Craig Calcaterra

Hall Of Fame Baseball

Bert Blyleven dropped some smack talk on Detroit

52 Comments

I see you trollin’, Bert:

In other news, Blyleven was born in Zeist, Netherlands, which features this lovely structure:

source:

Which sort of looks like this, no?

source:

And, of course, Blyleven resides in Minneapolis, which is home to these buildings, which even Brutalist architecture experts think are brutal:

source:

The fact of the matter here, Bert, is that we all live in cities with flaws of some sort. And if you live in a glass, well, whatever that ugly-ass building is in Zeist, you shouldn’t throw stones.

Must-click link: “This is what domestic abuse looks like”

FILE: Seattle Designates Milton Bradley For Assignment
57 Comments

Former big leaguer Milton Bradley was a combustable presence on the field and a violent man off of it. We knew this because we read the news reports of his multiple arrests and controversies. Anyone who remembers him will remember him as a bad guy.

But even if we knew that he was a bad guy, we probably didn’t think too hard about how bad a guy he was. I think we do that with most athletes who get in trouble, actually. We think of players as good seeds or bad seeds and think the good guys are generally all alike and the bad guys are generally all alike. But we don’t think too hard about the specific behavior which gets a guy labeled a bad seed. Especially guys who aren’t in the game anymore. Was he the drunk guy or the guy who was caught with the prostitute? Was he the guy who got in the bar fights or the guy who hit his wife that time? It all blends together to some extent. They aren’t important people to our daily lives. They’re just jocks and entertainers.

Sometimes, however, we’re reminded of just how bad a seed someone can be. Today we’re reminded of how bad Milton Bradley is in the form of this article in Sports Illustrated. It’s not an editorial. It’s not an argument against him or a profile of him. It’s nothing more than four pages setting forth legal records, and straightforward testimony — interspersed with some factual context from the news — about his abuse of his late wife, Monique Bradley.  Some of it is her testimony in legal proceedings or affidavits. Some of it are Bradley’s own statements. All of it paints a horrifying picture of what life was like for Monique Bradley and her children as a result of Milton Bradley’s violence, threats and abuse.

If you go back and Google Bradley, you quickly learn of his arrests for beating and attempting to strangle his wife. His eventual conviction for domestic violence, which included battery, assault with a deadly weapon and death threats. You learn that, in September 2013, Monique Bradley died at the age of 33. This is all information that, even if we forgot or never knew, we can quickly ascertain without much effort. We can obtain basic information like this about all of the other bad seeds too. And then we can, as we so often and somewhat understandably do, forget what few details we know and go on with our own lives.

But after learning the details of Milton Bradley’s violence as set forth in this article, it’ll be much, much harder to forget them. And much, much harder for anyone who reads them to casually dismiss the next athlete we hear of who commits an act of domestic violence as one of the many bad seeds around, worthy of no more scrutiny than the other bad seeds.

The Brewers’ Double-A team is going on a 55-game road trip

Old Bus
22 Comments

You can wait until your new ballpark is built to move cities, or you can move with the expectation that the park will be built by the time the season starts. The Brewers’ Double-A team, the Biloxi Shuckers, chose the latter course. The park isn’t done yet, however, so they’re going on a 55-game road trip to start the season:

The team is piling on a bus for a mammoth road swing through the Southeast: Pensacola-Mobile-Jacksonville-Pensacola-Huntsville-Jackson (Mississippi)-Jackson (Tennessee)-Huntsville-Chattanooga-Birmingham . . . The expected toll: 60 straight nights in a hotel, 55 games, nine different cities and some frayed nerves.

That list of cities reads like the lyrics to five Lucinda Williams songs.

Those poor Shuckers.

Introducing the San Francisco Mariners

Technical Difficulties
12 Comments

Deadspin notes that the intro to the Cubs’ local broadcast had some errors yesterday. Things like moving the Mariners to San Francisco and misspelling “Cincinnati,” “Milwaukee” and “Washington.” There’s video evidence over there.

Hey, mistakes happen. And it’s spring training for broadcasters too.

*someone whispers in my ear*

OK, it’s not spring training anymore. But mistakes do happen.

The Astrodome turns 50 today

Image (1) Astrodome.jpg for post 6763
22 Comments

They don’t play baseball anymore. Heck, they don’t do anything there anymore. But the Astrodome turns 50 years-old today, and to celebrate it the place is going to be open to the public for the first time in a long time. It won’t be much of a tour — the building is falling apart as folks debate its future — but there will festivities in the plaza outside the park.

It was April 9th, 1965 when the Astros defeated the New York Yankees with a 2-1 victory, playing the first game in a domed stadium in baseball history. Three days later the first regular season game was held. In the decades after some history happened there. Some movies were filmed there. And, if you’re from Houston, a lot of memories were formed there as well.

At the time it opened the place was called the Eighth Wonder of the World. And it had some seriously awesome mid-century modern design flourishes going on which made it a pretty darn spiffy example of the space age aesthetic. But for all of the awe it inspired, it’s worth remembering that, unless they somehow hit that sweet spot where nostalgia and cash flow come together like Fenway and Wrigley, sports facilities have a shelf life. Eventually it went out of date and out of fashion and now it stands crumbling. More of an inspiration for other, hopefully more enduring domed facilities than an example of something wonderful in and of itself.

But it certainly — and quite literally — changed the game. And for that it’s worth celebrating its 50th birthday. Even if it’s not looking all that great for 50.

(Thanks to STex52 for the reminder)