Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Another injury to the Red Sox’ rotation: Drew Pomeranz goes down

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Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz has walked off the mound before the start of fourth inning in today’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The reason: tightness in his left triceps.

One hopes that the chilly, rainy conditions was more to blame than a serious problem. It’s worth noting, however, that Pomeranz had the same issue in spring training, leaving a game with a tight triceps on March 19. It didn’t sideline him long, with him making his first regular season start on April 7.

Pomeranz had given up two runs on three hits in three innings this afternoon. The Red Sox went on to lose it big, thanks to a seven-run inning by the Rays. On the year Pomeranz is 3-2 with a 5.29 ERA with 39Ks and 14 walks in 34 innings.

Steve Palermo — umpire, hero — passes away at age 67

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Major League Baseball has announced that retired umpire Steve Palermo has passed away at the age of 67.

Palermo broke into the majors as an ump late in the 1976 season and was a full-time umpire through the middle of the 1991 season. On July 7 of that year his on-field career was cut short, however, when he was shot in the back while he and fellow umpire Rich Garcia intervened to stop a mugging of two waitresses outside a restaurant near Dallas following a Texas Rangers game. It was an act that would define his life and legacy.

Palermo sustained a bullet wound to his spinal cord, paralyzing him from the waist down. While it was first thought he would never walk again, just over three months later he threw out the first pitch at a World Series game with the aid of a cane and leg braces. He would later serve as supervisor of major league umpires, worked as a motivational speaker and did some pregame TV work for the New York Yankees, in addition to charitable work and further ceremonial duties with Major League Baseball.

Our thoughts go out to Palermo’s family, friends and loved ones.

Jeff Francoeur to get a tryout as a Braves TV analyst

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Jeff Francoeur has not officially retired, but nor has he attracted any interest from any clubs, so out in the wilderness he wanders, the world’s friendliest, most positive free agent.

But assuming no club comes a-calling before early June, he’ll have something to do: according to Mark Bowman, he’s going to be a commentator for some Braves games on Fox Sports South. His first game will be June 5.

He’ll probably do pretty well in the role. I’ve talked to him a few times now and he comes across as a thoughtful guy who thinks about what he’s going to say rather than merely spouting cliches. He’s well-spoken and telegenic. Based on his skills and faults as a player I don’t imagine he’ll have super insightful things to say about plate discipline or the whole batter-pitcher dance, but he may have a lot to say about defense. That’s just a guess, of course. After all, Joe Morgan might’ve had the highest baseball IQ in baseball history as a player but it never really translated to his commentator work. Maybe Frenchie will be a revelation.

Either way, he can’t be worse than Joe Simpson, who has been sitting in that chair for decades offering something far less than great insight. As such I welcome Jeff Francoeur to the Braves broadcast booth.