Craig Calcaterra

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

Mitch Williams believes he’s been blackballed by MLB


In May of 2014, former major league pitcher and former MLB Network commentator Mitch Williams was coaching a Little League team and was alleged to have cussed out an umpire, called kids on opposing teams derogatory names and, in one instance, ordered one of his players to bean a player on an opposing team. As a result of the controversy — which went public fast — Williams took a leave of absence from his MLB Network job and was eventually fired.

Later that year he sued MLB and Deadspin, alleging wrongful termination and defamation. Given that he publicly apologized for the behavior Deadspin reported that he engaged in — and given that there are pictures of him acting, well, less-than-professionally at the Little League game in question and that a number of witnesses backed up the story — one wonders how the defamation suit has any legs, but we’ll let the courts figure that out. There’s a trial set for this summer. Somehow.

Today we learn that Williams believes that he’s been blackballed from working as a baseball analyst. In an interview with the700Level Show, the entirety of which is embedded at, he said:

“It’s pretty tough to get a job when Major League Baseball is partnered with every network and that sort of thing out there . . . There hasn’t been a job opportunity even presented that I could even go do and do what I like and what I thought I was getting good at, and that was analyzing baseball.”

When asked specifically if he thinks he’s been blackballed he said:

“In my mind, yes I have,” Williams said. “That’s sour grapes. I’m not someone who’s going to sit around on sour grapes. I continue to go out and try to find things to do, and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

He says that this is all the result of people lying about him and spreading rumors. You know, like photographs. And statements from impartial third party witnesses. And his own apology.

But hey, good luck in court, Wild Thing.


The man who has sold a million beers

Associated Press

It’s beer day today, I guess. Well, every day is beer day if you’re living your life properly, but here’s our second beer-related story in a row.

It’s from NPR StoryCorps and it’s about a vendor for the Baltimore Orioles named Clarence Haskett who goes by the nickname “Fancy Clancy.” Haskett has slung concessions for the Orioles for 42 years and, according to the article, “he has sold more than a million beers.”

He also treats his job like a sport itself:

“The way that I look at my job as a vendor, my mindset is I’m a professional athlete. I have to stay in shape, I have to train during the offseason,” Haskett says. “Because vendors running around with straps around their neck? That’s only on television commercials. Good vendors pick up their case and they carry it.”

If you’ve really watched these folks work, you know he’s right and you know just how hard and fast a good vendor hustles. The more they sell the more they make.

A cool part of the game we never see. At least until we’re thirsty.

Fan catches foul ball without spilling a drop of his beer

There’s “catch a foul ball” cool, “catch a foul ball with one hand” cool, and “catch a foul ball with one had while holding a beer in the other” cool.

But this guy at the A’s game yesterday was “catch a foul ball with one had while holding a beer in the other while not spilling a drop, strutting a bit and THEN giving the ball to a little kid” cool. Oh, and he had the gold A’s alternate jersey on too. And he’s bald, which is about as cool as it gets.

That, my friends, is cool.