About Jeff Kallman

I've spent the better part of a quarter century as a professional journalist in print, on radio, and in cyberspace. Today, I work freelance. Here, I think and write about baseball.

Things I’m Waiting to See . . .

Are you still waiting for Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to surrender a walk? As of this writing he hasn’t handed anyone a pass in eighteen innings pitched while leading the National League with a 16.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio. I should be careful saying it; like taking your car to the car wash on a sunny day only to see it start raining before you get it home to the garage, I could have just put a hex on Jansen and he’ll walk his first batter of the year his next time out.

Steve Palermo, RIP: Courage, diligence, wit, grace

Steve Palermo, four months after a bullet paralysed him temporarily from the waist down, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the 1991 World Series in Minnesota.

Steve Palermo, three months after a bullet paralysed him temporarily from the waist down, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the 1991 World Series in Minnesota.

Baseball celebrated the retirement of Derek Jeter’s Yankee uniform number on the same Mother’s Day during which Steve Palermo finally lost a battle with cancer at 67. Something doesn’t seem right about that.

Palermo—the umpire shot trying to help two waitresses under attack outside a Dallas restaurant in 1991, leaving him temporarily waist-down paralysed and forcing him to retire as an active umpire—loved the game and its meanings almost as much as he loved life.

Saturday night in Cashman Field, a pitching duel wrecked by a bullpen implosion

Smoker, dealing in the fourth inning Saturday night.

Smoker, dealing in the fourth inning Saturday night.

The Las Vegas chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research, of which I am a member, decided to round up at Cashman Field Saturday night to watch the Las Vegas 51s (AAA farm of the Mets) host the Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA farm of the Royals). The seats were in the club restaurant, up against the glass at the front over the stands.

Once traded to the Angels, DeCinces falls over another kind of trade

DeCinces, while leading the Angels in home runs in 1986.

DeCinces, while leading the Angels in home runs in 1986.

Once upon a time, Doug DeCinces was known as the third baseman who bridged the gap (the words of the Society for American Baseball Research) between Orioles franchise icons. He succeeded Brooks Robinson until he was dealt to the Angels when the Orioles needed to make room for a franchise icon-in-waiting, Cal Ripken, Jr.

Ortiz, on surviving Valentine and repairing a marriage

Ortiz, exhorting Boston to stay strong in the wake of the Marathon bombing in 2013, saw a Red Sox club weakened by Valentine’s malmanagement.

Few are Red Sox fans who forget the Bobby Valentine nightmare of 2012. Hired as the Red Sox manager following the September 2011 debacle, Valentine’s divide-and-conquer style toxified an injury-wracked, confidence-impaired team.

Matt Harvey, human and heartbroken

Contrite as he apologised publicly to the Mets, Matt Harvey didn't talk about losing the girl who didn't exactly return his feelings completely.

Contrite as he apologised publicly to the Mets, Matt Harvey didn’t talk about losing the girl who didn’t exactly return his feelings completely.

Is it really time for the Mets to think what was once unthinkable, a future without Matt Harvey? Would waiting for him to make the medically necessary transition from a pure power pitcher to a pure thinking pitcher be worth the headache (pardon the pun) of his apparent makeup issues?

Jeremy Guthrie, retired worse than the hard way

Jeremy Guthrie

Guthrie, on the way to begin what proved the birthday beating that sent him to retirement in April.

Ending a professional baseball career depends on the circumstances that provoked it. You’d like to see every player go out the way that’s most comfortable for him, but you know without being told that it won’t always work like that.

We hardly begrudged men like Chipper Jones, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, and David Ortiz taking their bows all around the circuit, as happened when each announced the forthcoming season that would be their last. We also wondered whether it made the sting of retirement easier to bear while wondering just how far into self-congratulation those men might fall.

Citi Field’s Animal House; or, the Wreck of the Metsperus

Mishandling Matt Harvey's migraine could prove another huge headache for the Wreck of the Metsperus . . .

Mishandling Matt Harvey’s suspension could prove a big migraine for the Wreck of the Metsperus . . .

What’s next for the New York Mess (er, Mets)? Pitchers coming in from the bullpen in the Deathmobile? Hazing their rookies by sending them on a mass Food King shoplift? A toga party at second base? A food fight in the clubhouse? Welcome to Citi Field’s Animal House.

I’d better amend one of the foregoing. At the rate they’re going, three more Mets would be injured during the food fight, one of the rookies on the mass Food King shoplift would come up with a strained oblique, and another would suffer a shoulder separation firing the pistol at the rampaging horse.

For a change, the Red Sox and the Orioles didn’t play beanball Thursday

Machado Thursday, hitting the third of his monstrous Fenway bombs this week . . .

Machado Thursday, hitting the third of his monstrous Fenway bombs this week . . .

Just when you thought there could be nothing more shocking, stupid, or staggering coming out of Fenway Park, the Red Sox and the Orioles had do go and do something completely unexpected Thursday night. They went out and played a baseball game. Just baseball. Nobody tried yet again to re-enact The Wild Ones.

Enough is enough?

Holbrook (34) facing Gausman (center right, just ejected), Joseph (36), and oncoming manager Buck Showalter, after Bogaerts got a slightly surprising plunk in the second.

Holbrook (34) facing Gausman (center right, just ejected), Joseph (36), and oncoming manager Buck Showalter, after Bogaerts got a slightly surprising plunk in the second.

The good news from Boston Wednesday: Manny Machado got to play a game against the Red Sox without one pitch sailing anywhere near him other than around the plate. The bad news: Orioles starter Kevin Gausman couldn’t resist opening the second inning by throwing the first pitch at Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts’s hind quarters.