<span class="vcard">Craig Calcaterra</span>

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HBT Extra: Who will be better in 2015? The Cubs or the White Sox?

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Joe Posnanski and I talk about the happenings at the Winter Meetings. And I accidentally call Miguel Montero “Marrero,” because I’m a big idiot. Otherwise, it’s all aces!

Pirates acquire lefty Antonio Bastardo from Phillies

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It must be moving day for the Phillies. Robert Murray of MLBDailyRumors.com — confirmed by Ken Rosenthal — reports that the Pirates have acquired left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo from the Phillies for left-handed pitching prospect Joely Rodriguez.

Bastardo had been linked to the Red Sox earlier this week, but I guess not. He struck out 81 batters in 64 innings this past season and posted a 2.32 ERA (with a lower strikeout rate) in 2013.

The Giants are meeting with Ervin Santana

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They fell out of the Jon Lester Derby yesterday, but they can still put their money down in the Ervin Santana Stakes:

Santana was linked with the Twins earlier today. And, as Aaron noted then, he would cost the Giants — or almost any other team — a first round draft pick to sign by virtue of his rejection of a qualifying offer from the Braves.

He posted 3.95 ERA and 179/63 K/BB ratio in 196 innings last season.

Dick Enberg wins the Ford C. Frick Award

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SAN DIEGO — Dick Enberg, the TV face and voice of the San Diego Padres, has been named the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award. The Fick Award is presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Moments ago he spoke with the media here in San Diego and talked about his life and career.

Enberg, who spent over 25 years with the good people at NBC Sports, broadcasting all manner of sports, is a baseball man first and in his heart, he said a few minutes ago. He said he was teethed on a baseball bat — literally — and wanted nothing more than to be the right fielder for the Detroit Tigers when he was a boy. When he was 18 the Tigers signed Al Kaline, however, and Enberg joked that he decided that he maybe needed to do something else in life.

That something else was broadcasting, which he started doing while at Central Michigan University. From there it was on to Indiana and eventually on to teach and coach baseball atSan Fernando Valley State College, which is now known as Cal-State Northridge. In the 1960s he began broadcasting in Los Angeles, eventually becoming the play-by-play man for the California Angels.

After his career blossomed and went national with NBC from the 1970s through the 90s, he went on to CBS and then ESPN. In 2009 he came back to baseball on a full time basis, calling games for the San Diego Padres, which he continues to do, even though he’ll turn 80 next month.

Enberg is a warm TV presence, and has never seemed like anything but a nice and decent man who truly enjoys what he does. His comments today, reflecting on his love of baseball and the many kind people he’s worked with over the years certainly supports that. At times he welled up with tears and didn’t apologize a bit for it, nor should he. He seems truly touched by this honor and truly at home in the broadcast booth. Padres fans are lucky to be able to invite him into their home each night.

Congratulations, Dick Enberg. The 2015 Frick Award winner.

Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers: 2015 Update

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SAN DIEGO — One year ago today I changed managerial analysis forever by introducing the one metric that people should, if they had any sense, care about the most: how handsome each one is compared to the others.

We have several new managers this year and some of the existing ones have had their handsomeness either enhanced or diminished by circumstances, so it is time to revisit the subject.

First, the disclaimers:

  • No baseball manager is ugly. All of them have inner beauty, I’m sure.
  • This is a subjective list, obviously. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Understand that I and others will privately judge you for thinking unattractive managers are handsome, but that reflects poorly on us, not you. Let no one besides you dictate your feelings.
  • Finally, because some of you will inevitably offer a neanderthal comment about all of this, let me head it off by assuring you that this is merely a list of aesthetic handsomeness, not one of love or longing. I hate that even in 2014 I feel as though I have to say it, but I will say that I am a totally straight man making these judgments. If you find something wrong or amiss with that, I feel sorry for you. There is far too much beauty among people in the world for us to fail to acknowledge 50% of it merely because we’re worried about appearing less than traditionally masculine or feminine. Free your mind, the rest will follow.

Now, rankings. I’ll include comments for holdovers from last year if they had a RIoH (Relevant Impact on Handsomeness)

1. Brad Ausmus: Still the big dog, but his hold is not as strong as it was last year. Last year he was confident and we projected so much onto him. Watching him sweat a little bit as he bungled his bullpen moves all year and in the postseason was like seeing Brad Pitt pick his nose. It didn’t change his looks at all, but the spell was broken, however briefly.

2. Mike Matheny: His lack of strategic confidence was already baked into last year’s ranking, so he is close to Ausmus. Very, very close.

Tied-3. Ned Yost: Yost moves up! Everyone loves a winner and if you thought he exuded confidence before, you should see him strutting around San Diego this week. He’s gonna give you your interview, drop a casual reference to winning the AL Pennant and then go home to Georgia and shoot a big animal and he doesn’t care what in the hell you think.

Tied-3. Robin Ventura: He’s been all smiles given the White Sox moves in the past few days and smiling makes everyone look better.

5. A.J. Hinch: With a bullet. He’s a bit more gray around the temples now compared to when we saw him with the Dbacks, but that certainly helps his case and his gravitas. And look at his posing! He’s a natural:

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6. John Farrell

7. Jeff Banister: This says it all:

I DON’T CARE HOW GOOD YOU LOOK, YOU JERK! YOU’LL NEVER BE MY REAL DAD!! *runs into room, slams the door*

8. Paul Molitor: A VERY VERY tough case. On the one hand, Molitor may have been the single most handsome person on this list at one time in his life. Check this hunk of beef out:

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But time is undefeated, man:

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Gleeman observes that, in the right light, Molitor still looks like his old self, but he’s very, very dependent on the light. So, for now, consider his ranking provisional. We’ll see how he does under the spotlight for the next year. Wait, no spotlight. Maybe some shadows would be helpful here.

9. Bud Black

10. Ryne Sandberg

11. Mike Redmond

12: Joe Maddon: A move up for Maddon. It’s the college effect. You know that sort of nerdy hipster kid you knew in high school who moved on to college? You didn’t see him for 10 months and then he came back and  . . . something was different? You can’t say exactly how he improved, but he did somehow. And when you think hard about it, you realize that it’s really just you. He’s more important now and lives in a cooler place and you’re just superficial, man.

13. Ron Roenicke

14. Terry Francona

15. Don Mattingly: He and his wife just had a baby. At age 53 for Don. We’re going to see him a lot more haggard on homestands and a tad fresher on the road.

16. Bob Melvin: As the A’s slid from being the best team in baseball at midseason to just barely making the wild card game and then losing it, Melvin’s countenance tended to change along with it. Something like this:

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Still, I saw him here yesterday and he’s looking a bit better. Not enough to arrest a slide down the rankings completely, but enough to help a bit.

17. Joe Girardi He has A-Rod to deal with again this year, so expect some more stressful looks. But he’s still as solid as a rock.

18. Bryan Price

19. Matt Williams 

20: Fredi Gonzalez: His rating is actually improved by the Braves’ confusing offseason moves. His default appearance is one of confusion, so he’s now more in his element and that matters.

21. Kevin Cash: He has a boyish thing going on:

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Here cheekbones and soulful eyes do better for you in the rankings, thus the lower ranking, but I realize some people go for the boyish look.

22. Lloyd McClendon: Last year I gave him credit for his winning smile. And then the Mariners and went and won a lot of games, giving him a lot more reason to smile.

23. Buck Showalter Same as McClendon, really. More smiles in 2014 and even some jokes — maybe his first ever — definitely help is cause.

24. John Gibbons

25. Chip Hale: That’s a rugged man. Not a matinee idol, but rugged. And some folks like rugged.

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26. Walt Weiss

27. Terry Collins 

28. Mike Scioscia

29. Bruce Bochy Bruce has three World Series titles in five seasons and is probably heading to the Hall of Fame now. He could grow a second (very, very large) head and he wouldn’t care a lick. Nor should he.

30. Clint Hurdle: Last year someone told him that I ranked him last and he was reportedly happy about it, as I would hope a legit old school baseball man would. Indeed, he even took it as a compliment. So far be it from me to elevate him from this position of honor. Which is difficult! He just had hip surgery and, as my father has told me, when you get to a certain age in life, your attractiveness is positively influenced by your access to handicapped parking placards. So use what you got, Clint. Use what you got.