Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Trevor Hoffman, Dave Winfield named All-Star Game “Spokespeople”

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Major League Baseball announced this afternoon that Trevor Hoffman and Dave Winfield have been named the “official spokespeople” of the 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Both, obviously, starred for the San Diego Padres during their careers. After the late Tony Gwynn they’re easily the two most famous Padres of all time, right? Have to be.

What do All-Star “spokespeople” do? Without looking I’m going to assume that they give evasive answers about the bad behavior of the All-Star Game and serve as a buffer between the press and the All-Star Game which, frankly, would prefer its privacy. Given the low ratings for past All-Star Games you’d assume that it had plenty of solitude already, but you can never be too sure.

OK, I’ll look:

As All-Star spokespeople, Hoffman and Winfield will help to generate public awareness for the 87th Midsummer Classic and its surrounding events. They also will participate in All-Star events and will make a variety of appearances throughout All-Star Week in San Diego, including attending MLB All-Star FanFest, ballpark events, community refurbishment projects and more.

There you have it. If, for some reason, you become unaware of the All-Star Game between now and mid-July, blame Winfield and Hoffman for dropping the dang ball or otherwise doing the job in a horses**t manner.

Bryce Harper will play in the World Baseball Classic . . . if other U.S. superstars do too

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Next year is the World Baseball Classic and one of the biggest American stars tells CSNMid-Atlantic that he’s all-in. But only if other big-time American stars are too. Bryce Harper:

“I think when you really look at it, if the guys play that you really want to play with, then definitely I’ll play. But if we’re not going to have the opportunity to win, then I don’t want to play,” Harper told CSN Mid-Atlantic. “If we do that, then I’m definitely in. If not, I probably won’t do it.”

Harper named Noah Syndergaard, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Nolan Arenado as examples of players he’d like to see on the U.S. team. He says if the U.S. is not in it to win it, he doesn’t want to be in it.

The U.S. has not yet won it in the three previous WBCs. If whoever is in charge of the U.S. WBC team wants to win it, he should start making phone calls.

Twins minor leaguer Reynaldo Rodriguez suspended 80 games

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Police blotter time:

Major League Baseball announced today that Minnesota Twins Minor League outfielder Reynaldo Rodriguez has received an 80-game suspension without pay following a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol — man, the retro ‘roids trend continues! — a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Rodriguez, who plays in Triple-A, is almost 30 and has been in the minors for ten years, so it’s not like this is impacting the big club much. It says a lot, however, about how hard someone will try to make that last chance leap from the minors to the bigs and even part of a big league payday.