Craig Calcaterra


Just say no to caps in other teams’ colors


I was in North Carolina at the end of December and I saw a Yankees cap in Braves colors:


This morning, this was retweeted into my feed:

So I guess we’re doing this “one team’s logo in another team’s colors” thing.

To the good people at New Era: I love you. I love your product. My big, bald, 7 3/4-wearing melon has decided that I can only wear your products to protect it from the sun. So when I say this, I say it with love and with your best interests in mind: please stop.

We can accept the solid black caps. We can accept the white caps. Though we may not personally approve, we can accept red, camo or any other fantastical color schemes with MLB logos on them. We’ll do what we personally want, but we will let others fly their freak flags if they must.

But this actual mixing of logos and colors — the forced union of two teams’ essences — is wrong. It’s an abomination unto the chosen deity of we fitted cap wearers. And we ask you, humbly, to cut it out.

Krukow on Yasiel Puig: “he’s just young and dumb”

yasiel puig getty

Last week Yasiel Puig raised some eyebrows when he said that he considered the St. Louis Cardinals to be the Dodgers’ primary rival, not the San Francisco Giants. Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow was on a radio show yesterday and responded:

“He’s just young. He’s just young and dumb and he’s gonna say some stuff,” Krukow said on KNBR 680-AM Monday morning. “As a group, I doubt if they are gonna be talking about it openly but they are gonna be thinking about it. They don’t miss stuff like that … if there was any way to refocus a whole group with a World Series hangover, this is it. Thank you Yasiel Puig.”

Probably worth noting that Puig has had his only two big league seasons ended in the playoffs by the Cardinals so, just maybe, it makes some sense for him to consider them his team’s biggest rival, even if fans and folks who have been around longer think of it as the Giants.

Also: probably worth noting that historical rivalries are functions of fan bases more than anything. Which is why players generally don’t get too bent out of shape about guys like Brett Butler or Dusty Baker or whoever playing for both ends of a rivalry. Stuff that happens on the field, not the laundry they wear on their backs, is what motivates players.

For Puig, losing to the Cardinals likely looms way larger in his competitive consciousness than something that happened between the Dodgers and the Giants years before he got here.

Wilson Betemit, three other minor leaguers receive drug suspensions

wilson betemit getty

Not surprising: a 4:30ish press release from Major League Baseball announcing multiple minor league drug suspensions. Surprising: one of them has a recognizable name. The player: Wilson Betemit.

Betemit a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Amphetamine. Betemit spent all of 2014 playing for Durham, the Rays’ Triple-A team, where he didn’t hit well at all. He’s a free agent now, and one who is far less appealing to anyone given that he’s got a suspension looming. This could be the last news item we hear about Betemit as a player.

The others:

  • Boston Red Sox Minor League shortstop Ricardo Cubillan has received a 76-game suspension without pay after testing positive for a metabolite of Nandrolone;
  • San Francisco Giants Minor League right-handed pitcher Ethan Miller has received a 50-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Amphetamine; and
  • Free agent Minor League first baseman Tanner Norton has received a 50-game suspension without pay following a second positive test for a drug of abuse

Which, on the bright side: those guys can all say that they were included in a news item with a genuine major leaguer one time.


Barry Zito will throw for teams on Tuesday

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants

Scott Boras told Jim Bowden of ESPN and SiriusXM that Barry Zito is going to throw for various teams on Thursday.

Which, hey, good luck Barry.

Zito sat out all of 2014 following a 2013 season in which he was posted a 5.74 ERA and allowed opposing hitters to hit .314 off of him. In December Boras told people that Zito had worked on his mechanics. Which, OK, we’ll take his word for it.

It doesn’t take a lot to get a team to give a player a minor league deal with an invite to a camp, so sure, we may see Zito pitching in February or early March. But much beyond that would be a surprise.


Dave Bergman, member of the 1984 Tigers, dies at age 61

tigers logo

This is sad: Dave Bergman, a member of the 1984 Detroit Tigers team, has passed away at age 61. He had been suffering from cancer.

Bergman had a 17-year career. He was originally drafted by the Yankees in the second round in 1974. He only had 24 plate appearances for New York before being sent to Houston in a multi-player trade following the 1977 season. He played parts of four seasons in Houston and then went to San Francisco along with Jeffrey Leonard in a 1981 trade. In March of 1984 he was part of a large trade that resulted in him — and, more famously, Willie Hernandez — arriving in Detroit from San Francisco and Philadelphia, respectively.

That was a key trade for the Tigers, and not just because they acquired the 1984 MVP Award winner in Hernandez. Bergman was a key part of the World Series champions, playing in 120 games — the second most he’d ever play in a season — and hitting .273/.351/.417 while handling the larger portion of the Tigers’ first base platoon (Darrell Evans played far more DH that year). Bergman would go on to play in the bigs through the 1992 season, all with Detroit. For his career he finished with a line of .258/.348/.367 in 3,114 plate appearances. And as the video embedded in this story in the Free Press shows, Bergman was also pretty adept at the hidden ball trick.

After he retired he remained in the Detroit area and was active in youth baseball.