A Harry situation
If you’ve been paying attention at all the last week or so, Fort Wayne has hit the big-time thanks to the longest-tenured mayor in the history of our fair city.
Speaking of famous Harry people, I saw Nike is coming out with a line of t-shirts celebrating the most famous facial hair in baseball history. This is easily the most innovative innovation in innovative baseball memorabilia in recent history. This makes me wish Tom Tornincasa was coming back to be the TinCaps’ hitting coach this year, for more reasons than just his sarcasm during batting practice. We can only hope a player like Miles Mikolas will come along and fill the void of t-shirt-worthy facial hair. If not, well… that would be pretty lame.
To put a nice goatee on this conversation, you should probably read this story from the Dayton Daily News, chock full of baseball/facial hair anecdotes, especially the ones about Rollie Fingers retiring rather than shave his handlebar mustache and an Oakland A’s player painting a mustache on his face to earn the team’s $300 mustache bonus.
- Former Fort Wayne manager Randy Ready is profiled in this piece. It’s interesting that he thought about becoming a firefighter after his playing career; Tornincasa WAS a firefighter at one point.
- The Padres need to get better production out of the leadoff spot in the batting order. It would be hard to be much worse than last year’s .303 on-base percentage. And the two-hole hitters weren’t much better. And they still almost made the playoffs.
- More Michael Young trade speculation from the LA Times. In addition to his big contract and limited no-trade clause, Young is tough to trade because of the timing. Right now, most teams have already spent the money they had budgeted and are more worried about getting to spring training and seeing what they have in-house. But if the Rangers make somebody a good offer, that could change.
- RHP Shaun Marcum signed a deal with the Brewers, avoiding arbitration. No surprise; it would be monumentally backwards for the Brewers to trade one of their best prospects for him, then have one of their first interactions be telling him why he’s not worth a certain amount of money.
- Francisco Liriano and the Twins couldn’t get together on a long-term deal, which could mean he’s a trade chip. Hmm… the Rangers need pitching, right? The Twins are planning on starting Danny Valencia at third base, right? It makes sense in a vacuum, but we’re not in a vacuum. Thank goodness.
- Pirates RHP Ross Ohlendorf went 1-11 last year and only made it through 108.1 innings of work thanks mostly to injuries. He was sent to the minors for two months. And he (and his agent) STILL won an arbitration case to get him more than $2 million this year. How did it happen? Well, probably the 4.07 ERA, the fact that the Pirates don’t exactly provide a lot of chances to rack up the W’s, and the 11-10, 3.92 ERA season in 2009. Perhaps the sabermetric stats would have helped the Pirates’ case; they suggest Ohlendorf’s traditional numbers were a little smoke-and-mirrors-ish.
- Several statistical milestones are about to be smashed this year. Maybe it’s the budding sabermetrician in me, but I’m just not all that interested in any of those milestones. Or maybe it’s just that no Indians or Padres are in there.
- A college pitcher is coming back from losing an eye to a line drive.
- If you’re an ESPN Insider, you need to check this story out: RHP Tim Alderson, once a hard-throwing Giants prospect, has lost all kinds of velocity since being drafted. It hit home when his high-school coach told him, “You were a better pitcher when you were a freshman in high school.” He’s not the only example of this. It brings up the issues of long-toss vs. shorter distances, individualizing throwing programs rather than shoehorning all players into the same training program and changing otherwise successful players’ mechanics when they get to the pro ranks. In-depth player development stuff.
- Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers playing right in a row? Maybe there’s hope for the Grammys (and music as a whole) after all. You know Dylan is the man. I think the others are pretty good, too.
- I don’t care how many takes it took to make this trick-shot video. If you or I tried it, we’d be there all day just trying to do one of them correctly. This vaults right into the conversation for best college-athlete trick-shot video along with Ohio State basketballer Mark Titus’s “Mr. Rainmaker” (leader in the clubhouse, for obvious reasons) and David Bowie look-alike Kyle Singler’s “Get Buckets.”
- If you don’t believe me on the Singler-Bowie comparison, feast your eyes:
I rest my case.
Musical guest, David Bowie/Kyle Singler!