Ohio State beats Michigan… again
Last year to spice things up at Padres camp, the big-league team pressured former TinCaps 3B James Darnell into playing “Tequila” on the trumpet and had a basketball shooting contest. There were air horns, megaphones, cans of silly string, balloons… every conceivable distraction short of Speedo guy (side note: Speedo guy married a woman who had dated his brother? That’s like the roommate switch multiplied by infinity!).
Anyway, apparently this year the team decided to have a pigskin-throwing challenge like Uncle Rico meets NFL Quarterback Club. One would think the guy who actually played quarterback in college (LHP Clayton Richard) would want to put his talents on display. But then I remembered he played at Michigan and probably wanted everyone (including himself) to forget that his college football career ever happened. So Richard was designated as the “commissioner” of the competition. Whatever that means.
So who manned up and competed? RHP Casey Kelly (who had an offer to play at Tennessee), C Nick Hundley, 2B Orlando Hudson (who, according to Harold Reynolds, claims he was recruited by all kinds of SEC schools) and LHP (and Ohio State product) Cory Luebke.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, the Buckeye triumphed, with the highlight coming when Luebke nailed a trash can on the back of a moving golf cart from 30 yards away. Somewhere, Brent Musburger was smiling. And counting the money he had just won by gambling on the competition.
- The Padres won a game against Arizona yesterday. Box score highlights from former TinCaps: James Darnell went 2-for-2, Luis Martinez went 1-for-2, Rob Musgrave pitched a scoreless inning, Cedric Hunter scored a run. Also, local native RHP Jarrod Parker pitched a pair of shutout innings for Arizona, sitting at 91-92 with his fastball and topping out at 95. If he’s all the way back from Tommy John surgery, he could get to the big leagues soon.
- Padres bench coach Rick Renteria needs reconstructive surgery after getting hit in the face by a line drive during batting practice. With so many baseballs flying around, I’m continually amazed that more people don’t get hit.
- RHP Mike Adams is ready for a chance to show he can be a closer. Not happening while Heath Bell is healthy and on the team.
- Spring Training in Arizona is tough on pitchers, but what better way to train than to do it in a tougher atmosphere than the one you’ll actually be competing in? To me, it seems like a cross-country runner training at high altitudes; once you’re used to the thin air, everything else seems easier. But what do I know?
- Fort Wayne alum RHP Jake Peavy will make his Spring Training debut today.
- The Triple-A ballpark project in the suburbs of San Diego has hit a speed bump. Looks like it’ll be the Tucson Padres for at least two years.
- Former TinCaps groundskeeper Mitchell Gary McClary is getting ready to open a new ballpark in Omaha and legendary author Ben Hill tells us their clock is interesting. I hope it has better luck than the one in Hill Valley.
- They might need two tape measures to figure out how far a Reds catching prospect hit one yesterday. The Reds already have a lot of homegrown talent on their roster and he could be on his way.
- New Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson is trying to run a tight ship.
- “A lot of people say you can tell a lot about how a season’s gonna go by the first hitter of the year.” – Harry Doyle. What does it mean when your Spring Training park catches fire?
- “A lot of people say you can tell how a season’s gonna go by the first batter of the year.” – Harry Doyle. What does it mean when your Spring Training park catches fire?
- Former MWLer RHP Neftali Feliz was not pleased with his first start. The nice thing about him is, if he struggles to transition back to the rotation, they can just send him to the back of the bullpen where he’s been outstanding.
- Fantasy baseball tip: Draft RHP Jordan Zimmermann late. He’s good and coming off an injury.
- Fantasy baseball hope: The Yankees catchers continue to leave Jesus Montero as the best major-league option (through injuries or stinking) and owners like me can laugh all the way to the bank.
- Ever wonder why teams don’t just cut those overpriced, underperforming players? Wonder no more.
- Fangraphs investigates the most valuable players, dollar-for-dolla
r, in baseball.
- A good writer authored a book about the Tampa Bay Rays and how they went from laughingstock to contender. It’s a safe bet this will end up in my bag this summer.
- Interesting article about prospect flops… Rick Manning (now an Indians broadcaster), alleged clubhouse thief Ruben Rivera and… Matt Wieters?
- Other once-big-time prospects might be getting their last chance this spring.
- This idea has been floating around from several sources, including Bill Simmons: If you had a rock band fantasy draft where you had to draft a singer, lead guitarist, bassist and drummer, who would you pick? I’ve seen others disqualify solo acts (rendering Jimi Hendrix ineligible) and fictional artists (Animal from the Muppets is not allowed). My draft preferences are as follows… Singers: Chris Cornell, 70s Freddie Mercury, 70s Roger Daltrey; Guitar: Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Prince, Eddie Van Halen; Bass: Jeff Jones from Rush, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul McCartney, Jack Bruce from Cream, Tal Wilkenfield from Jeff Beck’s band (because she’s pleasing to the ears AND the eyes); Drums: John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Phil Collins (value pick of the draft – nobody thinks of him as a drummer).
- The NFL might lock out. Big deal. Minicamps don’t usually start until late April anyway and the draft will happen regardless. The owners, who already have the best labor deal in major sports, are trying to hose the players. Contracts usually aren’t guaranteed, the average player’s career is something like three concussion-filled years long (and the owners want two more games on the schedule, which should shorten the career span), player pension is terrible (although good financial planning would offset that) AND the owners want more money off the top, AND they just got caught trying to lockout-proof themselves with billions from TV networks. Also, most of them are billionaires with other businesses they can fall back on. Sorry for not feeling bad for any of them. Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement comes up after this season – if they’re smart, they’ll figure it out way before that.
- If you don’t like this, we’re no longer friends.
- Dave Hutte status update: “Set the date for the wedding. October 29.” Did I mention the reception is going to be a costume party?
Musical guest…Led Zeppelin!
Have a great weekend!