Author: Craig Calcaterra

Hunter Strickland

At least Hunter Strickland entertained us last night


Giants reliever Hunter Strickland had a memorable night, even if it was one he’d probably like to forget.

Things were already unraveling in the sixth inning due to Bruce Bochy probably sticking with Jake Peavy too long and Jean Machi not putting out the fire immediately, allowing the Royals to score the go-ahead run. Javier Lopez did his job in retiring lefty Alex Gordon, but then Strickland entered in a tough spot: two men on and one man out with the Giants down a run.

And he clearly didn’t have it. A wild pitch (nerves?) and a two-run double later (more nerves?0 he was facing Omar Infante, who is not a serious home run threat. Of course he left him a big fat pitch over the plate and it went out of the yard. Now, Strickland has allowed a good number of home runs this postseason. That’s a big reason why, maybe, it’s not a good idea to call on him with runners on base. Either way, if the young and inexperienced Strickland has experience with anything, it’s with watching opposing hitters take their home run trots. Strickland, however, acted like he’d never seen such a thing before and started jawing at Sal Perez, who was waiting at home to congratulate Infante. The highlight, embedded with the players talking about the little dustup:

Strickland blamed “miscommunication.” Whatever makes you feel better dude. You were the only one communicating, and what you were telling the world was that you lost your cool after letting the game get totally out of hand.

He’s young, and as Bruce Bochy noted in that clip, he’s intense. And with stuff like his, he’ll eventually be the kind of guy who is routinely called on to get his team out of jams. But for the moment, however, he has played and ranted his way out of the World Series. Or at least he should have.

PANTY RAID! Homeland Security agents confiscate unlicensed Kansas City Royals underwear

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This used to be a great country. You used to be able to print up panties with the Kansas City Royals logo on the butt and the worst that could happen would be a cease and desist letter from Major League Baseball. Now? Print up panties with the Kansas City Royals logo on the butt and you get raided by Homeland Security:

The panties, with “Take the Crown” and “KC” across the bottom, were set to be sold in Honig’s Birdies Panties shop Tuesday. But Homeland Security agents visited the Crossroads store and confiscated the few dozen pairs of underwear, printed in Kansas City by Lindquist Press.

“They came in and there were two guys” Honig said. “I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws.”

It may be fun to laugh at the panty raid, but take a step back and realize how messed up it is that government agents are out there enforcing private copyrights like it was a criminal matter. For most of our history, copyrights were enforced through the civil justice system, not by a unit of government agents dedicated to fighting “intellectual property crime.” A unit, it appears, that was created at the behest of entertainment companies, not because there was any sort of public outcry or criminal scourge imperiling the general peace and welfare. And, of course, a unit that is run out of the same offices where fights against terrorists and stuff are waged.

I feel safe now, citizen. Don’t you?

In any event, Birdies Panties — the purveyor of the pirated panties — probably shouldn’t have made those things given that they didn’t have the right to do so. But you gotta feel bad that The Man came in and took all of their merch like that. So, in the interests of sticking it to The Man, please go buy a pair of underpants or three from them.

A video game simulation of the World Series nailed Game 1

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Granted, this is basically an ad for a video game. But it certainly got Game 1 right. The Giants scored four early in the simulation, not three, but Madison Bumgarner cruised all the same:

Let’s see if it gets Game 2 right tonight. If so, people in Kansas City can back away from the ledge.

Major League Baseball’s PAC has spent more on 2014 elections than it has in any other year


Our friend Nathaniel Rakich has shot us this report based on the latest FEC filings which show where baseball’s political action committee spends its money. And it’s a good bit of money: this year it has spend over $600,000 on campaigns, which is more than it ever has. Even more than in presidential election years.

Why does baseball spend so much money?

It has a stake in heavily regulated broadcast and cable matters, copyright and trademark issues, taxes, alcohol and drug-abuse education and emergency and disaster planning.  From 1989 through June 2014, the commissioner’s office spent more than $3.2 million on lobbying.

Baseball, like a lot of corporate lobbying operations, is pragmatic, not ideological. It spends more on Republicans for House races and more on Democrats in Senate races. Basically, it’s giving money to those currently in power. When the political balance changes, so too will the donation patterns, one suspects.

Anyway, interesting reading if you’re into baseball, politics or the politics of baseball.

Wade Davis’ wife tipped a waiter a World Series ticket

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Wade Davis’ family was at a place called Rock and Brews in suburban Kansas City and the waiter got a good tip. But it wasn’t money. Nope, he got a World Series ticket from Wade Davis’ wife:


The seat was in the players’ family section, which probably could’ve sold on the secondary market for a thousand bucks. I think that’s more than 15%.