Author: Craig Calcaterra

longoria, edmondson

Evan Longoria watches the birth of his son via FaceTime from Japan, then hits a homer.


Viva technology. From Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times:

Rays 3B Evan Longoria watched via FaceTime on his phone from the Tokyo Dome on Saturday as fiancee Jaime Edmondson delivered a healthy baby boy in Arizona. Then in Sunday’s game, he celebrated by hitting a home run, as the MLB team won 6-1 . . .

. . . Longoria went on the tour knowing it was a possibility he would miss the birth of their second child, as Edmondson was due Nov. 18, but said she was okay with that.

I’m probably the last guy who can offer advice on what makes a lasting and fulfilling relationship, but I sorta feel like my marriage would’ve ended way sooner than it did if I had decided to take a fully voluntary business trip when my kids were due to be born. Even if my wife did say she was okay with that.

But that’s none of my business.


Great Moments in “gobbledygook”

Mike Trout

Sometimes they find villages of people who have had no contact with modern society. Sometimes, they find sports writers who have had no contact with baseball since at least the mid-90s. Here’s Jerry Green of the Detroit News, apparently advocating for Brandon Crawford for MVP or something:

And if you don’t believe they gloat, take a look at the website Five Three Eight with its numbers-ingrained copy.

We are now inundated not only by numbers, but also by initials. MVP is old-fashioned. Now we have WAR, OPS, and WHIP. WAR translates into wins above replacement which translates into gobbledygook.

The Sabremetrics fanatics are cheering because Trout finally is the MVP. That award was totally deserved — this past season — because his ballclub finally finished in first place in its division. Not because he led all comers in WAR . . . I now have an offering for the Sabremetrics fanciers. They should add a category — PUP. PUP is quite simple. It stands for Performance Under Pressure.

While highly mockable — especially his consistent misspelling of “sabermetrics,”  I don’t offer this link just for mocking purposes. I offer it to point out that Mr. Green here has a Hall of Fame vote and will use it this winter. And that there are many folks like him who likewise have Hall of Fame votes.


The Padres are in on Pablo Sandoval


“People ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I look askance at rumors that have the Padres in on major free agents.” — Rogers Hornsby

We’ve heard about the Red Sox and the Giants’ interest in signing Pablo Sandoval. There are also some rumors about the Blue Jays and White Sox. Jon Heyman says there is a fifth team in on Pablo Sandoval:

The Padres have interest in Pablo Sandoval, expanding the field of known interested teams in the star third baseman to five . . . But the Padres have seen Sandoval up close in the NL West, and it’s no surprise they like him. Sandoval hit .279 with 16 home runs and 73 RBI this year, but he did his best work in the postseason again.

Not sure I’d wager more than what change I can find in my couch cushions on the Padres doing anything on this.  And I’m not at all sure why Sandoval would go to a team that isn’t really expected to compete in 2015 which plays in a park that would sap his offense even more than AT&T Park does.

Joe Maddon wants to be “friends” with Rick Renteria

Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon went on a Chicago radio show yesterday morning and said that he wants to be friends with Rick Renteria. You know, the guy he displaced as Cubs manager.

“I did try to call Rick and I left him a message,” Maddon told the Kap & Haugh Show on Friday morning. “But I have not heard back so that’s where that is that. I’m just looking forward to the moment when I can speak with him, and when I do speak with him I just want him to understand exactly where I’m coming from with this whole thing . . .  In the future I’d like to be able to sit down and talk with him and hopefully we can become friends because I don’t really know Rick but we have some common buds, Buddy Black being one of them and I have heard nothing but wonderful things about him.

“I thought he did a great job last year when the Rays played the Cubs. The one thing I always gauge is how hard the other team plays, and I thought the Cubs played it hard from opening pitch to the last one and I was always impressed with that as well as the youth. So that’s a reflection on the manager. My brief window of being around him last year I thought he did a wonderful job.”

I take his words as well-intentioned. But dude, this is sort of like a guy going to his girlfriend’s ex-husband — the one she was still married to when he started messing around with her — and saying “yo, dude. Why can’t we have beers sometime?” Well, you can’t. Even if they were doomed already and it was your girlfriend’s decision to start seeing you when she was still hitched and even if you genuinely feel bad about how it all went down.

Heck, even if the ex-husband doesn’t bear you personal ill-will and even if he goes on to be happy with someone else, he’s just really, really not gonna want to be your friend. At least not for a good, long while. So maybe, you know, don’t go there. Not yet. Not ever. If he wants to be your friend, I’m sure he’ll know how to find you.

A guy you never heard of got the Giancarlo Stanton contract details before anyone

Giancarlo Stanton

This is pretty neat. Deadspin reports that a guy named Christopher Meola had all of the details about the Giancarlo Stanton contract extension first. For real! He tweeted several reporters with it and was right. He was right before Heyman and Rosenthal and everyone. And for reasons Deadspin explains in the rundown of it all, it wasn’t just some wild guess like you sometimes see from Twitter weirdos who claim they’re “insiders” with sources. Meola got the info first. He just didn’t have the platform from which to broadcast it.

Interesting. And telling, of course. Telling about the nature and value of scoops like this. Meola will, by virtue of the Deadspin story and any secondary coverage like this post, get some degree of notoriety for this. But just some. Even if the entire world saw him get this news first (which it didn’t) there wouldn’t be much value to him beyond the brief bit of notoriety. The news is the information, not the reportage of it, and now, practically speaking, belongs to everyone. It’s, as we’ve talked about before, commodity news in ways that other sorts of reporting are not. News whose source is not of general interest to the public at large, even if the news itself is.

Looked at differently, the value of a Rosenthal or a Heyman (when they’re reporting transaction news anyway) is not any individual piece of information they get, but that they get it in enough volume to where they are worth following or employing. They have lots of sources giving them lots of these stories that create a product in the aggregate, even if one of the stories isn’t terribly valuable on its own.

I dunno. Just interesting to me. A lot of effort is spent by reporters chasing scoops and commodity products in journalism. But really, only a handful of reporters get most of the stories. Then, sometimes, something weird like Christopher Meola happens.