Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Video: Jason Kipnis takes out ketchup in the Indians hot dog race

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A lot of times those mascot races between innings at the ballpark are rigged. I know, I’m shocked too, but they are.

Sometimes you’ll see two mascots gang up on a third. Sometimes they’ll get outside help, professional wrestling-style, to sabotage whoever is in the lead. There’s just no integrity to that whole business. Someone ought to do something about it because corruption in all forms is bad.

Sometimes though there are actual accidents. Like when the race goes on so long that it interferes with the players taking the field in between innings and your star second baseman runs into the freakin’ ketchup mascot during the hot dog race:

It’s all fun and games as long as the underpaid intern in the hot dog suit hits the deck. If Kipnis tore his ACL we’d be having a different conversation, I’m sure.

Craig Sager threw out the first pitch at Wrigley yesterday

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Craig Sager is a broadcasting institution. Most famously for his NBA work — and for his colorful wardrobe — but he’s spent a lot of time around baseball too, of course. He most famously got an on-field interview with Hank Aaron moments after Aaron passed Babe Ruth for the all-time home run title. Sager was just a young pup then, and he still marvels that he was able to be on the spot for that moment.

Sager has recently¬†been contending with something far more serious than ballpark security these days: acute myeloid leukemia. He has continued to work, however, and no matter what the outcome, no one can say he hasn’t been living his life to the fullest and doing his all for the past couple of years.

Part of doing his all involved throwing out the first pitch at Wrigley Field last night, as well as singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch. Watch:

 

 

Hunter Pence strains his hamstring, is placed on the disabled list

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Giants outfielder Hunter Pence strained his right hamstring in the fourth inning of last night’s loss to the Braves. He’s been placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Pence will be undergoing an MRI today. Manager Bruce Bochy said that Pence’s injury is similar to the one that kept him out of action for five games at the end of May, but you never know with hamstrings. Pence is hitting .298/.375/.486 with seven homers and 36 driven in on the year.