Craig Calcaterra

Washington Nationals v Baltimore Orioles

And now your annual “Dontrelle Willis has signed with _____” post


To be followed in, say, early March with a “Dontrelle Willis released by ___” post and subsequent “Dontrelle Willis signed by ____” post come June. We may overlook the “Dontrelle Willis released by ____” post in September, as those tend to get lost in the shuffle:

He has not pitched in the bigs since 2011. He has not been a good big league pitcher since 2006.

MLB proposes shortening between-inning breaks

Watchmen Clock

Jayson Stark reports from the front lines of the pace-of-play war:

Under a new proposal by Major League Baseball, pitchers would be required to finish their warm-up pitches and be ready to make their first pitch of an inning 30 seconds before the end of all between-inning commercial breaks, sources told

Similarly, hitters would have to be in the batter’s box, ready to start their at-bats, 20 seconds before the end of each break.

There would be the same amount of commercial time, but less of the messing around with warmup pitches and walkups and all of that. Back from commercial and — bam! — game play.

Which would be a good idea, I think. It would have way more impact on TV production crews, I reckon, than the players or game itself. Fewer crowd shots over the scoreboard and less time for introductions of relief pitchers and things with stat overlays as we wait for the warmup pitches to be completed. As Stark notes, it’ll also squeeze the time available for kiss-cams and other on-field nonsense at the park.

Which, in addition to the 10-15 minute game time savings Stark mentions MLB officials believe this will create, make it a win-win, right?

The Dodgers’ TV situation is likely to be unchanged for the 2015 season

dodgers logo

All last season, the only way you could see Dodgers games in the Los Angels market is if you were a Time-Warner subscriber, because that’s the only cable carrier in the area that carried SportsNet, the Dodgers TV network. Most people in Los Angeles are not Time-Warner subscribers, however, so most L.A.-dwelling Dodgers fans could not see their team.

While there is potential movement on all of this [see note below], Bill Shaikin and Meg James of the Los Angeles Times report today that it’s unlikely that things will be different by the time Opening Day rolls around, leaving Dodgers fans in Los Angeles stuck with either radio or nothing for the boys in blue.

That note: the movement I mentioned stems from the pending Time-Warner/Comcast merger which would, presumably, mean that SportsNet would eventually find its way to way more subscribers in Los Angeles. As the article notes, however, federal approval of that merger is not set to be determined until just before the season starts, and various regulations prevent the parties from negotiating deals while approval is pending, so it’s unlikely that the merger changes the prospects for L.A. people to see Dodgers games until at least after the season starts.

And, of course: NBC is a Comcast company and I work for NBC, so I’m not going to say anything substantive about any of that apart from link this informative article for your edification and enjoyment.


The Marlins expect Jose Fernandez back around June 1; would consider trading Dan Haren

Jose Fernandez

From Barry Jackson’s notes column in the Herald, a couple of items relevant to the Marlins’ 2015 pitching staff:

  • The Marlins expect Jose Fernandez to throw off a mound in spring training and expect him to be back to throwing balls in anger by June 1. This is a the standard timetable given his May 2014 Tommy John surgery;
  • The team is well aware of Dan Haren’s desire to play in southern California and will try to accommodate him if they get any offers for him from California teams, but at the moment they are hearing nothing and they’re not making calls. They think he’ll pitch well in Miami and hope he does.

As for the retirement threat, Jackson notes this tweet from Haren last week:

Yeah, he’s gonna pitch.

Before you hit “publish” on your A-Rod/Barry Bonds hot take . . .

Barry Bonds Giants spring

When I saw that Alex Rodriguez was training with Barry Bonds, my heart grew three sizes. Not because two of the best players of all time were working together, really, but because you know — you just know — that someone is gonna rattle off a hot take about it soon.

I’m not sure who it’ll be — maybe Madden, maybe Klapisch, maybe Lupica — but you know there will be some spittle-infused invective thrown about how A-Rod working with Bonds shows that he “just doesn’t get it.” How A-Rod doesn’t understand public relations. How cheaters stick together. How now, at long last, Rodriguez has finally forfeited the right to any benefit of the doubt. Never mind that these people haven’t given him any benefit of the doubt from anywhere between five and fourteen years.

I really can’t wait to read that stuff. But before we read it, a little reminder: Barry Bonds worked with the entire San Francisco Giants team last spring as an instructor and has personally and privately coached multiple other players in the past. The same Giants who just won the World Series. Other players whom no one criticizes for working with the tainted Home Run King.

Maybe the fact that this is no different than that which has happened in the recent past will cause the hot takers to think twice before going after Rodriguez once again. I kind of doubt it, but maybe it will. Either way, I just wanted to throw that out there.