Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Dave Stewart, Tony La Russa and the laughingstock that is the Diamondbacks front office


ESPN’s Keith Law wrote a column today (Insider only) ripping the Diamondbacks’ front office under Tony La Russa and Dave Stewart, whom he says have undertaken a “Reign of Error” in Arizona.

This is not your typical “Dave Stewart shouldn’t have traded Dansby Swanson or Touki Toussaint” or “The Dbacks never should have signed Zack Greinke” kind of thing. Law accuses Stewart and La Russa of basic incompetence, arguing that they have a limited understanding of the draft, bonus pools and the international signing rules and that they seem to have a poor grasp of the players in their own system, all of which has cost the club dearly.

And then there’s stuff like this:

Stewart’s unfamiliarity with the rules hasn’t just applied to the international pools. According to multiple sources, in early 2015 he tried to make a trade with another team that would have violated MLB rules, and the GM of the other team had to explain to him that such a move was not allowed.

Law says that La Russa has been no better, pointing out comments he made about Shelby Miller which “were totally inappropriate for a club official to make, whatever he was trying to imply.” He says “[t]here are good, competent people in the Diamondbacks’ baseball ops department, but they appear to have no sway over the decisions La Russa and Stewart are making.”

It’s one thing to take issue with the decisions a front office makes. It’s a totally different deal when the matter is incompetence rather than poor judgment. Law is clearly making both arguments here and, if his sources on the matter of incompetence are correct, it’s a pretty damning indictment of the La Russa-Stewart regime.

Not that I expect this to be the end of it. Given La Russa’s recent track record when it comes to criticsand given his past displeasure, however misguided it was, with Law himself — I would expect a sharp retort from the Dbacks brass about all of this.

Someone get me some popcorn.

Carlos Beltran says in Texas, as opposed to New York, it’s “more about baseball”

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Carlos Beltran was traded from the Yankees to the Rangers recently. He was asked what the biggest difference was between playing for the Rangers and playing for the Yankees. His answer was about the media environment surrounding each team:

Playing in Texas … it’s relaxing, man. Being here, for me, I feel so weird because playing in New York, you know, every day I feel like I talk to the media before the games, after the games, and there were like 30-40 guys in the clubhouse every single day. And here, there’s maybe four or five, and sometimes they don’t even want to talk to you . . . at the end of the day, [in] New York there’s a lot of distractions, a lot of things going on more than baseball. Here it’s more about baseball.

He’s not the first to make that observation and won’t be the last.


Yoenis Cespedes to be activated tomorrow

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Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who has been on the disabled list since August 3 with a quad injury, is set to be activated tomorrow.

Cespedes went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored in a rehab game with High-A St. Lucie yesterday. He told reporters after the game that he felt comfortable and that he’s ready to play. No word on whether he’s ready to golf.

Cespedes is hitting .289/.362/.548 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 94 games on the year.