Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Eric Hosmer is afraid of New York taxis, wants the DH in the National League


The Players’ Tribune has a feature called “What the (Blank) in which athletes answer random fill-in-the-blank questions. It’s pretty amusing at times.

It’s amusing today at least, as the Royals Eric Hosmer is up. He names his most underrated major leaguer. It’s a guy so many call the most underrated major leaguer that he’s probably close to losing that title. He also says that if he was commissioner for a day he’d put the DH in the National League. Which, whatever you think of that is hilarious given that on most days the commissioner is actually just schmoozing business partners of MLB and stuff. I guess it’s more inspiring to say “make the DH universal” than “meet with T-Mobile marketing team” or whatever.

The oddest answer is this one:

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I’m a simple, meek rube from the Midwest who rarely leaves his own home and even I can handle New York taxis. I wonder what happened to Hosmer to give him this fear.


Oh, well then. Say no more.

Manfred: Science might be behind increase in drug positives


NEW YORK (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says improved science could be a reason behind the increase in positive drug tests.

There have been eight suspensions this year under the big league program caused by positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs, one more than in all of 2015. There were just two in 2014 and none in 2013.

Speaking Thursday after a quarterly owners’ meeting, Manfred says “the windows of detection on certain substances have been lengthened. … It’s just science getting better. That may be one explanation for what we’re seeing.”

Manfred also says speculation that certain players may be using PEDs is “just distasteful,” unless they have violated the drug program.

On the issue of diversity among managers, he calls this a “difficult” matter. Following Fredi Gonzalez’s firing by Atlanta this week, Washington’s Dusty Baker and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Dave Roberts are the only minority managers.

Donald Trump could’ve been the Twins owner


America would be better off if Donald Trump wasn’t close enough to the presidency that he’ll soon be getting national security briefings. The Twins, well, they probably couldn’t be worse off no matter what. All of which makes the 1984 sale of the Twins to Carl Pohlad a grand missed opportunity.

Why? Because, it seems, Donald Trump wanted to buy the Twins from then-owner Calvin Griffith and significantly outbid Pohlad for the right to do so. Except no one has a “right” to buy a baseball team and it doesn’t have to go to the highest bidder so Griffith sold to Pohlad instead. That much of the story is recounted in the Star Tribune today, with the larger story coming from Jon Kerr’s 1990 biography about former Griffith, “Calvin: Baseball’s Last Dinosaur,”

I’ve not read the book and the news story doesn’t go into great detail, but I’m sure Trump’s failure to purchase the Twins was a function of Major League Baseball wanting no part of him in their ownership club whatsoever. At the time of the bidding Trump was the primary mover behind the upstart USFL and, for that reason alone, MLB was likely sour on him given that baseball has never liked upstarts all that much. Or businessmen who declare bankruptcy on multiple occasions. They’re good with blowhards, though, so as far as that goes he would’ve probably been OK, even if the other stuff sunk him.