Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Santiago Casilla is out as Giants closer

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On Saturday, Giants closer Santiago blew his ninth game of the season. Now he’s no longer the Giants closer. That according to Bruce Bochy who said before yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals that Hunter Strickland and Derek Law will be getting closing chances going forward:

“It’s time to tweak it a little bit. I’m not saying Law is the closer, but Strickland and Law will be more in the mix in the ninth.”

It didn’t come up in yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals — the Giants never led — but they begin a crucial series against the Dodgers today, and it’s clear that Bochy no longer has confidence in Casilla, who is tied for the major league lead in blown saves this year.

If history is any guide, this may not go over very well with Casilla. Back in May he fumed when Bochy took him out of a ninth inning jam, saying, “the reason I got upset was because he took me out of the game where I thought he had confidence in me. I think I could pitch to the lefty, but I guess it shows the manager didn’t have faith in me.”

Welp, faith is a complicated concept, but at least in baseball, faith is more like trust and trust is earned. Casilla has done nothing to make Bochy trust him recently, so this was pretty inevitable.

 

 

The real purpose of the Tim Tebow signing was made clear today

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Did you hear that the New York Mets signed Tim Tebow. Yep, they did.

Some people say that it was for p.r. Some people say it was so he can be a motivational force for young Mets players. Some people — get this — think he’s actually capable of becoming a major league hitter one day. Can you believe such things?

Well, people believe a lot of things. But I prefer to believe the most obvious things when it comes to explaining weird phenomena. Like this:

He just reported today, too. And of course the jerseys are on sale at Port. St. Lucie:

Video: Mike Trout knows how to slide

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Mike Trout hits better than just about everyone, plays a wicked center field, steals a bunch of bases and is in the lineup nearly every dang day. But that’s not all he can do. The dude can slide a little bit.

Yesterday against the Blue Jays Trout hit the ball to right field. It was a borderline call for Trout to try to take two, but he started chugging for two. Jose Bautista fielded the ball perfectly and fired to second base. Almost every single player in the game would’ve been dead to rights stretching for that double, but Trout’s super hard running between first and second made it close and his absolute perfect slide made him safe.

A more impressive slide came later in the game when Trout stood on second base as Albert Pujols singled. Trout was waved home and, once again, Bautista came up firing. Once again his throw was on the money and would’ve nailed almost any runner in baseball. Once again, Trout slid perfectly, this time using a little slight-of-hand to beat the tag.

Watch both:

I’m beginning to think that this Trout kid can play a little ball.