Craig Calcaterra

Manny Ramirez

Starlin Castro says Manny Ramirez was the reason for his late season turnaround


Starlin Castro had a miserable first half of 2015 but turned things around late in the season. Not enough to keep him in the Cubs’ long term plans, but enough to make him a viable trade candidate, which is how he ended up on the Yankees.

Castro spoke to David Lennon of Newsday and said that the reason for the turnaround was none other than Manny Ramirez, who is a hitting consultant for the Cubs. The two of them worked together closely and Castro says that they have kept in contact all offseason. He may even get some pointers from Ramirez as the season goes on.

If it continues to work and Castro is a key contributor to Yankees success, that makes Manny Ramirez a Yankees hero, right?

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts: “It’s surreal when Donald Trump threatens your mom”


The other day Donald Trump made a veiled threat at the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs, saying “they’d better be careful! They have a lot to hide!”

It’s not quite clear what Trump was referring to or what any member of the Ricketts family had done to set him off. Many members of the Ricketts family are politically active, however, and it doesn’t take a ton to set Trump off, so it could be anything.

Either way, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts was asked about that Trump comment yesterday and this is what he said:

“It’s a little surreal when Donald Trump threatens your mom,” Ricketts said. “The fact is, whether it’s my mom or my dad on his Ending Spending stuff or my sister on marriage equality or my brothers and what they do or what we do with the team, we’re pretty much an open book We stand up for what we believe in. We support the causes that we think are important. That’s what America should be. That’s who we are . . . Look, if we had something to hide, you guys [the Chicago media] would’ve found it by now, I’m sure. I have no idea.”

Setting aside for the moment that telling the press “I have nothing to hide and if I did the press would’ve found it by now” is never a smart move (ask Gary Hart about that), it’s hard not to sympathize with Ricketts here. Or maybe not sympathize. Actually, now that I think about it, having Donald Trump tweet angry things at you is probably pretty fun. Indeed, when he loses this election, I could totally see him making a lot of money calling people “losers” and stuff for a fee. Or doing voice work for GPS devices and things. Trump may not be your cup of tea, but he is not without a certain charisma and it’s always worked for him.

Matt Cain has a cyst removed from his arm


This morning Matt Cain was scratched from a throwing session. This afternoon we got some clarity as to why.

The Giants announced that Cain has undergone a procedure to have a cyst removed from his upper right arm. He is expected to resume throwing in approximately 10 days, so he won’t be too terribly far off his season preparation schedule. Whether he makes the rotation out of camp will obviously depend on his progress.

Could’ve been worse.