Author: Craig Calcaterra

Braves ballpark

The Braves want to emulate the “Coors Field Experience”


Nothing in this article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about how the Braves want to emulate the Coors Field experience is inaccurate. Coors Field is, I am told, wonderful. The area around the ballpark, I am told, has become fantastic. It’s a true revitalization effort of a once-blighted neighborhood, the likes of which are always promised when a new ballpark goes up but which, in almost every case that is not Coors Field, either does not come to pass or does not come to pass without crushing and/or screwing over the taxpayers. And the Coors Field thing may very well have screwed over taxpayers, I’m not sure.

But it does seem strange to me for anyone to expect that kind of thing to happen where the Braves are building their new park. In the suburbs. Next to a mall. In an area that is not served by public transportation. And which is characterized, outside the area of the mall, but freeways and multi-line arterial roads. That’s not a recipe for something walkable and, like Coors Field, prone to development that will bring in residents and entertainment-seekers at times when there are no baseball games.

What it would be, at best, is an amusement park. One that, like Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyworld, might have sidewalks and shops and restaurants and stuff, but will be a simulacrum of an urban ballpark and neighborhood. One that still will require and rely on big parking lots and people heading there specifically for the ballgame, not one that is even arguably organic.

Tony Bosch said Scott Boras suggested a Manny Ramirez PED coverup. Boras adamantly denies it

Kansas City Royals v Houston Astros

Yesterday, Newsday published a report in which Biogenesis ringleader Anthony Bosch claimed that Scott Boras tried to concoct a ridiculous coverup story for Manny Ramirez back in 2009 when he tested positive for PEDs.

Bosch said Boras arranged the meeting after Ramirez tested positive for banned substances in 2009. Boras, according to Bosch, came up with an explanation for the failed test that involved Ramirez accidentally using an elderly uncle’s testosterone cream because he thought it was aftershave.

Boras released a statement thereafter adamantly denying such a thing. Indeed, he says he’s never even met Tony Bosch and never even heard of him until after the Ramirez story broke:

Personally, I tend to take sides of the people who aren’t admitted drug dealers. I also give Boras enough credit to not come up with something so boneheaded in the first place. Actually, the first place I’d give Boras credit is to realize that no excuse, be it plausible or silly, would help Ramirez in this situation given that baseball’s drug discipline system is a strict liability thing which has no room for excuse, by design.

As for Bosch: his life was improved pretty dramatically by dropping the dime on famous baseball figures. Maybe he feels like if he still does it that things will get even better.

MLB declares Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada a free agent


Nineteen year-old Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada has officially been declared a free agent by Major League Baseball. The last barrier to him signing with a team is to be cleared by The United States Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Not that these barriers have stopped Major League Baseball’s interest in the talented young man. He has held showcases for multiple teams already and is expected to sign a deal getting him tens of millions sometime soon. Unlike older international free agents, the money given to Moncada will be subject to teams’ signing caps, so it will represent a considerable risk. However, he is considered to be well worth it.

Terry Collins expects the Mets to make the playoffs in 2015

Terry Collins

He actually said “we should be playing in October,” which, yes, obviously, because the regular season doesn’t end until October 4. But he wasn’t being cutesy about it. He was referring to the Mets playing in the playoffs. Indeed, he expects it:

“We should be playing in October . . . Our young guys are starting to grow, with the addition of some offense, and … we’re not done. I don’t think Sandy by any means [is done] . . . we’re going to make some more moves before spring training starts . . . I think 2015 is going to be a good year for us.”

The Mets are likely to be a popular pick to improve greatly next year, especially if Alderson does add some more offense. The young pitching is fantastic and Matt Harvey is coming back.

For years there has been a call for patience for the team to develop. Collins is no longer content to do that. It could come back to bite him, of course, but for now it has to be encouraging to be a Mets fan and to hear this kind of positivity.

Confirmed PED-liar Andy Pettitte tells A-Rod that he just needs to come clean

Andy Pettitte

This is about as rich as it gets. Andy Pettitte telling Alex Rodriguez through the press that he should just do what Pettitte did with PEDs and come clean:

“Just get everything out,” Pettitte said Thursday night at Chelsea Piers, where he was to be a guest of honor at Joe Torre’s annual Safe at Home charity dinner. “Everything has to be out, otherwise it seems like something’s always chasing you around. That’s just the best way to do things, I think, the easiest way to do things.”

Is that really the best thing to do? Probably! But how on Earth would Andy Pettitte know? Because anyone who has paid actual attention to the PED story for the past decade can tell you that Andy Pettitte has admitted to PED use only after he has been caught, and only to the extent to which those who caught him could prove. And he has unequivocally lied about it.

Here was Pettitte in 2006, after there were rumors that his name appeared in an affidavit pitcher Jason Grimsley gave to law enforcement:

“I absolutely killed myself over my career to work as hard as I possibly can to be as good as I possibly can and have it done natural.”

Which was a lie, of course, because the following year he would be identified as a PED user in the Mitchell Report. Here was Pettitte’s statement after that came out:

“In 2002 I was injured. I had heard that human growth hormone could promote faster healing for my elbow. I felt an obligation to get back to my team as soon as possible. For this reason, and only this reason, for two days I tried human growth hormone. Though it was not against baseball rules, I was not comfortable with what I was doing, so I stopped.

“This is it — two days out of my life; two days out of my entire career, when I was injured and on the disabled list,” he said. “I wasn’t looking for an edge. I was looking to heal. . . . If I have let down people that care about me, I am sorry, but I hope that you will listen to me carefully and understand that two days of perhaps bad judgment should not ruin a lifetime of hard work and dedication. I have tried to do things the right way my entire life, and, again, ask that you put those two days in the proper context. People that know me will know that what I say is true,” he said.

The “two days in 2002” mantra was pretty good! Except it was a lie too! Because when he was put under oath before the House of Representatives a few months later and was confronted with additional evidence of PED use in 2004 — a bit after those “two days in 2002,” it seems — he copped to that too. Pettitte has never made mention of any additional PED use. The “everything” he has “just gotten out” has been precisely the two occasions on which he was caught.

I suppose, technically, it is possible that those two occasions for which there was documented evidence of his PED were the only times in his professional life that he took PEDs. But the list of people whom the media and fans have chosen to believe only took PEDs on the isolated times for which there was documented evidence has exactly one name on it, and that name is Andy Pettitte. No one else — literally no one — is believed when they make such a claim.

So forgive me if I think maybe the better advice for Alex Rodriguez would not be to “come clean” but to “be Andy Pettitte.” Because, apparently, that’s the best way for a guy to get past it all.

None of which is to criticize Pettitte as such. He has only come as clean as people have wanted him to. Which is to say, not much at all, because for whatever reason people don’t care about his drug use. To be honest, I’d prefer every player got the Pettitte treatment as opposed to the pillorying some guys get. When I think of Pettitte I think of a really good baseball player who made some mistakes which, however controversial, shouldn’t define him. I’d prefer to think of just about every other PED user that way too.

It is, however, pretty inexcusable hackery for Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York to offer up those Pettitte quotes without mentioning the fact that Pettitte himself hasn’t “come clean,” and that no one on the planet gets the benefit of the doubt he gets. Does he have no memory of the actual facts about which he is reporting? And no editor to remind him of them? Apparently not.

But I suppose me bringing this up just makes me a ‘roids apologist.