Craig Calcaterra

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh yells during the Coach Jim Harbaugh's Elite Summer Football Camp, Friday, June 5, 2015, at Prattville High School in Prattville, Ala. Harbaugh will have to improve the Wolverines by one game over last season to get them into postseason. (Albert Cesare/The Montgomery Advertiser via AP)  NO SALES; MANDATORY CREDIT

Jim Harbaugh to coach first base for the Tigers in a spring training game


University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh will be in Bradenton, Florida next week for some dumb football thing. No, I have no idea what it is, but it is a football thing so it’s, by definition, dumb. The details are unimportant.

What is important is that on one of the days he’ll be there — next Wednesday to be specific — the Tigers will be traveling from Lakeland over to McKechnie Field in Bradenton to take on the Pirates, which gives him a chance to demonstrate some Michigan sports synergy:

Harbaugh will coach first base for the Tigers for at least one inning in the game, sources Saturday confirmed to The Detroit News on Saturday. There also is the possibility he may don a Pirates jersey and coach an inning for Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle, a Big Rapids native and noted Michigan fan.

Harbaugh did this for the A’s last year. I don’t have any memory of that, but I assume it’l be intense. Hopefully he can even recreate the “There’s no crying in baseball” speech. Or, given how he acts on the sidelines, maybe he’ll just inspire Brad Ausmus or Clint Hurdle or someone to give it to him.

Salvador Perez: “Why is my country bleeding?”

Salvador Perez

This is awful. The mother of Royals catcher Salvador Perez was a victim of a carjacking in Venezuela yesterday. She is unharmed and the car has been returned, but it was obviously a scary situation.

The families of ballplayers from Venezuela have been targeted before, even kidnapped. A player, Wilson Ramos, was himself once kidnapped. Given these incidents and the overall crime rate and increasing desperation among some in Venezuela, it’s not hard to imagine the Perez family’s fear and hurt arising out of this situation.

Perez was the first to report this, on his Instagram account. His message as written:

Hoy en el día mi madre en (Valencia ) fue despojada de su camioneta una 4runner por hombres fuertemente armados y fue amenazada con armamento apuntados a ella. Y bueno gracias a Dios nada malo paso y los ladrones se llevaron la camioneta q fue recuperada un poco más tarde por gente de la PTJ . Mi mama gracias a Dios esta perfecta y tranquila pero gente hasta cuando ya no respetan a nadie nosotros estamos aquí poniendo el nombre de Venezuela en alto y el hampa no respetan género , profesion nada me da dolor. Gente tenemos un país q cada día se hunde más en él hambre,hampa ,escasez y falta de seguridad. Sin caer en detalles no hablo de política ni de clases sociales hablo del corazón por q están desangrando mi país. Y lo amo. Desde aquí es fácil hablar dirán muchos pero cada día lucho por mi país también y por poner el nombre en alto. Voy a seguir amándote Venezuela hoy más q nadie , sigamos luchando por una mejor Venezuela Dios está con nosotros no perdamos la fe mi gente. Te AMO MAMÁ ya casi juntos 😇😇😇😇🇻🇪🇻🇪🇻🇪🇻🇪🇻🇪🇻🇪🇻🇪🇻🇪🇻🇪🇻🇪🇻🇪 y que DIOS los cuide a todos

The Kansas City Star translated it in full. This part stuck out:

Thank God my mom is perfectly fine and calm, but until what point do people stop respecting each other? We are here upholding Venezuela’s name, but criminals don’t respect gender, profession, nothing. It hurts me. People, we have a country that every day, falls deeper in hunger, crime, scarcity, and lack of security. Without getting into details, I’m not talking about politics nor social classes, I’m speaking from the heart: Why is my country bleeding?

It’s impossible to imagine being in that situation. Here’s hoping these sorts of stories don’t continue to repeat themselves.

Ryan Braun is in the most athletic shape of his life

Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun throws during a spring training baseball workout Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Associated Press

I won’t say “best” shape of his life because a lot of this article is spent talking about his surgeries and his injuries. But Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is making a claim, at the age of 32, to being in The Most Athletic Shape of His Life:

Braun, whose combination of power and speed helped him put up some huge numbers in the first six years of his career, believes he’s at the height of his physical powers despite his age and recent injury issues.

“I’ve never been more athletic than I am right now,” said Braun. “I can say that objectively because I do a lot of the same things as far as running, jumping, speed-wise, all that stuff. I’m easily as athletic as I’ve ever been.

“Overall I don’t feel like I’ve lost anything.”

Actually, the whole article does read like a Best Shape of His Life article in that Braun talks about how he laid off the weights due to his offseason surgery and focused instead on agility and core strength and stuff like that, which is classic BSOHL material. Except for when the player in question works on weights and adds “X pounds of muscle” and then claims that he’s in the BSOHL for that reason. It just depends on who the player is and what he claimed last year.

In other news, the beginning of the article includes Braun talking a lot about how, these days, there aren’t as many players over the age of 35 in major league clubhouses and talks about baseball as a young man’s game. Which is accurate. A pity then, that neither subject nor reporter mentions a fairly obvious factor going into the changing aging curves in baseball. Which, given the player here, would probably be apt.