Craig Calcaterra


Who is your least favorite player: Part II


Yesterday John Paschal of The Hardball Times started an investigation into who our least favorite players are. Today he has Part II of that investigation, asking some more baseball writers who their least favorite players are and why.

My answer to this question appears at the end of this installment. The short version: while, when I was young, I hated certain players who did well against the teams for which I rooted, I grew out of it. Today I don’t — at least I don’t think — hate any player based on what they do between the lines. Or, for that matter, for what they do off the field unless what they do off the field has victims and real life implications for innocent people.

Go check out some Deep Thoughts about hate over at The Hardball Times.

The Red Sox and Orioles are interested in playing exhibition games in Cuba


Buster Olney reports that the Red Sox and the Orioles are interested in playing exhibition games in Cuba at some point soon. The Red Sox’ plans are somewhat amorphous and haven’t progressed beyond the discussion stages. The Orioles, who have something of a better “in” with Cuba, would like to do something this spring.

First some exhibition games. Then maybe a series during the regular season. Possibly a minor league team returning to Cuba, even. As Jorge Arangure noted in his first Cuba Diaries installment, such expansion of U.S. business interests into Cuba is inevitable. Re-expansion, I guess, given the history of our two countries. Here’s hoping, however, that everyone treads a bit on the light side with this, so that that which is unique and good about Cuba now is not thrown out with all that which is not so good.


Prince Fielder is healthy

Prince Fielder Getty

Good news, Rangers fans:

Fielder, of course, played in only 42 games last year before needing neck surgery. Also worth noting that, just before the season began, he was a BSOHL All-Star.

Now, take 2 on the whole “Fielder is gonna love to hit in that cozy ballpark” thing.

Oh, and also:




The Spink Award: it ain’t what it used to be


Back in December Tom Gage, Tigers beat writer for the Detroit News since 1979, won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. The Spink is given for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing.” Winners of the Spink Award, which dates back to 1962 are honored by being included in a special permanent media exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s a big deal for the recipients, obviously, and a big deal for the baseball writers who vote on it.

Which makes this bit of news about Gage’s future a bit . . . awkward:

Obviously career awards are not the same thing as current merit and obviously the Detroit News has a business to run. But this was not a mere gold watch award for an old timer, as some other Spink Awards have been. Gage is still an excellent beat writer who doesn’t draw attention to himself, doesn’t complain and who isn’t a polarizing personality like some other baseball writers can be.

And for cryin’ out loud, the guy is going to be on the state at Cooperstown giving an acceptance speech in five months. This couldn’t have waited until after that?

Which ballparks have Wi-Fi?

Rogers Centre

Reader Rik sent me this story about how the Blue Jays are now going to provide Wi-Fi for all fans in Rogers Centre. Before it was only in certain, premium seating areas.

I never go to Rogers Centre so I don’t much care, but the article was interesting to me due to it providing a breakdown of all 30 ballparks, specifying which have it and which don’t. Go check out the list to see if you’re one of the lucky ones.

And with that, cue The Best Fans in Baseball telling us all about how they don’t want Wi-Fi at the ballpark anyway because it distracts them from the pure baseball essence or some such nonsense.