Craig Calcaterra

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Video: A ballboy in Oakland made the catch of the day

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Sometimes the people stationed down the lines in ballparks have skills. Sometimes they don’t. But the kid manning the right field line in Oakland yesterday had some mad skills.

And they were necessary skills. He was guarding the bullpen and snagged a ball that was slicing hard toward the crowd and which might have hurt someone had he not made the leaping grab.

Get that kid a contract:

A Best Shape of His Life All-Star is looking good so far

Toronto Blue Jays' Aaron Sanchez delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Sunday, April 17, 2016, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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Every offseason we keep track of the Best Shape of His Life guys, but we usually forget about them once the season starts. At best we chuckle a few months later when the player struggles and then blames it on having too much muscle or not enough body weight or something. The BSHOL cliche and the assumptions inherent in it are all basically silliness anyway so it’s not like it lends itself to intense scrutiny.

Sometimes, though, a BSOHL guy actually improves and, occasionally, that’s worth mentioning. One BSHOL guy who looks good so far this year is Aaron Sanchez of the Blue Jays. Who, in January, talked about bulking himself up and adding 25 pounds to help forestall the sort of breakdown he lad last year in the form of a lat injury which ended up shifting him to the bullpen. As one of our most senior commenters, ProudlyCanadian notes in the ATH comments, back in the rotation now, Sanchez has done pretty darn well in the early going. Over 20 innings he has allowed only three runs and has struck out 20.

Maybe that extra size and strength is doing him wonders. Maybe, like last year, it’s just the case that he’s a strong starter. I dunno. Here’s hoping that in his case, and in the other BSOHL cases, improved performance follows improved bodies and mindset.

Ballplayer taxes are really, really complicated

A 2011 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form is seen in New York April 17, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
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It’s tax day. You got three extra days this year because of, um, Leap Year or the supermoon or Trump or something. I’m too busy to check. But today is the day by which you have to have your return filed barring an extension. It’s a stressful time for most folks who wait to do such things. You insane people who do your taxes in January are the worst sorts, really.

Over at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Stephen Nesbitt has an enlightening article about the challenges baseball players have in filing their taxes. No, it’s not a story about rich people complaining about their rates or anything like that. It’s about the complications in filing which come from playing in multiple cities and multiple states each year. And in dealing with demotions to the minor leagues and what you do while on rehab assignments in Florida or wherever. And, of course, all of the hidden municipal taxes levied on just pro athletes.

The next time you hear an athlete complain about his taxes, don’t be quick to think he’s complaining about how much he pays. It’s probably about how many different places he pays and just how hard it is for he — or, hopefully, his accountant — to keep track of it all.