Craig Calcaterra

Adam Lind

The Mariners are close to acquiring Adam Lind


Jon Morosi and/or Ken Rosenthal (two different people whose reports often get conflated this time of year) reports that the Mariners are close to acquiring Adam Lind from the Brewers.

It’s not yet clear what the Brewers are getting back, but they are in rebuilding mode so it follows that it would be a minor leaguer or two. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel notes that earlier in the week that there was some speculation that first baseman/third baseman D.J. Peterson might be involved. That’s nothing particularly sexy, but Peterson could be a place holder for Milwaukee as they rebuild.

As for Lind: he’s 32 and is coming off a year in which he hit .277/.360./460 with 20 homers and 87 runs driven in. Over his last three years he’s hit .291/.364/.478 for Toronto and Milwaukee.

Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe wins the J.G. Taylor Spink Award


NASHVILLE — The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Dan Shaugnessy, columnist for the Boston Globe, as the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame for his “meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown next July.

Shaughnessy isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, to put it mildly. He has feuded with Red Sox players and executives over and over again, often in columns supported by anonymous comments from Sox ownership and senior management. The BBWAA press release announcing his award itself notes that “[i]n 2006, Shaughnessy wrote a column which forced Theo Epstein to resign as Red Sox general manager.” Epstein’s resignation, however temporary it was, is said to have been based, in part, on his anger at then-Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino for leaking to Shaugnessy. More recently he has feuded with David Ortiz, essentially accusing him of taking performance enhancing drugs following his hot start in May of 2013.

Shaughnessy has likewise inveighed against online baseball writers and analysts, their readers and their interests, often in his annual Hall of Fame column. In 2009 he called those arguing in favor of Edgar Martinez’s Hall candidacy “The stat geeks, those get-a-lifers who are sucking all the joy out of our national pastime.” The following year he called those who opposed Jack Morris “silly stat shut-ins.” He did not, it seems, extend that criticism to his Boston Globe colleague, Pete Abraham, who did not support Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame case, suggesting his issue was not with whom one supports for the Hall of Fame but the platform from which they voice their support. Meanwhile, Shaugnessy’s own Hall of Fame voting decisions were often inconsistent, taking players off and putting them back on his ballot from year to year with seemingly no rhyme nor reason.

Now Shaughnessy himself is being honored at the Hall of Fame by his BBWAA peers. Which, criticisms of his style and approach notwithstanding, is in keeping with past standards for the honor. Shaugnessy has had a long and notable journalism career, having covered Boston and national sports for the Globe since 1981. Before that he wrote for the Baltimore Evening Sun and Washington Star. He has written several books about baseball including his most famous one, “The Curse of the Bambino.” He is also credited with popularizing the phrase, “Red Sox Nation.” No matter what you think of Shaugnessy, you can’t deny that he has made a mark, both on the beats he covers and in the national sports conversation at large.

Shaughnessy received 185 votes from the 417 ballots cast, including one blank ballot and is the 67th winner of the award since 1962. The late Furman Bisher, who covered baseball in Atlanta for nearly 60 years was second with 157 votes. Juan Vene received 74.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place July 22-25, 2016, in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Dusty Baker on the Aroldis Chapman allegations: “I don’t believe reports”

Dusty Baker poses for a picture on the field after a news conference to present him as the new manager of the Washington Nationals baseball team, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

NASHVILLE — Dusty Baker just spoke for his Winter Meetings media availability. Most of it was about the Nationals. Then someone asked him about one of his former players with the Reds, Aroldis Chapman. The same Aroldis Chapman who is alleged to have been involved in a domestic violence altercation with his girlfriend that involved eight gunshots, choking and a response by multiple police cruisers.

Baker admitted at the outset that he had not read Jeff Passan’s article at Yahoo which contained the actual police report. Based on that and that alone he may have been better-advised to have offered no comment and moved on. He didn’t, however, instead addressing serious allegations against Chapman by saying “I don’t believe reports,” suggesting that Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy “needs to go further than the player,” and that “[s]ometimes abusers don’t always have pants on.”

Rather than paraphrase, I’ll just offer up the transcript taken from the just-concluded interview, courtesy of ASAP Sports Transcripts.

Q. Dusty, you had Aroldis Chapman when he broke into the majors. What was that process like? Were you surprised by the report?
DUSTY BAKER: I don’t believe reports. Who knows why? I’m not one to judge on how the whole thing happened.

Q. What do you know about the guy?
DUSTY BAKER: Oh, he’s a heck of a guy. I mean, a heck of a guy. I’ll go on record and say I wouldn’t mind having Chapman. No, no, he is a tremendous young man with a great family, mom and dad, and what he went through to get here and what his family had to go through to get here. I was with him through the whole process.

There was a couple times when I had to stop him from quitting or going back to Cuba because he was lonely for his family. So I went through a lot of stuff with Chapman. I got nothing but love for the young man.

Q. Were you surprised by — I don’t know how much you read about the allegations.
DUSTY BAKER: I didn’t read it.

Q. Are you surprised that this popped up?
DUSTY BAKER: I don’t read most of the stuff you guys write. No, I don’t.

Q. I believe you. I didn’t know if you heard anything.
DUSTY BAKER: I heard it from my son. I mean, who’s to say the allegations are true, number one. And who’s to say what you would have done or what caused the problem.

Q. Dusty, do you believe that it’s a good thing that baseball now has a domestic policy?

Q. Domestic violence policy?
DUSTY BAKER: Yeah. I think it’s a great thing. I mean, I got a buddy at home that’s being abused by his wife. So I think this policy needs to go further than the player. I think the policy should go to whoever’s involved. Sometimes abusers don’t always have pants on.

I think we need to get them both in a room and try to come up with something. It’s a bad situation. That’s the first thing my momma told me when I was a kid. Don’t hit a woman, even my sister. Man, I was like you better leave me alone before I tell my momma.

It’s a bad situation. I learned that young, but a lot of people maybe didn’t learn that.