Craig Calcaterra

Melvin Upton

Melvin Upton will be in a walking boot for six weeks

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UPDATE: Upton has been diagnosed with inflammation in the bone the behind ball of his foot and will be in a walking boot or six weeks, which means most of spring training.

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The Braves’ outfield ain’t exactly deep. It’s about to get thinner:

Upton has obviously been a drag on the offense the past couple of years, but he’s still the best center field option the Braves have. And, if the Braves are to even pretend to be respectable this season, some sort of bounceback on his part is essential.

The bounceback is not starting well.

Quote of the Day: Rob Manfred doesn’t like to bluff

Rob Manfred AP
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source:
Rob Manfred

Rob Manfred is speaking at the Sloan Analytics Conference today. This raised my brow a bit:

Oh, that’s not entirely true. From 2001:

Major League Baseball will move ahead with its plan to eliminate two teams next season after negotiations with the players’ union about delaying contraction until 2003 broke down Wednesday night . . . Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s executive vice president for labor relations, said, ”They agreed not to contest contraction in certain circumstances, but we got hung up on defining the circumstances, and they just got narrow enough that we felt we were getting away from our fundamental position that we have the right to contract.”

Contraction, of course, was a GIGANTIC bluff on the part of Major League Baseball in the runup to the last acrimonious Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiation in 2002. The vote to contract came, not accidentally, one DAY before the expiration of the old CBA and was roundly viewed by observers as an effort to gain negotiating leverage. And, of course, it was then and remains now a totally impractical “solution” to what was even then an imaginary problem, as we have detailed here many, many times before.

Of course, Manfred was just an employee of Major League Baseball then, not its commissioner. But as the commissioner he works for the owners now just as he did, indirectly, then. If they want to bluff the players or the public or the government or the media or anyone else at some point in the future, Manfred will do so or else he’ll find himself out of a job. Beliefs notwithstanding.

Aramis Ramirez says 2015 will be his last year

Aramis Ramirez
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source: Getty Images

News from Brewers camp in Maryvale:

Ramirez is in the last year of his deal with Milwaukee — actually playing on the option year of a three-year deal he signed after the 2011 season.

Ramirez hit .285 with 15 homers and a .757 OPS in 133 games in 2014. In three seasons for the Brewers he’s hit a combined .291 with an .834 OPS.  2,186 hits–including 369 homers–in 17 seasons with Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Chicago.

Bartolo Colon may be the Mets’ Opening Day starter

Bartolo Colon
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Adam Rubin of ESPN reports that the Mets are “strongly considering” Bartolo Colon to be their Opening Day starter.

Not Matt Harvey, who has missed 17 months nor Jacob deGrom, who was the Mets best pitcher last year. Which I suppose could bug someone if someone cared about such things. In the rational world, however, being an Opening Day starter is usually either a reward for being the team’s “ace” or, in some cases, a nod to seniority. It’s not really a big deal.

Unless of course you have a kinda sketchy Hall of Fame case, in which case it means practically everything.

Whatever the case, I have argued in the past that teams should run their worst starting pitcher out on Opening Day. I mean, the game is going to sell out regardless, so you don’t need the star power. Plus, with all of the pregame festivities and hoopla, the game often starts late anyway. Who do you want to annoy more, your ace or the dude who just barely nailed down the last rotation spot and who will probably be in the pen or Triple-A before June?

In other news, there are about 10,000 pretty good reasons no one has ever asked me to manage their team. This is merely one of them.

Didi Gregorius is probably pretty grateful for the A-Rod circus

Didi Gregorious
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Anthony McCarron of the Daily News makes a pretty good point: Didi Gregorius has to be pretty darn pleased A-Rod is sucking up all of the media oxygen:

Had A-Rod not returned from suspension this spring, Gregorius might have been the biggest story of Yankee camp, and more than a handful of fans might have been eyeing his every move on the first day of full-squad workouts. He is, after all, the man who seems set to be Derek Jeter’s replacement at shortstop.

I’m sure once the games start Gregorius will be getting a lot more media heat, but for now this has to be a nice way for him to ease into things.

Everyone worried that A-Rod would be a “distraction.” Well, he has been. And in this case that’s a good thing.