Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Rob Manfred says the Rangers are at “a competitive disadvantage” without a new ballpark


Rob Manfred made a trip to the Metroplex yesterday to stump for the Texas Rangers’ new ballpark. A ballpark that depends on hundreds of million of taxpayer dollars which, in turn, depend on a ballot issue in the upcoming election passing.

So, obviously, having the Commissioner of Baseball tell voters that dire, dire things will happen if the Rangers don’t get that ballpark is a good idea. The Commish stumped, saying that the Dallas climate is a “competitive disadvantage” for the Rangers. You know, the Rangers who have won 90 or more games five of the last seven years and four division crowns in that time.

Of course, the Commissioner’s definition of “competitive” does not really refer to baseball. At least not in this context. It refers to financial competitiveness, and the Rangers new ballpark is all about maximizing the dough the Rangers can rake in if they get a new stadium.

If you doubt that, look at how the Rangers are touting the “Texas Live” complex, of which the ballpark will be a part:

Note: most of that is devoted to renderings of large, cavernous entertainmentplex-style bars and restaurants and clubs where people will pay top dollar to get into a place where they’ll be allowed to pay top dollar for food and drinks while watching the Rangers on video screens. Such is the way of the world with the modern “ballpark” experience these days, but the Rangers’ vision of this seems particularly detached from baseball and its typical aesthetic. Indeed, it looks like that crappy rave from the beginning of “The Matrix: Reloaded.”

But hey, at least the Rangers won’t be at a “competitive disadvantage” if the taxpayers of Arlington give them all that money to finance their real estate play.

The Giants win, but two key players suffer injuries in the process

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The Giants actually winning a close game rather than blowing it in the ninth is news. Good news for them. But there was some bad news along the way as starting pitcher Johnny Cueto and shortstop Brandon Crawford each went down with injuries.

Cueto left last night’s start against the Dodgers in the sixth inning with a left groin strain. He seemed optimistic after the game, but he’ll have an MRI today in order to see if there’s cause for worry. He’s scheduled to start on Sunday and would have one more start after that before the season ends if he doesn’t have to miss time.

Less uncertainty surrounds Crawford, who dislocated left pinkie finger while sliding into third base. Crawford is considered day-to-day, but Bruce Bochy said last night that he’ll get a couple of days off, most likely.

The Giants have 11 games left and are tied with the Cardinals and Mets for the two Wild Card slots in the National League.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders win the Triple-A National Championship


The minor league season came to an end last night the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders claimed the Triple-A National Championship with a 3-1 win against the El Paso Chihuahuas in Memphis. The Railriders are the Yankees’ top farm team. The Chihuahuas are the top minor league club for the Padres.

Chris Parmelee hit a three-run home run in the first inning for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Jordan Montgomery allowed one run through six innings and the bullpen — led by Phil Coke of all people — shut down El Paso from there.