Craig Calcaterra

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Major League Baseball told players not to use personalized bat stickers anymore


You may not have noticed this but some players use little personalized stickers on the handles of their bat. Most notably Matt Duffy, who has a little Duff Man sticker on his, but other guys have them too.

Or should I say “had.” Neither Duffy nor anyone else can sport them this year. Why? Because, reports Alex Pavolovic of, MLB has put its foot down:


That is a Goodell move, to be sure. Either way, I can’t see the reason for this. I know Major League Baseball has, in the past, been sensitive about corporate logos and stuff, but bat makers don’t put those on the handle. They’re on the barrel. I can’t see how it could interfere with the use of the bat either, nor how it might serve as some cover for cheating or chicanery of any kind.

Maybe they’re just worried about another Billy Ripken situation? It’s been nearly 30 years. We’re due.


The Phillies extend Pete Mackanin through 2017, with an option for 2018

Pete Mackanin

When Pete Mackanin replaced Ryne Sandberg last June he was originally given an “interim” title. Then, in September, he was named the team’s permanent manager, with a deal that took him through 2016. Despite a 37-51 record under him, the Phillies must like what they’ve seen from Mackanin, because today they announced that he’s been given a contract extension: he’s now signed through 2017 with a club option for 2018. Previously 2017 was covered by a team option.

A good move for Philly, as Mackanin has been a stabilizing force at a time of much organizational upheaval. Sandberg left under a cloud and then the entire front office was revamped and a tear-down rebuild embarked upon. There’s still a long way to go before that rebuild bears fruit in the form of a winning big league ballclub, but there has been little if any strife from the Phillies’ dugout and Mackanin, an old hand who has served the Phillies a long time, coaching from 2009 through 2012 and again in 2014 through last year and up to the present, can take responsibility for that.

The Cubs had actual cubs in camp today

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Associated Press

The wacky antics of Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs continue apace. Today it wasn’t mimes or guitar players or custom vans or tying a strength and conditioning coach to a chair. It was just cubs. Actual bear cubs. The cute fuzzy kind.

Not that everything about them was wonderful. As Patrick Mooney of reports, one of the bears got a little too excited and peed on Anthony Rizzo.

Respect the game, baby bear.