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

Madison Bumgarner Getty

Madison Bumgarner is the Associated Press’ Male Athlete of the Year


Actually, three baseball players finished one, two and three in the AP’s voting for “Male Athlete of the Year.” The vote, cast by U.S. editors and news directors, went like this: 1. Madison Bumgarner; 2. Clayton Kershaw; and 3. Derek Jeter.

Bumgarner winning means that the postseason matters an awful lot to editors and news directors. Jeter coming in third means that column inches matters a lot too. Imagine that.



The Mariners are still considering Seth Smith

Seth Smith Padres

The Padres have [frantically taps numbers on an adding machine, looks at the tape readout] a gabillion outfielders, and Seth Smith is one of them. Given that one cannot play a gabillion outfielders at a time — Mayo Smith and Mickey Stanley are not walking through that door — they probably need to trade one of them. One with some value is Seth Smith and he has been rumored to be going any number of places.

Last night Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reported that Smith “is still a player the Mariners are considering,” and suggests that offers have been made.

Smith hit .266 with 12 homers and an .807 OPS in 136 games this past season. The Padres still may keep him because, despite being one of a gabillion, he’s one of the only ones who hit left-handed, but expect a lot of rumors about him in the meantime.

Brett Myers is a singer now. His single is called “Kegerator”

Brett Myers Getty

If you thought that league average pitching and overlooked domestic violence was all that Brett Myers was about, you couldn’t be more wrong. He’s also a singer.

He has a single out. It’s called “Kegerator.” It’s the touching tale of a guy who drank so much beer that his wife kept hassling him so he bought a kegerator and now all his wife sees is one glass instead of a bunch of empty cans. And now he and his friends are “as happy as can be” because their wives are fooled. I wish I was making that up, but I’m not.

Lord help the wife character in the song if she finds out her husband has been hiding his binge drinking and confronts him about it.

The Braves’ “Plan B” for B.J. Upton is pretty hilarious

B.J. Upton

Joel Sherman’s latest notes column passes along something hilarious. It’s the Braves’ plan B in case B.J. Upton continues to stink. Sherman himself calls it “comical” in the sub-hed, and I have to agree with him. Get this:

Privately, the Braves are saying they will not tolerate more of the same and keep feeding Upton consistent at-bats. In fact, Upton has fallen so far that Atlanta would consider a Plan B that is a platoon between Yankees castoff Zoilo Almonte and Todd Cunningham, whose eight major league at-bats came in 2013.

I’d be up for that. Heck, Almonte’s career line of .211/.242/.282 in 149 plate appearances is only a tick below what Upton has done over his past two full seasons. And he has the added benefit of not being B.J. Upton, meaning that I’m way less likely to pull out a .38 and shoot my television when he comes on the screen. So really, it is an improvement.


Athletics, Padres, Yankees and Nats are players for Hector Olivera

cuba hat

Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that the Athletics, Padres, Yankees and Nationals are all players for Cuban second baseman Hector Olivera.

Olivera, 29, defected back in September. He has yet to be cleared by the U.S. government so it’s still not time for him to sign. He also has some health concerns, having missed considerable playing time with thrombosis in his left biceps, keeping him out of international competition. In club play this past season he hit .316 with an .886 OPS and had more walks than strikeouts. His bat isn’t a question, just his age and health.