Results tagged ‘ shawn wooten ’
Manager Shawn Wooten speaks on Connor Powers, Rymer Liriano, being locked in restrooms and his inclusion as a character in a best-selling book.
Manager Shawn Wooten discusses the defensive progress of Chris Bisson and Emmanuel Quiles and getting mooned in New York.
Manager Shawn Wooten talks birthdays, comebacks and the early days of Cory Spangenberg, then the TinCaps outpitch Quad Cities, 2-1.
Benches-clearing incidents? He’s been in them. Triple-A baseball? He knows about it. TinCaps manager Shawn Wooten discusses both topics and more, then Fort Wayne drills Great Lakes to win a series on the road.
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!
Manager Shawn Wooten tells about being drafted, plus the TinCaps rip Wisconsin, 11-5.
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,
frenchfreedom 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?
TinCaps skipper Shawn Wooten recounts his experience attending WrestleMania II and Fort Wayne plays a Sunday matinee at West Michigan.
The TinCaps aren’t hitting. Again. And that’s all I have to say about that.
- Somebody asked me the question over the off-season and last week I got the answer: How many pitches do minor-league coaches/managers throw during batting practice? About 31 pitches per hitter per day. Manager Shawn Wooten threw 124 pitches to a four-man group and pitching coach Willie Blair threw 101 to a three-man group. If you think that’s easy, try throwing at a target 40 feet away, 124 times in a row without much of a break. If your arm is still attached, you’ll be missing the target by a foot and gasping for air by the time you’re done. I may turn this into an article for the gameday playbill.
- Former Fort Wayne RHP Brandon Gomes made his MLB debut for Tampa Bay. He’s the 97th alum to make it to The Show.
- Fort Wayne alum RHP Jake Peavy will make his White Sox debut tomorrow.
- On the Baseball America Hot Sheet, Jedd Gyorko is hot, Simon Castro is not and you can’t stop Sean Burroughs, you can only hope to contain him. Most of that sounds made up.
- Legendary author Ben Hill tells us the San Antonio Missions, chock full o’former TinCaps, put up some crazy numbers in April. Crazy good, that is.
- Padres RHP Aaron Harang actually got to spend Mother’s Day with his mom. That makes one of us.
- If it were after 2 a.m. and it meant doing my part to end the game, I’d put on a wrestling mask too. Well, truth be told, I’d probably put on a wrestling mask regardless of the situation.
- I know I’m not always on top of my game, but sometimes I just have to shake my head.
- No Gus Johnson with CBS Sports anymore? Underdog teams everywhere are frowning. Except teams that will play on the Big Ten Network.
- Former TinCaps video guy Allan Wertheimer is coming back to Fort Wayne for the weekend. Mothers, hide your free food!
Musical guest… Huey Lewis and The News!
Manager Shawn Wooten explains why so many catchers become managers, plus a recap of the TinCaps-Dragons game from Thursday.