Craig Calcaterra

Kevin Kiermaier

Bryce Harper, Jonny Gomes, Kevin Kiermaier and post-Awards silliness

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The aftermath of the MVP voting was really weird, you guys. Among the stuff that happened:

Bryce Harper, on Scott Van Pelt’s late night SportsCenter, was reluctant to answer a playful hypothetical question because he was worried that his answer would become a “may may.” By which he meant “meme.” I offer no criticism of him on this because it’s not like anyone but degenerate Internet addicts like me think all that much about memes let alone says the word out loud. Unfortunately and ironically, however, Harper’s pronunciation of the word will now likely turn him into the very thing he most feared: a may may.

Second, AL MVP Josh Donaldson credited Jonny Gomes for helping him change his approach at the plate when they both played in Oakland. This is not weird, actually, it’s quite understandable. I’ll just observe that this is just the latest example of creeping Jonny Gomesism in Major League Baseball. It used to just be that we’d get an unreasonable number of stories about how critically important he was to a team that (a) he was not really a key part of; and (b) wasn’t very good in the first place. Now he’s the MVP whisperer. And, in some places, a gosh darn prophet:

If we manage to defeat ISIS and usher in peace in the Middle East, I have no doubt that our top generals and diplomats will give Jonny Gomes a shoutout. HE’S THE GLUE, MAN.

Finally, on a personal note, I made some Twitter observations last night about how Rays Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier — who received a handful of MVP votes himself — was not particularly well known among casual baseball fans or sports fans in general. This was not a judgment of any kind. I’m a sucker for center field defense and I think he’s a slick player with a bright future. It was just a statement of fact with which I feel it is difficult to disagree. If I was poking fun at anyone with respect to Kiermaier’s relative obscurity it was talk radio hosts general sports media figures like Skip Bayless who don’t follow baseball all that closely, not Kiermaier himself.

Kiermaier, who must have found those tweets by searching for his own name, then decided to search MY Twitter feed, found a silly pic I posted of me with my cats and mocked me, saying that no one listens to a person who looks like me. While this may be undeniably true — I am quite a ridiculous and non-influential person — the funny aspect was that part of the mocking related to the number of Twitter followers I have. Which is weird because I have more followers than he does, I’m not even some allegedly super famous well-known baseball player, and do these facts not make my original point for me?

Anyway, when I and others told him that he misinterpreted me and that I meant him no ill-will, he blocked me. Note: I wasn’t following him anyway.

I have no idea what Major League Baseball teams look at when they determine a player’s “makeup,” but I have the sense that “vanity-searching one’s self on Twitter, getting hyper defensive about being mentioned, misinterpreting observation as offense and then cowering from some silly, old, harmless, bald and crazy cat lady on the Internet” is a bad marker for such things. Anyway: still love your game, Kiermaier. Sorry about your cat hangup. Cats are amazing.

And now, with Awards Season over, we head into the darkness of the offseason in earnest. If you do not expect or appreciate silliness in these lean times, I have no idea how you make it through the winter.

There will be three games on Opening Day, not just one

Opening Day
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Major League Baseball and ESPN just did something kinda cool. Rather than give us the one “Opening Day” game on Sunday night followed by a bunch of day games the next day, this year we’re going to get three games on the Sunday which opens the season and it’s going to get going at 1PM Eastern.

Here’s the schedule — for ESPN anyway — for Sunday April 3 and Monday April 4, just released:

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 3.09.07 PM

Gotta say, the baseball season opening up in daylight instead of darkness — and on a weekend, when most folks can see it — is a good thing.

 

 

Andy Van Slyke is spreading Yasiel Puig-related gossip

fleetwood mac rumors
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This is pretty gossipy even by gossipy blog standards, but it’s so tasty that it’s worth chuckling at a bit.

Former big leaguer Andy Van Slyke was on a St. Louis radio station today and told the host that someone — he’s not saying who! — on the Dodgers went to management and said that the club had to get rid of Yasiel Puig.

Or, maybe he did say who:

And yes, Kershaw is the highest paid player on the Dodgers. UPDATE: Here’s a link to the audio of that. Van Slyke’s comments start at the two minute mark.

If that’s true — and who knows if it is, as a lot of ex-players say a lot of crazy things from time to time — how would Andy Van Slyke even know that, though? Seems pretty insider-y to me. And Van Slyke doesn’t even work for the Dodgers. Hmmm.

I got it! Maybe he knows someone who hangs out with Kershaw a bunch. Someone like, I dunno, his very own son?

Kershaw Van Slyke

Kersh Slyke two

Boy, you have to wonder if Thanksgiving is gonna be awkward at the Van Slyke residence next week.

If this isn’t true and if Van Slyke is just trying to sound wise he probably owes an apology to Kershaw. If it is true, and Kershaw is telling the front office that Puig needs to go, it’s gonna make life a lot of fun for the Dodgers’ next manager. Because Puig, whatever else you can say about him for bad and for good, is not in a great place to be traded right now, coming off of an injury–plagued season.

Good luck Gabe Kapler or Dave Roberts or whoever takes over.