Craig Calcaterra

Citi Field

Watch a Mets fan throw a beer on Grady Sizemore

46 Comments

Opening Day is frickin’ Amateur Hour, Dude. Frickin’ amateurs. For 161 games, baseball is an everyday affair where people sew it into the fabric of their days and evenings. On Opening Day, however, it’s “lets’ start drinking at 7AM and be jackasses.”

Even worse? That’s a $10 beer, most likely, that you’ve just wasted on a guy who will, if he’s lucky, serve as the most-days right fielder for what looks to almost certainly be a last place team.

But kudos to you, sporto, for the quick sit-down. No one will ever know it was you who did it.

Russell Wilson says he’d maybe try to play baseball one day

russell wilson getty
24 Comments

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft and played close to 100 games in Colorado’s minor league system in 2010-2011. Then he have that up because, honestly, he didn’t seem to have anywhere near as big a baseball future as he had a football future. The Rangers claimed the rights to him in the 2013 Rule 5 Draft, and he still shows up to Rangers spring training, but it’s mostly just for the yuks and the PR.

But Wilson told Bryant Gumbel of HBO that he’d still consider trying baseball one day:

“You never want to kill the dream of playing two sports,” Wilson said in a clip of the interview that was provided to media today by HBO for the show that will debut on April 21. “I would honestly play two sports.” Asked by Gumbel what is stopping him, Wilson said “I don’t know. I may push the envelope a little bit one of these days.”

Should’ve asked what’s starting him, not stopping him. Because the answer to that is most likely “well, I’m negotiating a contract extension with the Seahawks right now, and it behooves me to at least pretend I could just walk away so that maybe they’ll kick in some extra money to buy my official baseball retirement.”

UPDATE: The Dbacks are still asking fans behind the plate to not wear opposing team gear

diamondbacks logo alternate
55 Comments

UPDATE: I received a statement from a Diamondbacks spokesman:

“At the time of purchase, we ask that those fans sitting in the home plate box, which is visible on TV, wear either neutral colors or D-backs attire which the team will provide.”

So that’s what that was. Jackets are required, as it were. And gambling is illegal at Bushwood. I never slice.

7:57 AMTwo years ago there was a little to-do at Chase Field in Phoenix in which a group of fans were forced/asked/coerced/who knows to change into Diamondbacks gear because they were in front of the cameras in Dodgers gear and Dbacks’ ownership didn’t much care for that. The move was reportedly ordered directly from team owner Ken Kendrick who subsequently had an animated discussion with the fans about it.

The Dbacks were criticized as small-time for that kind of move, as they should’ve been. You take thousands of dollars from some people for primo, behind the plate seats, you shouldn’t care what they’re wearing as long as it doesn’t violate decency standards.

It seems, however, that criticism didn’t bug the Dbacks all that much. At least based on this video. Watch the guy in the background with the Dodgers hat and shirt:

This exchange seemed friendlier than the 2013 exchange. And it’s possible that it involved his friends or something giving him that Dbacks jersey. Maybe it was all an in-joke with coworkers or something. I have sent an email to the Diamondbacks asking for comment regarding the exchange and whether or not it was something directed by the club. Pending that comment, I’ll observe that it certainly fits the pattern we’ve seen with the Dbacks and other sports teams who have, in the past, made a point to get opposing team fans into home team gear when they can be seen on TV. I’d be curious to know if the Diamondbacks are up to their old tricks again here.

If they did give this guy a jersey to wear, I suppose they’ll talk about how it was free or else how he was given some merch or something given to him for his trouble rather than it being some sharply coercive situation. The P.R. in Arizona is better than it used to be, after all. Still, if you own a baseball team and you’re at all concerned that the fans who can be seen on TV are wearing opposing team gear you are, by definition, petty and small time. No matter how friendly the process of getting the fan to change actually is.

Hector Noesi, five other pitchers have been wearing kevlar padding inside their caps

Hector Noesi
10 Comments

We first heard about these kevlar domes that can be place inside pitchers’ caps a few years back. They’re made by a company called Unequal Technologies. At the time, Major League Baseball was looking into the product and it was said that they were trying to accelerate the timetable of their production. They have yet to be approved, however, as the product has undergone changes in the past couple of years. In the meantime, MLB has introduced a padded cap made by another company that, at present, no player is wearing.

Over the weekend, CSNChicago.com mentioned that White Sox pitcher Hector Noesi was wearing the Unequal Technologies padding in his cap. Today Willie Weinbaum of ESPN.com reports that six different pitchers were using it:

An MLB executive told “Outside the Lines” on Sunday that it was looking into the use of the Dome inserts and was reserving comment. Pitchers are free to wear protective headgear of their choice, as long as it doesn’t interfere with competition or with MLB licensing agreements.

Interesting stuff. And not just because “Unequal Technologies” sounds like the name of a company from a lost Ayn Rand novel or, like, a G.I. Joe cartoon.

Kris Bryant homered twice over the weekend

Kris Bryant
21 Comments

The Cubs’ third baseman, Mike Olt, was smacked on the wrist with a pitch over the weekend but luckily didn’t break anything. He’s also 2 for his first 13. The heir apparent, Kris Bryant, is cruising in Iowa. This from yesterday:

On the young season Bryant is 5-for-16 with two homers, a double and seven driven in. Only one walk, though, so it’s probably good that he’s getting that highly necessary seasoning.

Just figured you’d want an update.