Craig Calcaterra

Technical Difficulties

Introducing the San Francisco Mariners


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

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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 Eventually it went out of date and out of fashion and now it stands crumbling.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)

Major League Baseball will not look into the Angels’ conduct in the Josh Hamilton case

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Someone improperly leaked confidential information regarding Josh Hamilton’s recent relapse and the subsequent investigation into it. That’s a violation of the Joint Drug Agreement and, if it can be established that a given party leaked such info, that party is subject to discipline.

The information was leaked to L.A.-based reporters, one of whom covers the Angels for a living. As I’ve argued in the past, Josh Hamilton certainly didn’t have a big reason to do it. And, after MLB’s decision not to discipline him came out, Angels officials sure were vocal with their displeasure and made a point to let the world know that they think he’s a bad guy with big problems. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Angels did the leaking, but it’s not at all unreasonable to do the math and see that they’re the prime suspects.

But suspects are the worst they’ll ever be with respect to this business, because MLB is not going to look into the matter:

Commissioner Rob Manfred indicated that he will not investigate whether the Angels released confidential information about outfielder Josh Hamilton.

“I have no reason to believe the Angels did anything inappropriate,” Manfred said during a visit to Safeco Field for Wednesday night’s game between the Angels and Seattle Mariners . . . “Confidentiality is an important component of the drug program,” Manfred said. “Unfortunately, the more people that know about something, the less likely it is that it’s going to stay confidential.

The people who knew about this were Manfred’s own folks in the commissioner’s office, the Angels, Josh Hamilton and his agents and/or lawyers. Which is the same general universe of people who will know about any problem that arises with respect to any player under the JDA. So, in effect, it seems Manfred is saying that he’ll never, ever investigate leaks of this information because a lot of people “know about something” and, well, I guess stuff happens.

So, congratulations Major League Baseball, you just wrote out a key section of the JDA. One which runs seven full sections over seven pages in a 58-page document and which is considered to be, by its own terms, “essential to the Program’s success.” And you did it because you are unwilling to even investigate — not just punish, but even investigate — a clear violation of the JDA when it means that you may have to make a club uncomfortable.


Baseball is the most Catholic sport


I think this list has floated around before, but its author, John L. Allen, Jr., reprinted it over the weekend in the course of this (longish) column over at the Catholic website Crux. The list: why baseball is the most Catholic sport. And it has little to do with the fact that it has teams named the “Padres” and “Cardinals.”

Among my favorite reasons: “In both baseball and Catholicism, you can dip in and out, but for serious devotees, the liturgy is a daily affair,” and “Both reward patience. If you’re the kind of person who needs immediate results, neither baseball nor Catholicism is really your game.” There’s also some stuff there about scandal tainting those once thought to be superstars.

It’s a fun, self-aware list (about both baseball and Catholicism) that, even if you’re not the religious type, should put a smile on your face. But especially if you’re at all familiar with Catholicism.

(Thanks to Pete M. for the heads up)

Video: Jonathan Papelbon talks about not feeling like a Phillie

Jonathan Papelbon

Yesterday Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon told a Boston reporter that he did not feel much like a Phillie. After the game he met the Philly media and talked about that. Including’s Jim Salisbury, whose story is here.

Here’s video of Papelbon meeting the press: