Craig Calcaterra


Who watches the watchers?


I won’t say much about the substance of this because, um, it’s about me in large part and that’s kind of awkward. But know that Rob Neyer has a column up over at Fox’s JABO in which he talks about how I rip other baseball writers on occasion. He asks whether that’s legitimate, necessary, polite and stuff like that.

For my part I have, in the past, explained why I do it. Just last week I did here, and years ago I did here and here. I think most of the time I’m pretty straight forward about my motives for doing so.

All of that said, Rob gets a few jabs in, and they’re fair jabs. If anything he could’ve criticized me more as, on occasion, I’m kind of a jerk, but we’ll take it for what it is. Ultimately, though, if you’re the sort of S.O.B. who criticizes others, you sure as hell can’t call foul when you’re criticized back.

If anything, I’d love it if more people in media did criticize me back, at least on the substance of my work and ideas. Maybe it’s easier to go along and get along, but real advances in any walk of life are made when peers respectfully disagree and challenge one another. Writing about baseball should be no different.

Yankees minor leaguer Wilking Rodriguez suspended 80 games for PEDs

Yankees logo

From the blotter:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that New York Yankees Minor League right-handed pitcher Wilking Rodriguez has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Furosemide, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Furosemide is a diuretic which, I’ll assume anyway, is used to mask or flush other stuff out of the system. Unless peeing a lot is a performance enhancing thing. I dunno. Athletes are weird. A guy peeing while on the mound would certainly throw the other team off guard and maybe give him an advantage.

Rodriguez, who pitched for a nanosecond for the Royals last season, plays for Scranton. Or he will, maybe, after he sits out 80 games.

Justin Verlander cut his simulated game short

Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander, who has been dealing with a triceps strain, only went three innings in a simulated game Wednesday. He was supposed to go four.

  • Best case scenario: the simulated hitters mounted a simulated rally, forcing the simulated manager to go to the simulated pen.
  • Worst case scenario: his triceps did not respond well to the work.

He was supposed to be able to pitch early next week, but it seems doubtful now.

UPDATE: It’s now being reported that his simulated game was cut short because of fatigue. Which is way better than pain or injury, but also suggests that he may not be ready to start a regular season game on schedule and, rather, could use some rehab outings first.

Great Moments in Misguided Social Media Efforts: “Retweet to thank Jackie Robinson!”

jackie robinson

Major League Baseball’s social media efforts are often funny. Sometimes clever. Mostly neutral. That’s actually a pretty good batting average for corporate social media which, often, is a total disaster.

But sometimes even the All-Stars strike out:

What if I merely “fav” this? Does that give Robinson less of a “thank you” and more of a polite but cool nod? If I mute the MLB account because of this sort of misguided stuff, am I a latter day Ben Chapman?

Please, someone tell me how my social media habits communicate my feelings toward historical events.

Trevor Bauer has started the year off with nine no-hit innings and 15 strikeouts

Trevor Bauer

In his season debut, Indians starter Trevor Bauer tossed six no-hit innings, but had to leave because he walked too many dudes and threw too many pitches. Today against the White Sox, Bauer is at it again, having tossed three no-hit innings in the afternoon contest.

The line between the two games, courtesy of Jordan Bastian of 9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 7 BB, 15 K, 157 pitches.

At the rate he’s going today — 46 pitches in three innings — he won’t finish this one off either, hits allowed or otherwise. But not bad all the same.