Saturday, November 12, 2011

2011 NHIAA Division IV football final

Trinity 30, Plymouth 14: Trinity High of Manchester stayed unbeaten (11-0) by overpowering Plymouth Regional at sunny Gill Stadium today. The Pioneers won their first Division IV title after moving up from Division V last year. New Hampshire Union Leader story here and more Kevin Gray photos and video:
Trinity won its second title in three years.

YEOMEN'S WORK: Josh Hughes (42) and Ryan Carrier (44), who combined to rush for 180 yards and two TDs, were the last players to walk off the Gill Stadium field.
Josh Hughes was part of a Trinity running game that couldn't be stopped.

Romeo Masuku (32) made a tremendous interception in the third quarter, leading to Trinity's third touchdown. Assistant coach Bob Leonard, pictured, is saying, "He's the best. You can quote me."

Video: Carmen Giampetruzzi touchdown pass to Andrew Lauderdale.

Opening kickoff, press box view.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trystan Magnuson returns to Toronto

Caught up with Trystan Magnuson, recently reacquired by Toronto, and asked him about returning to the Blue Jays. Nothing earth shattering here, but it's still great to talk with Mags, who appeared in nine games for the A's in 2011. He is among 52 Fisher Cats grads who've reached the majors.

"I really appreciated the opportunity (Toronto) gave me in the past and I'm excited for this upcoming year. I have always improved year to year, so I am looking forward to continuing that trend this season ...  I learned a lot from my time in the big leagues last year and made some adjustments that produced good results like my outings against the Marlins and the Rangers. I'm working hard this offseason to continue those adjustments in order to win consistently at the big league level."

What specific adjustments did you make with Oakland? Delivery? Mechanics?

"Pitchers are always making adjustments," said Magnuson, who was traded for cash. "You have to be able to learn from outing to outing, even pitch to pitch, and make the corresponding adjustment. So, it's tough to pinpoint one adjustment. I always want to use my legs, pitch aggressively, and throw quality pitches. Within that, pitchers are always making tweaks."

Trystan Magnuson

Penn State's sadly ironic fight song

A PENN STATE alumnus shared this with me last night. Fans will be singing the school's fight song at Saturday's game, including the lyrics:

"May no act of ours bring shame
To one heart that loves thy name,
May our lives but swell thy fame,
Dear old State, dear old State."

More on the plight of Penn State and reaction from a colleague and PSU alumnus in today's New Hampshire Union Leader.

Depressing Day

REALLY, Penn State students? You are rioting in support of a coach who enabled this monster to roam the hallways for years and molest these kids? There is no defense. These students are making complete idiots of themselves and the student body.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mustache: awesome or hideous?

DAY 9. My wife, blinded by the beauty of this 'stache, cannot look at me. She won't. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make in the name of men's health. People, this all about Movember. 

Borat, KG, Ned

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blue Jays notes for 11-9-11

  • Travis Snider just went with "raw spinach and steak blood" and posted his meal on Twitter. And J.P. Arencibia is ready for a fiesta.
  • Switch-hitter John Tolisano, who began the Double-A year as a second baseman and finished in the outfield, was named Australian Baseball League Player of the Week after a hot start Downunder. He belted a two-out walk-off homer for the Canberra Cavalry, making quite the first impression.
  • In the Canberra Times, we learned it's beneficial to hit from both sides of the plate in this North American game they call baseball: "Pitchers generally prefer to throw to batters of the same hand --that is, right-handed pitcher to right-handed batter, and left-handed pitcher to left-handed batter -- which means if you can hit from either side your value in a line-up increases."
  • Anthony Gose (love that kid) says, "I'm going to be a star" in this story about the Arizona Fall League.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blue Jays notes for 11-7-11

Today the Blue Jays announced Pete Walker will replace Pat Hentgen as bullpen coach, which is a "push." In my dealings with both coaches, they have been first-rate professionals and smart baseball guys. Hentgen is stepping down to spend more time with his family and daughters. Toronto's other field staffers, including Luis Rivera, are returning for 2012.

Talked to a member of the Blue Jays front office today and learned they have re-signed the following minor-league free agents: RHP Bobby Korecky, INF Ivan Contreras, 3B Kevin Howard, RHP Wes Etheridge ... Also, Travis d'Arnaud had the pin removed from his surgically repaired left thumb and is doing fine. Will resume physical activity "very soon." No setback.

Let the Yoennis Cespedes bidding begin

The Blue Jays and other teams should be licking their chops as outfielder Yoennis Cespedes has just become a free agent. My sources tell me the reports you're hearing about the five-tool Cuban outfielder are not entirely overblown. Cespedes, 26, is widely considered one of the all-time top position-player prospects hailing from Cuba. He benches 350. He "hack squats" 600. But is he really 26? A high-ranking MLB scout told me today he doesn't believe it.

The Florida Marlins, soon to be renamed the Miami Marlins, will make a strong push to sign Cespedes, expected to command a $30 million contract. The Marlins lost out on the bidding for Aroldis Chapman and need some serious star power for their new stadium. Toronto could go after Cespedes, offering a corner outfield job, but I have just learned the Jays are not that interested. Colby Rasmus and Jose Bautista have CF and RF locked down, and the other corner spot is up for grabs. Travis Snider and Eric Thames remain affordable options with plenty of upside. My feeling is the Jays may kick the tires, but they're not a player here.

Cespedes has power and pedigree. His mom, Estela MilanĂ©s, pitched for the Cuban softball team at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. There is a great line at Baseball-Reference that simply states: "Unlike his mother, Yoennis has made his mark as a hitter." UPDATE: The odd yet enlightening video of Cespedes making the rounds today has since been removed by the YouTube user, but here is some video of his balanced and textbook swing.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Today's facial foray: Boomer Potts

Toronto Blue Jays farmhand Boomer Potts has been part of "Moniker Madness" by Minor League Baseball as fans vote for top names in the minors. Boomer has taken on guys like Sequoyah Stonecipher of the Jupiter Hammerheads (Marlins), Seth Schwindenhammer of the Lowell Spinners (Red Sox) and Rowdy Hardy of Northwest Arkansas (Braves). Potts hasn't won, but if they included a mustache division, he'd be a winner every time.
LHP Boomer Potts