Author: Craig Calcaterra

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Ned Yost is willing to stretch his bullpen tonight


KANSAS CITY — Ned Yost is determined not to Yost it up tonight. He just got done telling the media that “If we’ve gotta use Herrera for six outs, we will. If we’ve gotta use Davis for six outs, we will.”

No mention of using Greg Holland longer, but one hopes an extra inning is on the table for him too. Yost and the Royals are literally in the position of there being no tomorrow. His hook on Yordano Ventura should be quick. And if he gets through, say, three innings, there should be no other pitcher in this game besides the Royals’ big three. Maybe even if he gets through two.

It’s been 29 years. You may never get back again. If you’re gonna die anyway, make sure you fire all your bullets before they kill ya, Ned.

Baseball — and the American Character — is dying, you guys


There is no truth to the rumor that Dave Bry of The Guardian wrote this at my prodding in order to give me something new and over-the-top to rail against. Though, really, I would totally understand the accusation because this is so far over the top it’s looking down on satellites in geosynchronous orbit:

Long considered the country’s “national pastime”, baseball reflects the very best qualities of the American spirit, the higher values upon which our society was (theoretically, at least) founded: freedom, independence, tolerance. Football is a violent, territorial sport that rewards brute strength over everything else and symbolises, at its base level, imperialism, bloodlust, and corporate capitalism’s tendency to flatten any and all eccentricity into bland, cog-in-the-machine homogeny.

Sadly, it’s more than clear at this point that Americans don’t much like baseball anymore, at least compared to how much we like football.

This is a deep – and worsening – flaw in our collective character, as telling a sign of American decline as our terrible math skills, our tragic and preventable high infant mortality rate or the depreciation of our GDP vis-a-vis China.

I think the most ironic thing about that is that a guy who decries corporatism, imperialism, capitalism, bloodlust and all sorts of other awful things cites television ratings as the sine qua non of the U.S. character. Because TV ratings are obviously where virtue lies.

In other news, someone needs to get Dave Bry up to speed about U.S. culture, because this has been a football country for at least 45 years. Maybe longer. All of which is crazy because I’m pretty sure Bry is an American and he should know such things.

Driving in the Dominican Republic is extremely dangerous

Oscar Taveras

In the wake of the death of Oscar Taveras, Vice’s Jorge Arangure writes about just how dangerous it is to drive in the Dominican Republic:

Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report on driving fatalities around the world in which the Dominican ranked as the deadliest country in the world for motor-vehicle related deaths. A stunning 41.7 deaths per year per 100,000 people occur in the Dominican.

The world average is 18 deaths per 100,000. Over a 70-year life span, Arangure notes, people in the Dominican Republic one a 1 in 480 chance of dying in an automobile accident.

Arangure writes about the reasons for all of this and how devastating it can be to a ballplayer’s family to lose him in such tragic circumstances. And, of course, driving is not the only peril faced by ballplayers from Latin America. Not by a long shot.

Max Scherzer bought Brayan Pena a Rolex

Max Scherzer Getty

Max Scherzer won the Cy Young Award last year. And he gave a gift to one of his catchers. Even though the catcher doesn’t play for the Tigers anymore:

Gosh, I remember being that happy when I got MY first Rolex.

The story behind it is here.

HBT Daily: Live, from my hotel room!

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We talk about the Royals chances in Game 6. But the unspoken context of it all is that, just to my right is an unmade bed and my dirty clothes. And no, my MacBook Air does not have an HD camera.