Craig Calcaterra

The Orioles press conference to announce the Chris Davis signing was . . . weird


Chris Davis reached an agreement with the Orioles on a new deal several days ago and, yesterday, formally signed the seven-year, $161 million pact. Given that this was, by far, the biggest move of the Orioles’ offseason, there was a press conference about it. Which, hey, why not? Other than hunker down for a blizzard the Orioles probably didn’t have anything else to do yesterday.

Still, it was kind of odd to see this at the press conference:


Normally you only see the “put-on-the-jersey” part of a press conference when it’s a player signing with a new team. Davis, of course, has played for the Orioles since being traded to them by the Rangers in the middle of the 2011 season. We know what he looks like in these duds. He’s not changing his number or anything. It was just . . . odd. Davis probably felt that way too. After this photo was taken he said “feels familiar.”

What’s next? A jersey ceremony for an early contract extension? For a one-year deal avoiding arbitration? The possibilities are as many as there are types of transactions, I suppose.

Oh well, they can do what they want. No matter how they introduce Davis, they will pay him salaries of $23 million annually with $6 million of it each year deferred without interest. When the deal is done he’ll get 10 payments of $3.5 million each between 2023-32 and five payments of $1.4 million each year between 2033-37, when Davis is 51. I’ll be 64-years-old then. God, time flies. God I’m old.

This is likely it for the Orioles this offseason. Their big moves: signing Davis, having Matt Wieters accept the team’s qualifying offer and signing Darren O'Day to a four-year, $31 million contract. I can’t recall if Wieters or O’Day had put-on-the-jersey press conferences, but I don’t think they did.


Pablo Sandoval has reportedly lost 20-22 pounds this winter


You know the old joke: quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it a hundred times!

The same goes for losing weight with some people. Personally, I’ve lost 100 pounds! The ten pounds I tend to get overweight in the winter on ten different occasions.

Pablo Sandoval has been like that throughout his playing career. No one tends to make Best Shape of His Life claims with him anymore, but I’ve lost count of the number of seasons he’s had weight issues reported followed by offseasons from which he has emerged a thinner, more nimble man. This offseason will apparently be no different:


I dunno. Sandoval is never going to be a perfect specimen or a particularly lithe fellow and there is an annoying phenomenon in which the rancor about his weight is tied directly to how well he or his team is playing at the time. His production and durability certainly have improved when he has paid better attention to conditioning, but there is an element of name-calling and scapegoating to it as well. While not ideal, he has performed OK when not in his best shape and he has had some injuries that were unrelated to general conditioning that have sapped his performance in the past. That tends to get lost in the weight watching of the Kung-Fu Panda.

Expect to see the flashbulbs popping if and when a thinner Sandoval shows up down in Fort Myers next month. But also expect his good performance or poor performance to be more closely tied to his weight in the minds of fans and the press than tends to be the case for a lot of other players. Some of whom suck while in The Best Shape of Their Lives.

Aroldis Chapman will not face criminal charges

Aroldis Chapman

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Aroldis Chapman will not face criminal charges for his October domestic incident.

Chapman was alleged to have pushed and choked his girlfriend in his home on October 30 before firing off at least eight gunshots in his garage. He was not arrested on that night, however, as he and his girlfriend had conflicting accounts and others in the home were not cooperative with police. Subsequently his girlfriend did not cooperate with authorities either, leaving prosecutors little to go on.

In such situations it is not uncommon for no charges to be filed, though it does seem somewhat odd that Chapman was not, at the very least, charged with some form of crime related to his discharging a firearm in his garage, which he admitted doing. Perhaps his home is in an area with fewer restrictions than most when it comes to such things, but there were several people in his home, including children, when he fired his handgun into his presumably attached garage. He was not firing on a range. The garage was not padded with sandbags or anything like that. I guess if you’re into shooting guns after heated altercations with loved ones, Davie, Florida is the place to be.

In any event, this closes the legal portion of Chapman’s case. Now comes MLB’s chance to weigh-in on the incident via its investigation pursuant to its domestic violence policy. It will be very interesting to see what Rob Manfred does in a case which, while clearly serious, did not result in any criminal charges. Of course, criminal charges are the bare minimum standard when it comes to human behavior and MLB’s policy, by its very terms, is not dependent upon them being filed.

Put differently: “innocent until proven guilty” is inapplicable here. What is applicable is what standard above that bare minimum Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball will choose to apply in what will probably be its first test under its new policy.