Author: Craig Calcaterra

astros logo

By not losing 100 games, the Astros cost a furniture store $4 million


There’s a furniture store in Texas which promised a certain number of customers who spent a certain amount of money on furniture a refund if the Houston Astros didn’t lose 100 games this year. Yesterday’s win ensures that the Astros will lose no more than 99 games. Ergo:

One assumes that Mattress Mack is not insane and that he either had insurance for the stunt or else has such margins on his items that this is merely $4 million in advertising costs which have paid off. Heck, you didn’t even know who this guy was until I just posted this. So well done, Mack.

Josh Hamilton out again today

Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton will miss a fourth straight game today, as he’s out of the lineup with a sore shoulder/neck once again for today’s tilt against the Indians.

Hamilton has received injections in his neck over the weekend and is supposedly feeling better. But given the Angels’ comfortable lead in the AL West right now, it makes no sense to rush him. A healthy Hamilton in October is way more important.

Deep Thoughts: Derek Jeter’s ceremony looked more like a funeral

Jeter wreath

I think Derek Jeter himself has handled everything about his farewell tour perfectly. From his initial press conference in spring training when he basically told everyone to chill out and let him go play baseball to his speech yesterday which (a) avoided over-sentimentality; and (b) ended with the idea that, hey, we have to play baseball, he has done nothing for which he can be criticized. If he didn’t announce his retirement beforehand he’d be asked about it every damn day. That he did ensured that the Yankees and Major League Baseball would make a big deal out of it and he’s handled the big deal with, as always, the utmost professionalism

But man, that ceremony yesterday was weird. Not just that it was long or that it was somewhat over-the-top, what with people in space stations and sports stars from other sports putting in appearances. I mean, it’s the Yankees. Their motto may as well be “Go big or go home.” I’d expect nothing less from them.

No, it was weird because the visuals made it seem like a funeral. I mean, would you bat an eye if the first time you saw this wreath thing was at some point in the future when Jeter actually died and it was sitting on his grave?

source: AP

And the luminaries who attended, what with their dark suits and dark glasses in folding chairs:


Didn’t they look like the first row of mourners at the Don’s funeral in “The Godfather?” All that was missing was Tessio coming over for a meeting.

This is almost over. And while it will be sad to see Jeter play his last game, it won’t be at all sad to see people trying to make it far more momentous and sentimental than Jeter himself would likely ever want.

Buster Olney is back on the “void PED-users’ contracts” train

Melky Cabrera

Buster Olney has made quite the sport of using Melky Cabrera as his go-to example of the dangers of PED use. Back in the spring he played the “hey, if you want to think Melky is playing well clean, good for you, but all of us non-gullible people would be way more reasonable to not do that” game. He has almost always used Cabrera as an example of “cheating pays!” implying that Cabrera has made out like a bandit due to drug use for which he was caught in 2012.

Today, despite his claim that he is in no way accusing Cabrera of anything, he once again visits the topic, using Cabrera as an example of someone who may still continue to have incentives to cheat and who may rip off any team who signs him to a long term deal. And, as he has in the past, he uses Cabrera as the basis for his argument that PED users should have their contracts voided. He premises this on the ideas of an unnamed “veteran player,” but it’s clearly Olney’s position too:

This veteran had a really, really great idea that the union should consider: If a player is suspended a second time — which would effectively remove them from the improbable category of those who are victims of a false positive — then they should be stripped of their multi-year deals and, moving forward, be restricted to one-year contracts.

Seems to me that this creates all manner of bad incentives, both on the part of teams who may seek to get out from under bad long-term deals and for players who are signed to team-friendly one-year deals. I mean, if you are bought out of arbitration and a couple of years of free agency but you’re otherwise a good player, wouldn’t you rather go out on the market on a yearly basis than take your $3M a year on average or whatever it was you agreed to when you were a rookie? Some may. And given that teams themselves do not take the position that once a guy uses PEDs he’s forever an unsignable fraud, players will likely benefit from that. Maybe not the old ones trying to hang on, but the young ones who want both a performance boost and the right to negotiate on the open market for several winters in a row.

That — and Buster’s Melky-obsession aside –such a punishment is silly and disproportionate. It turns one violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement into a player’s forfeiture of his coverage under the agreement. We already live in a time where a player will miss an entire season for a second offense. That new penalty was JUST enacted. Since then we haven’t yet had a repeat offender in the majors. Perhaps we should wait to see if that’s actually a problem before ratcheting up the penalties again.

Or, hell, maybe we should just leap ahead to summary executions at this point. It’s the only thing, apparently, that will stop some folks from arguing that the current penalties are not sufficient.

Jonathan Lucroy says the Brewers are better than the Cardinals

Jonathan Lucroy Getty

Here’s Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy after yesterday’s defeat to the Cardinals, which dropped Milwaukee five games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central:

“They always play us good but I still believe we’re better than they are. I do. All around, player for player matchups, I believe we are [better].”

Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence!

The Cardinals have taken 10 of 16 head-to-head against Milwaukee this year. They were up two and a half games on the Cards on the first of August and since then they’ve lost seven and a half games of ground, dropping four of six head-to-head. If Milwaukee is better, they got a funny way of showing it.

In other news, Danny Espinosa is not impressed with Lucroy stealing his bit.