Craig Calcaterra

The Washington Nationals create a “gathering spot for Millennials”

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Condescending to Millennials is a very popular pastime these days. There are tens of millions of them in this country, coming from every single race, ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic background imaginable, and they hold any manner of social, political and ethical views you can think of. But in the minds of the Business and Marketing Industrial Complex, they’re all basically the same group of white upper middle class kids holding iPhones and being narcissistic in some way.

This is understandable. High-Minded ThinkPieces about Millennials are very popular lately. They’re hard enough to write as it is, but they’d be nearly impossible to write if you had to see the subjects you’re trying to describe as a diverse blob of millions of different people as opposed to one easily pigeonholed group of cliches. Much better to just ignorantly generalize.

Which brings us to the Nationals. Who are doing this:

I don’t know how they’re going to ensure that Millennials will hang out there given that, according to the ThinkPieces, they only drink obscure craft beer and hate baseball. Odds are that that deck is gonna be filled with the same white New Balance-wearing Baby Boomers who think they’re being fancy by ordering a Blue Moon that hang out all over the rest of the ballpark. Maybe some of my aging fellow Gen-Xers and I will show up our flannel shirts, channeling Chandler Bing by saying things like “could Jayson Werth BE any more useless?!” But Millennials? Pfft! They’re probably gonna be off in their safe spaces someplace, not watching a baseball game.

Wait! That’s it! They should call it “The Washington Nationals Budweiser Millennial Safe Place.” It’ll be perfect! And they can rename the level right above it the “Helicopter Deck” for their parents. With whom they live and who take them to the game because every single 18-35-year-old in the country lives with their parents as they’re too entitled to bother paying their own way.

See? This stuff is easy.

Jeff Francoeur made the Braves roster

Jeff
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The most hilarious thing in Braves Country over the past few days has been reporters who cover the team acting as if it was a big mystery as to whether or not Jeff Francoeur would make the roster. Today was the deadline for the Braves to decide what to do with him — he was due a roster bonus at noon that they would not have wanted to pay if they planned to cut him — and as late as 9am there was some “will he or won’t he” afoot in the Atlanta media. Then, a few minutes ago, the Braves announced that he was going to be on the Opening Day roster. Congratulations, Frenchy.

In reality this was never in doubt. Barring injury, Francoeur was going to make this team. He’s popular in Atlanta and he’s one of the few guys casual Braves fans might actually be able to pick out of a lineup. And hey, he’s a nice guy and a good clubhouse presence who, unlike the Jeff Francoeur of a decade ago, knows where he stands in the universe. As I said when he made the Phillies last year, a team going nowhere is well-served to have dudes like Francoeur around. Limited rewards but no risk and, heck, he’ll throw an inning of relief for you. Better him than some injury prone dude or a two-year commitment to a guy who, while a bit better, wouldn’t be significantly better.

Last year I vowed to buy a Jeff Francoeur Phillies shirsey if he made their team. He did and I did. Now I have to buy a Braves Francoeur shirsey. I’m going to wait until Opening Day because there’s a slight chance his number changes between now and then, but it’ll be in-transit to me soon.

Whhheeeeee!

The Royals are allegedly seeking payback for Noah Syndergaard’s World Series pitch

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Marc Carig of Newsday has some juicy gossip. It’s not attributed to any one source — it’s more of a word on the street thing — but he’s hearing that the Kansas City Royals are “signaling their intent to seek retribution against the Mets on Opening Night.”

Retribution for what? For that pitch Noah Syndergaard sent toward Alcides Escobar’s head in Game 3 of the World Series.

The pitch, you may remember, was clearly intentional. It was foreshadowed by Syndergaard saying that he had a few “tricks up his sleeve” to deal with Escobar’s habit of jumping on first-pitch fastballs in the Series’ first two games.

You may also remember, however, that the pitch didn’t come too far inside. It tailed in towards Escobar, but it was really just a super high pitch that didn’t actually enter the batters box. And it had no real bearing on anything. Yes, the Mets won that Game 3 but it wasn’t because of that pitch (the Royals actually took a 1-0 lead off Syndergaard that inning). And in no case did it affect the World Series in any way. The Royals, you may remember, won it. And won pretty convincingly.

If winning the World Series and having five months to relax isn’t enough to cause them to get the heck over a single inconsequential pitch maybe they should seek counseling.