Author: Craig Calcaterra

Don Mattingly

Friedman: Mattingly will return as manager


This was expected, Joe Maddon-talk notwithstanding: Dodgers president Andrew Friedman said at his introductory press conference today that Don Mattingly will “definitely” be the club’s manager in 2015.

And Mattingly will not be a lame duck, as he is under contract through 2016. That give Friedman at least a year, and possibly two, to impress upon Mattingly that he needs to play his best players as much as possible.

The Royals are named after a livestock show? Who woulda thunk it?

royals logo

The Royals logo is basically a crown and their mascot is a lion, otherwise known as king of the beasts. So you’d be excused if you thought that the team’s name is based in some sort of nod to monarchical royalty. Nope. They’re named after a livestock show.

It’s called the American Royal, and it has been a Kansas City institution way, way longer than the baseball team has. Jared Diamond has the story about how the team got that name over at the Wall Street Journal. It’s worth it for more than just the story, though. It’s worth it because it contains the phrase “persistent anti-cow sentiments.”

Oh, and the idea that they got the name from the Negro League Kansas City Monarchs? Debunked. Although it’s possible the Monarchs got their names from the cattle show too.

I wonder what Lorde would think?

A man paid to write about sports for a living calls the Giants “boring”

Ishikawa Getty

This came out before last night’s instant-history game, but it’s not like the 2014 playoffs just got exciting last night. They’ve been a thrill ride. Often an experience in head-smacking insanity — “why is he doing THAT NOW?” — but never, ever boring. Indeed, so far this may be the most exciting postseason in several years.

Don’t tell that to Tom Van Riper of Forbes, though:


He uses his column to say that the matchups are all ho-hum, an assessment which is filtered entirely through TV ratings and, it would appear, the absence of east coast teams like the Yankees and Red Sox. Why on Earth would anyone want to watch these playoffs, he seems to say, given that large corporations aren’t profiting off of them as much as they may otherwise do?

I get that he’s a business writer first (his actual baseball opinions are probably left untouched, because oh my God are they terrible), but this is simply ridiculous. Ratings do matter to the companies which broadcast games and to the bottom line of the leagues. But to assert, in the middle of a crazy-good playoff season that this is all “boring” because that extremely small segment of the universe may be displeased is not just missing the forest for the trees, it’s saying “hey, let’s just not go to the country anyway. Trees are overrated. Let’s go walk around downtown.”

Jose Iglesias should be ready for spring training

Jose Iglesias Getty

The Tigers were dealt a big blow last spring when their starting shortstop, Jose Iglesias, went down with fractures in both of his shins. But according to GM Dave Dombrowski, he should be OK come February:

Iglesias is ramping up his baseball activity, president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said during the team’s end-of-the-season news conference Tuesday.

“The doctors tell me he’ll be fine,” Dombrowski said. “He’s going to be ready for spring training, he’s going to be ready to go, and he’s over all of his (injuries).”

Dombrowski is cautious in his assessment, however, likely remembering that last winter the thought was that Iglesias merely had shin splits and that he’d be fine with a few days off.

Either way, Iglesias going down led the Tigers to make constant adjustments at short, from Alex Gonzalez to Andrew Romine to Eugenio Suarez. Getting Iglesias back for 2015 would be like adding a top free agent for free.