<span class="vcard">Craig Calcaterra</span>

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The Cubs spring training facility to be named after a toilet flush valve company


I’m sure the Sloan Valve Company makes other things now, but they were put on the map by “the introduction of the Royal flushometer, a valve to release a measured amount of water to flush a urinal or toilet.” Now they’re literally on the map in Mesa, Arizona, having purchased the naming rights to the Cubs’ spring training complex:

Sloan Park will be the new name of what had been known as Cubs Park since the facility opened in 2014.

The Franklin Park commercial plumbing company, which makes flush valves and other restroom products, will become one of the Cubs’ “legacy” partners and have fixed signage in the visiting bullpen at Wrigley Field.

Which will be handy if and when they finish a really crappy year and start looking forward to next spring.

Pedro Martinez still holds a grudge against Jorge Posada because he insulted Martinez’s mother


A lot to unpack here, but this New York Daily News story quotes Pedro Martinez saying that he still holds one baseball grudge: Jorge Posada. Why?

There was never much doubt that Pedro Martinez relished the idea of intimidating Yankee hitters and plunking them when he felt like it. On Wednesday he admitted the one guy with whom he considered it personal was Jorge Posada . . . “Between Latinos you don’t mention anybody’s mother,” Pedro said. “And I never forgot that one. To this day.”

The story has the details, all of which were tied up in the famous 2003 brawl between the Yankees and Red Sox which ended with Don Zimmer face down on the turf.

I wish, instead of plunking people, Pedro had just responded with that old “Hey now, let’s just get off of mothers . . . let’s just get OFF of mothers . . .” joke, but I suppose it’s ancient history at this point.

UPDATE: The video of Pedro’s comments:

Alan Trammell is fine with not making the Hall of Fame

Alan Trammell

Alan Trammell is not going to make the Hall of Fame via the Baseball Writers Association of America. But he has made his peace with that. From the Detroit News:

“I know I could play,” he said over the phone Wednesday. “I also know what I accomplished in my career. I’m comfortable with all of that. If I come up short in the voting, as I’ve been doing, that’s something out of my control. It’s not going to change me.”

It’s good of Trammell to say something diplomatic like that rather than reveal the truth: that the voters have it in for him because of his membership in the Bull Moose Party. Schilling knows what I’m talkin’ about.

Anyway, I’m content to be more mad about this than Trammell is. As my friend Mike Ferrin likes to say, he and Whitaker shoulda been inducted into Cooperstown together, giving their acceptance speech while riding a tandem bicycle.

A.J. Pierzynski will fight a guy for you


A.J. Pierzynski was introduced as the Braves’ latest acquisition yesterday, and he was in character. From Mark Bowman of MLB.com:

“I’ll do whatever it takes to help my team win,” Pierzynski said. “If you need me to fight the guy, I’ll fight the guy. I’ll do whatever it takes because I want to win the game. For three hours, I don’t care who is pitching [against my team]. Mark Buehrle is one of my good friends. But when we’re facing him, I want to kill him. Then afterwards, we’ll go out and get a beer.”

That pretty much captures what Pierzynski has been about his whole career. He probably does the back-and-forth thing better than a lot of players, which is part of why he’s always been more polarizing, but you don’t last in baseball until you’re 38 if people within the game think you’re a complete jackass. At least you don’t if you’re not a superstar. Which is to say that, while a lot of fans hate Pierzynski, people inside the game probably grok what he’s all about.

He is rather fascinating, though. Probably the closest thing baseball has to a hockey goon. Put some glasses on him and he’s a Hanson Brother.

Here’s one way for Jeff Bagwell to get into the Hall of Fame . . .

Jeff Bagwell

Shocked Craig Biggio made the Hall of Fame, dudes. I mean, look at him in this picture and look at him now. The guy had over 100 pounds of extra weight and was several inches taller when he played! Steroids are nothing. This guy had the Super Soldier Serum!