Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Jorge Soler leaves game with side tightness

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The Cubs trotted out the pupu platter lineup this afternoon, what with today’s game coming after a late night division clinch. One of the few regulars in the lineup was Jorge Soler. Bad luck for him: he left the game with tightness in his side.

The concern, of course, would be that it’s an oblique, which can linger for a few weeks. The Cubs have some time before the playoffs, but not the 4-6 weeks more severe oblique strains can set someone back for. Here’s hoping it’s not serious.

Soler had one at bat in this game. On the year he’s hitting .234/.336/.448 with 12 homers and 31 RBI. He’s done better than that, however, since coming off the DL in mid-August.

 

Fox exec on its new baseball show,”Pitch”: “at its core a soap opera”

Fox Entertainment
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There’s a big story in today’s New York Times about “Pitch,” the show coming out this fall on Fox about a woman who makes the San Diego Padres as a pitcher. The show, which was originally going to premiere this summer, was pushed to the fall because Fox saw it as a potential breakout hit as opposed to a summer fill-in. Today it’s creators are talking it up.

The big takeaway? Baseball is just a red herring, really. Just as a lot of legal and medical shows are, really, soap operas, in “Pitch” baseball is the excuse for a character-driven drama:

Though the pilot features baseball scene after baseball scene, the “Pitch” producers insist it’s anything but a sports show. In fact, Fox moved the show from its original midseason slot to the fall and the 9 p.m. time slot of “Scandal,” after ABC decided to hold back that hit show until the winter. (It should also help that “Pitch” will have its premiere in the heat of the pennant race and will be on the air during baseball’s postseason.) Dana Walden, a chief executive of the Fox Television Group, said that “Pitch” is “at its core a soap opera, and we’re hoping to attract a big number of female viewers.”

If you’re looking for soap opera drama that flows with baseball, Fox, I have a suggestion: a storyline in which the female pitcher tears her UCL but the Padres’ general manager trades her to Seattle anyway after lying about her health. Too far-fetched? Eh, maybe. I’ll workshop it a bit to come up with something more realistic.

Anyway, I don’t know what to expect from the show. For its part, it seems that the New York Times expects condescension to women who might watch it. After noting the hurdles the show might have to jump to find an audience, the article says this:

And how will it cater to the hard-core baseball fan expecting authenticity while still appealing to women, whom Fox is depending on for much of its viewership?

Huh. I guess all the of hard-core baseball fans I know that happen to be women, including the ones who write for and read this blog, the ones I talk to all day on Twitter and who have made baseball their living, the ones I see and talk to at the ballpark and the one I’m marrying are all just figments of my imagination.

The Padres were fined as a result of A.J. Preller’s medical records shenanigans

Craig Calcaterra
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Yesterday Padres general manager A.J. Preller was suspended for 30 days without pay for his role in the Padres hiding players’ medical information from trade partners. At the time, Preller’s suspension was the only discipline mentioned by Major League Baseball. Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports today, however, that in addition to the suspension, the Padres were fined an undisclosed amount.

It probably wasn’t a lot. At least not enough to cause a baseball club to feel a pinch. And Preller’s suspension will likely not cause a lot of grief for the club, at least immediately. The Padres season is almost over and no personnel moves of consequence can be made until after the postseason is over, by which time Preller will be back.

The real penalty here will be the trades Preller is unable to make because opposing general managers don’t trust him. Which seems like a huge deal. And which makes the Padres’ decision to not further discipline or terminate Preller curious indeed.