McCarver apologizes for the Nazi/Commie reference, is still wrong about the Yankees

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Good for Tim McCarver for realizing that his comparison of the Yankees to Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union was a bit much:

McCarver, a close friend of Torre’s, said Monday in an interview from
Florida that his analogies between the Yankees and the Third Reich and
Stalin’s Soviet Union were “inappropriate.”

Bad for McCarver for still beating the Yankees-need-to-do-more-to-honor-Joe-Torre drum:

But he added, “In my opinion, the underlying point here remains true:
Yankees management has erased Joe Torre from their history.” He said, “I
don’t think the Yankees have embraced the image of Joe Torre.”

I think the funniest thing about all of this is that McCarver’s particular choice of words here — “embrace the image” — puts more fascist/Stalinist imagery in my head than airbrushing people out of pictures does. I get this feeling that McCarver won’t be happy unless there are large, teeming crowds holding up giant images of Torre’s head with the words “Our Dear Leader” under it while Torre waves from a balcony in a military uniform, basking in the cult of personality that the Yankees have created for him.

OK, really all McCarver wants the Yankees to do is to retire Torre’s number: “Retiring his number would mean embracing his legacy,” he said.  I don’t suppose this is insane — the Yankees retired Yogi Berra’s number when he was managing the Mets — but it’s not like Berra (a) wrote a tell-all book before then; or (b) only had his legacy as a manager to justify his number being retired. Billy Martin’s number was retired before he was done managing too, but he wasn’t managing anyone else at the time.

Maybe Casey Stengel is the most appropriate example. His number was retired in 1970, after he was done managing but before he kicked the bucket. If that treatment was good enough for him, it’s probably good enough for Torre, no?

Angels sign Kole Calhoun to three-year, $26 million extension

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 26:  Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs to first base during a game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 26, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.

Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).

The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.

Bryce Harper lobbies for Matt Wieters and Greg Holland

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals reacts after hitting a single in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.

As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:

Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!

Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:

I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.