Craig Calcaterra


A.J. Ellis is in The Best Shape of His Life


This isn’t a true BSOHL. Ellis clearly knows what time it is. But about 30 people have sent me this already, so why not?

Viva the mainstreaming of memes.

The oral history of that time Bill Murray played baseball for the Grays Harbor Loggers

US actor Bill Murray takes part in the T

There are very few Bill Murray stories that anyone would dismiss out of hand as unbelievable. He just sort of lives his life in such a way that anything is really possible. He wanders about, doing what he wants to do, making some movies to pay the rent and resuming living life the way he wants to live it.

One of his passions is baseball. He’s co-owner of a couple of minor league teams and it’s not a passive investment. He shows up to games and does stuff. And back when he was younger, he actually played for a little while. For the Grays Harbor Loggers in Aberdeen, Washington.

Rob Neyer of Fox Sports has complied an oral history of Bill Murray’s summer of 1978, in which he actually got a hit for the Loggers. And spent a lot of time, well, just being Bill Murray the rest of the time.

It’s a long read, but most of you are snowed in or stuck inside due to the cold, so take some time to check it out.

UPDATE: Anthony Bosch sentenced to four years in prison

bosch headshot

UPDATE: Bosch was just sentenced to 48 months in federal prison. If he gets any time off for good behavior, he may be out in time for A-Rod’s contract to expire in October 2017.

The four years he received is not a deviation from the sentencing guidelines, which means that MLB’s letter vouching for Bosch really didn’t do much, one presumes.

9:21 AM: Happy Anthony Bosch Sentencing Day!

Today the owner of Biogenesis will be sentenced following his October guilty plea to a charge of conspiracy to distribute testosterone. The sentencing guidelines call for three to four years — the maximum is ten years — but he has been cooperating with prosecutors and has had MLB put in a good word for him so there’s a decent chance he gets some leniency.

Despite the fact that Bosch was, by all accounts, at the top of this distribution chain that put PEDs in the hands of high school kids, he has served as a key witness against others and will continue to do so in upcoming trials of Biogenesis figures who did not plead out or properly position themselves in the whole affair.

The Bob Feller Museum is closing due to lack of interest

Bob Feller

The Bob Feller Museum sits in Van Meter, Iowa. Or it has. Now, due to lack of attendance and memberships, it is closing and becoming the Van Meter, Iowa city hall:

So last fall, the museum’s members — including Feller’s widow, Anne — unanimously approved a plan by the board to close the museum and sell the building to the city of Van Meter, Brandon L. Sawalich, the board president, said. Van Meter is converting it into its city hall. City officials hope to move in by mid-March.

The linked article is interesting thanks to the background it provides on single-player museums — there aren’t many of them — and the models they employ for their vitality. Or the models which break down and lead to their demise. Even players as famous and great as Feller and Ted Williams are not big enough draws once they and their most ardent fans pass away. Especially if the museums are off the beaten path or are otherwise unaffiliated with a larger institution.

All of which is something the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown should bear in mind. No, it’s not going anyplace. People will always go there. But fewer will visit if they don’t feel a strong connection to it. If they feel it doesn’t speak to them in some way.

Let’s play “Baseball Mortality”

Chicago Cubs v Colorado Rockies

On Twitter last night D.J. pointed out that our current “Top Posts” banner is pretty damn retro at the moment:


The last time those three players could be seen in real life in those three uniforms was 2001 so, yeah.

The Giambi retirement has me thinking about time and age. I was born on July 14, 1973. He was born on January 8, 1971, making him one of the last active players who was older than me. As far as I can tell, that leaves only two guys in the bigs who made it to this Earth before I did: LaTroy Hawkins (b. 12/21/72) and Bartolo Colon (b. 5/24/73). Hawkins is apparently a cyborg, so he’ll be around for another, like, 50 years. Maybe he can be for me like Jamie Moyer was for so many of you old farts: that one guy who hangs on forever, delaying the inevitable day when every big leaguer is a whippersnapper in my eyes.

That got me thinking about who was the first big league ballplayer younger than me. I think it’s Ismael Valdez (b. 8/21/73), who made his debut for the Dodgers on June 15, 1994. Valdez has been out of baseball for a decade. The next player younger than me after him was Alex Rodriguez, who debuted on July 8, 1994.

“Baseball Mortality,” or whatever you want to call it, is a fun game to play. A good place to start is this chart for the younger-than-you crew and this chart for the old timers.

If you’re not in the right frame of mind, Baseball Mortality can be a little depressing. But don’t let it be. The actors and rock stars who are younger than you come first. Then the ballplayers. Because they’re so visible, those are the types of folks that we tend to think of when we look to external age markers. But they’re on the extreme end. A lot of you are still younger than, say, all the presidents. Maybe your doctor. A full professor at your local college. Personally, I take great comfort in knowing that Raymond Chandler didn’t publish his first novel until he was 51. We all got time.

But, at least if LaTroy Hawkins or Bartolo Colon are in a given game, I can call all the ballplayers “kids” now. Which is simultaneously fun and unsettling.