Craig Calcaterra

Joba Chamberlain

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

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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.

Victor Martinez thinks he’ll be ready for Opening Day

Victor Martinez
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Victor Martinez was expected to miss the beginning of the regular season due to surgery to repair the meniscus of his left knee. But he’s in Lakeland today and he tells the press that he thinks he’ll be good to go for Opening Day:

Martinez, entering the first year of a four-year, $68 million deal, hit .335/.407/.567 last year with 32 homers and 103 RBI. Having him healthy and productive in 2015 is essential for the Tigers’ playoff hopes.

Predictably, the Daily News mocks A-Rod for his performance in an intrasquad game

Alex Rodriguez
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I wrote this yesterday after the Yankees played an intrasquad game in which (a) a pitching machine was used instead of a real pitcher; and (b) Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-2:

In other news, in case my tone was unclear or misleading, this does not matter. At all. Regarding anything. Just remember that tomorrow when the usual New York suspects make a point to talk about A-Rod’s o-fer.

I figured that talk would come in a snarky aside about the Yankees. Nope, it got the whole back page:

Points for the pun — New York tabloid puns are usually pretty funny, actually — but hoo-boy for making a big deal out of this. Or, at the very least for making a selective big deal out of this. Chris Young struck out against the machine. No one in that Yankees lineup yesterday, that I am aware of, hit for the cycle or anything.

In other news the New York Daily News is gonna be really sad when they don’t have A-Rod to kick around anymore. I sorta worry about them, actually.

 

Matt Harvey to make his regular season debut on April 9

Matt Harvey
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Kevin Kernan of the New York Daily News reports that Matt Harvey is likely to make his regular season debut on April 9 in Washington against the Nationals. That’s the Mets’ third game of the season.

Obviously that all assumes that Harvey’s spring goes well. As reported the other day, Harvey will make his spring game debut on Friday.

Harvey’s workload is expected to be closely monitored and somewhat limited in his first season back from Tommy John surgery, but it will be done in a less heavy-handed fashion than, say, Stephen Strasburg’s work was limited a couple of years ago. Rather than a hard cutoff, the Mets plan to skip starts and limit innings in specific starts so that he can be available all season long and, if necessary, the playoffs.

Harvey, 25, owns a 2.39 ERA and 261/57 K/BB ratio in 237 2/3 innings over his first 36 starts in the majors.

Baseball media is rooted in public relations just as much as it is rooted in news

press hat
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Ever notice that the folks who cover sports full time are often a bit late to get on to stories that are bad for the sports they cover?

That, sure, once someone breaks something negative there is a big pile-on, but (a) why is it that a person who lives and breathes the sport every day tends not to be the one breaking it; and (b) where were the guys who cover this sport day-in, day-out when that negative thing was there, just waiting to be talked about? Think PEDs, business issues in which players were taken advantage of by ownership, racial strife, the plight of minor leaguers and the like.

Today, over at The Hardball Times, Jack Moore takes a look at the history of baseball reporting and illustrates how the symbiotic relationship between sports media and the teams and leagues they cover has, historically, worked against negative news — or, sometimes, even perspective-providing news — from being broken by the very people who are closest to the game:

The baseball reporter’s job doesn’t and couldn’t exist without the access granted by owners and executives. The owners and executives, naturally, expect something in return: free advertising and publicity, putting baseball into the minds of readers and viewers, ideally in a way that paints the league in a positive light.

Over the generations, the role of the sportswriter has evolved. Although sports remains the journalistic “toy department,” some writers have shirked the PR role to become valuable reporters and great storytellers. But today’s sports journalism grew from the seed of Lewis Meacham and the rest of the baseball writers whose job it was to, as Connie Mack put it, “make us ‘news.’”

It’s a good read that explains an awful lot about how most of the baseball news we all consume is filtered through some pretty specific 150-year-old lenses, the sorts of which most readers — and, I bet, most of the actual current reporters — don’t often realize.