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

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I wish Marshawn Lynch played baseball


I don’t know much about Marshawn Lynch other than, apparently, he’s good at the old footballing. But I really, really wish he played baseball now that I’ve seen how he deals with postgame press conferences.

Yes, I suppose that may be annoying for people who dutifully write down what an athlete says after a game as if it were important and illuminating. But that stuff is hardly ever important and illuminating. If you want to get into Marshawn Lynch’s brain, you research him or do a one-on-one interview with him and plumb some depths, right? You’re not going to learn what makes him tick in the postgame scrum.

Hell, he’s doing reporters a favor here. In addition to the little bit of entertaining performance art in which he is engaging, doesn’t this sort of response inspire reporters to write something more interesting about him or the game?

Phil Hughes signs a three-year extension with the Twins

Phil Hughes

Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports that Phil Hughes has agreed to a three-year, $42 million extension with the Twins.

Already under contract through 2016, he will get a raise for the next two seasons on top of the three-year extension. He was scheduled to earn $8 million in 2015 and 2016 but now he will earn $9.2 million in each of the next two seasons. Then he will make $13.2 million in each of the three seasons between 2017-19.

Hughes was excellent for the Twins in 2014, going 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA and putting up an eye-popping K/BB ratio of 182/16 in 202.2 innings. This after a terrible 2013 in New York that had many questioning whether he’d fulfill the potential he showed earlier in his career.

Fulfill it he has, and now he’ll be paid nicely for it. And, if he continues to pitch like he did this past season, the Twins will have a nice bargain on their hands.

“Baseball love, Cuban style”


Here’s a colorful slice of Cuban baseball life from Michael Powell of the New York Times. No real narrative or story. Just an afternoon watching people playing baseball in an environment very, very different from that which you and I are likely used to. It’s a good read.

Everyone talks about how the thawing of Cuban relations is going to bring more big Cuban baseball stars to the United States. It’ll be just as interesting, and probably more significant, to see how it changes the lives of everyday Cubans and Americans.

Wanna buy John Lackey’s House?

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John Lackey made between $15 million and and $18 million a year for the past several seasons. This year, because of a weird team option, he’ll make the major league minimum salary. Which I do not assume is the reason for his real estate downsizing, but let’s pretend it is anyway. This is what he’s unloading:


You can see the rest of the pictures and the listing for this Fort Worth, Texas home here. It’s . . . not a subtle place. Really, I can’t imagine how anyone lives in a house like this. Or what inspires anyone to. Even if you have a gajillion dollars in the bank.

It’s over 10,000 square feet. It has three different living rooms on the ground floor alone and four fireplaces. It has an eight car garage. It has a pool area which is insane but, because Fort Worth gets cold in the winter and Lackey works out of town between February and October, one wonders if he’s ever used it. Maybe on a road trip to play the Rangers? During the All-Star break?

To each his own, I suppose. But how does one get comfy in a house like that? Which living room do you hunker down in to watch a movie? And how far is it to go to get a refill on your drink?

In which someone describes A-Rod, B.J. Upton and Ryan Howard as potential offensive options for a team

Ryan Howard

Got an albatross hanging around your neck, GMs? Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times speculates that if everything goes just right — or just wrong, depending on your point of view — maybe the Rays will help you out.

After listing any number of available outfielders who could possibly help the Rays, Topkin drops this:

Another scenario is to wait and see which team blinks first and eats almost all the bad-contract money on a distressed veteran such as Ryan Howard, ex-Ray B.J. Upton or, dare we say it, Alex Rodriguez.

If I found a genie in a bottle, the first wish would be for health and happiness for my family, the second would be for a billion dollars but the third would almost certainly be the Rays picking up Ryan Howard, B.J. Upton and Alex Rodriguez and winning the dang World Series.