Craig Calcaterra

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Former Mets, Orioles utility guy Jeff McKnight has passed away

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Not a ton of you will have a memory of Jeff McKnight, but he’s one of those “hey, that guy was on a baseball card I had” guys who played parts of six seasons for the Mets and Orioles. Sadly, he has passed away following a ten-year battle with leukemia.

McKnight was only 52. He played in the bigs from 1989 through 1994.

 

The Pirates have new matte batting helmets and they’re amazing

Gregory Polanco
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I am sitting on my couch, with my TV on and there is actual baseball being played. Real, honest to goodness baseball. Sure, it may not count for much, but it’s a game between two different teams and they’re using actual baseball rules and stuff. It’s pretty great.

Also great: it’s the Pirates-Jays game and the Pirates are sporting new batting helmets. They’re matte:

source: AP

That pic is from yesterday, but you get the idea.

Those look friggin’ sweet, man.

Meanwhile in Maryvale: Brewers starters have some sweet bathrobes

Brewers logo
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As a man who doesn’t leave his house very much, this fashion statement really speaks to me:

source:

 

Sorry for the screen cap, but the embed was being all screwy. You can go to the Brewers’ page in order to see better pics of this sweet, sweet robe and to tell the team how much you like them.

Masahiro believes poor mechanics were what led to his bum elbow

Masahiro Tanaka AP
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Jeff Passan — who is writing a book about Tommy John surgery, so it is of special interest to him — has a story today about Masahiro Tanaka and the uncertainties surrounding his elbow. The same elbow which cut his season short last year and which some, Passan included, it seems, believes should have been operated on then instead of, inevitably they believe, later.

For his part Tanaka blames poor mechanics for the strained on his UCL last year and believes he will be fine with mechanical adjustments:

“I don’t think they were solid,” Tanaka told Yahoo Sports through interpreter Shingo Horie recently. “With the right mechanics, the right form, the right balance, you’re able to throw a solid pitch. It’s not about how much power you can put on the throw. It’s more about the mechanics. That’s what I believe.

I have no idea whether Tanaka and the Yankees were right or wrong to decide agains Tommy John surgery. I’ll leave that up to the orthopedic surgeons with whom he and the team consulted and trust that they got good advice and are acting on that good advice.

But the mechanics stuff interests me. Specifically, it will be worth watching as the season begins whether Tanaka has truly altered his mechanics in a way visible to us in the stands. And whether that impacts his effectiveness or creates other problems, as pitchers who change their mechanics up often experience.

Joba Chamberlain’s son had a lot to do with him signing back with the Tigers

Joba Chamberlain
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Ken Rosenthal reports that while Joba Chamberlain’s desire to come back to Detroit this year was motivated in part by his own comfort level and sense of unfinished business with the Tigers, there was something else which factored into it too. His eight-year-old son’s wishes:

“I sat down with Karter and asked him what he was comfortable with . . . We kind of went through all of the options. He was like, ‘Dad, I don’t know anybody on that team.’ Or, ‘I know this person on this team.’ Literally, as we were going through it, he gets on his phone and calls Victor’s son to ask how his dad was doing.”

Meaning Victor Martinez’s son, Victor Jr.

In other news, some of us who work at home in our pajamas all day have kids complete unaware of what the concept of a coworker is.