Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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All-Star lineups, starting pitchers announced


SAN DIEGO — All-Star managers Terry Collins and Ned Yost just announced their starting lineups and starting pitchers at a press conference here in San Diego. Here’s how it breaks down:

American League Lineup:

1. Jose Altuve 2b
2. Mike Trout CF
3. Manny Machado 3B
4. David Ortiz DH
5. Xander Bogaerts SS
6. Eric Hosmer 1B
7. Mookie Betts RF
8. Salvador Perez C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr. LF

Chris Sale of the White Sox gets the start. Yost said that following Sale will be Corey Kluber, Cole Hamels, Aaron Sanchez and Jose Quintana. After that he’ll get into the pen.

National League Lineup:

1. Ben Zobrist 2B
2. Bryce Harper RF
3. Kris Bryant 3B
4. Wil Myers DH
5. Buster Posey C
6. Anthony Rizzo 1B
7. Marcell Ozuna CF
8. Carlos Gonzalez LF
9. Addison Russell SS

Johnny Cueto of the Giants is the starter. Collins said he had no set schedule yet for pitchers to follow Cueto.

I find it notable that the two players most often referred to as the best in baseball — Mike Trout and Bryce Harper — are batting second. The more advanced thinking in this day and age is that your best hitter should probably bat second. Most managers still don’t do that too often. Here two of the more traditional and, dare I say it, old school managers in the game are doing just that. They’ll be subbed out after a couple of innings so it doesn’t really matter, but it’s still kind of neat.

Giancarlo Stanton is the favorite to win the Home Run Derby


SAN DIEGO — Last year Todd Frazier was the favorite to win the Home Run Derby. He won the Home Run Derby. In 2014 Giancarlo Stanton was the favorite to win the Home Run Derby. He did not win it. Yoenis Cespedes did. There’s probably a lesson to be drawn from that but I just can’t tease it out. It probably has to do with not betting on crap like the Home Run Derby.

But hey, don’t let me judge you. You’re an adult. If you want to gamble on this thing, go ahead. It’s only the money for the kids braces and stuff. If you do so, here are your odds, courtesy of Bovada:

Giancarlo Stanton: +350
Mark Trumbo: +375
Wil Myers: +550
Todd Frazier: +600
Adam Duvall: +600
Robinson Cano: +800
Carlos Gonzalez: +800
Corey Seager: +900

The non-gambling among you should know that, with these sorts of betting lines, a +350 means you have to bet $100 to win $350 on Giancarlo Stanton, etc. etc. As far as these things go, Stanton is not an overwhelming long shot. It’s probably anybody’s contest.

It’s seeded, by the way, based on the number of homers each player has entering the break, with Trumbo first, Seager eighth and so on. Those to face off in the first round as do Stanton and Cano, Duvall vs. Myers and Frazier vs. Gonzalez.

As always, the combatants get to choose their pitcher. It’s often a father-son affair. This year Seager will have his father Jeff pitch to him and Myers will have his brother pitch to him. As many of my Twitter correspondents have said in the past week they should just have Chris Young pitch to everyone, but Major League Baseball never seems to want to have fun like that.

The show gets underway at 8pm Eastern tonight. Enjoy.

Baseball uniforms are getting brighter


This is a fun story from John Larue of The Hardball Times. It’s an analysis of what colors teams have worn since 1962. That year was chosen as the starting point due to expansion and the rise of color television. As well as the fact that the 1960s truly did mark the end of a decades-long orthodoxy in uniform colors and style so it makes sense.

It’s a deep dive too, not just going with primary color schemes, but looking at who is wearing truly white whites as opposed to creams as well as categorizing overall cultural trends like 1990s purple and teal and the rise of black and silvers and grays. He also notes how the plethora of new ballparks have impacted uniform color trends. When you get a new ballpark, the rebranding tends to be pretty thorough, often with new duds as well.

The upshot of it all: after a period in which uniforms returned to their conservative roots in the 1990s and early 2000s, we’re seeing a bit of a color explosion once again with lots of bright colors. A lot of it is driven by nostalgia and throwbacks to the 1970s and 80s, but color is color, right?