Craig Calcaterra

Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome

Al Michaels thinks the Twins used fake crowd noise during the 1987 World Series

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We know the Twins got away with stuff in the 1991 World Series, but the man who broadcast the 1987 World Series thinks the Twins were messing around then too:

You’ve heard the accusation before: Fake crowd noise.

Does Al believe in Metrodome audio miracles? Yes! . . .”I’m going, wait a minute. This is a baseball game,” Michaels told the host, NBC colleague Mike Florio. “Nobody is screaming like this when the fifth inning starts. … To me, there was no question” that the crowd noise was not natural.

This is what happens when you allow baseball to be played in domes.

The Cubs are kicking the tires on James Shields

James Shields
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David Kaplan of CSN Chicago.com reports the Cubs are “kicking the tires” on free agent James Shields.

Shields was reported to have several offers in hand already and at a point where he is going to make a decision at the end of this week, so they had best get kicking fast. If they do manage to add Shields, though, it will have represented a pretty big overall upgrade for their rotation this winter, what with the additions of Jon Lester and the return of Jason Hammel.

Also, if they add another pitcher, it could mean that Travis Wood — currently fifth on the Cubs’ depth chart — is the odd man out. To that end, Kaplan says that Chicago could trade Wood before spring training.

Junior college to sign daughter of former major league reliever to its baseball team

baseball grass
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Sarah Hudek will not be the first woman to play college baseball — there have been a couple others before — but it’s a rare enough thing to be noteworthy. From The Sporting News:

History will be made when the Bossier Parish (La.) Community College baseball team signs pitcher Sarah Hudek, the first female to play baseball at BPCC, to the roster. She is also one of the first females to play at the collegiate level.

Pet peeve: try substituting the word “males” there for “females” and see if it makes sense. It doesn’t, right? You’d say “men.” So why not say “women?” I have no idea why you see that construction so often, but whatever.

Hudek is reported to have an 82 m.p.h. fastball, a change-up, curve and she says she’s working on a cutter. On the fastball, her future coach says “that’s as good, or better, than most boys around here.”

Of interest to some: Hudek is the daughter of John Hudek, who was a relief pitcher for the Astros, Mets, Reds, Braves and Blue Jays in the mid-to-late 90s.

“In socialist Cuba they decided on the most democratic way to elect Hall of Famers”

Cuba
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Jorge Arangure Jr. of Vice Sports continues his “Cuba Diaries” series. Today he writes about the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame, which stood dormant from 1960 until very recently, with no inductions or anything. Basically, it just ceased to be due to socialism, its reluctance to acknowledge professional baseball as opposed to national team baseball and other related complications.

Arangure talks to the man behind the resurrection of Cuba’s Hall of Fame and, interestingly, notes that the new Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame has a much more sensible means of inducting players than does its counterpart in the United States:

Each committee member would serve a two-year term. After that two-year term a brand new set of committee members would be elected. The goal was to make the process more inclusive. No one person, or set of persons, would have too much power. In other words, they wanted to make the process as different as possible from the American system in which the Baseball Writers Association of America elects players to the Baseball Hall of Fame, usually with controversial results. Curiously enough, in socialist Cuba they decided on the most democratic way to elect Hall of Famers.

Their Hall of Fame features Minnie Minoso. Ours does not. Advantage: Cuba.

UPDATE: No charges will be filed against Danny Salazar

Danny Salazar Getty
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UPDATE: No charges will be filed:

9:55 AM: Hoynes has corrected his report to say that it is only Salazar, not Perez, who is being investigated:

9:46 AM: We have no details on this yet, but Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer just tweeted this out:

Salazar, 25, is expected to be a key part of the Indians’ rotation this year.