Author: Craig Calcaterra

crystal ball

Adam Wainwright called Matt Adams’ homer


The reason I got a bit miffed at the Clayton Kershaw bashing a couple of posts ago is that, to some degree, engaging in that stuff takes away from what was really a fantastic baseball moment. Well, fantastic if you’re not a Dodgers fan anyway. I’d guess that 99 out of 100 times Kershaw strikes out a lefty in that situation and that 99 out of 100 times Matt Adams does something short of hit a homer off a tough lefty in that situation.

But it happened and it was fantastic and improbable. It had nothing to do with character or guts or any of that. At least the lack of them on Kershaw’s part; Adams had to keep a positive outlook to overcome the odds of that particular matchup, one assumes. Mostly it was just unpredictable.

Or was it? From Jenifer Langosch at, who sets the scene as Adam Wainwright and Matt Carpenter watched that Adams-Kershaw at bat unfold:

Two singles, both just out of the reach of the Dodgers’ middle infielders, brought Matt Adams to the plate, and after a first-pitch strike, Wainwright turned to his right: “If he throws a curveball for a strike right now,” he told Carpenter, “he’s going to hit it out of the park.”

It was the perfect setup to the latest October magic under the shadow of the Gateway Arch.

Adams can hit a curve ball. And in that situation, he had to assume it was coming. But a lot of people assume a Kershaw curve is coming in that situation and still can’t do anything with it. That Adams did was pretty awesome. That Wainwright predicted it was a different kind of awesome.

Brian Wilson will exercise his player option for 2015

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants

Shocker here.

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that Brian Wilson has informed the Dodgers that he will exercise his player option for 2015. It’s worth $9.5 million. If his pitching does not improve, Wilson is not, but such is the way of contractual agreements.

Wilson put up a 4.66 ERA and 54/29 K/BB ratio over 48 1/3 innings this season and Don Mattingly seemed pretty afraid of using him in the postseason. If it was a health thing hampering him this year, there’s still a chance for Wilson to profile as solid setup man next season.


Questioning Clayton Kershaw’s character is a sign that you don’t know what you’re talking about

Clayton Kershaw

You knew this was coming:

Commenters have told me that the lesser Skip Bayless-types on various talk radio shows are calling him “Clayton Manning” this morning. Clever.

I do a lot of sports talk radio. I’m usually the token baseball guy they go to for five minutes to interrupt their two-hour-plus block of football stuff. It’s very clear that, with a few exceptions, sports talk radio is both ignorant of and indifferent to baseball. It doesn’t have a week between games which more easily allows the yakkers to come up with imagined storylines and controversies. It is quantifiable enough to where the lingua franca of sports talk radio — questioning guys’ guts and character — carries less weight. It’s also a game where no one person has anything close the impact on a game that, say, a quarterback or a point guard does. Talking about strategy and probabilities and how some 25 people a game interact is not as sexy and visceral as asking whether Johnny Utah is “elite” is.

But God love ’em, the sports yakkers try. They only try when the story is big enough, of course, because it’s just baseball. They come out of the woodwork during the playoffs for this stuff and when they offer it they look ridiculous, like Skip does here. I don’t know if their listeners care. They probably don’t. It’s all a grand game of “hero or bum” for so many sports fans, and there’s little room in their heads, it seems, account for what actually goes on in a baseball game.

Thank goodness for Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette at Sirius/XM. Thank goodness for my pal Norm Wamer at The Ticket in Toledo. Thank goodness for the folks I talk to during my Wednesday morning radio tour across various cities. These are men and women who get and appreciate baseball and, I imagine, have had to fight hard to get smart talk about baseball on the air in anything other than a token role.

Too bad there are way, way more yakkers who try to reduce everything to some dumb lowest common denominator like that which we’re seeing here.

Photo of the Day: Matt Adams does the impos– well, the HIGHLY improbable


D.J. found this in the photos from last night’s game. It’s a fantastic bit of photography from Jeff Roberson of the Associated Press, capturing the moment the tide finally and permanently turned in favor of the Cardinals:



Adams should buy and frame this bad boy. He may have bigger moments in his baseball career, but there won’t be too many of them.

A Cobb County Commissioner learns a good lesson: don’t try to double cross a lawyer

Braves ballpark

I hit on the theme of karma a little bit this morning. A more direct example of it can be seen in Cobb County, Georgia in connection with the Braves moving up there in 2017.

Yesterday we saw that the county commissioner, Tim Lee, was cagey and defensive when asked about the details of the negotiations which ultimately led to the Braves moving north. Specifically, how he may have broken the law when he hired a lawyer to work on the deal that moved the team to Cobb County and that now he appears to be trying to avoid any questioning about it. Turns out it’s even more delicious than that.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Lee apparently hired this bond lawyer and then tried to keep it and anything else about the Braves negotiations out of the public record by using private email addresses rather than public ones. Then, I assume because he knew that hiring the bond lawyer like this was illegal, he proceeded as if the lawyer wasn’t really hired, made it clear he wasn’t going to pay the lawyer and was not at all prepared to have the lawyer officially and properly hired once the project became public. Indeed, his statements yesterday were adamant about how the lawyer was not paid, would not be paid and had no expectation of payment.

Except the lawyer, apparently, didn’t feel that way. According to the AJC, he most certainly wanted to be paid — or, at the very least, wanted and expected to get the work that spun out of the Braves stadium project — and when Commissioner Lee kept stonewalling him, the lawyer did something that was simply elegant: he sent an email to the commissioner. To his public email address. Providing a clear paper trail that, contrary to Lee’s denials, shows that he did illegally hire the lawyer and that he is a mendacious jackwagon. The lawyer, I am certain, knew what he was doing.

The big lesson here: public officials should never break the law and should never try to hide their official acts from public scrutiny.

The second biggest lesson: publicly-financed stadium deals are almost, by definition, invitations to corruption.

The more subtle, but more useful lesson: never, ever try to double-cross a lawyer.