Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Ex-NBA All-Star Steve Mix is an usher at Mets spring training

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Kevin Kernan of the New York Post has a story up about Steve Mix, who played in the NBA for 13 seasons, spending time with the Pistons, 76ers, Bucks and Lakers. He spent a year in the ABA as well, before spending 22 years as a broadcaster, mostly for the Sixers.

Now he lives in Florida, and he has a retirement job: usher for the New York Mets:

“This is a great spot behind home plate, and the people are the best thing about this job,’’ Mix said. “They come in, they are friendly, they’re baseball fans. Instead of passing the ball to Julius, I’m helping ladies down to their seats and helping them back up. I have a wonderful time doing it.’’

He has a great attitude about retirement, I think, summed up by his comment, “I heard somebody say sometime, when you retire and you do nothing, how do you know when you are done?’’ Mix said of his desire to keep working. “I need that place where I can hang my hat. I just need a place where I can do something.’’

Almost everyone I’ve known who kept busy in their retirement, one way or another, had happier and healthier golden years. The people who don’t find a way to occupy themselves, less so.

Must-Click Link: Is Brady Anderson creating problems in Baltimore?

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Brady Anderson hasn’t played in a big league game since 2002, but he has a locker in the Orioles clubhouse and dresses with the team.

Which would be fine if he were on the coaching staff and reported to Buck Showalter. But he isn’t — not exactly, anyway — and doesn’t. He’s actually the Vice President of Baseball Operations which, theoretically, makes him the second-in-command of the Orioles front office. And he’s a close confidant of Orioles owner Peter Angelos, seemingly answerable only to him.

Today Ken Rosenthal looks into Anderson’s curious role on the Orioles, and reports that it has created some friction in Baltimore. In-house everyone sings Anderson’s praises as a key member of the club, particularly with respect to strength, conditioning and nutrition, areas in which he was always ahead of the curve during his playing career and remains so. Coaches and players who have left Baltimore, however, take issue with Anderson’s alleged interference with the coaching staff and the perception that he is something of a clubhouse spy, reporting to Angelos and inserting himself into contract matters, which is not the sort of thing that people in uniform, in the clubhouse on a day-to-day basis do. Anderson denies that he plays a big role in this regard.

Where the truth lies here is likely contingent upon who is telling the story. The front office/clubhouse divide is a notoriously complicated one, with loyalties and traditions that don’t lend themselves to easy parsing. Given how much more of a role the front office has in on-the-field decisions today than it did even a decade ago, that relationship becomes even more complicated. How much of this is about that traditional divide breaking down and players reacting negatively to it? How much is it about front office overreach? It’s hard for us on the outside to know.

Either way, it’s an interesting read. And not just for what it means for Anderson and the Orioles. It tells us a lot about how clubhouses and front offices operate. Sometimes dysfunctionally.

Drew Pomeranz has another setback

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Drew Pomeranz made the All-Star team with the Padres last year and then got traded to Boston. When he was traded it was revealed that Padres GM A.J. Preller had withheld medical information about the pitcher and, in reality, had dealt damaged goods to Boston. Pomeranz was lost in the second half and then began his spring late due to rehab from treatment he had on his bum elbow last fall.

He finally got on with his spring training routine and made a one start, but after being taken out of his second start early yesterday, he now he seems to be off the tracks again. The culprit: tightness in his tricep of his pitching arm. It’s unclear when he’ll pitch again and, at this point, he’s unlikely to be ready to start the season.

What a trade that’s turning out to be. And now, less than a year later, you can go up on a steep hill and look West toward San Diego, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.