Craig Calcaterra


Opening Day Rosters have 238 players born outside of the United States

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Some fun facts from Major League Baseball just came across the wire. There are 238 players on 2016 Opening Day 25-man rosters and inactive lists who were born outside United States. That’s 238 out of 864, or 27.5%.

The players represent 18 countries and territories outside the U.S.  This ties the record from 1998, when there were also 18 countries and territories represented.  The 238 foreign-born players and the percentage of 27.5 are not a record, but they are the highest in four seasons. In 2013 there were 241 players which accounted for 28.2 percent of rostered players.

The breakdown is lead, as it always is, by the Dominican Republic, which has 82 players on big league rosters.  Venezuela ranks second with 63 players, and Cuba places third with 23 players. Then comes Puerto Rico (17); Mexico (12); Japan (8); South Korea (8); Canada (6); Panama (4); Colombia and Curaçao (3 each); Brazil and Taiwan (2 each); Aruba, Australia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua and the U.S. Virgin Islands (1 each).

Jabari Blash is the first player from the U.S. Virgin Islands to appear on an Opening Day roster since the Padres had Callix Crabbe in 2008.  New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius is the first player from the Netherlands to appear on consecutive Opening Day rosters since Florida’s Rick Vandenhurk in 2008-09.

Let’s enjoy another season of the (inter)natonal pastime.



Another postponement: Red Sox and Indians bumped until tomorrow

Members of the Boston Red Sox stretch before a baseball game between the Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Associated Press

Mother Nature simply isn’t cooperating with baseball today. A second game — the Red Sox vs. the Indians in Cleveland — was just postponed until tomorrow due to the cold and the wet.

I know a lot of people ask why they bother scheduling games in places like Cleveland and New York for Opening Day, but it’s not as simple as merely putting all of the games from the first week or two in domes or down south or out west. Opening Day is usually a guaranteed sellout, so the teams in the north and east want their crack at that too. It’s also the case that teams in better weather cities don’t want to host an inordinate number of games in April, as — Opening Day aside — you can usually count on better crowds in the summer months, and they’d be deprived of that if they got all the April games.

On balance, you get more good days than bad in places like Cleveland and the northeast during this week. It just so happens that this is a bad week. It happens.

Ian Desmond is thankful for his underwear

Texas Rangers' Ian Desmond tosses a baseball to a fan before a spring training baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Men don’t think too much about their underwear. It’s functional, for the most part, but not particularly interesting. And we take that functionality for granted. Really, there’s a lot of bad men’s underwear out there. Underwear that impedes free movement of all of the, um, parts that should not be impeded.

And you can go too far the other way! Some underwear — I’m lookin’ at you, boxer shorts — are just too free. Some level of containment is important. But not too much!

You have to figure that this problem is far worse for professional athletes who have to move way more than us couch schlubs. They have to move but other parts have to remain stabilized, but not too stabilized. And that’s before we get into the highly-complicated relationship between an athlete and and his athletic supporter and cup, which is another layer of complication on an already complicated subject.

Athletes, like the rest of us, probably take a lot of this for granted too. But not Ian Desmond. Desmond is thankful for his underwear:


Gotta love the name “SAXX” for men’s underwear. It’s to the point. They have a long story about their corporate philosophy, but really, it’s all in the name, isn’t it?