Guest Post: Anna Calcaterra on baseball

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My kids are home from school today. Again. Darn winter weather. They have not had a full five-day school week since before Christmas. And, frankly, it’s getting on my nerves. I told them this morning that I have to work and that they need to not be crazy.

My ten year-old daughter Anna — known to some of you around here as Mookie — asked me if it would help me out if she wrote something today. I figured, heck, what’s the worst thing that could happen? So I said yes. She wrote up the following post. The only thing I did on it was the formatting. I was going to insert some A-Rod rhetoric, but she told me to give it a rest. Kids.

Please, warm weather, come back soon. — Craig

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My dad is Craig Calcaterra. This is about his job.

He goes “typity-type-type-type” about basity-base-base-ball all day. It’s true. Not kidding. Lots of people think that’s all he does. To prove it, here is a quote from my brother Carlo:

I think his brain’s gonna melt out if he keeps typity-type-type-typing on the computer all day. And he likes the letter “B” a lot. Baseball. Beer. Bourbon. Batman. And his favorite color is blue.

I told him this had to be about baseball so I stopped him.

Anyway, my dad asked me if I had any thoughts about baseball to share. So here are a few:

  • I went to a Columbus Clippers-Charlotte Knights baseball game once and shook my butt when the music was playing and it got up on the big screen on the scoreboard.
  • I once saw Carlos Santana hit a grand slam at a Clippers game. I don’t really remember this because I was young but my dad reminded me of it last week.
  • My first major league game was in 2012. It was in San Diego. The Padres played the Texas Rangers. The Rangers won. My uncle Curt went with us too. Major league stadiums are bigger than minor league stadiums.
  • Even though I think my dad and his job are lame, I think baseball is cool.

Wasn’t this better than what my dad usually writes?

Bye,

Mookie

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.