Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

The Braves have tried to, hahahaha, trade Hector Olivera


Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports that the Braves have tried to trade Hector Olivera since his arrest for assault and battery earlier this month in Arlington, Virginia.

Good luck with that, boys.

Olivera is on administrative leave and a suspension is likely coming under MLB’s domestic violence policy. And he’s not shown that he’s a good player. Other than that, sure, he’s totally someone a team would give something up to sign. One opposing executive told Passan that he “can’t believe they even asked.”

And you think the Braves actual on-the-field performance is pathetic.

Strobe specs have fixed Joe Mauer


Well, not by themselves. Recovering from brain injuries takes time and care, not just new glasses, and it’s been a long road back to productivity and health for Joe Mauer. But Joe Mauer is back this year, hitting .328/.452/.448. His batting eye is back, with his strikeouts down and his walks up and he looks like the old Joe Mauer in the early going.

As Mike Berardino reports in the Pioneer Press, part of that recovery involves some new glasses for training. Training with friggin’ strobe lights:

For that resurgence, at least some of the credit must go to the discontinued, goggle-like glasses Nike sent him this offseason. Mauer brought them to spring training and showed them to hitting coach Tom Brunansky, who became an instant believer.

Young Twins hitters such as Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario have been using the dark, wraparound glasses that include a small control switch on the frame to alter the speed at which the internal strobe light flashes. Korean slugger Byung Ho Park has tried the technique, as well.

It’s hard to get an idea of how that all works, but basically, it seems, the strobe is just causing you to get less visual information about the incoming pitch and requires you to either anticipate where the ball is or to just respond more quickly. Sort of like the blast shield on Luke’s helmet when he’s training with his light saber on the Millennium Falcon or something.

Either way, it’s cool to see Mauer hitting again.

Cubs fan says his post-Arrieta no-hitter arrest was worth it


After Jake Arrieta no-hit the Reds last week, a Cubs fan rushed the field and joined the dogpile. Then he was quickly dragged off by security personnel, because that’s what happens when you do that kind of thing.

The fan, Dylan Cressy, a 22-year-old student from Indiana University, regrets nothing. He tells the Chicago Tribune that he handed his wallet and phone to his friend, jumped the railing and celebrated. He tells the Tribune that he “accepted that he was going to jail,” that it was “pure joy,” and that it was “worth every penny.”

Which, I presume he meant in terms of bail and the fine he’ll eventually have to pay. His dad bailed him out, by the way. I’d be curious to hear if dad thinks the cost-benefit analysis is just as good.

As for Cressy’s future: having an arrest is not great for when one goes looking for a job, but if you have to have one, this is a pretty good one. Some places may reject you out of hand, but if he’s interviewing in Chicago someday that’s a pretty good conversation starter.