Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Braves reliever Jose Ramirez suspended for three games

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The other night Braves reliever Jose Ramirez threw at the head of Jose Fernandez of the Miami Marlins, almost certainly in retaliation for Fernandez plunking Nick Markakis earlier in the game. Ramirez missed Fernandez — the pitch went behind Fernandez’s head — but the benches cleared No punches were thrown.

Ramirez was hit all the same: with a three-game suspension, just handed down by Joe Garagiola Jr., and his merry men. Ramirez is appealing the suspension, so he will be available tonight against the Nationals.

Here’s the incident:

 

Jorge Soler leaves game with side tightness

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The Cubs trotted out the pupu platter lineup this afternoon, what with today’s game coming after a late night division clinch. One of the few regulars in the lineup was Jorge Soler. Bad luck for him: he left the game with tightness in his side.

The concern, of course, would be that it’s an oblique, which can linger for a few weeks. The Cubs have some time before the playoffs, but not the 4-6 weeks more severe oblique strains can set someone back for. Here’s hoping it’s not serious.

Soler had one at bat in this game. On the year he’s hitting .234/.336/.448 with 12 homers and 31 RBI. He’s done better than that, however, since coming off the DL in mid-August.

 

Fox exec on its new baseball show,”Pitch”: “at its core a soap opera”

Fox Entertainment
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There’s a big story in today’s New York Times about “Pitch,” the show coming out this fall on Fox about a woman who makes the San Diego Padres as a pitcher. The show, which was originally going to premiere this summer, was pushed to the fall because Fox saw it as a potential breakout hit as opposed to a summer fill-in. Today it’s creators are talking it up.

The big takeaway? Baseball is just a red herring, really. Just as a lot of legal and medical shows are, really, soap operas, in “Pitch” baseball is the excuse for a character-driven drama:

Though the pilot features baseball scene after baseball scene, the “Pitch” producers insist it’s anything but a sports show. In fact, Fox moved the show from its original midseason slot to the fall and the 9 p.m. time slot of “Scandal,” after ABC decided to hold back that hit show until the winter. (It should also help that “Pitch” will have its premiere in the heat of the pennant race and will be on the air during baseball’s postseason.) Dana Walden, a chief executive of the Fox Television Group, said that “Pitch” is “at its core a soap opera, and we’re hoping to attract a big number of female viewers.”

If you’re looking for soap opera drama that flows with baseball, Fox, I have a suggestion: a storyline in which the female pitcher tears her UCL but the Padres’ general manager trades her to Seattle anyway after lying about her health. Too far-fetched? Eh, maybe. I’ll workshop it a bit to come up with something more realistic.

Anyway, I don’t know what to expect from the show. For its part, it seems that the New York Times expects condescension to women who might watch it. After noting the hurdles the show might have to jump to find an audience, the article says this:

And how will it cater to the hard-core baseball fan expecting authenticity while still appealing to women, whom Fox is depending on for much of its viewership?

Huh. I guess all the of hard-core baseball fans I know that happen to be women, including the ones who write for and read this blog, the ones I talk to all day on Twitter and who have made baseball their living, the ones I see and talk to at the ballpark and the one I’m marrying are all just figments of my imagination.