Results tagged ‘ aaron harang ’
Last night was the first time since Parkview Field opened (April 2009) that a TinCaps game was postponed without a pitch being thrown. The silver lining to that is that I got to catch up on sleep, which was nice. Another good thing is that I assume it’ll push all the starting pitchers back a day and get LHP Mark Hardy another start. Any opportunity to lighten the innings load on the starting rotation is a good thing, because when it’s July and August and the starters are limited to 3-4 innings per start because of their season innings cap, it affects some guys mentally. So rainouts at home are bad from a business perspective, but from a baseball standpoint maybe it’s not the end of the world.
- TinCaps RHP Keyvius Sampson and former TinCaps OF Jaff Decker made the first Prospect Hot Sheet of the year.
- There’s a 2009 Fort Wayne TinCaps No-Mercy Reunion Tour going on right now at Double-A San Antonio. The Missions have now piled up 23 and 26 runs in single games this year, are batting .366 AS A TEAM (!) and have conked 20 homers in eight games. And they don’t even have SS Drew Cumberland yet – he’s on the DL. And they scored the 26 runs at home last night – I thought the wind always blew in at San Antonio’s ballpark.
- Padres RHP Dustin Moseley has made three starts and received exactly ZERO runs in support.
- Aaron Harang, on the other hand, has been more celebrated because he’s pitching well AND getting runs behind him.
- A former Midwest Leaguer has gone from prospect to bartending to major leaguer.
- A current South Bend Silver Hawk is repeating the league, but the Diamondbacks still believe in him.
- Nationals prodigy Bryce Harper is looking slightly un-prodigylike in his first week in the minors. Total bust, right?
- Asdrubal Cabrera is leading the American League in RBIs, my Indians are playing well and 3B prospect Lonnie Chisenhall is on his way. Oh baby.
- Oakland OF Covelli Crisp has some crazy hair going. Crazy awesome, that is.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman sort of threw Joe Torre under the bus.
- On the TinCaps’ bus the other day in Bowling Green, clubhouse manager A.J. Bridges was blamed for a miscue but tried throwing the bus driver under the proverbial bus, as ironic as that would be. Which led to longform quoting from this “Seinfeld” scene. Most of the staff laughed at the reference (maybe out of courtesy, but I’ll take laughs however I can get them), which means it’s going to be a fun year.
Musical guest… Jack Johnson!
It’s a weird feeling right now. I feel like I might be ready for the season to start, but the minute you think that is the minute you realize you forgot something and you’re completely hosed.
News from TinCapsVille:
- At a meeting between the team and the front office yesterday, everyone in the room said their name and where they were from. It was ripped straight from the script of “D2: Because Everything’s Better When We Can Root for Team USA.”
- Heard around a chilly, windy batting cage yesterday: “Coming from Arizona, it feels like we’re hitting cement baseballs.”
- Jake Blackwood hit one over the retaining fence behind the left-field concourse during batting practice yesterday. It’s only BP, but that’s some pop.
- Here’s the pitching rotation, at least the first time through: RH Keyvius Sampson, RH Zach Cates, RH Matt Branham, RH Adys Portillo, LH Andrew Werner. LH Mark Hardy and RH Matt Jackson will pitch every fourth day as piggyback relievers, meaning the starter will go 5 innings (at most) and the piggyback guy comes in to go 3-4 innings. That’s mostly because there are seven guys the Padres want to develop as starters, but five spots in the rotation. With all the turnover in the minors, the piggyback system keeps these guys ready to step right into the rotation if somebody gets hurt/promoted.
- During the workout yesterday, the team scouted the idiosyncrasies of Parkview Field. Manager Shawn Wooten and the catchers checked out how the ball will bounce (or not bounce) back off the screen behind home plate. The infielders scouted how the ball comes off the fence along the side of Parkview Field (in case of overthrows) and everybody watched the way the ball rolls down each baseline on bunts. That’s heads-up stuff that can pay off big time.
- Last year we had RHP Jerry Sullivan playing pianos like a lounge singer at hotels and LHP Mike Watt bringing his guitar on the road. This year we have Cates playing coffeehouse-style guitar shows in the clubhouse and I’ve heard RHP Adam Dominick can play as well. Maybe we’ll book them for post-game concerts on the amphitheater.
- I told strength coach Reed Wainwright on Monday I’d be in the weight room on a daily basis. I don’t think he believed me until yesterday when I was down there for the second straight day working out for real.
- C Rocky Gale automatically wins entrance song of the year for selecting Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold.” The plaque for the alternates is down in the ladies’ room.
- According to former Fort Wayne 3B Chase Headley, the ghost of David Eckstein may have helped the Padres win their home opener yesterday. RHP Aaron Harang had a nice start to pick up the win. If you’ve noticed, the Padres won their first series and they won the opener of their next series against the defending champs without their No. 1 starter. I know it’s a small sample size, but have we underestimated the sneakiness again?
- Former TinCaps RHP Mat Latos could be activated from the DL early next week.
- I don’t know how I missed it, but here are some minor-league transactions from Baseball America. Fort Wayne alums RHP Dexter Carter and OF Kellen Kulbacki were released. Carter was re-signed by the White Sox (who drafted him originally, but I think we covered this before).
- Someone asked BA who would win in a battle of Royals minor-leaguers vs. the rest of the top prospects in MiLB. Something tells me the person who asked that question is a relative of Bob Swerski, who once famously asked who would win in a fight between Mike Ditka and a hurricane.
- Two things I saw from watching the Rangers-Mariners game on TV last night: Rangers RHP Alexi Ogando could make everybody forget about the Neftali Feliz starter/closer debate, and Mariners RHP Michael Pineda is strikingly similar to former TinCaps RHP Simon Castro. Tall, wiry build, a slightly harder fastball than Castro, a nice slider and needs to use the changeup more or he’ll get beaten by left-handed batters (which Pineda did). Still, he looked good to me.
- Rockies fans picked Katy Perry’s “Firework” to be SS Troy Tulowitzki’s entrance song. But he slumped, so he changed it to a Justin Beiber song. Because it must’ve been the music.
- How many more losses before Red Sox fans go into full-on meltdown mode?
- Yankees RHP Rafael Soriano got knocked around and then left the clubhouse before reporters could track him down to talk. Which is probably the quickest way to getting hammered by the New York media, not to mention your teammates.
- They might change the rules about college baseball players and agents.
- Mustache Watch? I can handle that.
- That’s enough, Jim Nantz.
- I got an e-mail from former TinCaps video guy Allan Wertheimer this morning euphorically claiming the hot buffet “IS BACK!!!” at the Vikings compound, where he now works. About 45 minutes later, he sent this picture message to my phone, captioned “YES!!!!!!!” Apparently the Vikings are bringing in 30 draft prospects today (many of them 300+ pounds) and somehow the video guy is the one everybody’s staring at for eating too much.
- Speaking of breakfast, my family is coming to town for the first series of the season. I’m not sure why, but I’m pretty excited to make a Wertheimer-size breakfast for us on Friday.
Musical guest… OK Go!
Another former TinCap was traded by the Padres. Again. Two days ago it was RHP Erik Davis to the Nationals. Yesterday it was 1B Allan Dykstra to the Mets for RHP Eddie Kunz.
Dykstra, if you remember, was a first-round pick in 2008 and played for the TinCaps in 2009. I thought he was a very nice guy with big-time pop, but also has a degenerative hip condition (meaning, not going to get better) which may or may not have had an effect on him. A phrase I heard at least one scout throw around was “slider-speed bat.” And that’s a tough thing to overcome if true. I’m not sure where he would’ve been assigned this year with 1Bs Matt Clark, Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Blanks and Nate Freiman also in the pipeline for the Padres.
Kunz was a supplemental first-rounder in 2007. I saw him pitch in the Eastern League in 2008 and he was nasty. Kunz made his big-league debut later that year, but he hasn’t posted a sub-5.00 ERA since then. I haven’t seen any scouting reports lately to explain it, but guys usually don’t go from dominant at Double-A to struggling the next year without an injury or something weird happening.
- Here’s another “what’s it like to work at a ballpark?” example: Before lunch today, I’ve seen our head groundskeeper knock over a full cup of Mountain Dew while using sweeping arm motions at a staff meeting; watched a demonstration of a paper cutter slicing through a phone book (in front of a crowd of about 10 employees, spellbound as if we’d just witnessed atomic fission); and participated in the minor-league phase of our fantasy baseball draft. ‘Tis the season.
- Yesterday I ran some tests of our new radio equipment from the ballpark, then went to the radio station to check out how it sounded. It’s crystal clear. You won’t even believe it when all dozen of you turn on your radios. And the streaming feed is fixed – no more volume fluctuations between game audio and commercials. Now if we could find a radio guy whose voice isn’t jacked up, we’ll be in business. Big thanks to Mogan David, the engineer at Federated Media for his consulting work with a complete doofus.
- Former TinCaps RHP Mat Latos was placed on the DL yesterday and the Padres finalized their 25-man Opening Day roster. Six players from the active roster played here: RHP Ernesto Frieri, LHP Cory Luebke, C Nick Hundley, OFs Will Venable and Cedric Hunter and 3B Chase Headley. Mike Baxter, Kyle Blanks and Mat Latos are Fort Wayne alums on the DL.
- The Padres won’t be sneaking up on people this year. I fear we underestimated the sneakiness last year, and perhaps the team isn’t quite as sneaky this year with the questions about the pitching staff.
- RHP Aaron Harang got knocked around by the Brewers yesterday in the Padres’ Spring Training finale. INF Dean Anna, RHP Brad Brach, Jaff and Cody Decker are the recent TinCaps who made the box score.
- Former Fort Wayne RHP Jake Peavy had a good simulated game yesterday, but is bummed he’s not making the trip north yet.
- Same feeling for Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg, who is staying behind to rehab from Tommy John surgery.
- Phillies 2B Chase Utley hopes to be back before the All-Star Break. Uh-oh.
- Intriguing stuff from Baseball America about prospects, when to bring them up to the big leagues, changing the culture of a team, etc.
- The Mariners have a reliever who is the classic huge-prospect-caught-for-drugs-twice-retired-bartended-backpacked-around-the-country-returned-to-baseball-jumped-to-the-big-leagues story. We’ve heard it a million times. He pitched in the MWL, for Clinton last year.
- The Jays put Jose Bautista in right field and Edwin Encarnacion at third. In other words, as Buster Olney says, former MWLer Brett Lawrie won’t be in the minors long if Encarnacion doesn’t figure it out.
- Former megaprospect Alex Gordon is back, and he’s hitting third for the Royals.
- Baseball now has a 7-day DL specifically for concussions. Which is nice for the minor dings. Who will be the first team to put a phantom “concussion sufferer” on the DL to free up a roster spot?
- Changes to Wrigley Field? Blasphemy!
- One fan would rather eat his tickets than eat lunch with his team’s owner.
- The Giants will decide where to assign 1B Brandon Belt today.
- A catcher-pitcher argument followed by a dizzy spell followed by vomiting. And “Jungle” Jack Hannahan starting at third base. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 Cleveland Indians!
- “There is no heat in Cleveland in March! And we like it that way!” – Cavaliers TV play-by-play man Fred McLeod. I don’t care if Miami was tanking the game for playoff seeding or not, that win makes Cleveland’s 2011. Now if the Browns get A.J. Green in the NFL draft, we won’t know what to do with ourselves.
- Oh, that’s weird: another story about corruption in college football. Read this book and tell me the bowl system makes sense. I dare you.
- Since everybody else is doing it, predictions for playoff teams: Red Sox-White Sox-Rangers-Yankees, Phillies-Reds-Giants-Braves. I really wanted to pick the A’s and Rockies, but couldn’t pull the trigger. In October we’ll all look back on this and laugh.
- This is the best idea I’ve heard all day.
Musical guest… Young MC!
By all accounts, Rays manager Joe Maddon is a pretty hip dude. He’s an avid cyclist, taking a collapsible bike with him on road trips. His musical taste ranges from Pavarotti to Bruce Springsteen. He’s a connoisseur of fine wines. His glasses are a fashion statement. It was Maddon’s idea for the Rays to wear crazy costumes on road trips. He’s on record as saying he probably won’t cut his hair all season. He even does commercials for vitamins as if he were some kind of modern-day Hulk Hogan.
What I’m trying to say is, Joe Maddon may, in fact, be the most interesting man in the world. Or at least Major League Baseball.
“I think you kind of need to have that blessing when you walk into a
new place, before everybody feels comfortable with you,” Maddon says.
“You know what I liken it to? It’s almost like the
best-looking-girl-in-the-bar theory. Everybody’s afraid to talk to her
because she’s the best-looking girl in the bar. Well, Manny is one of
the best hitters since — I don’t know — Babe Ruth? So somebody’s
afraid to talk to him about hitting. And if they do, they’re going to be
less than forceful in their opinions because, after all, he’s Manny
“So it’s no different,” Maddon philosophizes. “For those
who are single, always approach that best-looking girl in the bar [and
say], ‘Excuse me.’ And for managers and coaches, always approach that
potential Hall of Fame player. He might want to hear what you have to
So there you have it. When in doubt, do what Joe Maddon would do: Suck it up, have some confidence and talk to good-looking ladies.
Now you know. And knowing’s half the battle.
- Before you do anything else, take a moment to bask in the genius of TinCaps head groundskeeper Keith Winter, the Most Interesting Groundskeeper in the World. Aside from Joe Maddon, he may be the top philosopher in all of baseball right now.
- The Padres got beat by the Brewers by a touchdown (with a former Michigan football player on the mound… surprise), but Fort Wayne alums Will Venable, Jedd Gyorko, Blake Tekotte, Daniel Robertson, Sawyer Carroll and Rymer Liriano all got into the game for San Diego.
- Sidearming RHP Pat Neshek made his Padres debut and has a decent shot to make the big-league roster.
- Padres RHP Aaron Harang has been doing a lot of video work, trying to get back to what made him successful with the Reds.
- Baseball America updates their organizational rankings to reflect some of the trades since the Prospect Handbook came out. The Padres moved up to No. 8 after the Cubs traded some of their top prospects to the Rays for Matt Garza.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer is on record saying Spring Training stats mean virtually nothing. Others think they mean something… unless they don’t. As usual, I’m in the Hoyer camp on this one.
- Former Fort Wayne RHP Jake Peavy played catch and will get the rehab process restarted soon.
- Midwest League alum LHP Clayton Kershaw is maturing as the ace of the Dodgers.
- There’s a preview out there for the Giants’ reality show on Showtime. It looks almost exactly like HBO’s 24/7 series, which isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it may be the first reason ever to actually subscribe to Showtime.
- Orioles LHP Zach Britton is having a nice spring. I’m very skeptical of AL East pitching prospects… they get thrown into the meat grinder like nobody else in baseball.
- Angels 1B Kendrys Morales has some foot soreness. He’s the guy who broke his leg celebrating after a game-winning home run. Apparently the foot issue is a separate problem from the broken leg.
- The Phillies signed Luis Castillo right after he got released by the Mets, but now nobody can figure out why he was slow to report to Phillies camp. Sigh. Wasting talent is lame.
- Opening Day in Japan has been pushed back, not surprisingly.
- The Twins had a couple of beer vendors caught up in a “check-ID” sting.
- Will Rhymes will be the Tigers’ starting second baseman. They haven’t found a good alternative since Placido Polanco left.
- Yankees C Jesus Montero will probably start the season in Triple-A. Which is good, actually… Better than sitting on the bench in the big leagues.
- A Josh Hamilton-like story is unfolding at Marlins camp.
- The Cubs are getting a look at a former college football star whom they paid good money. And I’m not talking about RHP Jeff Samardzija. Who, by the way, is out of options this spring. If they don’t keep him in the big leagues, the Cubs would have to put Samardzija through waivers to send him to the minors. That whole situation stinks. They overpaid to get him to pass up football, he was rushed through the minors (at least partially because of the money) and now (surprise!) he’s not ready to be who they thought he’d be. Ugh.
- Don Zimmer is starting his 63rd season in baseball. The stories he could tell…
- I’m kind of mad that I missed the Supermoon the other night.
- Last night I got invited to crash a wedding reception. If you’re invited by someone other than the bride or groom, is it still considered crashing? Quasi-crashing?
- I can’t get enough of this: Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki is asking fans to pick his new walk-up song, replacing “Party in the USA.” If it was me, I’d take the top five suggestions and pick it myself. Right now if I had to pick a walkup song, I’d go with an edited version of “The W.A.N.D.” by The Flaming Lips, “Your Touch” by The Black Keys, “Motown Philly” by Boyz II Men, “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, “2 Legit 2 Quit” by M.C. Hammer or the chorus of “Ice Ice Baby.” And I’d force Tony DesPlaines to alternate songs every single at-bat, and he’d hate every sec
ond of it, but the crowd would go bananas.
Musical guest, with perhaps the greatest walkup song ever… Ted Nugent!
Maybe I shouldn’t be impressed by this, but I am: the Padres played two split-squad games yesterday and, by my count, 20 Fort Wayne alums played in the games (including C Luke Carlin who’s now with the Indians). Eleven of them have been here during the Parkview Field era (2009-10). The rundown:
In one game, an all-Fort Wayne-alum pitching staff held the Indians to three hits – Cleveland had under-the-radar MLB studs Carlos Santana and Shin-Soo Choo in the starting lineup.
In the other game, former TinCaps RHP Matt Lollis had a rough inning against the Reds in a loss. To cut him some slack, the Padres made errors against two of the first three batters Lollis faced. INF Jeudy Valdez and C Jason Hagerty each had hits, and rumor has it Valdez made a nice play in the field.
Go ahead and say, “But Dan, didn’t you just say recently that Spring Training stats are meaningless?” First of all, stop whining. Second of all, the answer is yes, but I feel like bragging our guys up today and I don’t care if it’s rational or not. This is America. Land of the free.
- If you see a TinCaps full-time staffer violating the new staff dress code between now and Opening Day, you win free tickets to Opening Day. This may or may not be the modern-day equivalent of wearing flair, except we have to wear it whether we’re working or not. But hey… it’s all for fun, right? RIGHT?!?
- Also yesterday, Padres RHP Aaron Harang got a rude welcome from his old team, the Reds. He had trouble out of the stretch, but at least he knows what went wrong mechanically. The Padres really need a bounce-back year out of him.
- Fort Wayne alum 3B Chase Headley had two hits against the Indians, including a two-run single from the right side of the plate.
- The big pieces the Padres got back in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, 1B Anthony Rizzo and RHP Casey Kelly, are both looking good this spring. Rizzo homered yesterday. Also, they call each other slobs and are both big Justin Bieber fans and tried to get into his movie. Something tells me they would have starred in the movie “Return of the Idiots” had they stayed in Boston.
- Everybody except former Fort Wayne RHP Jake Peavy was happy with his performance yesterday.
- Rangers RHP Brandon Webb is going through a slow rehab from shoulder surgery.
- Phillies 2B Chase Utley’s injured knee is a mystery. They’re not looking quite as untouchable as they did when they signed Cliff Lee.
- Braves INF Brooks Conrad is looking forward after last year’s nightmarish postseason. Did you know he’s the first player to make a game-ending error in a post-season game since Bill Buckner? It’s really too bad – second base isn’t his natural position but he went out there anyway, then took all the heat after the game.
- A minor-league manager in the Braves system got smoked by a foul ball yesterday. One of my buddies from college broadcasts the games in Lynchburg, where he’ll manage this year. Small world.
- As a media relations-type guy, I’m always interested in a good debate about media ethics/behavior. Hints: when you’re anywhere on a working media credential, be working; no cheering in the press box; have fun, but don’t get too buddy-buddy with the players.
- Could it be an ESPN version of The Watson Files? Maybe, but I doubt it features crowd-pleasers like this, and it definitely won’t have a sense of humor about itself.
- I should have news about a massive upgrade to our radio broadcasts as early as tomorrow. This might only be interesting to the top echelon of Fort Wayne sports dorks, but as the radio guy, this is big news for me.
- I dropped two spots from January in the MLBlogs rankings. Looks like I’ll be hitting “refresh” for an extra hour per day this month to raise my numbers again.
- Brent Harring and I are speaking at the Berne Rotary Club meeting today. We went in 2009 and it still stands as the best time I’ve ever had at a meeting of any kind.
Musical guest… The Killers!
Some folks might wonder what it’s like to work in the luxurious front office compound of Parkview Field, sharing the same space as celebrities like the Bad Apple Dancers. Well, I’ll tell you two anecdotes from yesterday and let you come up with your own description.
1. At our weekly staff meeting, I brought a pack of 1991 WCW trading cards to show off the kind of bonus swag you get when you buy t-shirts from a good Columbus-based business called Homage. At least three people saw Chris Watson checking the cards out from across the room before the meeting started. Once the meeting ended, I thought I was going to be stampeded in the hallway by people demanding to see the cards. Pro wrestling trading cards. From 1991. It was like I was the first person on my block to buy a Game Boy and everyone was coming over “just to look at it,” inevitably playing Tetris for three hours.
2. Yesterday afternoon I went down to the main office and Brent Harring said he had a present for me. Already owning WCW trading cards, I thought I had it all, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Brent reached into a bag and handed me… a loaf of bread. But not just any loaf of bread. It was Aunt Millie’s thick-sliced brown sugar/cinnamon swirl. Brent, a bread connoisseur, knows I am an aspiring culinary expert and thought I should try it next time I make
French Freedom toast. In fact, the bread label says “Great for French Freedom toast” right on it. I’ll have a full report next week to confirm or deny that claim, but for now, the moral of the story is this: A TinCaps co-worker bought me bread as a gift. And I’m pretty excited about it.
- Fort Wayne alum OF Will Venable homered and the Padres beat the Rockies yesterday in a Spring Training game. Former TinCaps pitchers Matt Lollis, Colt Hynes and Brad Brach pitched an inning each. Lollis was the only one of the three to allow a run and it was unearned. And former TinCaps C Jason Hagerty singled in his only at-bat against a guy who had been at Triple-A the last two years.
- It was a San Diego love-fest when Padres RHP (and San Diego native) Aaron Harang started that game and his catcher was also from San Diego.
- Former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes now works for the Padres as a senior VP of baseball operations.
- Fort Wayne alum C A.J. Pierzynski got a speeding ticket… while in uniform, driving to a Spring Training game. Funniest part: his teammates wanted to take up a collection to pay to see him get tazed.
- Baseball America has the list of how much money each team spent on international signings in 2010. The Padres are 10th at $2.75 million.
- That $2.75 million could buy you 343,750 of these hot dogs: A one-pound dog with your choice of 40 toppings. Or you could just buy one and spend the rest on a good heart surgeon.
- That hot dog is being called “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” That’s utterly ridiculous; everybody knows Andre the Giant will forever hold that title.
- At least one writer won’t be writing ignorant things about umpires anymore. If there were two baseball-related things I could tell every fan, it would be (1) how the minor league-major league affiliation works and (2) how difficult umpiring is, especially in the minors.
- A hard-throwing Mariners prospect (and former MWLer) looked good.
- Former MWLer Neftali Feliz is going to start a game today. He was the Rangers’ closer last year but was a starter in the minors.
- The Cubs are fighting each other in the dugout during a Spring Training game and Carlos Zambrano isn’t involved? Ladies and gentlemen, your Chicago Cubs!
- Yesterday I linked to a Peter Gammons story about one of the secretly most important people in baseball who passed away recently. Jayson Stark wrote something about him, too.
- Gammons rounds up the AL East. Interesting points: Manny Ramirez is in good shape, Yankees LHP prospect Manny Banuelos is good and Red Sox LHP Andrew Miller is looking like he might be figuring things out.
- Philles OF prospect Domonic Brown is all kinds of messed up at the plate.
- Alex Rodriguez and now Mark Teixeira have fired Scott Boras lately. Robinson Cano hired him. Somehow I think Boras will still be able to afford mac and cheese for dinner tonight.
- At this point, I think it would be best to only alert the media when Joel Zumaya is healthy. Because it seems like he’s hurt a lot more than he’s healthy.
- One of the Braves’ young pitchers threw gas.
- Some run the bases more aggressively, even if it doesn’t mean stealing more bases.
- Now here are some March Madness seeding travesties we can really get into… In a video-game bracket, NBA Street is an eight-seed while Tecmo Super NBA Basketball is a seven-seed in the same region? Ridiculous.
Musical guest… Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears!
It’s warm again today. Almost 50 degrees. Which is the exact number of days until opening day at Parkview Field. What a coincidence!
- Fort Wayne alum Wade LeBlanc is going for the fifth spot in the Padres’ rotation.
- The Padres’ bullpen is different from last year, but still strong.
- RHP Aaron Harang is trying to revive his career at Petco Park. It’s a prime spot to do it.
- If A.J. Burnett doesn’t turn it around soon, it seems like he’ll be the Yankees’ version of Oliver Perez: Good stuff but no command and kind of crazy.
- Fort Wayne alum 2B Matt Antonelli did an interview with FanGraphs, touching on his struggles, his injuries, his blog, moving to the Nationals organization and Buca di Beppo. He’s homeboys with former TinCaps strength guy Rick SantaBarbara. Literally. They grew up in the same neighborhood.
- Oakland INF prospect Jeremy Barfield took a job driving a limo this off-season. He’s Fort Wayne alum Josh Barfield’s brother and former big-leaguer Jesse Barfield’s son.
- Opinion: Albert Pujols is the best hitter in the game, but if he gets exactly what he wants in his next contract, it’ll hamstring the organization like Alex Rodriguez’s contract did to the Rangers. And it took a while for the Rangers to dig out of that hole.
- Barry Bonds sure didn’t pick his entourage very well. Guilty or not, who tapes conversations about their friends?
- Fort Wayne alum and now-legendary author Dirk Hayhurst puts his job as a baseball player in perspective and has the Ten Commandments for athletes on social media.
- The winner of the Westminster Dog Show was something called a Scottish deerhound. Which means the black labs got hosed again.
- The TinCaps are again competing in The Brain Game, which is a quiz bowl/fund raiser. I plan on doing exactly what Watson did last night on Jeopardy: Second round domination.
- When I promise you something, I deliver (a few days later). Remember when I suggested that John Mayer looked like Jack White and Johnny Depp? Decide for yourself (click to expand):
Musical guest… Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears (again)!