Results tagged ‘ midwest league ’

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thing started back in the winter of 2008-09 when our offices were still over at Memorial Stadium, our computers were outdated and the “blog” was really just a really long article on the old TinCaps website.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!


American ingenuity

There are so many links to get to that this will be brief…

First of all, TinCaps single-game tickets (and tickets to the Triple-A series) go on sale Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Buy some. Please. I don’t ask for much.

Secondly, if you thought sliced bread, color TV and HD radio were good ideas, you haven’t seen anything yet, broseph. This weekend Brent Harring introduced me to MLB.TV on the PlayStation 3. Once my head stopped exploding, I decided it’s the leader in the clubhouse as best invention of the 21st century so far. You can watch any MLB game, fast-forward to the start of any half-inning you want to watch, check out the box score while watching… it’s incredible. Blackout rules apply, so that’s lame, but if you’re an utter baseball dweeb and your team is far away, this is a must-have.

Random thoughts:

  • The TinCaps have a new Twitter address. If you’re into that sort of thing.
  • This morning I stumbled upon this: Fort Wayne alum RHP Brandon Kintzler, who pitched here in 2005, didn’t play in ’06, then spent parts of the next three years in independent leagues, made his MLB debut with the Brewers last year. He’s the 95th alum to make it to the major leagues.
  • Remember when Fort Wayne alum RHP Mat Latos almost threw a perfect game? Nobody else does either, which is Geoff Young’s point.
  • Fort Wayne alum 3B Chase Headley is a natural right-handed hitter, but you wouldn’t know it by the numbers from last year. He’s trying to even it up in 2011.
  • Former Fort Wayne manager Randy Ready is the hitting coach in San Diego now. Early in camp, he’s doing a lot of watching but not much instructing as he learns the new guys’ swings.
  • Padres prospect RHP Casey Kelly, who was the key to the Adrian Gonzalez trade, is doing a lot of listening, too.
  • It rained yesterday in Phoenix, which wiped out a lot of teams’ workouts.
  • Trevor Hoffman doesn’t really miss pitching; he’s enjoying life as a consultant/dad.
  • The Padres’ TV deal kind of stinks – and when they re-negotiate it for 2012, that could bring in a nice chunk of cash, which could help with payroll flexibility.
  • Fort Wayne alums Ray Chang and Michael Cuddyer get shout-outs in a Twins update.
  • Legendary author Ben Hill has the rundown of his favorite promotions scheduled for minor-league parks this year.
  • Albert Pujols wants 10 years on his next contract, which would be OK if he wasn’t going to be 32 at the beginning of the deal. Michael Wilbon wants the Cubs to sign him. The Cubs’ owner isn’t exactly squashing that speculation. The Cubs’ only big contract after 2012 is Alfonso Soriano, so they’d be in a position to make a run at Pujols. I just hope he hires a bodyguard named Virgil, starts wearing lavish tuxedos and laughing at things that aren’t really that funny.
  • The Tigers are saying all the right things about Miguel Cabrera.
  • Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez (former Midwest Leaguer) is considering moving his family to Miami because of the potential for trouble in Venezuela now that he’s a star.
  • Grady Sizemore is coming along fine, Carlos Santana will start an intrasquad game this week and Kenny Lofton is a guest instructor at Indians camp.
  • The Red Sox acquired Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford this off-season, but their rotation could really improve just by guys getting back to their normal selves.
  • John Kruk was on the radio this morning and said Rangers RHP Brandon Webb (a former MWLer) isn’t looking too hot in Rangers camp.
  • The Nationals held tryouts to be part of one of the most momentous occasions in all of sports – the running of the presidents’ race.
  • Brandon Phillips is taking PR advice from Chad Johnson. Gasp.
  • In an underrated coaching story, Davey Lopes took his talents from the Phillies’ first-base coach’s box to the Dodgers. Sam Perlozzo will try to take his place. Lopes was, by all accounts, REALLY good at helping his guys get jumps and steal bases. So remember that in your fantasy drafts.
  • Bats in college baseball are being made to perform more like wooden bats. Which is good from both a safety standpoint and a scouting standpoint.
  • Every MLB team is hiring somebody to do this “dream job” thing. This looks like a beat writer’s job, minus the “being at the games” part. Instead of living a life of luxury on airplanes and swanky hotels, you get to live in New York.
  • Hopefully Bill Simmons can do to the Internets what he did to the television: class it up.
  • Dave Hutte status update: “It’s ice, ice baby outside!”

Musical guest… The Beatles!

Take care!


Mat being Mat

I’ll preface this by saying I’m a huge Mat Latos fan, so I’m not objective when it comes to stories about him. He played here for a few weeks in 2009. He might be a little rough around the edges, but that’s just him being young. He is a professional butt-kicker on the mound and he has fun doing it.

So when I read a story about Latos signing baseballs “I hate SF,” I don’t think he’s going to suddenly go all Kenny Powers and be a public relations nightmare. We’re so used to athletes either being cliche machines or Chad Johnson publicity hounds that we’re not used to anything in between the extremes. Latos will probably get asked a few questions about it (and booed) when the Padres go to San Francisco for the first time in 2011, but as long as he has fun with it, I can’t imagine it’ll become a big deal.

On the “professional butt-kicker” side, Latos will be treated like any other member of the Padres’ rotation this year. Geoff Young at Ducksnorts examines young pitchers who have gone through a similar workload at a similar age and the effects it’s had. Hint: If you’re going 200+ innings in an MLB season at the age of 22, you’re pretty good.

Random thoughts:

  • Fort Wayne alum RHP Ernesto Frieri has become a big part of the Padres’ bullpen, thanks in large part to a deceptive delivery.
  • The Padres’ team doctor uses all the technology available to keep the players healthy. Including the Wii. Seriously.
  • Today’s edition of Great Moments in Awkwardness is brought to you by Cameron Maybin, Twitter, Panda Express and “Any Given Sunday II: Montezuma’s Revenge,” coming to theaters in October 2014.
  • Notable from the minor-league transactions report: Why are the Red Sox as good (and as deep) as they are? Scouting. They draft well and now they’re finding guys in independent leagues who are good enough to contribute in the big leagues (which is extremely rare). Plus, they have the resources (prospects and money) to fill in the blanks through trades and free agency. All of this – except the money – should be reasons for optimism for Padre fans, since the new front-office regime came from Boston.
  • Tony Gwynn is rebounding from chemotherapy.
  • The Charleston River Dogs continue the trend of minor-league teams giving their customers the option of heart disease with their affordable family entertainment. The River Dogs are famous for their hot dogs – their newest one, wrapped in bacon, is called the Pig on a Stick. One of their other specialty dogs is called the Homewrecker. Which is the second-best name for a food item I’ve ever heard, coming in just behind the Texas Manhandler.
  • The Cardinals’ offer to Albert Pujols didn’t come close to what Albert was looking for. This drama became a possibility when they signed Matt Holliday to a big extension. Now they’re struggling to come up with more cash. Let me ask you this: If you’re a Cardinals fan, would you rather watch Albert Pujols on an otherwise mediocre team or a Pujols-less team that has a chance to win it all? Because it seems like those are the options on the table at this point. This is the Padres-Adrian Gonzalez situation on a larger scale.
  • Meanwhile, Richard Weeks re-signed with the Brewers; 5 years, $50 million. If he stays healthy, it’s a relative bargain for Milwaukee. But that’s a big if.
  • Elsewhere in Wisconsin buzzcut news, Robin Yount is a good dude.
  • I’ve often complained about the decline of creativity in baseball nicknames, and it looks like I’m not the only one who sees it. Did you know Phil Rizzuto called Lou Piniella “The Italian Stallion”? Lou is Cuban!
  • Keith Moreland will take Ron Santo’s seat in the Cubs’ radio booth.
  • Former MWLer LHP Clayton Kershaw will be the Dodgers’ opening day starter.
  • Another former MWLer, Indians C Carlos Santana is one of the few sources of optimism for the Indians.
  • The White Sox are looking for big things from LHP Chris Sale. That’s pretty rough for a guy who was just drafted last year.
  • The once-considered-strong Orioles’ farm system now has two big prospects and not much else.
  • A couple of Mariners pitchers have lots of tattoos.
  • Dave Hutte status updates: “My new car is pretty!” / “Gonna do my side of the guest list for the wedding today. Did you make the cut?”
  • Coming this fall… “Survivor: Toledo, Guest List Edition.”
  • This weather rules. I’m seeing grass poking out from under the snow on the field. First time for that since November, I think.

Musical guest… Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!

Take care!


Shameless non-self-promotion

Maybe you saw this, maybe you didn’t: If there’s a woman who enjoys your company for more than five minutes (or you’re trying to get to that point) and you want to do something nice for her this Valentine’s Day, try letting TinCaps mascot Johnny deliver a gift pack. Think of this as a classier version of the giant gorilla candygram.

If you want to order, get Abby Naas on the horn at (260) 482-6400 or e-mail her. She already has at least four deliveries booked, so get ahold of her soon. Operators are standing by.

Meanwhile, I’ll be assembling a team of sled dogs to prepare for the Snowpocalypse. That’s weird… another example of dogs being better than cats.

Random thoughts:

  • Coming soon to A short franchise history. We’ll see how this turns out.
  • Ask BA says this year’s draft is especially deep and the South Atlantic League will be loaded to open the season.
  • Peter Gammons says former MWLer Neftali Feliz could be more valuable as a starter than as a closer. He’s right, but the Rangers just traded Frank Francisco, so it seems less likely they’ll make the switch this year.
  • did an interview with Brandon Belt, who went bonkers in the Giants’ minor league system last year.
  • Here’s a Top 10 prospects list for the Rockies. If you’re into that sort of thing.
  • Believe it or not, Freddy Garcia might not be bad as the Yankees’ fifth starter. The issue for him, as always, is staying healthy. He made 28 starts last year for the White Sox. Still, that rotation is the baseball equivalent of the “exhaust-pipe-strapped-to-the-bottom-of-the-car-by-a-clothes-hanger” method of auto maintenance.
  • The Reds made the playoffs with a young, exciting team and still finished 20th in baseball in attendance last year? At one of the best parks in the league? Reds fans are this close to losing their “great fan base” title.
  • I went to Ada, Ohio, several times to broadcast games in college and never knew the footballs for the Super Bowl are made there.
  • Between Super Bowl Media Day, college football signing day and Death by Snow 2011, I can’t think of three more “ehh”-worthy events happening almost simultaneously.
  • Spring training games start later this month. And there’s nothing “ehh” about that.

Musical guest… R.E.M.!

Stay safe out there!


Snow-mageddon 20-o-11

I don’t mean to alarm anybody, but The Weather Channel reported this morning that this snowstorm headed our way will be, and I quote, “Armageddon.”

So, you know… Just start panicking. And hope a cavalcade of stars led by Bruce Willis can think of a way to save us before it’s too late.

Random thoughts:

  • TinCaps in Winter Ball update: Edinson Rincon is 0-for-3 with 2 strikeouts in the Dominican Winter League… “The Big Dog” Hayden Beard is 0-1 with a 3.12 ERA in the Australian League.
  • One of the San Diego papers talked to the prospects acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez trade.
  • The 2011 Midwest League All-Star Game logo is out, says legendary author Ben Hill.
  • Fort Wayne alum RHP LaTroy Hawkins says he feels good as he rehabs from shoulder surgery.
  • In other buzzcut news, Bob Uecker feels good too. About several things.
  • As expected, the Royals are moving one of their top hitting prospects from catcher to the outfield.
  • The Braves’ pitchers start voluntary throwing sessions today. Oh baby. Baseball’s almost here.
  • The latest addition to the “Who Wants to be the Rangers’ Fifth Starter?” competition is Dave Bush.
  • Former Ranger Vladimir Guerrero has talked with the Orioles. Baltimore signed RHP Justin Duchscherer, who the Yankees were looking at.
  • The Yankees HAVE to be working on a trade for a starting pitcher, don’t they? Maybe Ivan Nova can make the jump to the big leagues, but Sergio Mitre and Big Fat Bartolo Colon would just freak me out as No. 5 starters.
  • Twins pitcher Brian Duensing had a terrifying day this off-season.
  • GMs are getting active away from the office this off-season… Yankees GM Brian Cashman has dressed like an elf and rappelled off the side of a building for charity, then bartended for charity. Astros GM Ed Wade ran a marathon. He’s 55 years old!
  • A retired pitcher is working at a fish market. And he loves it.
  • Last week we read about a book that claims umpiring is different depending on the venue. Another viewpoint says not so fast.
  • The Sunday Night Football crew proves that sometimes, even when there’s a mic in front of you, it’s best if you just shut up for a while.
  • To kill time while sick this weekend I decided to start cooking things. In a two-hour period I made blueberry pancakes (incredibly good), banana nut muffins (ehh) and lasagna (solid). I’m anxiously awaiting an invitation to try out as a celebrity cook in Scott Kammerer‘s kitchen.
  • Dave Hutte Status Update: “It’s nice to wake up to your tax refund being in your checking account.”

Musical guest… Donavon Frankenreiter and John Oates!

Take care!