Author: Craig Calcaterra

VW van

A Blue Jays prospect spends his offseason surfing, living in his van and traveling around


Josh Jackson of has a great story about Blue Jays’ pitching prospect Daniel Norris. Norris spends his offseason living out of his van, wandering around the country hiking, camping, surfing and generally enjoying a solitary, nomadic existence in which he seeks to commune with nature and stay true to himself and the things he loves.

So, naturally, that makes him an oddball in baseball circles:

“[The Blue Jays] have expressed concern as far as living in the van. For them, it’s just, ‘Why?’ They’ve kind of said, ‘Well, we don’t think that’s a very good idea.’ I said, ‘You’ve got to understand, I’ve been doing stuff like this my whole life,'” explained Norris, who, in addition to surfing and hiking, is an avid mountain biker and rock climber and also ranks as’s No. 25 overall prospect.

“They’ve kind of said, ‘Well, OK, but we don’t get it,’ and I’m kind of like, ‘I don’t expect you to get it — that’s OK.'”

Square pegs don’t fit will in baseball’s round holes. Ask Jim Bouton or Bill Lee or Zack Greinke or any number of other players whose primary off-field interests aren’t hunting or fishing or fast cars or nightclubs. They don’t get why a 21-year-old guy like Norris may want to road trip his way through the offseason but don’t bat an eye when a single player in his 20s with no kids buys a 10,000 square foot house in a suburban golf community. Ask yourself: which of those behaviors are weirder for a guy in his 20s?

Of course, baseball does just fine with guys who go 12-2 with a 2.53 ERA and strike out 11.8 batters per nine innings across three minor league levels for which is they are very young. As long as Norris does stuff like that, I’m sure the Jays will not take much of an issue with him living in a VW van and wandering the Earth.

(Thanks to Moses for the heads up)

The Rockies are going to try to turn Wilin Rosario into a first baseman or outfielder

Wilin Rosario

Wilin Rosario can hit dingers at a decent clip for a catcher, but he can’t catch decently for a catcher. So the Rockies, after rumors that they were trying to trade him this past fall came to nothing, are now trying to teach him a new position. Or two:

General manager Jeff Bridich tells me that the team is confident that catcher Wilin Rosario can make the transition from catcher to first base, and possibly even right field.

Rosario spent a full week at the team’s training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz., earlier this month, working at first base and the outfield. He will also spend time at the team’s academy in the Dominican Republic before reporting for spring training around Feb. 20.

The Rockies will still have him as a catcher on the depth charts once they make it to Arizona next month, but they apparently don’t believe his future is there.

Comments of the Day: some of you guys aren’t big Bud Selig fans

Bud Selig

I’m not gonna say that some of you have strong opinions about Bud Selig and my claim that he is the greatest commissioner in baseball history, but when the Hitler comps start coming out, well, maybe we’ve crossed some line:


Then there’s this:


Sure, seems rational and reasonable.

You can go read my reasons for giving Selig that title here.