Craig Calcaterra

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My last day in Arizona will take me to visit the Kansas City Royals

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TEMPE, Ariz. — Good morning all. Today is my last day touring around the Cactus League. I’ve been to seven games in seven days and today comes number eight. I’ll be way the heck over in Surprise to visit the Kansas City Royals camp and to catch their game against the Indians. Joe Posanski wrote about the Royals and their uneventful camp last week. Here’s hoping it’s more eventful on this Monday morning.

All the people around here complain about going to Surprise because it’s so far, but it’s about the same drive as it is from Tigers camp to Yankees camp in Florida. There are way worse drives in the Grapefruit League. And no one is gonna listen to you moan about driving far to go see baseball.

I didn’t post about it yesterday, but on Sunday I took in the Cubs-Reds at Sloan Park. Nothing terribly notable about that game or day in camp apart from the fact that it was a two-hour, fourteen minute game. Travis Wood and Johnny Cueto weren’t messing around. And nothin’ but a crushed ball by Chris Denorfia really happened. Everyone else presumably had 4pm tee times.

On the personal tourist side I did do two cool things this weekend. On Saturday I went to Taliesin West, which is Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and remains an architecture school. I took a bunch of pictures of that. It was cool.

On Sunday before the Cubs game I climbed Camelback Mountain, mostly because I am a crazy person. It was fun too. And again, something you can’t really do in Florida. You can have your beaches. I’d prefer some topography.

Oh well, that’s that. I’ll be posting from Royals camp later today.

The Brewers ban high-fives because of a pinkeye outbreak

Brewers logo
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Bob Nightengale reports that the Milwaukee Brewers have temporarily banned high fives. Not because they annoy Buster Olney, but for more practical reasons: 12 players have been diagnosed with pinkeye. And everyone else is sick too:

[Brandon] Kintzler became the 12th member of the Brewers to be stricken by the virus. And we’re not even counting 15 to 20 players who have been battling bronchitis, flu, cold and nasal complications this spring.

“This is so crazy,” says outfielder Ryan Braun, who returned Sunday after being sent home for two days with a flu bug. “I still don’t feel great.”

The Brewers have the worst record in the Cactus League right now. Normally you can’t attribute that to anything that matters, but I feel like maybe there is a good excuse for it now.

In other news, I’m glad I ended up skipping visiting Brewers camp in Maryvale this year.

Drew Storen had surgery on his non-throwing hand

Drew Storen
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NatsLady hipped me to this: Nationals reliever Drew Storen had surgery on the hamate bone on (in? of?) his left (non-throwing) hand today. Which sounds serious, but since he doesn’t swing a bat and since it’s his non-throwing hand will not keep him out of action for long. Indeed, he could be throwing again in three days.

Storen is coming off an excellent season in which he posted an ERA of 1.12 and a K/BB ratio of 46/11 in 56.1 innings. He should be ready for Opening Day.

Zack Wheeler has elbow tenderness

Zack Wheeler
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Mets fans, commence your panicking:

Please re-read that last one before you freak out. Then freak out, because I know you’re going to anyway. You’re Mets fans and that’s what you do. And I wouldn’t have you any other way.

The Mets have settled the lawsuit brought by former vice president Leigh Castergine

Jeff Wilpon photo
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Last year Leigh Castergine, the Mets’ former executive vice president for marketing and ticket sales, sued the team and Jeff Wilpon alleging that Wilpon criticized her in front of team employees for having a baby out of wedlock. She additionally claimed that Wilpon told her that, “when she gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus.” After she had the baby he allegedly criticized her for remaining unmarried and for not being as “aggressive” as she once was. When she complained to HR, she was fired, she claimed.

The allegations painted an ugly picture. And at the time I noted that they a) were legally serious; and (b) had at least some indicia of legitimacy based on how they were pleaded. Now we’ll never know what happened, however, as Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the case has settled. The terms are undisclosed. The following joint statement was released:

“The parties have decided to resolve this matter, which has brought more attention to the workplace environment for women in sports and will result in the organization being more attentive to the important issues raised by women in sports,” the parties said in a joint statement. “Additionally, we are both committed to the further development and encouragement of female executives in our industry. Both sides‎ have agreed to have no further comments.”

At the risk of reading too much into things, I’d say there’s a bit of a spanking of the Mets in the statement, with language which seems pretty clearly aimed at giving the public impression that Castergine’s claims were not baseless. It also suggests that the language was insisted upon by Castergine from a position of relative strength. I say this because, usually, a settling defendant does not want any sort of verbiage suggesting even a hint of merit to the underlying claims in a public statement like that. Yet here they are.

But like I said, perhaps I read too much into such things.

In any event, I expect Major League Baseball to do nothing now. If they were even going to bother to before. Which is doubtful. Frank McCourt had the Wilpons’ financial difficulties and got hammered while they skated. Marge Schott and George Steinbrenner engaged in misbehavior which created hostile work environments for their employees and were disciplined, but don’t expect the same thing to happen to the Mets owners. They have a special relationship with Major League Baseball, it seems.

But they shouldn’t. This is what I wrote last fall about what MLB should do in response to the Castergine lawsuit. Even though the case has now settled the league can still act. But it won’t. Really, don’t hold your breath.