Saturday Notebook: Photobombs, The Sword Is Mightier Than The Pen, Forgotten Starts, and More

Hunter Martin

Today's Saturday Notebook looks at some excellent photobombing techniques by the Cincinnati Bearcats college baseball team; Reds manager Dusty Baker wanting his players to fight but swearing is not okay; the forgotten positions that some players used to play when they were younger, and more.

That same day that I posted my cutters article on the Twins pitching staff, P.J. Walters took the mound for the Twins. He was a rather uninteresting pitcher that joined the organization prior to last season, as he had an ERA in the 7s and was allowing nearly 2 home runs per 9 innings. His overall numbers last year for the Twins weren't really that great, but nevertheless his first 4 starts helped bring some stability to the tumultuous rotation and he did finish the season strong. Anyway, I was watching Thursday's game with Walters pitching and that's when I discovered this...

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Oops. I guess I totally ignored FanGraphs, PITCHf/x, and watching Walters on TV last season in identifying that he also threw a cutter. To further embarrass myself, MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger even wrote about Walters upon joining the team and said that Walters featured a cutter in his repertoire. Oh well, I guess it's better to learn than be oblivious forever.

  • I don't know about you, but except for rare occurrences, I'm not particularly interested by postgame interviews with players. They usually just give you the usual shtick, with the interviewer asking bland questions and the player giving blander answers. The University of Cincinnati Bearcats baseball team is aware of this and they have decided to employ superior photobombing techniques in order to get you to see more of these postgame interviews. Well, you really only need to watch them and not listen to them. Aaron Rodgers, your move.
  • It isn't hard to figure out Reds manager Dusty Baker. He loves his veterans. He also loves batting speedy, low-OBP guys at the top of the lineup. Finally, there's his tendencies of leaving his starting pitchers in for far too long. Thus, it was kind of odd to see him make these following comments, but first, let's start at the beginning. Last Sunday, Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto threw a pitch over Cubs center fielder David DeJesus' head. Although Cueto and DeJesus had a chuckle over the pitch (it seemed like the ball slipped out of Cueto's hand), both benches were warned that the next pitcher to throw at a hitter would be ejected immediately. Still, Cubs pitcher Matt Garza called Cueto "immature" for throwing at DeJesus. This led Baker to say that he wished Garza and Cueto could be locked in a room and let them settle their differences by fighting with each other. Then on Monday, Baker said that he was displeased with star Joey Votto after he had an outburst following a strikeout, stating that Votto should "temper it a little bit." Therefore, as Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk explained, Baker thinks fighting is good, but swearing is bad.
  • As a player's career winds down, we often forget how that player first got started. For example, did you know that Jim Thome broke into the major leagues as a 3rd baseman with the Indians? It's kind of hard to believe when the current incarnation of Thome is a hulking, slugging designated hitter. Chad Finn of Touching All The Bases takes a look at 17 players that started at a position you may have forgotten, and one of the players on the list is indeed Thome at 3rd. Who knows, 20 years from now we'll likely be saying that we forgot Miguel Sano was originally signed out of the Dominican Republic as a shortstop.
  • Finally, we wrap up with our rapid-fire GIFs and other things bit...
  1. Who is the most-picked-on player in the major leagues? Would it be someone small like Jamey Carroll? Perhaps someone that looks awkward as hell like Jeff "Eternal Derp" Karstens? Nope, according to BuzzFeed, it's Adrian Beltre. You see, he doesn't like having the top of his head touched... so naturally everyone does it anyway.
  2. You might remember that awesome catch Chris Parmelee made where he fell over the gate into the dugout a couple days ago. But did you know that Twins blogger Parker Hageman was seated near the play? Because not only did he make it onto BuzzFeed, but he also inspired this photo for all eternity (slight edit from the original on the BuzzFeed article).
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3. Finally, how bad was Vance Worley trying to get himself back on track? So much that he attempted to hide his pitches in a cloud of rosin.

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No dice, Vanimal.

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