So the TinCaps’ 2010 roster is up.
1. Nobody from the 2009 playoff starting lineup is back. Repeat after me: This is a good thing. Good players move up. New players come in. It’s affiliated Minor League Baseball. Last year was fun, but last year is over. Let’s enjoy a new crop of players.
2. There are seven guys age 20 or under on the roster. Only one of them (Jeudy Valdez) has played full-season baseball before. Be patient with them. It’s a higher level of play, most of them don’t speak a lot of English, they’re not used to the colder weather, and they’ve never played this many games in a season before. They might make some unbelievable plays, good and bad. Bear with them. Consistency comes with time.
3. Donovan Tate, the No. 3 overall pick in last year’s draft, hasn’t been assigned anywhere yet. He hurt his shoulder diving for a fly ball in Spring Training. I haven’t heard when he’ll be ready to go or where he’ll be assigned. You’ll know when we know.
4. In general, just relax. Do you know how many guys from last year’s Opening Day roster were still here at the end of the season? Fifteen. So 40% of the guys you see on the roster today won’t be here by the end of the season. Also, I can just about guarantee nobody in Minor League Baseball will win 101 games this season, so don’t expect it.
…and that’s all I have to say about that.
- Alexi Lara is so hot right now. He closed it out last night for the Padres at Angels Stadium and got the save. In a Major League Baseball spring training game. The outing before that, he went 1.2 innings, 5 strikeouts. Really? Let this four-minute audio highlight remind you of where Lara was in early June of last season. Also while listening to that, remember that even the mighty 2009 TinCaps had some pretty pathetic moments… They just didn’t have many. And finally, I’m not usually that big of a jerk on the air, but when a guy makes the same mistake over and over, I get frustrated just like anybody else. I’ll be honest; I thought Lara was pitching for his career. He turned it around after that appearance and was untouchable the rest of the way. So, in less than a year, it’s gone from “this guy can’t get anybody out in A-ball” to “nobody in A-ball can hit this guy” to “ALEXI LARA IS AWESOME.” Baseball is a funny game, isn’t it?
- It’s 80+ degrees outside today, so we did a lot of work around the ballpark to get ready for the Open House (which is Saturday, noon-4pm… I’ll be giving tours for part of the time). It’s days like these when I thank the good Lord that I worked as a ticket/concession/cleaning/everything else guy at Conneaut Plaza Theater for two years during high school. I’m a dude. Therefore, I don’t usually notice tiny details when it pertains to cleanliness. But when I go into theater worker mode, I remember my old boss (Jungle Jim, as we called him) getting all curmudgeon-y when the smallest thing wasn’t clean or in order. Today I was in theater worker mode for most of the afternoon cleaning things. Maybe I should invite Jungle Jim to the Open House and see what he thinks of the ballpark. He’ll probably notice some fingerprints on the handrails or something. But that’s the kind of thing I look for now. Maybe Jungle Jim was right all along.
- I don’t know how I’ll ever succinctly work some of these sabermetric stats into a broadcast (or if I’ll even try), but Bill Simmons is drinking the Kool-Aid. I agree that they’re useful stats, I just don’t know if there’s a way to present them quickly and in a way that’s easy to understand. I also understand that there’s rarely a stat that’s more interesting than a story. It’s a balancing act, for sure.
- Our old pal Terry Byrom is getting absolutely mobbed by media. Not because they’re in a frenzy for his BBQ sauce recipe, but because he’s the media relations guy for the Harrisburg Senators. Also known as the Strasburg Stephens. When the biggest prospect in baseball history is assigned to your team, you just hope you’re not the media relations guy. You will either make somebody in the media mad or want to slam your head into a wall, or both.
- The imaginary World Cornhole Tag Team Championship belts are on the line in mere moments. Getcha popcorn ready.
And now, musical guest… Rare Earth!
Have a great weekend!