Craig Calcaterra

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Michael Brantley cleared for rehab games

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The Indians announced today that outfielder Michael Brantley will begin a rehab assignment tomorrow with the Triple-A Columbus Clippers.

Brantley underwent labrum surgery on his right shoulder this past November. He hit .319/.382/.494 over the last two seasons, however, along with 35 home runs, 90 doubles, 181 RBI, and 38 stolen bases in 293 games. Having him back, healthy and effective will go a long way towards determining whether the Indians will contend this year.

David Ortiz montage set to John Lennon’s “Imagine” plays at the Red Sox’ home opener

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz raises his arms and looks upward as he crosses home plate after a two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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David Ortiz is a big deal in Boston. I’m not denying that. He is the longest lasting symbol of a decade and a half of the best baseball the Red Sox ever played. He was an important and inspirational figure in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. He’s someone, I feel anyway, who should be in the Hall of Fame one day. Most players aren’t worthy of a farewell tour like he’s getting, but I feel like he’e entitled to his.

That said, it’s possible to go a bit overboard. Or to maybe make some missteps in this regard. Maybe it’ll just take a little while for the Sox to get the tone down just right for his farewell tour. For now, however, they’re starting out a bit . . . something:

David Ortiz is a lot of things, but a subject of an anthem about global peace and harmony doesn’t strike me as one of those things. He doesn’t strike some other people that way that way either:

I dunno. You do you, Boston, but if you’re starting out with “Imagine” in the home opener I have no idea where you’re going to go for October.

The A’s had to fly home on a Giants-themed plane yesterday

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Library of Congress
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The Oakland A’s are definitely the little brother to the San Francisco Giants when it comes to Bay Area baseball politics. It wasn’t always the case — the A’s have had great moments in their history at times when the Giants weren’t doing so hot — but ever since the Giants got their new ballpark and the A’s ballpark began to crumble, it’s clear who truly rules baseball in that area.

I don’t feel like A’s fans — at least the ones I know — have an inferiority complex about this. They sort of view it the way punk rockers viewed, I dunno, Pink Floyd in the 1970s. “The uncool people can have them!” they sort of say. “We like our own little thing. It’s better!” Of course that’s a complicated stance too, and there is definitely a sense that comparisons and, at times, jealousy and resentment fuel these sorts of dynamics. Punks didn’t want to fill arenas, necessarily, and A’s fans don’t want to be like the Giants, but there’s some . . . baggage there.

This sort of story is the kind of baggage that I mean. The one in which the A’s, flying home from Seattle to Oakland after yesterday’s game, had to ride in a charter plane that was painted up with San Francisco Giants branding:

 

Led Zeppelin had their own plane. Their name was painted on the side of it too. Imagine the Ramones having to take that someplace.