Shutout, Conversion Tactics, Not Fooling Anybody

Wednesday was quite the day for the TinCaps:

7AM: Bus leaves Parkview Field

1PM central: Bus arrives at Veterans Memorial Stadium – Cedar Rapids, Iowa

6:43 PM central: First pitch

9:00 PM: Last out recorded

10:15 PM: Arrive at hotel

Phew.

Sounds like a tough day, huh? Not for this team. They scored six runs and held the Kernels to none. Cedar Rapids had just three hits, and didn’t have a runner get past first base the entire game. Think about how difficult that is to do. No back-to-back hits, no hits followed by a walk or vice versa, no stolen bases. Quite a feat for the Fort Wayne pitching staff in last night’s win. The victory continues a winning streak for the TinCaps at this ballpark, making it three straight since they last played here from July 14-16, 2010.

Sunset in Cedar Rapids

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, in case you missed it, it’s our feature story on Matt Wisler, and his journey from Bryan, Ohio, to professional baseball:

CONVERSION TACTICS

Great article here from ESPN.com about the conversion of failed position player prospects into successful pitchers. It looks at how players with very strong arms can end up in the bullpen, and provide reliable relief at the big league level:

“This reliance on one-inning arms has teams looking at every strong thrower in their systems and on amateur fields around the country. Third basemen and catchers, in particular, intrigue scouts because they tend to have short, accurate throwing motions. Tom Kotchman, a longtime scout and rookie-ball manager in the Angels system, discovered one future major leaguer when he was scouting a Florida high school game and his radar gun glitched. Instead of picking up the pitcher’s 70 mph changeup, the gun grabbed the catcher’s flat-footed 89 mph throw to second base. Based on that throw, the Angels signed Greg Jones for $100,000. He spent parts of four years in the Angels bullpen. Now, Kotchman estimates, nearly every team tries to convert a failed position prospect every year.”

Fort Wayne had Yordany Ramirez earlier this year, an outfielder-turned-pitcher, who was eventually released by the organization. Although he didn’t make it with the Padres, he could still run it up to about 98 MPH on his fastball, fitting the mold of most players in this story.

MOVIE TRAILER INTERLUDE

Here is the trailer to Cedar Rapids, a movie starring Ed Helms and John C. Reilly. It came out last year. It also doesn’t look like it was a good movie:

NOT FOOLING ANYBODY

Here in Cedar Rapids this afternoon, I had lunch at a great Mexican restaurant, Las Haciendas Glorias:

I know, it does look a little drab on the outside, but the inside was very nice and the food was delicious. Does that building look like it used to be another type of business, though? That was my thought as I walked away and it made me want to snap a picture. The area in the front looks like at one time it was a pick-up/drop off area for customers of some type of business, but I can’t really put my finger on it. The green door is currently the entrance, but with the old set up, it looks like the front door would’ve been where the windows are, in the middle of the picture.

That whole train of thought reminded me of one of the funnier websites I’ve come across: NotFoolingAnybody.com, which sadly no longer exists. It would show pictures of business that had been taken over by a new venture, but still maintained their old look. For example:

Not. Fooling. Anybody.

I also learned that Dr. Pepper is not a Pepsi product. I had always thought that it was. Ty Bowman, who coordinates the video for the Padres and works with the TinCaps, was with me at lunch and he ordered a Dr. Pepper. The waiter said, “No, we only have Pepsi products.” This confused me.

I looked it up, and as it turns out Dr. Pepper is neither a Pepsi nor a Coke product. It’s owned by Cadbury Schweppes, which then farms out the rights to distribute Dr. Pepper locally. Now you know.

MUSICAL GUEST

CCR…take it away!

If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at Couzens@TinCaps.com or on Twitter @MikeCouzens.

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