Author: Craig Calcaterra

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The Nets-Dodgers deal appears to be off


A week ago there were reports that the Dodgers and Nets were in negotiations to “combine assets” in some manner. A merger of sorts that would keep operations of the teams separate, but which would provide, I dunno, “synergy” or something.

Seems that’s not happening. From the Post, via our friends at PBT:

The parent companies of the LA Dodgers and the Brooklyn Nets will not be getting hitched after all, The Post has learned.

Although the two sides held talks recently, they have broken down and are unlikely to begin again, sources tell The Post.

“Guggenheim doesn’t have money,” a source close to the situation said. “Will a deal ever happen? Probably no.”

I still don’t see what the angle would be for the Dodgers or anyone else to buy the Nets if, as is reported, it’s owner Mikhail Prokhorov still wants to retain control of the team. If you put up a couple of billion dollars, well, you expect to actually own something.

I dunno. I assume this is all Yasiel Puig’s fault somehow.

Bruce Bochy: one of the best managers in baseball history?

Bruce Bochy AP

That’s the case for Bochy made by Jonah Keri today over at Grantland. And, thankfully, Jonah doesn’t just play the “count tha rings!” game. Sure, the two World Series rings and a potential for a third matter, but he also looks at what Bochy has done with what he has been given, his flexibility and the extent to which his teams have exceeded expectations and concludes thusly:

That ability to overcome adversity — combined with the data and sheer number of rings he has won — net out something you wouldn’t expect: the conclusion that Bruce Bochy not only has a case as the best manager in the game today, but as one of the greatest of all time. Sounds weird, but it’s true. And that sound you hear is grateful Giants fans hollering in agreement.

A big assist in that assessment comes from Chris Jaffe and his book, which I read and enjoyed, called Evaluating Baseball’s Managers. When you read it — and Jonah’s piece for that matter — you quickly realize that quantifying a manager’s contributions is really, really complicated and that a lot of leaps have to be taken. That said, it’s a better approach than merely talking about soft factors like “fire” and “leadership” or simply looking at W-L records.

But whether it’s those soft factors or the numbers or the unconventionality when it is required or the word of people who have played under him or against him, there is no escaping that Bochy is among the best there has ever been and probably the best in the game today.


Jeremy Hefner to undergo his second Tommy John surgery

jeremy hefner getty

This was inevitable months ago, but now it’s official: Jeremy Hefner will undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time in less than 14 months. The procedure is to be performed this morning.

Hefner made 22 starts for the Mets in 2013 before undergoing his first Tommy John surgery. In August he suffered a significant setback in his recovery during a minor league rehab start. In addition to re-injuring his ligament, he suffered a stress fracture in his ulna bone.

Hefner is 28 and is 8-15 with a 4.34 ERA in 50 career games, 36 as a starter.


On the eve of the NLCS: another police shooting of a black teenager in St. Louis

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The NLDS in St. Louis featured protests outside the stadium connected with the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. You be certain that the NLCS will feature more of the same — likely much, much more, actually — as another police shooting of a black teenager occurred last night, this time in St. Louis itself. From the Post-Dispatch:

Another police-involved fatal shooting of a teenager, this time in south St. Louis not far from the Missouri Botanical Garden, led to hours of protests overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning as an angry crowd gathered quickly when news spread across social media.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the officer was off-duty, working a secondary job for a private security company, when he fatally shot an 18-year-old male Wednesday night.

The police say that the victim, Vonderrit Myers Jr, 18, was armed and fired at the officer first. Witnesses dispute the account, saying he was unarmed and only had a sandwich in his hand. The officer — who was off duty but in uniform, working a contract security job — fired his weapon at Myers 17 times. Needless to say, given what happened in nearby Ferguson, both in the Brown shooting and the events that unfolded thereafter, people will be forgiven for not taking the police at their word as to what transpired.

Also needless to say, the protests in St. Louis will be large and intense. And given the national focus on St. Louis for the baseball playoffs, it is inescapable that, in some fashion, the events of last night and the coming days will intersect with the NLCS.

The San Diego city government has a suite for Padres games. And they don’t know what to do with it.

Petco Park

When a city puts up public money for a stadium, it’s not unreasonable that the stadium will include at least some place for city use. Like, say, a luxury box. Petco Park in San Diego has a luxury box which is owned by the city, and it’s become something of an odd political issue.

The use of it in the past several years has not, actually, been terribly controversial. For the most part city council members give it to groups who request its use, such as charities, neighborhood organizations, youth groups and the like. Sometimes donors and political cronies get to use it, but apparently the process is transparent, with the city publicly listing who applies to use the box and who actually uses it.

But now the mayor wants to cease the city’s use of it and, rather, lease out the box and use the proceeds to fund city services. The story about all of that is at the Union-Tribune, and it shows that the politics about it all are somewhat complicated: does the city give away good seats to the public which they couldn’t otherwise get, or do they allow private groups to use it, but have the money come back to the city?

A third option — the team giving a lot more money back to the city in exchange for the cash cow it was given by taxpayers — is probably too ridiculous to be on the table.