Craig Calcaterra


The Orioles may have issues with Yovani Gallardo’s physical


The Orioles have a bit of a history of being tougher when it comes to physicals of prospective free agents. The famously came to an agreement with Grant Balfour in the 2013-14 offseason, only to back out, leaving Balfour angry and $3 million lighter in the wallet after signing with the Rays. The same thing happened with them and Tyler Colvin that offseason and it reportedly played a part in Bronson Arroyo deciding to sign with Arizona instead of Baltimore.

The O’s tough-grading doctors could be at it again, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo, who says that “questions have come up with Yovani Gallardo‘s physical with Baltimore. Status of deal is unclear.”

Gallardo and the Orioles agreed to a three-year deal worth $35 million over the weekend but, as always, such deals are pending a physical. Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings last year, but his strikeout rate reached a career low 15.3 percent while his walk rate was a mediocre 8.6 percent. Signs of arm issues? Just noise in the data?

Stay tuned to see what the O’s say about it all.

Nationals’ Zimmerman defends himself against PED allegations


VIERA, Fla. (AP) Washington Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman vigorously defended himself against performance-enhancing drug allegations made in a documentary that aired in December.

Zimmerman said he never heard of or met the people featured in the Al-Jazeera America documentary, “The Dark Side: Secrets of Sports Doping.” He and Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard in January filed a defamation suit against the network, which Zimmerman said is the strongest way to prove his innocence.

The organization’s longest tenured player said he was willing to open up his entire life, including phone and email records, to discovery as part of the defamation suit. Even though Zimmerman acknowledged it’s difficult for public figures to successfully sue for defamation, he felt it was his responsibility to go through the process to clear his name.

Joe Girardi is letting the Yankees sleep in later

A woman walks between palm trees before sunrise on Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Associated Press

Non-gameday spring training schedules are fairly straightforward: ballplayers get to the facility at, like, 7 or 7:30, eat some breakfast off of styrofoam plates, hit the cages or the trainer’s room or something and start working out on the field at 9 or 9:30. They’re usually done by noon at the latest and then are off to go play golf or something.

Not the Yankees. Not this year. Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal reports that Joe Girardi, armed with research about the importance of sleep and no small amount of common sense, has told his players to show up late. Like, really late. Workouts at 11 or 11:30 late, just as many other teams are starting to wind down. He’s adamant about it too, BTW. Go read the article and check out Girardi’s quotes about how early birds will not get the worm with the Yankees this year.

While such things offend the sensibilities of an early riser like myself — really, all of you who sleep late are morally weak and I can’t stand you — this makes a lot of sense for ballplayers. For the entire regular season these dudes work the second shift. Part of what makes spring training such a grind to them, I suspect, is the radical change of schedule for a month and a half.

It’ll be interesting to see how it goes.