't click off, however, until the promos for the upcoming games were announced: we're watching the Sox tonight, we'll get the Sox on Sunday, and then the Sox on Monday. ESPN: Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is Red.
Yankees 8, Blue Jays 4: It was all chips and gravy for the Jays until the seventh, but then Swisher homered, Cano doubled, Matsui knocked him in, Molina walked, then Damon knocked in Matsui and Texeira knocked in Molina. Now come the Red Sox. They get Smoltz first, so there's a good chance that the winning streak gets stretched to four.
Braves 6, Padres 2: Tommy Hanson is from San Berdoo (did the mullet tip you off?), so this was kind of like homecoming for him. Kevin Kouzmanoff was far more welcoming, however, as he hit into three double plays, including one that got Hanson out of a tight spot in the first. The Braves had 14 hits, every one of them singles, which is not something you see every day.
Nationals 5, Marlins 4: Wow, four wins in a row for for the Nats. Back to back homers by Zimmerman and Dunn in the first set the tone.
Giants 10, Astros 6: You really aren't living right if you give up ten runs on 13 hits to the Giants. Joe Martinez wins his first ever major league start. Eli Whiteside, filling in for Molina unit #3VH162, which required some routine maintenance, hit a grand slam.
Mets 9, Cardinals 0: Jonathon Niese tore his hamstring -- like really tore it and needs it repaired with surgery -- and is now done for the year. Man, it's tough to be a Met this season. His teammates weren't fazed, though, and put the hurt on the Cards. Angel Pagan did a lot of the hurting, going 3-4 with four RBI.
Mariners 11, Royals 6: I still can't fathom why Posnanski wants to give up getting paid to watch this team play every night. I mean, he'll probably still watch them, but now he'll do it for free.
Athletics 7, Rangers 5: Adam Kennedy, Scott Hairston, Kurt Suzuki and Cliff Pennington all went yard for Oakland, with Kennedy's two-run blast serving as a difference maker in the sixth. Dallas Bradan was supposed to start but didn't because he "had a swollen left ankle, which developed from a rash caused by a Neoprene guard used to protect his big toe when pitching." I hate it when that happens.
White Sox 6, Angels 2: HI MY NAME IS JI
AND I HIT TWO HOME RUNS IN THIS GAME.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:40am
Jason has some very sound advice for Joba Chamberlain tonight.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 9:34am
Sorry no "exile" post today, but the URLs are going to be all screwed up over at NBC anyway as they're doing a platform changeover sometime today. Good news: no more Newsvine and no more "Continue reading this entry" prompt when none is needed. Bad news: as with all changeovers, there is some minor disruption. You can probably still see the stuff I wrote if you click over there, however. I'm particularly happy with the "swagger" thing.
I have a brief meeting to attend and some lunch to grab, but I'll be back in a bit.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 12:54pm