Results tagged ‘ oliver perez ’

The greatest idea in food history

pizza-cookies.jpgIf you know anything about anything, you know pizza is always good. You should also know that chocolate-chip cookies are my junk food of choice (in moderation, of course – this chiseled physique doesn’t just happen on its own). So you can imagine my excitement when I heard DiGiorno, fresh off the “pizza/breadsticks in one box” revolution, was branching out with its best idea ever: Cookies and pizza, baked in your own oven at the same time. It’s so brilliant, I can’t believe nobody thought of it before now.

Well, consider this idea a complete success. I was more than a little skeptical that the cookies would go from cubes of dough to round cookies, but they did. And they’re outstanding. And the pizza was good, as usual.

So just add this to the list of things I would include in my book, “Good, affordable food any single idiot can make with nothing but a normal kitchen and a Foreman Grill.” But that’s more of a working title… Nothing set in stone.

Full disclosure: KRAFT/DiGiorno Pizza is a sponsor of the TinCaps, so you could make a strong case that this is just a not-so-subtle sales pitch. Guess what… it’s not. I really did eat the food and I really did like it. A lot.

In other food news, I ate French Freedom toast at restaurant this weekend. And it wasn’t as good as the kind I made from “Chef to the Stars” Scott Kammerer‘s recipe. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: if you’re not putting orange zest in your batter, you’re not only cheating yourself, you’re cheating everyone who’s eating that toast. Everyone deserves orange zest. Also, it’s nice to be able to say you can cook food at home that tastes better than what you’d get at a restaurant.

Random thoughts:

  • It has not been a good weekend for guys who used to pitch in Fort Wayne. Just when they thought RHP Jake Peavy would be good to go for the White Sox when the season starts, he had shoulder soreness bite him. Maybe it’s nothing serious, but when your goal is to be full-go by Opening Day and it’s in jeopardy, it stinks. And it looks like manager Ozzie Guillen doesn’t trust Peavy’s injury judgment anymore.
  • The Mets released LHP Oliver Perez, another Fort Wayne alum. That happened right after they dumped 2B Luis Castillo, with a combined $18 million left on their contracts. That’s a lot of money to pay people to NOT play baseball. But I suppose the new regime (including some former Padres employees) needed to change the guard at some point.
  • In the Padres’ game against the Mariners yesterday, former TinCaps OFs Daniel Robertson and Everett Williams got some playing time. Robertson is one of my favorites: Late-round draft pick, smaller guy, hustles his tail off, good guy. Not as many minor-leaguers are getting into the big-league spring training games anymore, mostly because minor-league camp is underway and the big leaguers are stretching themselves out to play more innings.
  • Positive things in this notebook about former Fort Wayne OF Will Venable, along with RHP Aaron Harang. Also, LHP Joe Thatcher will start the year on the DL, but it doesn’t look horrible.
  • The Padres picked up former Twins RHP Pat Neshek. He throws completely sidearm and may be the only MLB player who is also an autograph collector.
  • Heath Bell (still) wants to stay in San Diego. He wants a three-year deal, according to the story.
  • Padres prospect RHP Casey Kelly threw four scoreless innings in his debut in minor-league camp.
  • Midwest League alum Brett Lawrie has impressed at Blue Jays camp. Just keep him in Triple-A through mid-July so we can see him at Parkview Field, am I right?
  • The Dodgers like former MWLer Rubby De La Rosa a lot. He throws hard.
  • Every year, there are a slew of players who are “out of options,” meaning they either make the major-league team out of Spring Training or get released (as opposed to getting sent to the minors). As Baseball America has found, last year’s crop of “out of options” guys didn’t do much.
  • Twins 1B Justin Morneau is wearing a helmet that can withstand a 100-mph fastball. Makes sense, right? Well, the vast majority of MLB players wear helmets that only protect against pitches up to 70 mph. Unbelievable.
  • One of the legitimately important decisions from this spring centers on MWL alum Neftali Feliz. While the statistical viewpoint is that starters are far more valuable than closers, that doesn’t mean a good closer is easy to find. Rangers president Nolan Ryan has figured out a perfectly reasonable solution: Clone Feliz. Think of all the possibilities, Norm!
  • Rays manager and fashion mogul Joe Maddon has changed his signature glasses.
  • Just about the only pitchers in the world who aren’t on pitch counts are batting practice pitchers. Seriously interesting article about the art of pitching BP.
  • The basketball Buckeyes looked pretty good yesterday. On a Fort Wayne-related note, I can’t get enough of Luers alum DeShaun Thomas jacking up three-pointers with Ohio State up by 18. He knows he’s too good of a player to be getting just 14 minutes a game, but darnit, he’s going to make it rain for those 14 minutes.
  • Today when I logged into the MLBlogs system, I noticed The Watson Files was one of the featured blogs along with
    several far-more-reputable prospect blogs. I can only imagine the disappointment from people clicking here for the first time hoping for in-depth analysis of which prospects to draft late in their fantasy leagues… the first thing they saw was an ode to pizza and cookies in the same box. Sorry, folks. If nothing else, you can still enjoy the music video.

Musical guest… Charles Wright!

Take care!

DW

How thaw-tful

It’s warm again today. Almost 50 degrees. Which is the exact number of days until opening day at Parkview Field. What a coincidence!

Random thoughts:

  • Fort Wayne alum Wade LeBlanc is going for the fifth spot in the Padres’ rotation.
  • The Padres’ bullpen is different from last year, but still strong.
  • RHP Aaron Harang is trying to revive his career at Petco Park. It’s a prime spot to do it.
  • If A.J. Burnett doesn’t turn it around soon, it seems like he’ll be the Yankees’ version of Oliver Perez: Good stuff but no command and kind of crazy.
  • Fort Wayne alum 2B Matt Antonelli did an interview with FanGraphs, touching on his struggles, his injuries, his blog, moving to the Nationals organization and Buca di Beppo. He’s homeboys with former TinCaps strength guy Rick SantaBarbara. Literally. They grew up in the same neighborhood.
  • Oakland INF prospect Jeremy Barfield took a job driving a limo this off-season. He’s Fort Wayne alum Josh Barfield’s brother and former big-leaguer Jesse Barfield’s son.
  • Opinion: Albert Pujols is the best hitter in the game, but if he gets exactly what he wants in his next contract, it’ll hamstring the organization like Alex Rodriguez’s contract did to the Rangers. And it took a while for the Rangers to dig out of that hole.
  • Barry Bonds sure didn’t pick his entourage very well. Guilty or not, who tapes conversations about their friends?
  • Fort Wayne alum and now-legendary author Dirk Hayhurst puts his job as a baseball player in perspective and has the Ten Commandments for athletes on social media.
  • The winner of the Westminster Dog Show was something called a Scottish deerhound. Which means the black labs got hosed again.
  • The TinCaps are again competing in The Brain Game, which is a quiz bowl/fund raiser. I plan on doing exactly what Watson did last night on Jeopardy: Second round domination.
  • When I promise you something, I deliver (a few days later). Remember when I suggested that John Mayer looked like Jack White and Johnny Depp? Decide for yourself (click to expand):

depp-mayer-white.jpg

Told you.

Musical guest… Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears (again)!

Take care!

DW

It’s spring – deal with it

First of all, have some of this.

Secondly, have some of that:

http://www.facebook.com/v/855054701568

Thirdly, pitchers and catchers reported to spring training yesterday. The world feels like a better place because of it. That is all.

Random thoughts:

  • There’s a ton of new pitchers in Padres’ camp. Which is good. It’s the baseball equivalent of diversifying your stock portfolio… You never know who’s going to have an unexpected good or bad year, so it’s a good way to stabilize things.
  • Why do you need to diversify? In case of injuries. Like this one. Better to have it happen now than in July.
  • This article says Fort Wayne alum Mat Latos will have no innings limitations this year. Which isn’t exactly true; every pitcher in baseball has innings/pitch limitations, otherwise we’d go back to four-man starting rotations and Old Hoss Radbourne throwing complete games every time out. To be more precise, Mat’s pitch/innings limits will be the same as everybody else’s this year.
  • Fort Wayne alum Jake Peavy was part of a new medical procedure. His injury sounds pretty gross the way it’s described.
  • Fort Wayne alum Oliver Perez arrived at Mets camp. This is the second story that suggests that the Mets can’t stand him but stops short of actually saying it.
  • Local native Jarrod Parker is trying to hit the ground running as he recovers from Tommy John surgery at Diamondbacks camp.
  • Ask BA says this year’s draft class is pretty much head and shoulders above last year’s.
  • Several people (including Tony Kornheiser and Bobby Valentine) made this point yesterday: If the Cardinals came to Albert Pujols’ agent in May and gave him exactly what they wanted, do you think they’d turn the Cardinals down? Doubtful. Which makes this whole contract deadline buildup a little… lame.
  • Indians manager Manny Acta shares his lineup-making philosophy: Put the best hitters at the top so they get more at-bats. Makes sense to me.
  • Carlos Santana (the catcher) is good.
  • Marlins monster Mike Stanton put on eight pounds this off-season. “All fat,” he says.
  • Carlos Zambrano is making no promises when it comes to his behavior. All Gatorade machines in the Chicagoland area just shivered in terror.
  • Brian Wilson keeps the ball he threw to end the World Series in a candy jar and Giants fans are going to taunt Dodger fans. If these stories came from anywhere other than San Francisco, they would seem out of place.
  • A Japanese player joining an MLB team makes for a lot of work for the media relations staff. Just ask the Twins.
  • Here are six ways teams mess up in the off-season.
  • Tigers RHP Joel Zumaya is throwing again, which is kind of a miracle, and RHP Jacob Turner is really good. Turner was in the MWL last year and had command of his curveball, which you don’t usually see out of a guy that young who throws that hard.
  • There are some really good young players making league-minimum salary in the National League. And, to a lesser extent, in the American League.
  • Quote of the day from yesterday: “I think we haven’t thrown a single pitch as a group yet. So it’s kind of early to say we’re one of the best rotations in the history of the game.” – Cliff Lee
  • Cal-Berkeley’s baseball program is going to be cut and Title IX (referred to by non-Romans as Title 9) is being partly blamed. A controversial story, for sure.
  • Meanwhile, Cam Newton is taking a pay cut and signing on with Under Armour. Did I say that out loud?
  • This whole “computer playing Jeopardy” thing is bogging the show down. Yesterday they needed an entire half-hour to play what amounted to half a game because they were too busy advertising for IBM. We get it. It took a lot of work to make a computer that can do this. Sometimes it gives the wrong answer. Let’s watch it play.

Musical guest… Jeff Beck and B.B. King!

Take care!

DW

Under pressure

Here’s a hypothetical situation… Imagine it’s 2013. Jay Bruce hasn’t signed his huge contract, so he’s two years away from free agency and a huge payday. He’s one of the best young players in baseball. He’s going to play for Team USA in the upcoming 2013 World Baseball Classic. Usually the tournament is a fun international competition. But this year, Jay Bruce and seven other Americans HAVE to win. Why? Because if Team USA doesn’t win, those eight guys will be drafted into the United States military for two years of mandatory service. If they try to skip out of their service, they’ll face arrest or will have to leave the country, unable to return.

That would be a big story, wouldn’t it? Star athletes with two years of peak production (and millions of dollars) on the line. Win or else. So why wasn’t it a bigger story this off-season when Shin-Soo Choo went through almost the same situation?

Acceptable answers: (1) He plays in Cleveland and (2) he’s from South Korea.

Choo went bananas at the Asian Games (.571 with three homers and 11 RBIs), his South Korean team won the gold medal and Choo is now exempt from serving in the South Korean military. He says he was 50-50 on what he would have done if the Koreans hadn’t won: maybe he would have never gone back home, maybe he would have served. As a Cleveland fan, I’m glad he didn’t have to make the decision.

Lord knows we’ve had enough Decisions in the last year.

Anyway, while everybody was falling all over themselves to cover the Derek Jeter contract pout-fest, Shin-Soo Choo was the main character in a far more interesting story. He’s my choice for under-reported baseball story of the off-season.

Random thoughts:

  • Minor-league transactions from the past week were posted yesterday… Two TinCaps from the 2010 squad (RHP Jon Berger and OF Bo Davis) were released by the Padres. LHP Nathan Culp, who was Fort Wayne’s opening day starter in 2007, retired.
  • Also, the Rays signed RHP Juan Cruz to help their bullpen. He was dominant with Arizona in 2007 and ’08 but tanked the last two years with Kansas City. For a team that is trying to rebuild the bullpen, it’s a nice signing.
  • Another signing: The Padres picked up 35-year-old LHP Randy Flores on a minor-league deal. He was really good for Colorado last year (2-0, 2.96 ERA in 47G) but the wheels fell off late, the Rockies waived him, then he stunk it up for the Twins. He’s the definition of a situational lefty and the Padres already have ISU Sycamore Joe Thatcher, so Flores will have to be really good this spring to make the big-league team.
  • Five spring training storylines for the Padres.
  • Highlights of the latest Padres chat from the SD Union-Tribune: Mat Latos will be treated like everybody else when it comes to innings this year, the Yankees may have interest in trading for Wade LeBlanc, Simon Castro and Casey Kelly could be in the MLB rotation by mid-season and Adrian Gonzalez accounted for 23.6 percent of the Padres’ runs produced (runs + RBIs minus HR) total last year.
  • Fort Wayne alum LHP Oliver Perez hasn’t gotten to Mets’ spring training yet, and the New York Post wants to rip him, but they don’t do it directly.
  • Who signed the worst free-agent contract in baseball history, according to the Orioles’ GM? Alex Rodriguez with the Rangers.
  • Here’s a decent Michael Young trade watch; he was almost sent to the Rockies and the Dodgers had interest, but that’s been about it. Supposedly.
  • Nine questions for the Cardinals entering spring training. I have a sixth: Will LaRussa let Colby Rasmus play every day? He played 144 games last year, but at least 15 of those he entered as a pinch hitter. Those two don’t seem to be getting along.
  • Saturday in LA, some of the best high-school players in the country will attend an MLB showcase. One of them is Wayne Gretzky’s son.
  • Headline from a Chicago paper: “Call me crazy, but it’s a Sox town now.” You’re crazy.
  • Somebody is going to take Ron Santo’s seat in the Cubs’ radio booth, but nobody knows who that is yet.
  • Stephen Strasburg threw for the first time since Tommy John surgery.
  • The Indians signed Orlando Cabrera to play second base. A slap-hitting infielder with a .303 OBP who has been on playoff teams a lot, but has rarely been brought back to those playoff teams. At least he can fill in at short and it’s only a one-year deal. This looks like insurance in case prospect 2B Jason Kipnis doesn’t work out.
  • Josh Hamilton says he hopes to be part of the Rangers’ organization long-term. The Rangers say they want him around long-term. So why did he only sign a two-year deal?
  • Yesterday I mentioned Ross Ohlendorf winning his arbitration case against the Pirates. Now, Jared Weaver lost his case with the Angels. The initial reaction is “that’s crazy,” but it’s not that crazy. They’re not really comparable cases.
  • Also recently, we wondered if the Year of the Pitcher was at least partially thanks to new bat-diameter rules. Turns out, it almost definitely wasn’t.
  • Former MWLer Mark Buehrle loves dogs, but he doesn’t love Michael Vick.
  • MiLB.com has a story about a white player who broke the color barrier in reverse.
  • Legendary author Ben Hill tells us about a minor-league team hosting a unique promotion: A human cannonballist will try to shoot himself over the outfield wall from home plate. The world-record di
    stance for non-American Gladiators human cannonball is 185 feet. According to this, the shortest porch at Lowell’s park is 301 feet (down the right-field line). If my calculations are correct, instead of a home run, this guy is going to be a screaming line drive to right. If I lived in the northeast, I’d be buying my tickets yesterday just to see how this turns out.
  • Here’s a website that looks like it has some staying power.
  • When I was sick last weekend, I went to the grocery store and I must have been in a fog because I bought a loaf of bread when I didn’t really need it. So to get rid of the extra bread, I’m going to try making French Freedom toast for the first time at some point this weekend. And you’d better believe I’m putting cinnamon into the mix. Because cinnamon takes a backseat to NO BABKA!

Musical guest… Queen!

Have a great weekend!

DW

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