Craig Calcaterra

David Ortiz

You’ll be shocked to learn that David Ortiz thinks the new pace-of-play rules are “bulls**t”

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If you had asked me to bet the lives of my children on which big league hitter would be the first one to complain about the new rule requiring that a batter keep his foot in the box after each pitch, I would have said “David Ortiz.”

Mookie and Carlo, you live to see another day:

That comment came in a presser that just happened down in Fort Myers. They were followed up by Ortiz saying that he uses the time after each pitch to contemplate the next pitch.

Which, sure. But that’s a habit, not a necessity, as batters didn’t start doing that after each pitch until relatively recently. I assume that, unless he enjoys paying out $500 fines on the regular, Ortiz will change his habits in this regard.

Some designated hitters are allowed to take grounders. Others aren’t.

David Ortiz Getty
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The other day Alex Rodriguez was criticized by some for doing what is almost always lauded: showing up for camp early. He was also chided by at least one Yankees writer for having the audacity to take ground balls when he’s not expected to be a starting defensive player:

This followed on comments from Bob Klapisch in January about how pictures of Rodriguez taking grounders at his old high school field constituted evidence that A-Rod was going to try to cause trouble and make Joe Girardi uncomfortable at camp.

I guess David Ortiz “Didn’t Get The Memo” either, and is trying to “cause trouble” too: 

I really hope major league teams get their memo distribution system figured out soon or else we’ll have pitchers taking batting practice and managers running the bases soon.

Of course you want to see Giancarlo Stanton in body paint

giancarlo stanton getty
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Giancarlo Stanton has appeared nude in ESPN The Magazine. So going on the cover of Sports Illustrated in body paint is not exactly daring for him:

 

I hereby predict there will be a lot of folks commenting negatively on this who generally have no problem with women who pose in magazines in body paint and/or the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

Hank Aaron is rooting for Alex Rodriguez

Hank Aaron AP
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The Hammer was asked about Alex Rodriguez. His response, in Newsday:

“I am rooting for him,” Aaron, 81, said Monday. “Despite all of the things that people say he had been involved in, I’m rooting for him to come back and have a great year. I am very much anxious to see what he’s going to do . . . I’ve met A-Rod, and to be honest, between him and me, he’s been nothing but a friend to me. I liked him.”

Aaron went on to note that, yeah, after a year off it’ll be hard for Rodriguez this season. He also talked about what it’s like to have PED guys like Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez at or near the top of the home run list alongside of him:

“I’m not sitting here saying the reason that a lot of these guys are breaking records are because of steroids. I can’t say that because I’m not God. I don’t know [if] they’ve been in steroids, I can’t say that. The only thing I can say is I wish them well and that they do the best they can. They have to live and meet their own maker, not me.”

Imagine: wishing someone well, even if they have acted poorly. And not standing in public judgment regarding the manner in which they acted. How generous of spirit. How empathetic in nature.

How utterly rare.

An ugly fight over Ernie Banks’ estate has begun

Ernie Banks AP
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This is sad and unfortunate:

Ernie Banks had assets of just $16,000 when he died last month, according to a lawyer for the caregiver at the center of the bitter dispute over the Cubs’ legend’s will.

But Banks’ widow “just wants to know what happened” to “Mr. Cub’s” wealth, her lawyer said.

The widow and Banks’ family was not, contrary to their expectations, provided for in his will. Rather, it went to his caregiver. Who, while not being accused of fraud or embezzlement, is certainly coming under scrutiny from the Banks family.

Banks’ legacy is such that, in time, this will only be a minor blip, I presume, but in the meantime it’s a damn shame that this is how his affairs are being settled.