Author: Craig Calcaterra

Joe Maddon

Shocker! Joe Maddon to opt out of his contract and leave the Rays


This report from Buster Olney is a total shocker. Like, for real. Mostly because Maddon is under contract with the Rays through 2015 and, unless I missed it, no one had reported that he had an opt-out provision at all.

UPDATE: Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has released a statement confirming the opt-out.

As soon as Andrew Friedman left the Rays GM job to take over the Dodgers, people speculated that he’d try to lure Joe Maddon. Maddon, however, immediately responded to the speculation by saying he was happy in Tampa Bay and had no intention of leaving. For his part, Friedman said that he is on the same page with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and intended to head into 2015 with him.

Will Maddon go to Los Angeles, or is he simply not interested in staying in Tampa Bay now that his former boss is gone?

Either way, remember when A-Rod opted out of his contract during the World Series and was called a selfish, classless attention-seeker? Why do I feel this move won’t be treated in quite the same way but, rather, a smart, trendy and ingenious decision?

Omar Infante is in some pain and is taking Toradol to treat it

Omar Infante AP

Andy McCullough of the K.C. Star has a story on Omar Infante, who hit a big homer on Wednesday night. He’s doing what he’s doing through a lot of shoulder pain, however, which has sapped his effectiveness for a couple of months. But he’s taking some serious painkillers now which are helping:

“I feel better, because I’m taking strong pills,” Infante said. “That’s helped me a lot. I feel it a little bit in B.P., and I still feel sore in the front of my shoulder. But yesterday I felt more comfortable.”

Specifically, he’s taking Toradol, which is a pretty controversial drug. Many teams have banned it and it’s illegal in some other countries as well. It can cause some serious side effects, including internal bleeding. As Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston wrote in early 2013, Clay Buchholz believes it’s what led to him contracting esophagitis which landed him in the ICU a couple of years ago.

But it is used because, in some cases, teams and players feel they have to use it in order to get through the grind of the 162+ game season and get players in the position to play. In this way it’s much like what every player who has ever used HGH and other banned PEDs have said about why they used them. But that’s different. Because . . . well, it’s different. Trust us on this.


Video: Peanut vendor launches a bag to the upper deck during Game 1

Video camera

I love a guy who is dedicated to his job. From Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday night:


That was the best play by anyone from Kansas City in Game 1, to be honest.

Miguel Cabrera had surgery for bone spurs. And for a stress fracture in his foot.

Miguel Cabrera Getty

The Tigers issued a press release today about the health of Miguel Cabrera. We knew he had bone spurs in his ankle. I don’t believe we knew anything about the stress fracture:

Miguel Cabrera underwent successful right ankle surgery to remove bone spurs and to repair a stress fracture to his navicular bone Wednesday afternoon. The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina. Miguel will be reevaluated in three months.

Three months from now is just a couple of weeks before pitchers and catchers report. So any sort of setback or slow healing from the surgery, and Cabrera could be looking at a late start to spring training.

The bigger takeaway, though is that Cabrera played the last part of the season with a stress fracture. Much the same way he played the last part of last season with injuries. In both cases, it was speculated by some that Cabrera was hurt more than the Tigers said he was. In both cases the Tigers publicly denied it up until the very moment his season was over and he had surgery.

Baseball is dying, you guys


UPDATE: A reminder that the New York Times has covered this story before. And before. And before.

The New York Times copies and pastes one of the many, many “oh no, baseball’s TV ratings suck and the sport is dying” articles it has published over the years. Seriously, you can play bingo with this thing:

It may be America’s national pastime, but it has never felt less national.

On Tuesday night, the first game of the 2014 World Series drew just 12.2 million viewers to Fox, making it the lowest-rated Game 1 on record. Game 2 on Wednesday night fared somewhat better, with 12.9 million people tuning in . . . there’s no avoiding the reality that the World Series is not what it used to be.

I’m not going to add any more here because I go on about this enough. But I do offer this because there is a segment of readers who claim I’m arguing against strawmen when I take on the “baseball is dying” crowd. Except here they are, like clockwork, chiming in with their perfunctory articles about the health of baseball based on metrics that really don’t matter.

Maybe the best response to this came from someone else anyway: