Game 1 Thoughts and Recap (Postponed)

Towson TigersWith the Tigers first games of the season taking place in New Mexico, you would think rainouts would be the least of concerns. Mother Nature scoffs at your preconceived notions.

That’s not all bad, since we’ll hopefully get a doubleheader tomorrow. Plus, the Towson folks on Twitter were kind enough to post tonight’s intended lineup, so here’s my a chance to do a little homework. With the power of the internet, and Towson’s media guide, let’s see what we can learn about the nine (sorry, ten, I forgot college baseball uses the DH) who start the season atop the depth chart.

Mark Grunberg, CF – Nice profile for a lead-off guy, last year he hit .273 with a .389 OBP. One thing that caught my eye on his stat line was a perfect fielding percentage; it turns out defense might be his thing, as in 2008 he made the Sportscenter Top Ten with a diving catch in the Little League World Series!

Richie Palacios, SS – If you are watching Towson baseball this year, this is probably the guy you’re watching. I’ll refer you back to my season intro for more info. I just discovered that he played in the Northwoods summer league in 2016; in 16 games (71 at bats) he hit .366 and walked 8 times to only 5 strikeouts. I don’t know anything about the level of competition in the Northwoods league, but it’s more evidence that Palacios can rake. I also found this interview from the Northwoods playoffs that year and his cliche game is strong, too (and bonus points for his unnamed teammate attempting to steal the show in the background).

Colin Gimblet, LF – Can’t find much about Gimblet, he’s been pretty consistent in his three years at Towson and is another high OBP guy at the top of the lineup. Not much pop (.263/.345/.365), but he seems like a nice kid on Twitter and, for some reason, his name makes me think of Riblet.

Richard Miller, 3B – Much like Gimblet, Miller looks like a guy who can get some hits and take some walks, but isn’t going to scare anyone (.272/.356/.389). He is a year younger, so maybe he’ll grow into something more. Interestingly, his Twitter profile pic shows him pitching.

Trey Martinez, C – I hope he calls a good game, because by the stats the bat is rather lacking. His favorite player is Yadier Molina, so I’m not going talk about him any more.

Charlie Watters, 1B – Watters is new to the Towson program this year, transferring from Stetson University. He’s huge, 6′ 6″, 240 lbs, and his younger brother also transferred to Towson this year after redshirting at Stetson last year. Their dad played for the Buffalo Bills.

Craig Alleyne, DH – Another newcomer, Alleyne had a decent year as a JUCO player at Rowan Gloucester College in 2017 (.284/.349/.446). I can’t really find anything else, so we’ll see if there’s anything here.

Bo Plagge, RF – A freshman in 2017, Plagge appeared in 18 games (12 starts) as a position player, plus 13 games as a pitcher, including 1 start. I’m guessing it’s the bat that will to carry him forward though – in limited appearances he led the Tigers in slugging (overall .333/.412/.511 in 45 at bats), after a prolific high school career, hitting .567 as a senior and .527 average overall. I might add him to the list of guys I’ll watch more closely.

Dirk Masters, 2B – Dirk Masters is the great American hero, always being called back for “one last job”. The former Special Forces agent turned super spy is…wait, apparently there’s a video game character named Dirk Masters. Probably an ’80’s teen movie villain, too. Our Dirk Masters is a redshirt Freshman who got only 15 at bats last year before having his season cut short due to injury, so this is another “we’ll see” situation. I did find this video of him in a batting cage from a couple of years ago. The mechanics are all over the place, so I might be crazy, but I feel like I see some decent bat speed.

Starter: Michael Adams – As I wrote yesterday, he’s a big right-hander who looks to lead Towson’s staff this year. He was a 2nd team JUCO All American in 2016, so maybe there’s some talent. Here’s some footage of him pitching for Harford Community College that year.

I am #NotAScout, but that delivery that looks pretty violent and high-effort. On the plus side, it looks like he repeats it reasonably well, works quickly, and isn’t afraid to pitch inside. I have no idea how hard he throws yet (hopefully they’ll mention it during the game tomorrow), but it looks like a good fastball and I’m pretty sure I spotted a couple of decent curves, maybe a slider or two in there (again, #NotAScout). So, who knows – once again, we’ll see.

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Back to School (We’re Going Prospecting!)

Towson TigersIn a completely random turn of events, I’ve decided to follow Towson University baseball this year. It started on Twitter with a challenge from Tim Huwe of thezygote50.com. He suggested that, if you’re a baseball fan who likes following prospects, why not take it to the next level? Previous level? The college level.

Pick a team and follow it for a month or two, he said. Ok, I replied.

I picked Towson because it’s pretty close to where I live. I know next to nothing about it’s baseball program. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

  • Their mascot is the Tigers.
  • They had a guy drafted in the 13th round of the MLB draft last year and exactly one guy who seems like a good bet to be drafted this year (more on him in a bit).
  • They’ve had three players ever make the major leagues. I think I remember Casper Wells and Chris Nabholz. Al Rubeling I don’t remember, he played in the 40’s.
  • They have a new manager this year; the last guy managed for 30 years. Why the change? No clue. That’s a topic for another time (literally, I’m saving that for it’s own post).
  • Their stadium is named for John Schuerholz. I have no idea why, but it’s 424 feet to dead center, so I will definitely let you know if one goes out to that part of the park this year.
  • Whoever does their Twitter has some potential.

And that’s it. Well, that’s not entirely true. I know they open their season tomorrow at New Mexico State and I’m strangely excited.

Since the “official” reason I’m doing this is to watch for prospects, here’s who I’m going to pay the most attention to, at least until others give me reason to notice them.

Richie Palacios, SS – This is the guy who’s got a shot to get drafted. 2nd team All-American as a freshman, posted a nearly identical line the next year (though I haven’t found any similar accolades). In two years at Towson he’s started every game and hit .333 with 11 HR and 51 SB in 438 at bats. He’s walked more than he’s struck out and he’s only struck out 40 times. He also has good genes – his dad reached AAA with the Detroit Tigers organization, his uncle played in the majors for Kansas City, and his brother currently plays at Auburn. Theo, Jed, if you’re reading (and I know you are), feel free to grab this guy on day two of the draft.

Michael Adams, SP – Looks like he’s the Tigers Friday night starter. He hasn’t put up great numbers, but he’s 6′ 5″ 220 lbs, so he’s bigger than average. He made a team in the Cape Cod League through a tryout and pitched a couple of games there. All I know about the Cape Cod league is that it’s a league and they use wooden bats, but I’ve heard people say, “He pitched well in the Cape Cod league,” like it was a good thing, so I guess that’s a good thing.

Alex Cuas, SP – Coincidentally, I just realized these three guys are the team captains this year. They were nominated by their teammates, weren’t allowed to turn down the nomination, and then had to give a speech about why they would be good captains. College baseball is weirder than I thought. In any case, I’d already decided to pay attention to Cuas, because, almost impossibly, he walked 35 and struck out 22 in 37.2 innings last year. I’m not going to bag on the guy, he was injured pretty much all of 2016 and there must be some reason they kept running him out there, but that line is just…wow. He’s another guy with some talent in the family, as his brother Jose is a 1B in the Brewers system. I just looked at his stats. Wow (that’s not good) seems to run in the family.

There are a couple of guys on New Mexico State who also merit a mention (maybe more than any of the Towson guys, but I’m not following New Mexico State, so a mention is all they get here). Mason Fishback is an All-Conferance (WAC) catcher with a good bat and an easy to remember name. Kyle Bradish, NMSU’s opening night starter, is a right hander who’s put up good numbers and, at 6′ 4″, has good size. If they impress this weekend, I’ll talk more about them.

We’ll see how this goes. I don’t expect anyone to read this, but I’m going to post my observations so they will be easy to share. The game starts tonight at 8:05 and (I think) you can watch it online here.

Geaux Tigers! Wait, this is Towson, not LSU. Go Tigers, hon!

 

 

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Next Year Is Here

Cubs W hanging outside of my cubicleI just don’t even.

This is going to be filled with insightful writing such as that, because last night the Cubs won the World Series and my brain is still not working. So I’m just going to dump all of the W related things here. The next coherent thought I have will be the first one I’ve ever had with the Cubs as the reigning Major League Baseball champions. EVERYTHING I DO, SEE, SAY, OR EXPERIENCE, FROM HERE ON OUT, IS THE FIRST WITH THE CUBS AS THE REIGNING MAJOR (MUTHERBLEEPIN’) LEAGUE BASEBALL (MUTHERBLEEPIN’) CHAMPIONS.

Continue reading

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Dramatic Conclusions, or Future Days of Cubs’ Past

The question hit me on the way to work this morning: what is the single most dramatic way the Cubs’ season could end in 2016? Fans are more geared up for this year’s team than any I can remember, but far too many of us seem to expect a beginning-to-end coronation. Beware that kind of hubris; the finger of fate is fickle and it has the baseball gods on speed dial. Continue reading

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Spambots Say the Craziest Things, February 22, 2016

(As a new filler feature I’m going to share the best emails captured in my spam filter. All posts will be cut and pasted exactly as I received them. It should be assumed that all of these were written by something not human; I prefer to believe they are spambots, not some strange denizen of the realms of Cthulhu.)
Continue reading

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Spambots Say the Craziest Things, January 20, 2016

(As a new filler feature I’m going to share the best emails captured in my spam filter. All posts will be cut and pasted exactly as I received them. It should be assumed that all of these were written by something not human; I prefer to believe they are spambots, not some strange denizen of the realms of Cthulhu.)

The spam box can be a strange, surreal place, no more so than today. There are several entries that stand out and I can’t decide which one to feature, so I’m showing all of them. It’s a smorgasbord of spam, a spamorgasbord if you will. Continue reading

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Spambots Say the Craziest Things, January 7, 2016

Spam

Spam spam spam spam…

As a new filler feature I’m going to share the best emails captured in my spam filter. All posts will be cut and pasted exactly as I received them (possibly with some comments). It should be assumed that all of these were written by something not human; I prefer to believe they are spambots, not some strange denizen of the realms of Cthulhu.

Our first entry has a strange amount of football knowledge for a bot. Continue reading

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Nailed It (Welcome back, Coach)

I was a bit behind the curve, but I finally read the news this morning that Sean Payton would, indeed, return to coach the Saints next season (and hopefully for many more). So I did what any self-hatingrespecting blogger would do – pat myself on the back.

Or a high five.

As I wrote the other day: Continue reading

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Saints Season Retrospective, part 1

You say you want a resolution, well, you know...

You say you want a resolution, well, you know…

This is the first thing I’ve posted (heck, written) in months, but I’m just going to jump right in. This is no resolution to post more – the resolution lifestyle doesn’t jive with me – but, I don’t want the burden of “restarting” to keep me from, well, restarting. So, feet first…

This will be Part 1 of my Saints 2015 season review, which ended yesterday with a satisfying walk-off victory over the Falcons. I plan to look back at each game of the season, as well as some memorable (or not) moments, and will absolutely indulge in some healthy woulda-coulda-shoulda. But, to start off, I’m going to ask a few questions about the upcoming off-season. Continue reading

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MERRY #KRISMAS!!!

I think all of the excitement is going to my head.

Wonder Twin Powers  Activate!

I’m so, so very sorry.

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