Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Chipper Jones is joining Roger Clemens’ retired All-Star team for the NBC World Series


That’s National Baseball Congress, not National Broadcasting Company. If it was the latter, I’d be putting the teams together. This is a two-week amateur tournament. The one we talked about yesterday in which Roger Clemens, Adam LaRoche and a bunch of other ex-MLB players are getting together to take on a bunch of amateurs in their 20s.

Now the Geezers have a third baseman:


I also love that Chipper is well aware that there are gonna be some broken old bodies coming out of this. There will be some 420 foot homers — old man strength is a real thing — but Wichita is gonna run out of ice for the these dudes’ knees and you all will be well advised to buy heavy in Advil stock right now.


The fastest pitch in the Statcast era was a ball low and inside


Last month we witnessed he hardest-hit ball in the two-year Statcast era. It was a Giancarlo Stanton grounder that resulted in a fairly easy 4-6-3 double play.

Last night we saw the fastest pitch in the two-year Statcast era. It was 105.1 miles per hour and, of course, it came courtesy of Aroldis Chapman.

Oh, and it was a ball, low and inside, that Steve Pearce (um, I dunno) J.J. Hardy laid off of because, well, it was not a great pitch:

I continue to stand by my comments from the Stanton thing: Statcast is pretty neat and I’m confident that, at some point, there will a lot of cool things analysts can do with it and which players can, eventually, use to enhance their games. It’s pretty useless to tout speeds and angles and stuff in a vacuum, however, and the social media and broadcasting folks should maybe lay off of it unless and until there are actually some contextualized and relatable things to be drawn from the data which, on its own, is only moderately interesting.

Jered Weaver won a game on Sunday, after all, and he throws about as hard as the kid across the street who plays on the JV team. There’s a little more to it, ya know?

Jose Altuve wants it that way


Ballplayers talk about the clubhouse being their sanctuary. The place where they can escape the spotlight and the distractions. Where they can tune out the world and focus on the task at hand: pitched athletic competition and managing the grind of a long, grueling season.

If that makes you picture guys sitting quietly and gathering their thoughts or starting at nothing while managing an intense swelling of emotion and feeling which they’ll then attempt to channel into physical activity, well, you’re right. That happens. Definitely happens. I’ve seen it.

But sometimes it also involves wailing some Backstreet Boys while playing cards. That definitely happens too.