Anna at Petco Park

Guest Post: Anna Calcaterra on baseball


My kids are home from school today. Again. Darn winter weather. They have not had a full five-day school week since before Christmas. And, frankly, it’s getting on my nerves. I told them this morning that I have to work and that they need to not be crazy.

My ten year-old daughter Anna — known to some of you around here as Mookie — asked me if it would help me out if she wrote something today. I figured, heck, what’s the worst thing that could happen? So I said yes. She wrote up the following post. The only thing I did on it was the formatting. I was going to insert some A-Rod rhetoric, but she told me to give it a rest. Kids.

Please, warm weather, come back soon. — Craig


My dad is Craig Calcaterra. This is about his job.

He goes “typity-type-type-type” about basity-base-base-ball all day. It’s true. Not kidding. Lots of people think that’s all he does. To prove it, here is a quote from my brother Carlo:

I think his brain’s gonna melt out if he keeps typity-type-type-typing on the computer all day. And he likes the letter “B” a lot. Baseball. Beer. Bourbon. Batman. And his favorite color is blue.

I told him this had to be about baseball so I stopped him.

Anyway, my dad asked me if I had any thoughts about baseball to share. So here are a few:

  • I went to a Columbus Clippers-Charlotte Knights baseball game once and shook my butt when the music was playing and it got up on the big screen on the scoreboard.
  • I once saw Carlos Santana hit a grand slam at a Clippers game. I don’t really remember this because I was young but my dad reminded me of it last week.
  • My first major league game was in 2012. It was in San Diego. The Padres played the Texas Rangers. The Rangers won. My uncle Curt went with us too. Major league stadiums are bigger than minor league stadiums.
  • Even though I think my dad and his job are lame, I think baseball is cool.

Wasn’t this better than what my dad usually writes?



The international draft is all about MLB making money and the union selling out non-members

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 13:  A fan flies the Dominican Republic flag during the game against Cuba during Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic on March 13, 2006 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Getty Images

On Monday we passed along a report that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA are negotiating over an international draft. That report — from ESPN’s Buster Olney — cited competitive balance and the well-being of international free agents as the reasons why they’re pushing for the draft.

We have long doubted those stated motivations and said so again in our post on Monday. But we’re just armchair skeptics when it comes to this. Ben Badler of Baseball America is an expert. Perhaps the foremost expert on international baseball, international signings and the like. Today he writes about a would-be international draft and he tears MLB, the MLBPA and their surrogates in the media to shreds with respect to their talking points.

Of course Badler is a nice guy so “tearing to shreds” is probably putting it too harshly. Maybe it’s better to say that he systematically dismantles the stated rationale for the international draft and makes plan what’s really going on: MLB is looking to save money and the players are looking to sell out non-union members to further their own bargaining position:

Major League Baseball has long wanted an international draft. The driving force behind implementing an international draft is for owners to control their labor costs by paying less money to international amateur players, allowing owners to keep more of that money . . . the players’ association doesn’t care about international amateur players as anything more than a bargaining chip. It’s nothing discriminatory against foreign players, it’s just that the union looks out for players on 40-man rosters. So international players, draft picks in the United States and minor leaguers who make less than $10,000 in annual salary get their rights sold out by the union, which in exchange can negotiate items like a higher major league minimum salary, adjustments to the Super 2 rules or modifying draft pick compensation attached to free agent signings.

Badler then walks through the process of how players are discovered, scouted and signed in Latin America and explains, quite convincingly, how MLB’s international draft and, indeed, its fundamental approach to amateurs in Latin America is lacking.

Read this. Then, every time a U.S.-based writer with MLB sources talks about the international draft, ask whether they know something Ben Badler doesn’t or, alternatively, whether they’re carrying water for either the league or the union.

President Bill Murray speaks about the Cubs from the White House

CHICAGO - APRIL 12:  Celebrity Bill Murray clowns around with Chicago media before the opening day game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 12, 2004 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Pirates defeated the Cubs 13-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images

I don’t know why Bill Murray is in Washington today. I don’t know why he’s at the White House. But I do know that he was there in Chicago Cubs gear, standing at the lectern in the press briefing room, voicing his full confidence in the Cubs prevailing in the NLCS, despite the fact that Clayton Kershaw is going for the Dodgers tomorrow night.

“Too many sticks,” president Murray said of the Cubs lineup. And something about better trees in Illinois.

Four. More. Years.