Results tagged ‘ buckeyes ’

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.

Just another example of why Ohio State rules and Michigan… doesn’t.

Random thoughts:

  • 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!

DW

The good, the bad and the embarrassing

There’s nothing that can break the monotony of a cold, gray off-season like watching a sporting event on TV and uncontrollably cackling like the Bishop in “Caddyshack”. That was me last night when the basketball Buckeyes put the beat-down of a lifetime on Purdue. The shots they were making, the Zubaz pants in the OSU student section… Everything about that game was sensational.

Also last night, MLB.com revealed its Top 50 prospects for this year. There were no former TinCaps on the list (RHP Casey Kelly was the only Padre and he came over in the Adrian Gonzalez trade), but there were plenty of guys you may have seen in Fort Wayne over the last few years:

1. OF Mike Trout, Cedar Rapids ’10
7. 3B Mike Moustakas, Burlington ’08
8. 1B Eric Hosmer, Burlington ’09
13. RHP Michael Pineda, Wisconsin ’08
14. LHP Mike Montgomery, Burlington ’09
15. RHP Jacob Turner, West Michigan ’10
16. C/OF Wil Myers, Burlington ’10
20. RHP Shelby Miller, Quad Cities ’10
28. 2B Brett Lawrie, Wisconsin ’09
29. RHP Jarrod Parker, South Bend ’08
34. LHP John Lamb, Burlington ’10
37. RHP Jake Odorizzi, Wisconsin ’10
38. SS Nick Franklin, Clinton ’10
39. OF Aaron Hicks, Beloit ’09-10
44. SS Dee Gordon, Great Lakes ’09
46. OF Brett Jackson, Peoria ’09
47. RHP Chris Archer, Peoria ’09

The first thing that jumped out to me is how much better last year’s top-end prospects were. Here’s why: On MLB Network, it seemed like everybody agreed that Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (the No. 2 prospect on the list) would end up as a No. 2 starter in the big leagues (which, like anything else, is debatable). Meanwhile, check out the Top 10 from last year:

1. OF Jason Heyward, Braves
2. RHP Stephen Strasburg, Nationals
3. OF Mike Stanton, Marlins
4. C Buster Posey, Giants
5. LHP Brian Matusz, Orioles
6. OF Desmond Jennings, Rays
7. RHP Neftali Feliz, Rangers
8. 3B Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
9. 1B Justin Smoak, Mariners
10. LHP Madison Bumgarner, Giants

You could make the case that last year’s No. 2 prospect, Stephen Strasburg, was good enough to be the Nationals’ ace when he was pitching at San Diego State. Heyward and Stanton look like stars in the making. Same for Posey, Bumgarner and Feliz who were key players on World Series teams. In fairness, it was an unbelievably talented group last year, but I think it’s easy now to look back and see how spoiled we were when it came to prospects last year.

Now all there is to do is wait for the Baseball America Prospect Handbook. When it arrives in the mail, baseball season is officially coming up.

Random thoughts:

  • We’ll know in a few years just how good the Adrian Gonzalez trade was for the Padres. Also in that column, it seems like folks are frustrated by the economics of small-market baseball in 2010. The Padres weren’t going to get Jacoby Ellsbury or any other MLB-ready young players in that trade, but they did get Boston’s top hitting and pitching prospects. The days of undervaluing young players in trades are over. When you’re an MLB team in San Diego (one of the smallest local TV markets in baseball) that’s fallen on hard times, rebuilding is just part of the deal. The new Padres’ regime is trying to put a sustainable system in place that is constantly building through the draft, but it takes time for that system to pay off.
  • The Padres’ camouflage jerseys got a redesign, and they’re more… camouflagy. In the article photo, players/models Mat Latos and Will Venable are Fort Wayne alums.
  • The Triple-A Tuscon Padres’ new logo is now public.
  • The Padres’ chairman/former principal owner had his divorce case settled. Which is good, compared to the messy divorce of the Dodgers’ owners which seems like it’s hampering the baseball operations budget.
  • In this week’s MiLB transactions, we see RHP Dirk Hayhurst, a Fort Wayne alum and now big-time author, signed with the Rays. There are a TON of former Padres with the Rays now.
  • The Giants’ Top 10 Prospects are posted at Baseball America.
  • Jayson Stark points out today that the last two pitchers to lead the American League in saves aren’t expected to be closers in 2011. I’m not sure if that says more about the uselessness of the save statistic or the value of a good setup man.
  • The Blue Jays traded the just-acquired Mike Napoli to the Rangers for RHP Frank Francisco. So, essentially, that means they traded Vernon Wells (and $5 million cash, allegedly) for Juan Rivera and Francisco. If the Jays were in any other division, they might be the favorite “surprise team of 2011.” But if your aunt had a… never mind.
  • Which was a worse decision (on paper): The Barry Zito contract or the Vernon Wells trade? Fangraphs investigates.
  • From the Rangers’ perspective, Napoli crushes lefties. Which is good when you play against Oakland a lot.
  • Here’s a sports contest Cleveland has a chance to win… Who’s tougher to trade away: Vernon Wells at $23 million a year or Travis Hafner at $13 million a year?
  • Here’s an article trying to predict MLB salary inflation. Hint: It’s about seven percent per year. BUT, that could change with a new collective bargaining agreement probably coming before next season.
  • What could have happened if we’d had the two-division, two-wild-card system over the past decade?
  • If you’re having trouble deciphering what some of the new sabermetric stats mean and figuring out what a good OBP or OPS is, you need to read this.
  • So what you’re telling me is, Derek Jeter doesn’t have enough range to play shortstop, but he does have enough range to play center field? What am I missing here?
  • Meanwhile, Vladimir Guerrero hasn’t had range in years. He doesn’t have a job right now, and Texas is making less sense for him than ever.
  • The Pirates announced higher day-of-game ticket prices for the first time in nine years. I’ve always said, when you want to bask in the brilliance of .38 Special, you’d better be ready to shell out a few extra bucks.
  • If appearing in an MC Hammer video makes you a record mogul, well… Jimmy Rollins has been a mogul since he was 13 years old.
  • As lame as the college football bowl system is, stories like this make it seem less and less likely things will change. Which is a shame, really.
  • Speaking of shames… Sigh. Just embarrassing.
  • You know it’s been cold when it’s 27 degrees outside and it feels warm.
  • Team president Mike Nutter says the only way the OSU-Purdue game could have been better was if Gus Johnson was calling the game. I disagree, simply because I would have been petrified of a Purdue comeback the entire second half. Fact: Gus Johnson only calls close games.
  • Fact: The only way this isn’t soul-crushingly lame is that Ohio State basketball is 21-0. When you’re undefeated and destroying top-15 opponents, you can do whatever you want. You know, as long as it’s within NCAA rules.

Musical guest… The Raconteurs (and friends)!

Take care!

DW

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