Results tagged ‘ wisconsin buzzcuts ’

The TinCaps Report: 8/11

Easily the most enthusiastic guest in podcast history, TinCaps ticket sales manager Brent Harring shares his thoughts on his homeland of Wisconsin, the MLB playoff races and the his swanky condo in downtown Fort Wayne.

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Larry Larson: Professional human being

I don’t get very serious on here very often, mostly because sports are supposed to be an escape from all the serious stuff we run up against every day. But, fresh off a delicious breakfast with my parents, I feel like I’m in the proper mindset and felt compelled to write because this is important.

We value people who are great athletes or musicians or accountants or whatever. But way more important than any of those things (and sometimes the toughest thing to be) is being a great human being. Larry Larson is that, times about a million. He’s maybe the best person I’ve ever met.

Here’s a story for you: It was November 2005. I worked part-time at WTVN radio in Columbus, Ohio. I worked the midnight-5 a.m. shift anchoring newscasts on weekends.

So here I was at 5 a.m. on a Saturday morning, running on fumes because, well, I was a 21-year-old college student, it was 5 a.m. and I hadn’t napped properly the night before. It happened to be the day of the Ohio State-Michigan game. Ohio State was good, Michigan was (believe it or not) still good, relatively speaking. It was “The Game.” But, hey… I was still tired. And ready to go home. As I was sleepwalking around the station getting ready for my last newscast of the shift, this goofy old guy named Larry Larson came rolling into the newsroom like a tornado wearing Chuck Taylors, no socks, cargo shorts and a T-shirt from 1975. He was wired and ready to go for his morning sportscasts. We were already homeboys by that point, but I still got a kick out of him like everyone else did. The girl who was coming in to relieve me saw Larry and asked him, “Hey, Larry! Are you excited for today or what?” Then something happened that I’ll never forget:

Larry Larson raised his arms as if he was an Olympic champion, did some sort of leg shimmy (which drives the women in Columbus crazy) and said, “Shannon, when you’re 61 years old like I am, you’re excited about every damn day there is.”

That’s Larry: He’s enthusiastic, he loves sports, but more important than that, he loves people. He’s a retired a high-school teacher and football coach, a former marathoner and now he’s a retired radio broadcaster. He’s leaving Columbus and moving to California where a lot of his family now lives. He misses his wife/best friend, who passed away a few years back, and from the conversations we had within the last year, he just wanted to go somewhere new. He’s earned every bit of it. In addition to his teaching, coaching and radio careers, he toured Central Ohio with some of the best athletes in the area, speaking to kids about the value of character and hard work. If you were ever lucky enough to come into contact with him, you probably came away energized by how positive he is.

The moral of this story is this: We all love sports (sometimes to a fault) and we all get too caught up in career/politics/whatever else bogs us down, but the most important thing is the people around us, our family and friends. Larry gets that and makes everybody feel valuable. If everyone (myself included) could become half the human being Larry Larson is, we’ll be doing pretty well.

Columbus will be a poorer place for losing him. California, you’ve been warned: Get ready for bow ties, Chuck Taylors and the most energetic senior citizen you’ve ever seen.

And that’s my ode to Larry Larson, one of the best people I’ve ever met.

Random thoughts:

  • Aside from the cold, wind and rain, it was a pretty good night on the field for the TinCaps. RHP Keyvius Sampson looked good. Rarely needed anything other than his fastball as he struck out ten over six perfect innings. I had him down for 87 pitches, which is over his limit, but they were not high-stress pitches. OF Donavan Tate’s base hit was a liner over the second baseman’s head, which is a good sign.
  • Troy Tulowitzki has Beiber fever. He’s on fire since switching his walk-up music from Katy Perry to “Baby.”
  • Tony LaRussa heard enough from St. Louis reporters with the Cardinals struggling out of the gate. So he walked out on a news conference.
  • An Orioles prospect may not be in the minors for long.
  • Giants closer Brian Wilson now has a Noah-esque staff to go with his flowing beard. You know, just in case he needs to part the Red Sea.
  • One notable non-Buzzcut on the Wisconsin basketball team is now a buzzcut. And there’s video to prove it.

I’m a little short today because, well… It’s the season.

Musical guest… A Larry Larson favorite, Warren Zevon!

Take care!

DW

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!

DW

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