Results tagged ‘ matt bush ’

One story, two headlines

Today we’re turning back the clock and doing what I was doing five years ago in my Case Studies in the Media class. You know, aside from daydreaming about the riches and fame of broadcasting professional baseball games, planning my next prank on Dave Hutte and checking out the ladies.

Yes, I’m comparing and contrasting two stories about the same event.

Yesterday, the Padres didn’t have a major-league spring training game, but Mat Latos pitched in a minor-league game just to stay on his throwing schedule.

His line (if you value such things): 3.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 76 pitches

Padres.com headline: Latos beginning to turn corner with command

San Diego Union-Tribune headline: Latos rocked in minor league game

Quotes: “I got my work in. I want to get out of here and go fishing. You guys don’t have anything better to do?”

Thoughts:

  1. The people who wrote the articles may or may not have been the ones who wrote the headlines. But you’d think the stories were about two different games if you just looked at the headlines.
  2. Latos doesn’t sound like a guy who is freaking out about a performance on a back field in Peoria on March 16.
  3. Here’s the original thought I can add to this: Anytime I talk to one of the Padres’ roving instructors, their whole focus is on the process. Learning the mechanics, learning the mental side of the game, doing the things that make a player consistently successful over the long haul. Statistics (and winning) are completely secondary. Get the process right and the results will come. That’s in the minors, where it’s all about development. I think the Spring Training mindset is similar: Get your mechanics right, get in shape and be ready to go by Opening Day. The difference between the major leagues and the minors is, once the regular season starts in the big leagues, winning is the most important thing. In the minors, the regular season is still about development first. Just about the only time winning comes anywhere close to first in the minors is in the playoffs, and health (pitch limits, etc.) is still paramount.

Random thoughts:

  • As promised, Parkview Field is green(er) for St. Patrick’s Day. A hearty handshake goes to the first person who can tell me what St. Patrick is the patron saint of (no googling allowed). Hint: Green beer is not the correct answer.
  • The Triple-A Tucson Padres unveiled their uniforms, and they could be a sneak peek into what San Diego wears in the not-too-distant future. It’s definitely what you’ll be able to see in Fort Wayne in July.
  • The TinCaps caught legendary author Ben Hill’s attention with the new dress code/flair requirements.
  • I have it on good authority that Ben now signs his e-mails as “Legendary author Ben Hill.”
  • Here’s another Padres’ Top 20 prospects list. I don’t know about you, but I’m done looking at lists… Let’s start the games already.
  • In this week’s minor-league transactions, former Fort Wayne RHP Matt Bush was taken off the Rays’ 40-man roster and re-signed to a minor-league deal. Also, RHP Aaron Everett retired. I thought he might’ve been headed to Fort Wayne after a solid year with Eugene in 2010, but I guess that’s over.
  • Move over, Eater X. Tim Lincecum is here and he’s ready to crush a family-sized meal at In-N-Out Burger.
  • Ken Griffey, Jr., explains why he retired when he did.
  • Giants prospect Brandon Belt is making a strong case to open the year in the big leagues.
  • Yankees RHP Ivan Nova has a new slider and it looked good yesterday. He could be a big boost to that rotation.
  • An Angels pitcher hurt his toe playing with his kids. Well, they’ll just have to put a “no-playing-with-your-kids” clause into every contract now.
  • This kid is living nine-year-old me’s dream: A northeast Ohio kid playing in the Indians’ organization.
  • The Brewers’ new manager wants to know why all of his key players decided to get hurt this spring. Except Rickie Weeks… maybe he’ll wait until the regular season.
  • I don’t know which part of this is weirder: Playing Van Halen’s “Eruption” on violin, that the violin is shaped like a baseball bat, or that it seems like it was played in the middle of a busy elementary school cafeteria (complete with kids hacking like chain smokers).
  • The Braves’ minor-league manager who got smoked by a foul ball had his eye removed. I talked to someone “in the know” about this yesterday and a lot of people around the Braves are just glad he’s alive. Apparently he still wants to manage this year, which would be an incredible recovery.
  • Go Buckeyes. And Wofford. The next two days are two of the best sports days of the year.

Musical guest… Luther Vandross!

Take care!

DW

Why baseball is better than football, part 482

Let me tell you a(nother) reason why baseball is the best game there is: There is no scouting combine.

Football scouts get information overload. The vast majority of pro-caliber football players are already playing three or four years worth of nationally-televised showcase games 8-9 times per season at big-time schools. Each player’s every move is taped in practice and games. The amount of information available on football players is huge already. Then there’s the week-long combine, also nationally televised.

Now look at baseball. Sure, there are showcase camps and Aflac All-American games where some
of the best amateur players get together to play against each other. But there is no one-stop-shop where scouts get to dress virtually every draft-eligible player in awkward spandex to evaluate. They have to figure out if some peach-fuzzed kid with a mid-90s fastball who doesn’t need to throw a curveball against overmatched competition at a tiny high school will end up being a better player than a guy who plays against the top college competition in the nation.

You know Jason Heyward, considered one of the best young players in the big leagues? Thirteen teams passed on him, many saying it was because they didn’t get to see him swing the bat – he walked too much when scouts were around. And this was a high-schooler, usually one of the easier places to scout. Mike Piazza? Maybe the best offensive catcher in history. Drafted in the 62nd round. Teams drafted 1,389 players before the Dodgers took him. The NFL brags “every pick counts” because Tom Brady was a seventh rounder. Please. While NFL scouts are asked to find players who can contribute months (and eventually years) after the draft, MLB scouts are sometimes asked to find a 16-year-old in Venezuela who could be productive in the big leagues 10 years later after developing in the minors.

And you know what that means? Just like a lot of people agree that hitting a round ball with a round bat is the toughest thing to do in sports, trying to FIND people who can do that is the toughest assignment in sports scouting.

  • From Buster Olney: Looks like the Gonzalez trade haul will be
    assigned like this… 1B Anthony Rizzo to Triple-A Tucson, RHP Casey
    Kelly to Double-A San Antonio, OF Reymond Fuentes to Advanced-A Lake
    Elsinore. Which, to me, increases the likelihood of an Everett Williams
    encore in Fort Wayne to start the year, but that’s just a guess. Also,
    Rizzo doubled off Simon Castro in an intrasquad game.
  • Spring Training games started this weekend and Fort Wayne alum C Nick Hundley hit a grand slam and former TinCaps 3B James Darnell homered.
  • Former TinCap RHP Matt Lollis keeps getting noticed, this time by the San Diego U-T. You get the feeling he never would have been under the radar if he hadn’t been injured his senior year of high school.
  • Fort Wayne alum OF/1B Kyle Blanks is hitting in the cage and playing defense in intrasquad games as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
  • How do you score runs without a masher like Adrian Gonzalez? Run wilder than Hulkamania, and Fort Wayne alum OF Will Venable could help in that department this year, especially with new first-base coach Dave Roberts.
  • Fort Wayne alum OF Cedric Hunter has had an up-and-down career – he led the
    Cal League in hits in 2008 and was third in batting average… behind
    Daniel Nava and Carlos Santana, both now in the big leagues.
  • Fort Wayne alum (and now-Rays RHP) Matt Bush pitched a perfect inning this weekend.
  • In this Padres roundup,
    the Opening Day payroll is around $46 million, the team sometimes pays
    guys more than league minimum (even when it doesn’t have to) and Orlando Hudson loves NASCAR.
  • Hey, remember John Roskos? Neither does anyone else, which is Bill Center’s point: He was a Spring Training legend and didn’t amount to diddly poo. The moral of the story is, don’t put too much stock in these games, especially this early.
  • Former Padres GM Kevin Towers recounts his final days with San Diego. They’re awkward.
  • The Diamondbacks-Rockies spring training facility looks awesome.
  • Fort Wayne alum (and now Minnesota Twins) OF Michael Cuddyer isn’t playing yet because of a wart on the bottom of his foot.
  • The Seattle newspaper profiles Fort Wayne native and Mariners manager Eric Wedge.
  • Marlon Byrd made history last year and was the first guy to have non-organ music played at Wrigley Field, and he goes with a song by somebody named Gang Starr? Come on, man!
  • From Baseball America: Bubba Starling, who is draft-eligible this year, is a better athlete than Mike Trout, Donovan Tate or Aaron Hicks were coming out of high school. Wow.
  • How do you make the Wedding of the Century even better? By making the reception a costume party. Ladies and gentlemen, Dave Hutte!
  • What does a wildly successful TV director/philanthropist, engaged to be married, do with his free time? He suggests Wonderlic test questions to ESPN’s Page 2… And gets the top spot. Ladies and gentlemen, Dave Hutte!
  • It took watching “Muppets from Space” to remind me how fantastic and curmudgeon-y Statler and Waldorf are. “I wonder if there’s life on other planets…” “Why do you care? You don’t have a life on THIS planet! DAHAHAHAHA!”

Musical guest… Weezer!

Take care!

DW

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