Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Felix Hernandez to miss 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis


Felix Hernandez missed all of May and most of June with bursitis in his shoulder. He’s about to miss another month or so for the same thing: the Mariners just announced that Hernandez was diagnosed with right shoulder bursitis once again and they say he’ll miss 3-4 weeks.

Hernandez was placed on the disabled list on August 5, retroactive to August 1 after experiencing discomfort in his biceps in a July 31 start at Texas. He’s 5-4 with a 4.28 ERA this season in 13 starts. While he has been surpassed as the M’s ace by James Paxton, his loss will still be felt as Seattle fights for a Wild Card slot.

In his absence the rotation will consist of Paxton, Marco Gonzales, Erasmo Ramirez, Ariel Miranda and Yovani Gallardo.

The Postseason Schedule Was Just Announced


Major League Baseball just announced the postseason schedule. As has been the case the past couple of years, if it features a World Series Game 7, it will be played in November. On November 1 to be exact.

There have been five previous World Series with November Games. 2001 was the most memorable, of course, as Major League Baseball suspended play for six days following the September 11 attacks. In 2009 the season started late due to the World Baseball Classic. Games 4, 5 and 6 were played in November, with the Yankees winning Game 6 on November 4.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series over the Texas Rangers in 2010 in five games, with Game 5 being played on November 1. In 2015 the deciding Game 5 of the World Series took place on November 1. The series could have theoretically gone until November 4. Last year Game 6 took place on November 1 and Game 7 took place on November 2.

This year’s schedule breaks down like this:

Any time you get into late October or later the weather can be unpredictable. At the moment, the most dangerous potential playoff cities as far as weather uncertainty go are Boston, New York, Cleveland, Chicago and Denver. Washington could theoretically be dicey, but it’s just as likely to have a 60 degree late October day as it is to have a cold one. Los Angeles, Houston and Arizona are safe. Almost every team in the AL is in the Wild Card running. Minnesota and Baltimore are the only ones that present much danger, weather wise.

If we’re unlucky enough to have a snow covered Series between, say, Colorado and Boston, expect to have a long offseason conversation about things like 154-game schedules and neutral site World Series again.

Great Moments in Publicly Financed Sports Complexes


The Milwaukee Brewers spring training facility is in Maryvale, a less-than-fashionable part of Phoenix, Arizona. It’s not terribly old — built in 1998 — but that’s old by spring training standards, especially in Arizona. The park itself is kind of neat in my view. Easy to navigate, has some good food and has some good sight lines. It’s not trying to be old-timey or grander than it is. It’s a straightforward and pleasant place to watch a game. That’s all a baseball fan really needs, right?

Baseball teams, however, want so much more in their spring training facilities these days. They want development opportunities nearby — hotels and restaurants and amenities — and the ability to extract as much cash from visiting fans as possible. A straightforward ballpark in Maryvale doesn’t really do that, so the Brewers are looking for something new.

Enter the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert, which would like to lure the Brewers to a new facility there. The Brewers are willing to put up only $20 million of the $90 million cost, however. Plus they’re eying an additional $70 million investment for an adjacent development with those hotels and restaurants and retail and stuff. Who pays for the $70 million is an open question, of course.

At the moment the financing of it all is up in the air, but the great Field of Schemes noticed something fun in a recent story about it.

Gilbert commissioned some consultants to see what kind of economic benefit the facility would create for the city. The results were not quite what they expected, however, revealing that the publicly-invested dollars would not result in a worthwhile return. So, that’s that then, right? If your experts say your use of tax dollars would be a bad deal, you don’t do the deal?

Hahaha, of course not. You just get different experts!

Kathy Tilque, president and CEO of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, said the Applied Economics study was fairly limited in its scope and did not take into account the indirect economic benefits of a potential stadium.

The chamber is working with a different economic consulting firm to provide a broader economic analysis. That report should be completed soon and will be turned over to town officials for review, Tilque said.

“It would be a great thing not only for the East Valley but for Gilbert. We just need to make sure the numbers work,” she said.

There is always absurdity involved when it comes to public officials justifying their giveaways to big business and moneyed interests. It’s just usually not so obvious.

Not that this place won’t get built with tax dollars. No amount of absurdity ever seems to stop that.