Author: Craig Calcaterra

Orioles Royals

Rosenthal: it’s put up or shut up time . . . for fans


Ken Rosenthal makes an awful lot of sense today, predicting that the Orioles-Royals ALCS will not be a ratings juggernaut for TBS in the coming week. And if that does come to pass, he kindly asks that you all shut up about teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and Cardinals being shoved down our throats for national broadcasts:

Trust me, this series will be good television, Camden Yards a sea of orange, Kauffman Stadium a sea of blue, two long-suffering fan bases erupting with joy, celebrating their teams’ respective ascents into the baseball elite.

Will you watch? Or are your complaints hollow?

Put up or shut up.

If you’re a baseball fan, turn on your TV.

I hope to God that this series gets great ratings because these are a couple of teams that could bring some new fans into the game and reinvigorate some old fans at the same time. This is the freshest LCS matchup we’ve had in years. Still, I’m with Rosenthal (a) doubting that it will; and (b) doubting that it matters given how well baseball ratings do on a local level.

The Dodgers looked pretty cool traveling to St. Louis


Most teams get natty when they travel. The Dodgers are no exception. The difference here is that John SooHoo, the official photographer for the Los Angeles Dodgers took pictures of their trip from L.A. to St. Louis the other day and posted them on his blog.

The pics are here and they’re pretty great. Some family moments. Some pretty awesome sartorial moments from Hyun-Jin Ryu and Juan Uribe. Clayton Kersahw doing his bullpen session yesterday. Fun stuff.

Great Moments in “If The Boss Was Still Alive”

George Steinbrenner thumbs up

Every time something happens with the Yankees, someone writes the “if The Boss was still alive” column, channeling the glory days of George Steinbrenner for some easy, lazy fodder. Also probably worth noting that the people who do this tend to be writers whose own glory days happen to correspond with Steinbrenner’s, but we’ll leave that aside.

Today we have a rare example of the genre: Boss-is-still-aliving about a totally differen team. From Kevin Kernan of the New York Post:




Because they spend big and because the owner of the team, Mark Walter, admired Steinbrenner and the “the only thing that matters is winning” mentality. And, of course, the Mattingly connection.

Which, fine, whatever. But here’s my question: do New York columnists do this because they can’t understand baseball without the filter of the Yankees or because they think their readers can’t?

Chris Davis unlikely to be on the ALCS roster

chris davis getty

The Orioles’ sweep of the Tigers means that if Chris Davis were to play in the ALCS, he wouldn’t be eligible until Game 6. That means that it’s highly unlikely that Davis will make the ALCS roster.

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun suggested the other day that if Davis could play four games of the ALCS then maybe he would be placed on the roster and the O’s would play shorthanded for a couple of games. But going with a 24-man roster four five games in a seven game series — which they’d have to, considering rosters are locked-in once they’re set for the series — is not a great idea.

The question is if the O’s make the World Series, do they even bother activating him then? At that point they’d have done more than fine without him. Would Buck Showalter want to mess with a good thing?

The Nationals could bench Bryce Harper for tonight’s game

Bryce Harper

The Nationals have scored three runs in two games and 27 innings and tonight they face one of the toughest lefties in baseball in Madison Bumgarner. Between the bad offense and the possibility of playing a better matchup by starting right hander Ryan Zimmerman, someone — probably a lefty — has gotta be benched. The candidates are Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Adam LaRoche.

Zimmerman will not play third base, Adam Kilgore reports. Mostly because of his arm but also because, dudes, Anthony Rendon is the only Nat who has been hitting. That means he either plays left field with Harper moving to center and Span sitting, left field with Harper sitting or first base with LaRoche sitting.  Looks like Harper could be the odd man out:

The Nationals’ other, more remote option includes benching Span, playing Harper in center field and Zimmerman in left. Williams seemed to suggest Span would play, saying facing Bumgarner may actually help break his slump.

“Sometimes lefty-lefty matchups get guys back on line a little bit,” Williams said. “So we’ll see how the lineup shakes out and if he’s in there, hopefully that can get him back on line, and we hope ready for Game 4 and beyond.”

Which, whatever dude. Small sample size matchups don’t mean a ton, but Harper is 3 for 9 with a homer off Bumgarner. More importantly, he’s the better hitter overall and I’m not sure why you’d use a playoff elimination game to jump-start Span. That’s what you do in July, not October. If Span plays and Zimmerman handles first, well, you’re sitting LaRoche. He’s obviously not great against lefties, but he has pop which is more than you say for Span. A final consideration: Doug Fister is on the mound. He’s a ground ball pitcher, making outfield defense way less important. If Harper has to track down crap in the gaps in center, well, you got other problems.

Lineups will be out in a couple of hours, I presume. One hopes that a team struggling to score runs puts forth a lineup with its best hitters in it. But Matt Williams hasn’t made all the moves people would hope he’d make this series, so who knows?