Results tagged ‘ umpires ’

A mishmash of dorks

Some folks might wonder what it’s like to work in the luxurious front office compound of Parkview Field, sharing the same space as celebrities like the Bad Apple Dancers. Well, I’ll tell you two anecdotes from yesterday and let you come up with your own description.

1. At our weekly staff meeting, I brought a pack of 1991 WCW trading cards to show off the kind of bonus swag you get when you buy t-shirts from a good Columbus-based business called Homage. At least three people saw Chris Watson checking the cards out from across the room before the meeting started. Once the meeting ended, I thought I was going to be stampeded in the hallway by people demanding to see the cards. Pro wrestling trading cards. From 1991. It was like I was the first person on my block to buy a Game Boy and everyone was coming over “just to look at it,” inevitably playing Tetris for three hours.

2. Yesterday afternoon I went down to the main office and Brent Harring said he had a present for me. Already owning WCW trading cards, I thought I had it all, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Brent reached into a bag and handed me… a loaf of bread. But not just any loaf of bread. It was Aunt Millie’s thick-sliced brown sugar/cinnamon swirl. Brent, a bread connoisseur, knows I am an aspiring culinary expert and thought I should try it next time I make French Freedom toast. In fact, the bread label says “Great for French Freedom toast” right on it. I’ll have a full report next week to confirm or deny that claim, but for now, the moral of the story is this: A TinCaps co-worker bought me bread as a gift. And I’m pretty excited about it.

Random thoughts:

  • Fort Wayne alum OF Will Venable homered and the Padres beat the Rockies yesterday in a Spring Training game. Former TinCaps pitchers Matt Lollis, Colt Hynes and Brad Brach pitched an inning each. Lollis was the only one of the three to allow a run and it was unearned. And former TinCaps C Jason Hagerty singled in his only at-bat against a guy who had been at Triple-A the last two years.
  • It was a San Diego love-fest when Padres RHP (and San Diego native) Aaron Harang started that game and his catcher was also from San Diego.
  • Former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes now works for the Padres as a senior VP of baseball operations.
  • Fort Wayne alum C A.J. Pierzynski got a speeding ticket… while in uniform, driving to a Spring Training game. Funniest part: his teammates wanted to take up a collection to pay to see him get tazed.
  • Baseball America has the list of how much money each team spent on international signings in 2010. The Padres are 10th at $2.75 million.
  • That $2.75 million could buy you 343,750 of these hot dogs: A one-pound dog with your choice of 40 toppings. Or you could just buy one and spend the rest on a good heart surgeon.
  • That hot dog is being called “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” That’s utterly ridiculous; everybody knows Andre the Giant will forever hold that title.
  • At least one writer won’t be writing ignorant things about umpires anymore. If there were two baseball-related things I could tell every fan, it would be (1) how the minor league-major league affiliation works and (2) how difficult umpiring is, especially in the minors.
  • A hard-throwing Mariners prospect (and former MWLer) looked good.
  • Former MWLer Neftali Feliz is going to start a game today. He was the Rangers’ closer last year but was a starter in the minors.
  • The Cubs are fighting each other in the dugout during a Spring Training game and Carlos Zambrano isn’t involved? Ladies and gentlemen, your Chicago Cubs!
  • Yesterday I linked to a Peter Gammons story about one of the secretly most important people in baseball who passed away recently. Jayson Stark wrote something about him, too.
  • Gammons rounds up the AL East. Interesting points: Manny Ramirez is in good shape, Yankees LHP prospect Manny Banuelos is good and Red Sox LHP Andrew Miller is looking like he might be figuring things out.
  • Philles OF prospect Domonic Brown is all kinds of messed up at the plate.
  • Alex Rodriguez and now Mark Teixeira have fired Scott Boras lately. Robinson Cano hired him. Somehow I think Boras will still be able to afford mac and cheese for dinner tonight.
  • At this point, I think it would be best to only alert the media when Joel Zumaya is healthy. Because it seems like he’s hurt a lot more than he’s healthy.
  • One of the Braves’ young pitchers threw gas.
  • Some run the bases more aggressively, even if it doesn’t mean stealing more bases.
  • Now here are some March Madness seeding travesties we can really get into… In a video-game bracket, NBA Street is an eight-seed while Tecmo Super NBA Basketball is a seven-seed in the same region? Ridiculous.

Musical guest… Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears!

Take care!

DW

Just an observation

Last night I watched some of the MLB Network “30 Clubs in 30 Days” on the Rockies. The one thing that stood out to me was from a “wired for sound” clip of RHP Huston Street.

While doing whatever pitchers do when stretching at Spring Training, Street said something to the effect of, “All of last year, there were probably only one or two times when an umpire missed a [ball/strike] call. I’d think for sure they’d missed one, but I’d watch tape after the game and I was wrong; they were right.”

This is important for a couple of reasons: Most people who wear a professional baseball uniform sincerely believe they are always right, even when there’s substantial evidence to the contrary. Street, in particular, is from Texas, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Texan admit he or she is wrong. So this is truly groundbreaking stuff.

Secondly, Huston Street threw 714 pitches last year. SEVEN HUNDRED FOURTEEN. And of those 714 pitches, he says the umpires missed one or two calls. Obviously this is an obscenely small sample size, but the point is that umpires are pretty darn good at their jobs. Would replay help them get even more calls right? Sure, but it’s tough to implement until it can be collectively bargained.

Until then, I think we can preemptively cut umpires some slack and let them do their jobs. Deal?

Random thoughts:

  • Lots of Fort Wayne alums saw the field yesterday in the Padres-Royals game. Mat Latos struggled with his command and Simon Castro gave up a couple of doubles, but Anthony Bass pitched a scoreless inning. The middle of the Padres’ order did well.
  • Fort Wayne alum RHP Jake Peavy threw a 40-pitch bullpen session with some intensity and felt fine afterward.
  • Fort Wayne alum OF Michael Cuddyer will miss 1-2 more weeks after having a wart removed from his foot.
  • Not a whole lot notable about this week’s minor-league transactions, but here they are anyway.
  • The Cardinals’ pitchers are dropping like flies.
  • The Indians are planning to open the regular season without Grady Sizemore, but that could change.
  • Former Midwest Leaguer RHP Jacob Turner pitched in an MLB spring training game and looked good.
  • Brewers RHP Zack Greinke says he “doesn’t know why” he was a fan favorite in Kansas City and he hurt his ribs away from the field and it was “stupid.” This guy has unwittingly become one of the best interviews in baseball by simply being honest.
  • One of the secretly-most-important (and nice) people in baseball passed away, says Peter Gammons.
  • Every athlete claims he just ignores everything and tries to keep focused on playing the game, but with Josh Hamilton you get the feeling it’s actually true thanks to some of the things that have happened with him.
  • Rich Eisen running the 40-yard dash is my favorite thing a sports TV host does all year. Because anyone who calls himself “an icon” immediately after running a 6.18-second 40-yard dash is OK with me. I’d like to think I run the fastest 40 of any radio guy in the Midwest League (if not all of baseball) and I’ll prove it anytime, anywhere.
  • HUGE rec-league volleyball tournament tonight. Our team (soon to be known as the Malibu Sands Beach Club) may just be peaking at the right time.

Musical guest… Van Halen!

Take care!

DW

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