Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Report: Blue Jays to hire former Red Sox GM Ben Cherington

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Shi Davidi of SportsNet reports that the Toronto Blue Jays are “on the verge” of hiring former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington as a vice-president of baseball operations. Cherington would be working primarily in player development.

Probably a good role for Cherington.  There was a general consensus that Cherington did well with player development tasks while running the Red Sox but not as well with the larger things like free agent signings and trades. In Cherington’s defense, there is likewise chatter that the bad free agent signings under his watch were ownership diktats, not things that were his own idea, but obviously only those on the inside truly know the facts.

Since being let go by the Red Sox Cherington has served on the faculty of the sports management program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, presumably waiting for his next baseball opportunity. Now he’s apparently found it.

Dusty Baker to miss todays game due to a death in the family

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Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker will not be with the club for its game against the Mets today due to a death in the family. Bench coach Chris Speier will manage the team in Baker’s absence.

Baker is expected to rejoin the team on Friday night for its series opener with the Atlanta Braves.

Condolences to Baker and his family.

Major League Baseball releases 2017 schedule

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Major League Baseball is certainly optimistic. It, like the rest of us, has seen the utter train wreck of a year that is 2016 unfold yet it is somehow certain that the world will still exist in 2017. I’d probably short that stock to be honest.

Assuming I’m wrong and we aren’t visited by the retribution we so richly deserve in the form of, say, a giant mountain being hurled down upon us, creating a great cataclysm which creates an ever-churning blood-red sea while ushering in an age of darkness, there will be a 2017 baseball season. And that season will have a schedule.

Major League Baseball today announced that schedule, which will begin on Sunday, April 2nd, when the Tampa Bay Rays host the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks host the San Francisco Giants. I don’t know that the world was clamoring to see the Rays and Dbacks in prime time, but at least ESPN is guaranteed two marquee teams in games certain to not be rained out. Beyond that Sunday night teaser, thirteen games are set for Opening Day on Monday, April 3rd, while the first full slate of 15 games is scheduled for Wednesday, April 5th.

The last day of the 2017 regular season will be on Sunday, October 1st. Other important dates next season include Jackie Robinson Day on Saturday, April 15th; the first day of the 2017 MLB Draft on Monday, June 12th; and Baseball’s All-Star festivities at Marlins Park in Miami from Sunday, July 9th through Tuesday, July 11th. If the playoff schedule is similar to the past few years, the World Series, if it goes seven games, would probably end on November 2.

Go to MLB.com for the schedules of all 30 teams.