Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Roberto Clemente Award nominees announced

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The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Andrew McCutchen won the award last year. This year’s nominees were just announced:

Arizona Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt (#VoteGoldy)
Atlanta Braves – Jim Johnson (#VoteJJ)
Baltimore Orioles – Adam Jones (#VoteAdam)
Boston Red Sox – Brock Holt (#VoteBrock)
Chicago Cubs – Anthony Rizzo (#VoteRizzo)
Chicago White Sox – Jose Abreu (#VoteAbreu)
Cincinnati Reds – Michael Lorenzen (#VoteLorenzen)
Cleveland Indians – Carlos Carrasco (#VoteCookie)
Colorado Rockies – Carlos González (#VoteCarGo)
Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera (#VoteMiggy)
Houston Astros – Lance McCullers (#VoteMcCullers)
Kansas City Royals – Eric Hosmer (#VoteHosmer)
Los Angeles Angels – Andrew Heaney (#VoteHeaney)
Los Angeles Dodgers – Adrian González (#VoteAdrian)
Miami Marlins – Giancarlo Stanton (#VoteStanton)
Milwaukee Brewers – Ryan Braun (#VoteBraun)
Minnesota Twins – Joe Mauer (#VoteMauer)
New York Mets – Curtis Granderson (#VoteGrandy)
New York Yankees – Brett Gardner (#VoteGardy)
Oakland Athletics – Sean Doolittle (#VoteDoolittle)
Philadelphia Phillies – Ryan Howard (#VoteHoward)
Pittsburgh Pirates – Jared Hughes (#VoteHughes)
St. Louis Cardinals – Adam Wainwright (#VoteWainwright)
San Diego Padres – Tyson Ross (#VoteRoss)
San Francisco Giants – Jake Peavy (#VotePeavy)
Seattle Mariners – Robinson Canó (#VoteCano)
Tampa Bay Rays – Chris Archer (#VoteArcher)
Texas Rangers – Cole Hamels (#VoteHamels)
Toronto Blue Jays – Kevin Pillar (#VotePillar)
Washington Nationals – Ryan Zimmerman (#VoteZim)

The hashtags listed are for the fan vote component to this award, in which you go to the Clemente Award website and vote for one of the nominees and, presumably, tweet about them and stuff at some point. The winner of the fan vote gets a one vote head start, with that vote added in to votes cast by Commissioner Rob Manfred, Roberto Clemente’s widow, Vera Clemente, and a number of former players and some media people.

The Twins are considering Alex Anthopoulos for president of baseball operations

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Jon Morosi of Fox Sports reports that Alex Anthopoulos is a “confirmed candidate” to take over as the Twins’ president of baseball operations. If hired, he would take over following the Twins’ recent front office house cleaning that resulted in Terry Ryan being fired back in July.

Anthopoulos served as senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager with the Blue Jays from 2010-2015. He was a bold and active executive, making big trades — Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey; Brett Lawrie for Josh Donaldson; the David Price trade with Detroit to name just a few — and not being afraid to spend money. He stepped down from the Jays job after Toronto hired Mark Shapiro to be team president and CEO. The thinking was that the Jays owners wanted to cut costs and Shapiro began his tenure by, allegedly, berating Anthopoulos about trading away prospects for higher-priced veterans.

Anthopoulos is working for the Dodgers front office under the title of vice president of baseball operations. It’s clearly one of those holding pattern jobs, however, in which he’s keeping his hand in while he waits for a good opportunity. Building a losing team from the ground up following a front office purge is a pretty good opportunity. Especially considering that the Twins are not wholly bereft of young talent.

David Ortiz rips Donald Trump a new one on immigration

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Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today sat down with David Ortiz for a recent interview. In it, Ortiz talked about Donald Trump and his comments about immigrants and immigration in the past year or so. He is quite understandably not a fan:

“When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face. I walk around sometimes, and I see Mexican people trying to earn a living in an honest way. And to hear somebody make those kinds of comments, it hits you . . . As Latin people we deserve respect, no matter where you’re from. And especially our Mexican brothers, who come here willing to do all the dirty work.”

Ortiz went on to talk about how, whoever comes here, from wherever they come, does so with a single goal, and that’s to realize the American Dream. It’s not at all difficult, it would seem, to be able to appreciate that and respect the dignity of those who want to make their lives better even if reasonable people can disagree about the laws which should apply to those seeking to come here.

Ortiz became a U.S. citizen in 2008. In my view he understands and appreciates what it is to be an American far better than a lot of natural born and self-proclaimed patriots.