Results tagged ‘ mumford & sons ’
After four days of frisbee golfing, watching Karate Kid II (on DVD, not cable), laying near swimming pools, cooking my own meals, laughing at people who asked me if I was going to the All-Star Game, wowing manager Shawn Wooten by running down fly balls during team workouts and general lounging, it’s back to my version of real life.
But hey… If every day was a vacation, at some point it would stop being a vacation, am I right?
In any case, the four-day break was a chance to assess lots of things. Like THE FIRST RANDOM THOUGHTS SESSION IN MONTHS!
- Last year, TinCaps OF Rymer Liriano was a really raw kid trying to hit a million home runs. This year, he’s a less-raw 19-year-old who’s much more under control, trying to hit line drives. He has changed his approach, upped his walk rate, cut his strikeout rate and stolen 31 bases in 50 games. If you watch an at-bat from last year (or even from his first few games with the TinCaps this year) followed by an at-bat from the past month, you’d never believe it’s the same guy. Incredible turnaround. He was one of the most frustrating guys to watch last year because it looked like he had this potential but wasn’t tapping into it. Now he’s the most fun guy to watch on the team. I’m on the bandwagon.
- Also, 3B Jake Blackwood can H-I-T. With James Darnell killing it at Double-A and Jedd Gyorko running wilder than Hulkamania on the California League, seems like third basemen all over the Padres’ system are due for promotions.
- LHP Mark Hardy really knows how to pitch. It’s just the team hasn’t scored runs while he’s pitching (2.1 runs/game in support; even less while he’s actually in the game). Last two starts: 13.2 innings, 7 hits, 3 runs (2ER), 2 BB, 15K… And an 0-2 record. They’ve scored exactly one run in those two games combined. I don’t know why, but this makes me angry for him.
- RHP Zach Cates pitched extraordinarily well in shutting out the Great Lakes Loons on the last day before the All-Star break. I mean, fastball in the mid-90s (topped out at 96 if I remember correctly and if you trust stadium radar guns), good hook. Best I’ve seen him this year. And it kept the Loons out of the playoffs, so there’s that.
- If you’d given me ten guesses as to who would be the 100th Fort Wayne alum to get to the major leagues, I wouldn’t have guessed Josh Spence. I suppose he hasn’t gotten into a game yet (and therefore isn’t #100 yet), but still.
- Legendary author Ben Hill visited Parkview Field (as you found out on the podcast). And he filed several expert reports. He did virtually everything, including dancing with the Bad Apple Dancers. Good times were had by all.
- I’m not at liberty to disclose anything more than this: The Bad Apple Dancers will have an array of special guests joining them for the remainder of the season. Stay tuned.
- During the team workout on Wednesday night, I decided to shag some fly balls (since most of the pitchers were allowed to leave during batting practice). It had been at least a year since I’d picked up a ball and probably more like three since I’d taken a fly ball. Actual quote from Shawn Wooten: “I’ll be honest… you’re fast!” I just felt like running.
- Belting out Mumford & Sons songs in the car on the way to work is becoming a daily thing, which may or may not be a good thing for my voice/on-air performance.
- There’s a black Lab in northeast Ohio who was placed on the 15-day DL with a toe infection today. Had to undergo surgery. Hopefully he’s the Chase Utley of injury rehabs.
- As of two days ago, former TinCaps video dude Allan Wertheimer is engaged. To be married. Which is neck and neck for “2011’s most shocking ‘yes’ answer to a marriage proposal,” in close competition with my homeboy Dave Hutte. (Honorable mention: South Bend Silver Hawks radio guy Owen Serey). The Wertheimer Effect is about to rain down on an entire family. God help us all. There will be an entire entry dedicated to Wertheimer-Whitmore Wedding Prop Bets soon, I promise.
Musical guest… One last little piece of relaxation before the second half starts… John Butler!
It’s OK if you’re skeptical of this story, because I would be too. But I promise it’s entirely true.
night while eating dinner at a downtown restaurant, I overheard a
conversation from the next table… Nondescript local guy said, “Bang
for your buck, you won’t get a better deal in town than the TinCaps.” He
went on to tell his whole table about watching a game from a concourse suite and how much fun it was.
apparently our CIA-style plan of placing undercover marketing staffers
in local restaurants to pass along not-so-subliminal word-of-mouth
publicity is working. Next time you go out with “a group of friends” and the new guy is singing praises about Parkview Field, you’ll know what’s up.
I’m kidding, of course… Or am I?
- Former TinCaps happenings from yesterday’s Padre game: RHP Mat Latos was wild again (but feels OK), LHP Colt Hynes pitched 1.1 scoreless frames in relief, RHP Matt Lollis gave up a couple of runs in his only inning. Also, RHP Heath Bell made his Spring Training debut and felt good.
- Backup catcher candidate Gregg Zaun is hanging ’em up.
- Former Fort Wayne 3B Chase Headley is working to get better. Best quote in the article comes when he’s asked about his critics: “I’m not concerned with outside opinions.” This is a rampant thing in sports coverage and it’s completely overblown: the “expectations” card. Any
competitor worth a darn has higher expectations for himself than anyone, so anyone else’s expectations are more or less irrelevant. If I ever write that story or ask an expectations-related question
during an interview, you have my permission to furiously send an e-mail
that says, “Dude, you’re not living up to my expectations!”
- Another story about Cameron Maybin (who is coming back from concussion symptoms after running into a pole during batting practice) and how the Padres’ leadoff hitters struggled last year. I can’t get over the .306 OBP… that’s bad.
- The Padres’ bullpen coach is fighting hard against pancreatic cancer.
- With the Padres’ potential new Triple-A ballpark in suburban San Diego in limbo, the ownership group is looking at its options, including selling.
- Former Fort Wayne RHP Jake Peavy’s recovery from his freak injury is profiled.
- Former Fort Wayne RHP Dirk Hayhurst is now with the Rays and had to assure them his writing career is harmless.
- Rockies OF (and Midwest League alum) Carlos Gonzalez hit the bejeesus out of a ball on Sunday. The article doesn’t say it directly, but it was a double.
- Another MWL alum, Dodgers INF Dee Gordon, won Baseball America‘s Winter Player of the Year award.
- The players’ union met with the World Umpires’ Union to hash some things out.
- Fighting amongst teammates isn’t as rare as we might think, and a lot of times the team ends up winning.
- Some prospects might be ready to contribute in the big leagues this year, including Indians 3B Lonnie Chisenhall and LHP Drew Pomeranz. Nationals OF Bryce Harper probably isn’t ready yet, but he made a nice play in the field.
- The Phillies have some injury issues with 2B Chase Utley and OF prospect Domonic Brown, who was struggling mechanically at the plate.
- Royals SS Alcides Escobar, a big piece of the Zack Greinke trade, can’t catch a break.
- I grew up listening to Cavaliers radio guy Joe Tait… he’s a character. I’m biased, but I think Ohio teams have some of the best radio people in the business with Tait, Tom Hamilton of the Indians, Marty Brennaman with the Reds (this episode notwithstanding) and Paul Keels with Ohio State.
- Another great one, Cubs radio guy Pat Hughes is going to be part of writing a book about Ron Santo.
- I don’t know if it makes the shows any better, but three pretty good bands touring via old-school railroad cars sounds like fun.
- This is what happens when baseball dorks get ahold of Photoshop.
- This is what happens when one of the best sports writers around wants to make a point.
- This is what happens when you invite the TinCaps to a throwback charity event and encourage costumes: old-school rappers. Like Kris Kross.
Musical guest… Old Crow Medicine Show!
If you’re in a place where you can listen to things on the internet this afternoon, listen to the Padres-Royals game. Former TinCaps RHP Mat Latos is supposed to throw two innings and Simon Castro is expected to pitch one inning. These guys were here in Fort Wayne less than two years ago.
- Indiana and Notre Dame will play soccer at Parkview Field again in 2011. Last year the game came down to penalty kicks. You can order tickets here.
- I’m not a huge soccer guy, but I liked the World Cup last year. Nick Greenwood is a big soccer guy and taught newbies like me what to watch for.
- Fort Wayne alum LHP Wade LeBlanc is looking to iron things out after an up-and-down season last year.
- Former TinCaps LHP Juan Oramas is back to playing catch after straining his shoulder.
- Fort Wayne alum 3B Chase Headley had a nice game from the right side of the plate, which is good early reinforcement after he spent time working on that this off-season.
- Baseball America has a follow-up piece to its Top 100
prospects list… A, inevitably, a lot of people ask how close Player X was
to making the cut. Former TinCaps OF Jaff Decker (and LHP Cory Luebke) got some love, but not nearly enough to crack the list.
- The Padres hope CF Cameron Maybin delivers on his big potential. So much so that two different people wrote about it.
- Here’s a stat-based Padres preview.
- Nationals megaprospect OF Bryce Harper is batting .000 with a 100% strikeout rate in Spring Training. What a waste of $10 million, right?
- Who yaps in a Spring Training game? Prince Fielder, that’s who. I’ve heard stories from when he was in rookie ball – apparently he yelled “Boom!” when he hit a ball hard. People had to tell him to stop, otherwise he would’ve led the universe in times hit by a pitch.
- Prospects for the Royals and Giants have hit well early in camp.
- A former MWLer is going to blog this season.
- A different former MWLer learned his unorthodox delivery by throwing tomahawks in his backyard. He also had a sweet mustache which got him some attention. Just when I thought this guy sounded like someone I would’ve gone to high school with, I found out he’s from Michigan. I was immediately furious with myself.
- Robb Quinlan after finding out his locker at Phillies’ camp was near those of Roy Oswalt, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels: “I imagine I’ll start the opener… I mean, who else in here would start?” He’s not even a pitcher, which makes this even funnier.
- This article comes at it from a fantasy baseball angle, but the point is, ERA isn’t always a great measure of a pitcher’s effectiveness.
- The new bat rules are already having an effect on college baseball.
- I think we all know pro baseball is better than pro basketball, but here’s more proof.
- I heard the other day that Mumford & Sons’ sales are up something like 175% since they performed on the Grammys. Color me unsurprised – they’re good.
- One day I’ll go to this. And this.
Musical guest… The Allman Brothers!
Today I went outside and the temperature was above freezing. It may as well have been 70 degrees. Also, spring training officially opens today. Today is a good day.
- There’s a bonanza of Padres links today… First up, Kyle Blanks has learned to eat. Well, he already knew how to eat, but you know what I mean.
- Brad Hawpe is using Todd Helton’s glove at first base. This kind of thing happens more often than you think.
- Manager Bud Black says (rightly) that the Padres are more balanced than they were last year.
- The obligatory “(Arbitrary number) questions as (team) opens Spring Training” story.
- Heath Bell may want to pull the Elaine Benes and force everyone in Padres camp to wear name tags. There’s that many new guys.
- Across the parking lot at Mariners’ camp, they’re figuring out who will be the closer while David Aardsma gets healthy. Which is important, as the Brewers proved last year when Trevor Hoffman struggled early.
- The White Sox might only need four starting pitchers early in the season, thanks to the way their schedule sets up. Which could ease the pressure on Fort Wayne alum RHP Jake Peavy to hurry back from injury.
- Former MWLer Mike Trout will start this year in Double-A, but he probably won’t get to the big leagues. That could change if he goes bananas, I bet.
- The Rockies are enjoying their new spring training park.
- What’s this? The Yankees focusing on drafting?
- Homer Bailey, Mike Leake and Travis Wood are three guys competing for two spots in the Reds’ rotation.
- Jim Edmonds is hobbling. Good thing the Cardinals only gave him a minor-league deal. Meanwhile, Albert doesn’t have a contract extension going into camp. So we can enjoy that story lingering all summer. Welcome to 2009-10 in Cleveland, Cardinals fans. In the Cardinals’ defense, I’d be pretty hesitant to give anybody a ten-year contract that runs through his age-41 season, too. But he’s one of the few guys who has “butts-in-seats” impact.
- Yep, the numbers back up that last year was the Year of the Pitcher.
- Josh Hamilton’s story has inspired a lot of people, including a Marlins prospect.
- Fact: DVR is the only way to watch awards shows.
- I don’t usually watch awards shows, but I couldn’t pass up the Mumford & Sons / Avett Brothers / Bob Dylan set on the Grammys. And I know I could be put to death for saying this, but if I had to rank the performances, it would go Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Dylan. And whoever ran the audio board for Mumford & Sons needs to get with the program. The banjo playing is what makes “The Cave” jump out of the stereo and it was almost inaudible on the show.
- Mick Jagger’s Blues Brothers set was good too.
- The awards part of the Grammys is as bad as ever. Fact: Lady Antebellum isn’t that good. Fact: Muse winning anything other than a 40-yard dash over Jeff Beck, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam and Neil Young is so utterly ridiculous that I don’t even know where to start.
- I’ll have to do the photo work tomorrow, but am I the only one who noticed that John Mayer, Johnny Depp and Jack White could be the same person?
FrenchFreedom toast experiment was a huge success. Cinnamon was good, but adding orange zest to the batter was like adding rocket fuel to a… rocket. I don’t know how I lived without it.
Musical guest… The Avett Brothers!