Merry Christmas, HBT Nation

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As soon as I hit “publish” on this post, I’m going to take the family to my folks’ house for a nice Christmas Eve dinner. Then I’m going to come back, do my very best to settle Mookie and Tyrus Raymond down and get them to bed under threat of Santa skipping our house.  Then I’m going to pour a nice brown beverage into a low glass and marvel at how Donna Reed didn’t just up and leave that moody, dissatisfied workaholic Jimmy Stewart and take the family out of Bedford Falls for good (call me Donna!).  We’re not much for traditions in the Calcaterra household, but those we do have are dear to us.

Remember George, no man is a failure who has friends.  The fact that we only interact in this virtual space doesn’t mean we’re not friends. I think of that way anyway. We talk baseball. We tell jokes. We act like we’re better than people not in our little group. If that’s not friendship I don’t know what is.  The point is, I was blogging about baseball before someone paid me to do it and — don’t tell Mr. Ebersol this — I’d still be doing it even if there wasn’t a paycheck in it.  A big reason for that is all of you people, and I thank you for coming by our little shop every day.

Merry Christmas, movie house. Merry Christmas, Emporium. Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan.

Craig

Yoenis Cespedes blames a lack of golf for his early season slump

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Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.

It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.

Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:

He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.

“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”

The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.