Results tagged ‘ dogs ’

Bizzaro world 2011

I’m not saying this to pile on, but the TinCaps were a disaster coming into yesterday. They’d been swept in three games at home by Lake County. The bullpen was in shambles with the starting pitchers not getting through four innings in back-to-back games, then having a 13-inning game where they blew a 6-1 lead (with five errors in the late innings) and had to bring a position player (Tyler Stubblefield) in to pitch near the end. The bullpen had been working two men short in the first place (thanks to a six-man starting rotation and the promotion of Andrew Werner). One of their best hitters (Jake Blackwood) was promoted yesterday. Their projected starting pitcher (Noah Mull) came down sick and couldn’t pitch (Matt Jackson filled in – he was on five days’ rest and even HE was sick). To top it off, two guys forgot their jerseys in Fort Wayne (no shirts-and-skins action for you sickos out there; they just wore different numbers). There was no realistic reason to expect anything to improve on Monday, especially after an error allowed Lake County to take an early lead and Jackson got smoked in the ankle by a smash back to the mound.

But then, something crazy happened: Jackson stayed in, fought through the sore ankle and gave the team six strong innings. The Captains walked nine and made four errors and the TinCaps got a few big hits to blow it open, 10-1.

Uh, what?

Lesson: Don’t ever, under any circumstances, try to predict baseball. Ever. For any reason. Whatsoever.

Random thoughts:

  • Former TinCaps LHP Josh Spence is getting the pub from back home in Australia after making his MLB debut.
  • Hey, remember the 2009 TinCaps? They’re still annihilating the Double-A Texas League. It’s been three months worth of The Ultimate Warrior freaking out and beating up everyone. NINE league all-stars. Also in that article: INF Cory Spangenberg (10th overall pick in this year’s draft) and Donavan Tate could soon be headed here.
  • The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy and, in doing so, revealed Vin Scully’s salary. I don’t really see what the big deal is; Scully could name his price but clearly hasn’t abused that fact. Unlike his team’s owner, who has abused just about every privilege of owning a team. Sell to Mark Cuban and get it over with.
  • Tigers pitcher Al Albuquerque: He’s good. When he was in the Cubs organization and I was in Daytona, we couldn’t wait to get him promoted to our team just because we wanted to say “Al Albuquerque” on a semi-nightly basis. Never happened. One of the great disappointments of my career so far.
  • Since we’re at Lake County, I got to come home to my parents’ house last night. Our black lab had paw surgery and he’s the most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen. They made him wear a plastic cone on his head so he won’t chew the bandage off the paw. Well, he doesn’t quite have the maneuverability thing down with the cone. He runs into EVERYTHING when he tries to move around. Last night he went into the bathroom and accidentally shut the door on himself when he was trying to get out, then didn’t understand that he had to back up to give me room to open the door and let him out. He is completely miserable, San Diego.
  • I also got to sit outside on the porch last night and just relax. Beautiful weather, it was quiet… it was delightful.
Musical guest… Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros!
Take care!

Another brain dump: 5/26

It’s been a while, yet I don’t really have any dumb off-field observations (that I care to share) that I can stretch over four paragraphs, so here’s what I’ve been seeing on the field.

  • Don’t look now, but former TinCaps RHP Mat Latos might be turning it around. Eight strong innings against the Cardinals last time out.
  • Former TinCaps OF Blake Tekotte made his MLB debut last night with a pinch-hit at-bat. Aside from Latos (who really wasn’t in town that long in ’09), Tekotte is the first player from that championship team to get to the big leagues.
  • San Antonio RHP Casey Kelly: He’s good.
  • Why is it that now the team isn’t winning, people want to move the fences in and install artificial turf at Petco Park? That park can be a huge advantage and the Padres are in the process of molding their roster to fully exploit it.
  • It’s been a good road trip… The TinCaps started the year going 3-13 away from Parkview Field. They’re 6-3 on this trip.
  • They’re allowing a little over 3 runs per game (which is good), but they’re scoring almost 5 runs per game, including outbursts of 9, 8 and 9. That’s a HUGE contrast from the offensive struggles earlier this year.
  • How inept have they been with Adys Portillo on the mound? The TinCaps have scored less than 2 runs per game in the games started by Portillo. While Portillo is actually IN the game, they’ve scored a TOTAL of five runs in the seven games, and never more than ONE run in any game while he’s in there. That’s brutal.
  • Rymer Liriano has especially looked good with his approach this trip. Last year when he struggled here, he lunged out at the pitcher, “stepped in the bucket” striding toward third base, rarely took a walk. This year he’s walking more, looking fooled less. Three at-bats that have really impressed me: at Lake County, runner at second, less than two outs. Got an inside fastball, but kept his hands in and hit a grounder to the second baseman to advance the runner. I about jumped out of my chair. And yes, I’m a small-ball nerd. Another game at West Michigan: Doubled to the gap in left-center one at-bat, tripled to the gap in right-center in the same game. He’s been more patient and he’s using the middle of the field. Impressive stuff, and remember he’s still only 19 years old.
  • Luis Domoromo has never looked overmatched here despite being 19 years old. But lately, he’s been put into the three-hole and he’s been outstanding: six games, .423 OBP, 2 homers, 8 RBIs.
  • The arrival of Rico Noel has put the lineup back in more of a natural flow, despite Noel’s numbers: Noel has the speed of a true leadoff hitter, Liriano has been in the two-hole, Domoromo has taken off in the third spot, Jake Blackwood stays in the cleanup spot and everybody falls in line after that. Where you hit in the order tends to affect the quality of pitches you see, and this lineup seems to suit the hitters better.
  • Chris Franklin, who was easily the leader in the team’s “Mustache May” competition, shaved his mustache. He claimed the sweat dripping off the ‘stache was distracting, and people kept staring at him when he walked into restaurants and other going-out type places. I’ve never been more disappointed in a player than I was when he walked onto the bus sans-mustache. It was like he stole his mustache from Principal Rooney from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Actually, maybe that’s why he shaved it. Never mind…
  • Yesterday we played a morning game in Lansing. The amount and quality of the press-box spread was off the charts. Scrambled eggs, french freedom toast, biscuits and gravy, sausage, ham… it was like I’d found the source of all breakfast food in the entire universe. But I’d still put my breakfast food up against theirs.
  • After the game on Sunday, a few of us staff types went to dinner in Grand Rapids. We weren’t going to stay long until we found out a WWF (I refuse to call it WWE) event was coming on TV that night. The peoplewatching would make it worth our while. People were booing/cheering at the TVs, chanting, it was nuts. But the wrestlers don’t have half the charisma they did when it was Hulk Hogan/Jake the Snake/Ric Flair, etc. These new wrestlers just look like they spend an uncomfortable amount of time lifting weights and tanning. If I wanted to see that, I’d just go to any run-of-the-mill neighborhood dance club and watch the Jersey Shore wannabes for two hours.
  • With that in mind, here’s a long-overdue goodbye from Bill Simmons to “The Macho Man” Randy Savage. We all knew wrestling was cheesy and fake and larger than life, but that’s why we loved it. It’s just not the same anymore. And the Macho Man was a minor-league baseball player, so there’s that.
  • TinCaps manager Shawn Wooten told us about the time he went to Wrestlemania II. My respect level for him was already high, but now it’s through the roof. There are other non-baseball things we’ll be discussing with him sooner than later, too.
  • Dear Seattle: Thanks. Signed, Cleveland.
  • Between Ray Small and Club Trillion expanding on the potential violations at Ohio State, it’s pretty clear the Buckeyes are going down hard.
  • I know you’re wondering how my time at home with the dogs went. Well, the black lab had a broken toenail and his paw was swelling up, but he’ll be fine. Both dogs broke the no-sitting-on-the-couch rule while I was home. I’m like the fun grandparent who gets to spoil the kids every time I come to town. And they know it. Also, I went to dinner with the family at Covered Bridge Pizza which has the most eatable pizza in the universe. I ate way more than I should have and I still wanted more. I don’t know what they put in there, but if everyone used it we’d be an even more obese nation than we already are.
  • Last year before he resigned in embarrassment, strength coach Rick SantaBarbara and I went to Gym Bumz, the workout facility here in Lansing and became homeboys with the gym owner. I may or may not own not one, but two Gym Bumz shirts. Jealous?

Random thoughts-a-palooza

The TinCaps aren’t hitting right now. RHP Adys Portillo was touching 95 mph in the first inning on Dayton’s stadium radar gun (which is usually pretty reliable) last night, finished the night closer to 91-93 with the off-speed stuff in the high 70s, low 80s. And that, as Forrest Gump once said, is all I have to say about that.

I’ve been seeing a lot of good stuff on the internets, though, so here it is…

Random thoughts:

  • Some of the TinCaps are having to hear the tornado-related news from back at home via phone and radio. Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt went home to check on everything personally. Doug Glanville wrote a SPECTACULAR piece about it. Main points: Glanville’s favorite band is Hall and Oates, plus a life in baseball is oftentimes brutal for a person’s personal life. If you read nothing else from this post, read Glanville.
  • Mariners RHP Michael Pineda: He’s good.
  • MLB attendance is down, but baseball (still) isn’t dying.
  • Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez wouldn’t sign a teammate’s cast which was sold for charity.
  • Peter Gammons says trading draft picks would make the MLB Draft that much more interesting.
  • We’re in Dayton right now, where later this season they’ll have the Purina Incredible Dog Team. I’m already thinking of excuses to get out of the TinCaps’ game to be there to see it.

Musical guest… the only British royalty I care to hear about this weekend, Sir Elton John!

Take care!


Padres Affiliate Blog Network?

You’re not going to believe this, but other teams think having a blog like this is a good idea.

Yesterday I talked to Dave Oster, the president of the Lake Elsinore Storm (Advanced-A Padres), and they’re thinking about launching a Lake Elsinore-y version of The Watson Files. So in the near future, we could have the start of a Padres Affiliate Blog Network. We talked about having guest entries from one another, updating Fort Wayne readers on how our alums are doing, profiling TinCaps who get promoted to Lake Elsinore so the Storm fans know what they’re getting, etc. The possibilities are as close to endless as possibilities get.

I’m not really into self-examination for the purpose of patting myself on the back, but the conversation got me thinking about how this whole blog thing started, how it’s changed and what exactly I’m trying to do.

Well, self, I’m glad you asked. This thing started back in the winter of 2008-09 when our offices were still over at Memorial Stadium, our computers were outdated and the “blog” was really just a really long article on the old TinCaps website. Michael Limmer thought it would be a good idea for me to share (in blog form) the Parkview Field construction progress, some of the fun stuff we were planning as a team, thoughts as a Fort Wayne newcomer and whatever else I wanted to write about. At that point, I thought blogs were just a lame way for any idiot to pretend he was a journalist and I would just be adding to the noise in the media which is already too prevalent.

Since then, I’ve learned that the medium of blogging isn’t necessarily lame. Like a lot of other new media, it’s only as good as the person/organization writing it. There’s good and bad and we have to wade through the garbage to find the good stuff.

So what is it that I’d say I’m doing here? I hadn’t really thought much about it before yesterday, but I guess I’m trying to cut through a lot of the junk that’s out there, inform, entertain and generally post things that I enjoy reading myself. If it helps me be a better broadcaster, if it makes it easier for you to be a knowledgeable fan, if the Dave Hutte stories remind you of your buddy from college who was a little out-there, even if it just helps you waste your lunch break watching INXS videos, that’s what I’m going for. You’re probably not going to be interested in every single thing on here, but if it’s concise enough, you can find the things you ARE interested in, and everybody wins.

And, at the end of it all, hopefully it has you thinking about the TinCaps and baseball as a whole (and life in general) in a positive, educated and realistic way. So, really, you’re being slowly brainwashed. Joke’s on you.

Is there anything I’m doing too much? Not enough? Let me know in the comments or via e-mail –

Random thoughts:

  • Baseball America released its Top 100 Prospects list. Former TinCaps RHP Simon Castro is No. 58. Enjoy.
  • The Padres are holding what a lot of other teams call an accelerated development camp for some of their higher-end prospects. Lots of former TinCaps in there: LHP Jose  De Paula, RHP Adys Portillo, RHP Jerry Sullivan, RHP Matt Lollis, C Jason Hagerty, INFs Jeudy Valdez, Jonathan Galvez, Jedd Gyorko and Edinson Rincon, OFs Rymer Liriano, Rico Noel and Everett Williams. Also of note, former TinCaps OF Yefri Carvajal is making the conversion to become a pitcher. I’d say most of the players who aren’t former TinCaps will be playing here soon.
  • Bud Black hasn’t announced his Opening Day starter yet. I’m surprised how many teams have. The way the schedule sets up, they may not need a fifth starter until two weeks into the season.
  • The Padres will probably have some new leaders step up in the clubhouse this year. So you’re saying you want winners? Orlando Hudson is a veteran who’s been to the playoffs.
  • When you’re a hitter taking your first live batting practice of the spring, facing the Padres’ pitching staff isn’t exactly what your ego needs.
  • Padres SS Everth Cabrera will probably start the season at Triple-A after a rough 2010. He got extra at-bats in winter ball this off-season, which could help.
  • Fort Wayne alum RHP Joakim Soria, now the Royals’ closer, wants people to stop calling him by one of the great nicknames in baseball: “The Mexicutioner.” With what’s going on in Mexico, you understand why.
  • The Blue Jays’ new manager told his team to stay off Twitter. But he didn’t ban it.
  • On the same day the Commissioner’s Office told Hank Steinbrenner to shut up about revenue sharing, the New York Post tells him to shove it when it comes to calling out his own employees.
  • Someone is making a documentary about Giants OF Andres Torres dealing with ADHD.
  • Giants closer Brian Wilson hung out with former fake-Indians closer Charlie Sheen. And all Giants fans cringed.
  • The Braves are enjoying the bargain years with OF Jason Heyward. They’d better, because his price will go up if he comes anywhere close to realizing his potential.
  • Former MWLer Jacob Turner impressed the Tigers with a bullpen session.
  • Indians prospects are playing an awkward waiting game.
  • The Red Sox met with umpires. This is the kind of thing that needs to happen for umpire-player relations to improve – too often, the two sides are only talking in the heat of the moment, which tends to not be the best time.
  • The Red Sox might be watching you, which is creepy. All I know is, you don’t want to be outside GM Theo Epstein’s circle of trust.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams says spending $30 million a year on anyone is “asinine.” Even if that player is Albert Pujols. And yes, he means it. And yes, he’s probably looking at you, Cubs.
  • Brewers RHP Zack Greinke says he wouldn’t be playing in the major leagues if he wasn’t trying to be the best in the world.
  • Bryce Harper wants to make his pro debut in the big leagues. Good goal, but no chance. If he’s as good as everyone thinks he is, he’ll get there soon enough.
  • Sounds like Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright’s elbow blew out. If you’ve been following closely, you know he’s had a problem with an elbow ligament for years, but it hadn’t gotten serious… until today.
  • Peter Gammons talks about the distractions people face in spring training. Personally, I don’t think “distractions” actually distract athletes as much as we want to believe. It’s stuff we talk about and ask them about, but in my experience, guys aren’t sitting around in the clubhouse talking about the Dodgers’ ownership situation or whatever other topic is big at that moment. And I can’t imagine it’s on their minds when they’re trying to hit 98 mph heat.
  • “Moneyball” is a fluid concept about making the most of undervalued assets. It’s really not all that different from good stock trading.
  • If you’re still whining about the Adrian Gonzalez trade, this story might be for you. The point: It stinks to lose your favorite player, but you’re really cheering more for the team to win than any one player, aren’t you?
  • I’m walking dogs after work today. I’m so excited, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.

Musical guest… Lenny Kravitz!

Take care!