Craig Calcaterra

gambling poster

Las Vegas says the Dodgers and Nats will win the most games and . . . the Phillies will win the least


Well, at least that’s how they set the over/under. From Bovada:



Personally I’d take the over on Washington before I would on Los Angeles. But then again, I am easily the worst gambler out of anyone I know.

Minor league deal with a spring training invite: “They like you, they just don’t like you, like you”

jason marquis getty

C.J. Nitkowski has an interesting article up over at Fox: what it’s like to be on a minor league deal with an invite to the big league camp. The players, a Nitkowski says, who teams “like you” but don’t “like you like you.”

Nitkowski runs through the thought process of the player trying to find the right fit with a minor league invite. Factors include how old the team is. What other players are on the team and whether there’s a theoretical spot for you. And, perhaps most importantly, how trustworthy the general manager is:

That trust is important in these situations because promises are made to non-roster invitees. “We have a spot for you” … “You’ll make our team but we can’t put you on the 40-man roster until spring training ends” … “If you don’t make our team, we’ll let you go to another.” All of that sounds great, but if none of that is in writing the words are only as good as the GM’s reputation.

For a lot of players, spring training is about getting their work in and getting out to the golf course by mid-afternoon. For guys on minor league deals, their future is very much up in the air all spring long.

The integration of spring training

Vero Beach

Michael Beschloss of the New York Times had a story over the weekend chronicling how, though Jackie Robinson integrated baseball in 1947, spring training in Florida took much, much longer to become an institution with even a modicum of equality.

But Dodgertown itself could not solve the larger problem of racial separation in the Grapefruit League. More than a decade after Robinson joined the Dodgers, black players for other teams were still shunned by many Florida hotels and restaurants. African-American spectators in West Palm Beach were forced to enter the baseball park by slipping through a gap in the stadium fence.

It wasn’t until just before the Civil Rights Act in 1964 that all teams had fully-integrated spring training accommodations in Florida.

An interesting and informative read.

Carlos Correa is in The Best Shape of His Life

carlos correa getty

source: Getty Images

This is the first ever BSOHL HardballTalk has featured in Spanish!

“Me siento al 100%. Mentalmente preparado. Eso (la lesión) nunca ha sido un issue. Siempre he estado mentalmente fuerte para las adversidades que hay que sobrepasar, y en este deporte hay que pasar muchas”, manifestó el campocorto santaisabelino.

“Físicamente me siento en mi mejor momento. Mejor que el año pasado. He aumentado de peso, he adquirido más fuerza y rapidez, y el entrenamiento que hemos hecho todo el año ha salido a relucir”, agregó el jugador, manifestando algo detectable desde antes de estrecharle la mano.

Una espalda más ancha, así como unos brazos más definidos y anchos, castigan las pelotas que le lanzan durante esta sesión en el Hiram Bithorn, donde fue obvia la transformación en el cuerpo de la primera selección del ‘draft’ del 2012.

“Su cuerpo ha cambiado totalmente”, dijo su entrenador físico, Ulises Rosario. “Para este año nos enfocamos en fortalecerlo para que borrara lo que sucedió (la pequeña fractura en su peroné o fíbula) y recuperara la confianza. Desde el primer día vi su buena actitud y creo que no mencionó la lesión una sola vez”.

Thanks to reader Scott Simon for the heads up. And thanks to Google translate for the rough translation job. Which, while obviously not perfect, makes it quote clear that this is a BSHOL article, what with talk about adding bulk, obvious physical transformations and the strong downplay of his previous injury. Because, remember, BSOHL is rarely about actually being in the BSOHL. It’s usually an article either spinning an off-year or injury-plagued season.

Not that Correa needs too much spin. Before he fractured his leg last year he was having an excellent season, hitting .325 with 20 steals in 62 games at high Single-A as a 19-year-old. Even with the injury, he’s still well ahead of where most top prospects are at his age.

The Yankees will retire Andy Pettitte’s number 46

Andy Pettitte

It was reported yesterday that the New York Yankees will retire Andy Pettitte’s number 46 and give him a plaque in Monument Park. The source of the report: Pettitte’s son Josh tweeted it:

It was later confirmed by several reporters. Pettitte’s number will be the 18th retired by the Yankees. At some point they’ll have to start giving out pinstriped jerseys with, like, hashtags and @ symbols on them. Or maybe they can go with decimals or something. If you get traded to the Yankees, here is your best course of action:

Pettitte pitched for 18 years in the bigs, 15 of which in New York. With the Yankees he complied a record of 219-127 with a 3.94 ERA and 2,020 strikeouts in 2,796.1 innings. He was a three-time All-Star and, of course, helped the Bombers to five World Series titles.