Craig Calcaterra

Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez talks with the media before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Wednesday, April 13, 2016, in Washington. Braves outfielder Hector Olivera was placed on paid administrative leave by Major League Baseball after he was arrested when a woman accused him of assault at a hotel outside Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Associated Press

Oddsmakers make Fredi Gonzalez a 1/1 favorite to be the first manager fired in 2016


Gambling on baseball is a bad idea 100 out of 100 times. Gambling on a baseball-related thing that involves otherwise good men getting fired because their team gave them crappy players to manage, well, you’re taking it next-level and are likely accumulating a lot of karma in the process.

Still, I know some of you are degenerates and you have to occupy yourselves with these things. If that describes you, here are the odds, via, on which manager will be fired first in the 2016 season:

Fredi Gonzalez: 1/1
Walt Weiss: 7/2
Paul Molitor: 4/1
Terry Collins: 8/1
Joe Girardi: 10/1
Mike Scioscia: 12/1
Don Mattingly: 25/1

I get it with Fredi. I don’t gamble, but I’d almost bet my kids on him taking the fall for this mess by midseason and Eddie Perez getting a chance to test-drive the job for a few months with no pressure. I’ve never been a big fan of Fredi, but this sure as hell ain’t his fault. Hopefully he gets kicked upstairs to an advisor position or something rather than tossed to the curb.

Collins and Girardi seem like jokes here. Collins did just win a pennant and Girardi has (a) consistently done better than people expected; while (b) remaining in good graces with a GM who himself has perfect job security. Still, I suppose oddsmakers realize that there is a certain sort of fan who will go crazy and put money down on such a thing because they’re mad that a given game didn’t go well. A fool and his money, I guess.

I’d say Mike Scioscia is a good choice to be fired on merit, but it’s well established that he has compromising photos of anyone within a 40 mile radius of Anaheim who could even suggest firing him. He’s gonna outlast us all.

Oh well. Happy wagering.

Kevin Costner wants to do a movie about the Cubs

Kevin Costner arrives at the LA Premiere Of "McFARLAND, USA" held at the El Capitan Theatre on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
AP Photo

Kevin Costner starred in one excellent baseball movie, one that wasn’t so good but had more good moments in it than its detractors like to admit and one execrable pile of sappy treacle disguised as a baseball movie yet simultaneously doing a disservice to sappy treacle and baseball. I’ll let you guys figure out which one is which.

But he’s not done! At least he doesn’t think so. He was on Larry King’s show (Wait: Larry King still has a show?)  promoting his most recent flick when he said that, maybe, he has one more baseball movie in him:

“I’ve enjoyed (all the baseball movies). I think I have one more in me. It has to do with the Cubs. I don’t know, I have to get it written.”

Please fund my Kickstarter campaign to go back in time and divert a young Kevin Costner’s attention away from baseball. “Bull Durham” would still exist without it. They would’ve gotten another actor to play Crash Davis and, while he did a great job with that role, it probably would’ve been OK with someone else. Kurt Russell coulda pulled it off I bet. Or Jeff Bridges. Ron Shelton’s script and Susan Sarandon make that movie anyway.

Consider yourself warned, Cubs fans. Kevin Costner has you on his radar.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Friday’s action

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw works against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 4, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

Call this a crazy, off-the-wall prediction, but I think number 42 is really gonna come up big tonight. Indeed, I guarantee you that number 42 will get the win AND drive in the decisive runs in EVERY SINGLE GAME.

The most notable game where number 42 will play a part, of course, will be the Dodgers-Giants tilt. Notable for the dignitaries present, the history of Jackie Robinson with the Dodgers and the fact that the game will be on national TV, but also notable for the matchup. Once again Madison Bumgarner will face off against Clayton Kershaw. It’s never really become Juan Marichal-Sandy Koufax, but it’s about as good as we have in terms of pitcher/team rivalries these days.

Kershaw is the better pitcher overall, but Bumgarner has had the edge head-to-head. Last time out he held the Dodgers to one run on six hits over six innings while walking one and striking out eight. For his part, Kershaw pitched an eight-inning no-decision but allowed a home run to Bumgarner as the Dodgers won in extra innings. Overall Bumgarner is 4-2 in head-to-head matchups while Kershaw is 2-4, but Kershaw has the lower ERA and WHIP. Bumgarner gets more help and, of course, he helps himself.

The other matchups:

Colorado Rockies (Chad Bettis) @ Chicago Cubs (Kyle Hendricks), 2:20 PM EDT, Wrigley Field;

Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Jeff Locke), 7:05 PM EDT, PNC Park;

Seattle Mariners (Nathan Karns) @ New York Yankees (Luis Severino), 7:05 PM EDT Yankee Stadium;

Washington Nationals (Joe Ross) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson), 7:05 PM EDT, Citizens Bank Park;

Atlanta Braves (Williams Perez) @ Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen), 7:10 PM EDT, Marlins Park;

Chicago White Sox (Chris Sale) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi), 7:10 PM EDT, Tropicana Field;

New York Mets (Bartolo Colon) @ Cleveland Indians (Cody Anderson), 7:10 PM EDT , Progressive Field;

Toronto Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey) @ Boston Red Sox (Rick Porcello), 7:10 PM EDT, Fenway Park;

Baltimore Orioles (Vance Worley) @ Texas Rangers (Martin Perez), 8:05 PM EDT, Globe Life Park in Arlington;

Detroit Tigers (Mike Pelfrey) @ Houston Astros (Dallas Keuchel), 8:10 PM EDT, Minute Maid Park;

Los Angeles Angels (Garrett Richards) @ Minnesota Twins (Tommy Milone), 8:10 PM EDT, Target Field;

Cincinnati Reds (Tim Melville) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez), 8:15 PM EDT, Busch Stadium;

Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez) @ Oakland Athletics (Rich Hill), 10:05 PM EDT, Oakland Coliseum;

San Francisco Giants (Madison Bumgarner) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw), 10:10 PM EDT, Dodger Stadium;

Arizona Diamondbacks (Zack Greinke) @ San Diego Padres (James Shields), 10:40 PM EDT, Petco Park.