<span class="vcard">Craig Calcaterra</span>

Jose Iglesias Getty

Jose Iglesias should be ready for spring training

13 Comments

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.

AT&T Park’s Gotham Club is ridiculous

att park getty
26 Comments

The other day, as the NLCS was getting ready to resume in San Francisco, the Post’s Kevin Kernan tweeted a couple of pics from the AT&T Park press box with the clear intent of taunting pampered Yankees fans back home:

The idea, obviously, is that unlike those swells at new Yankee Stadium, AT&T Park was all about baseball fans exposed to the weather, there for the experience and the nuts and bolts of the game.

Well, not all of them. Mike Oz of Big League Stew gives us a tour of AT&T Park’s Gotham Club, and I think we’d be hard-pressed to find a more glitzy and fancy ballpark experience:

It’s hidden in plain sight, but behind that door is a VIP experience unlike any other in MLB. It’s a sort of baseball country club for diehard San Francisco Giants fans who shell out a nice chunk of change for a members-only pre- and post-game hangout space. There’s nothing else like this in MLB, Gotham Club reps say . . . They call this The Game Room, it’s part of The Gotham Club experience, with a two-lane bowling alley, a pool table, vintage arcade games, a bar, black-and-white baseball photos on the wall and music from 60 years ago. The bowling alley, in true baseball fashion, counts mph on each roll.

Mike has a lot of pictures and video of the place. I’ve been lucky enough to be invited into some club level joints around the league, but nothing compares to what they have going on in San Francisco.

Which doesn’t make them any different than a lot of places, even if they do their fancy experience up a little fancier. Most ballparks have this sort of thing happening now. Yankee Stadium is no worse, really. The idea of high roller sections and places for the unwashed masses is increasingly common in baseball parks and, for that matter, society as a whole. Your mileage may vary as to whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.

 

The Orioles will exercise Darren O’Day and Wei-Yin Chen’s options. But not Nick Hundley’s

Darren O'Day Getty
4 Comments

Some option news from the Batlimore Orioles. The Sun reports that the Orioles will exercise the options of reliever Darren O’Day ($4.25 million) and Wei-Yin Chen ($4.75 million) but will decline the option of Nick Hundley ($5 million).

Hundley is no surprise, as the O’s expect to get Matt Weiters back next season and will have Caleb Joseph in the fold. O’Day is a tad expensive for a reliever, but he is one of the best setup guys in baseball so it makes total sense that they want him back. Chen is an utter no-brainer, as his option is less than half of what other, comparable starters routinely get.

The Royals are “not hopeful” that they’ll sign James Shields

james shields getty
41 Comments

“Big Game” James Shields may have a career postseason ERA of 5.19, but he’s still a really good starter and the Royals wouldn’t be where they are now without him. But if they’re going to get back to where they are next season, they’re gonna probably have to do it without him. Andy Martino in the Daily News:

Shields might remain with the Royals beyond this month, but it is not likely. According to major league sources, although the team will make a genuine effort to resign him, it is not hopeful, expecting a rival like the Red Sox to offer four or five years. It is difficult to imagine the Royals matching such an offer. Bye, bye James.

Jon Heyman reported earlier this month that Shields could get a deal similar to Anibal Sanchez’s five-year, $80 million contract. One wouldn’t think that was out of the question for the Royals — they’re small market, but should expect a major uptick in ticket sales next year — but it is unlikely. And, frankly, how much of that deal would be paying for what Shields has done as opposed to what he’ll do in the future?

Four of the World Series umpires will be Fall Classic newbies

Jeff Kellogg
2 Comments

The official announcement hasn’t been made, but Ben Walker of the Associated press is reporting the names of the umpires who will work the World Series. Four of them are going to work the Fall Classic for the first time:

Hunter Wendelstedt, Eric Cooper, Jim Reynolds and Jerry Meals are heading to their first World Series . . . Jeff Kellogg will be the crew chief and call his fifth World Series when Kansas City hosts San Francisco in Game 1 on Tuesday night. Ted Barrett and Jeff Nelson will work the Fall Classic for the third time.

None of the favorite umpires we love to hate are on that list. And, generally speaking, those guys weren’t terrible in terms of having calls overturned on replay this year.

Here’s hoping this is the last we hear their names apart from the announcements at the start of each game.