All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opening Day

The Reds-Brewers game was easily the most dramatic of opening day. The fangraph is one of the wildest I've ever seen. From almost certain defeat to glorious victory in one swing of the bat.

It was catcher Ramon Hernandez with the three-run walkoff homer. Paul Janish was on deck, and fans were discussing whether he should be pinch-hit for, when Hernandez made the question moot. (Though I still wonder if Dusty would have let Janish bat.)

Janish had a fine opening day, going 2 for 4. He's batting .500!

John Fay had this article about Janish the other day. Nothing earth-shaking, but the comments are amusing. Everything from doubting Dusty will really give Janish a fair shot to calls for Cozart to play instead to the theory that Janish is actually afraid to hit well because Ryan Freel kicked him in the face during the celebration after his first big league hit (a walkoff single).

Then there's this. The Columbus Dispatch goes down the Reds lineup by position...and lists Renteria as the starting shortstop and Janish as the backup. Jeez Louise. And people wonder why newspapers are dying.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:26 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Janish makes the opening day lineup

Paul Janish signs for the fans before a spring training game

Dusty Baker has announced his opening day lineup, and hallelujah, Paul Janish is in it. In the latter part of spring training, Dusty alternated Janish and Renteria, and I was half-afraid Renteria would get the start.

I guess I have to give credit where it's due. Dusty has been treating Janish as his starting SS, more or less. Many Reds fans expected Renteria to have won the starting job by now, and as recently as this morning, many thought it would be Renteria in the opening day lineup.

I'm glad it's Janish, and not just because I think he's the better player at this point. Opening day is special, especially in Cincinnati. I don't think Janish has ever been in the opening day lineup before. While it must be old hat for Renteria.

Meanwhile...if current Rice star Anthony Rendon gets drafted #1, he'll be a Pirate. And at least one Pirate fan likes the idea.


posted by BubbaFan, 7:11 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, March 28, 2011

Japanese baseball delayed by earthquake

Disaster forces Japan to rethink energy needs

The first pitch of Japan's baseball season has been pushed back so that people don't waste gasoline driving to games. When the season does start, most night games will be switched to daytime so as not to squander electricity. There'll be no extra innings.

There's a serious energy crisis in Japan, because of the nuclear power plants that are offline, and because refineries were shut down by the earthquake and tsunami. But decision to delay baseball was not taken lightly.

The Rakuten Eagles' stadium is in Sendai, and it was damaged in the quake. They aren't sure when it will be fixed. (That was Andy Phillips' team last year.)

posted by BubbaFan, 2:54 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Reaction time with Paul Janish

The Cincinnati Enquirer has this mini-interview with Paul Janish.

Reds shortstop Paul Janish played Reaction Time, a word association game, with The Enquirer's Tom Groeschen:

Enquirer --- Janish

2010 Reds --- Opportunistic
2011 Reds --- Higher expectations
Joey Votto --- Lamborghini
Brandon Phillips --- Twitter
Scott Rolen --- Presence
Orlando Cabrera (former Reds SS) --- Great to me
Dusty Baker --- Great skills
St. Louis Cardinals --- Rival
Shortstop position --- Leader
Hero --- Nolan Ryan (Janish grew up in Houston)

There's one comment so far, pronouncing Janish "ADORABLE."


posted by BubbaFan, 9:50 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, March 11, 2011


Terrible tragedy in Japan today. The media are reporting that the earthquake was 8.9 on the Richter scale, but a scientist who was just on CNN said it will probably be upgraded to 9.1. Holy guacamole. That is massive. Good thing Japan is so prepared for earthquakes and tsunamis, or it would have been much, much worse.

Hawai`i was hit by a tsunami. There have been a lot of false alarms lately, but this wasn't one of them. It wasn't as bad as in Japan, but waves were 6' or higher. (One report said the water reached "the top of the port-a-potties.")

My hometown suffered "minor but widespread" damage. My parents were jolted out of bed by the tsunami warnings. They are way up the mountainside, so in no danger.

This is the Kona Pier, in normal times:

Photo by Stephen Groden

And here's the pier during the tsunami:

Photo by Kara Kapeliela

Here's Alii Dr., sort of the main drag, in normal times:

Photo by S. Carpenter

And here's Alii Dr. after this morning's tsunami:

Photo by Kara Kapeliela

And here are a couple of photos of debris and even a house floating in Kealakekua Bay. (The bay is usually very clean, because it's a marine conservation area.)

Photo by xfed

Photo by xfed

posted by BubbaFan, 8:18 PM | link | 1 comments |

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Playing with plastic

Interesting item here from the photographer the Cincinnati Enquirer sent to spring training. He bought a Holga - a very cheap Chinese camera with a plastic lens, beloved for the old-fashioned, artsy images it takes - and used it to take some baseball photos.

I was never really interested in the whole lomography/toy camera thing, but looking at his images, I can see the appeal. Almost makes me want to try it.

He got a Holga 135, which has the advantage of using 35mm film. It's not rated very well at Amazon; most people seem to prefer the medium format Holga 120N. The film is more difficult to find and get developed, though; you would generally have to do it by mail, rather than at the corner drugstore.

But that reminds me of a big reason why I'm not interested in toy cameras. Ugh, messing around with film. It's so expensive - not just to buy, but to get developed. That's one thing I really love about digital. You can take as many pictures as you want, and it won't cost any extra unless you decide to print them. It really frees you to experiment, because the cost for failures is zero.


posted by BubbaFan, 8:21 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Juggling Janish

It's still very early, but Paul Janish has gotten off to a pretty decent start so far, batting .375. John Fay says Janish made a couple of very slick plays on defense today (in addition to going 2 for 3 at the plate).

However, I'm not too thrilled about this quote from Dusty Baker:

It sounds like the bulk of Renteria’s time will come at shortstop.

“As long as Brandon (Phillips is) healthy, whoever plays behind Brandon is not going to play a lot,” Baker said. “But what if something happens to Brandon. Renteria is going to play some at shortstop, too. How much he plays depends on how (Paul) Janish plays.”

Ugh. Just say no, Dusty!

Then there's this. Janish is apparently a man of many talents:

Slick-fielding Reds shortstop Paul Janish juggled three baseballs throughout his interview Sunday with MLB Network. Given Janish's hands at shortstop, that's not surprising.

"I can do four," Janish said. "But I didn't want to try with the pressure on."

Reminds me of a childhood friend of mine, who was always juggling (tennis balls, not baseballs). His dream was to one day get on Letterman's "Stupid Human Tricks."


posted by BubbaFan, 11:14 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, March 05, 2011

In like a Lion

Hard to believe it's March already. Thursday was "Girls' Day," at least as celebrated in Hawai`i. Mom didn't give me anything, but I bought myself a present. I finally replaced the broken stereo in my car. I got a Sony. It looks really cool and sounds great. And is pretty cheap for what you get. It's iPod and satellite compatible. Not that I have either an iPod or satellite radio (I prefer to spend my electronics money on camera gear), but who knows, I might get them one day. Very cool to be able to play MP3s off CD or USB flash drives. Especially for long drives; it's nice to not have to switch disks all the time. I should have done this long ago.

On the baseball front...Paul Janish didn't play yesterday. In fact, none of the Reds starters except Ramon Hernandez made the grueling 20-minute trip to Peoria yesterday. (I didn't think that was allowed, for a non-split-squad game.)

However, we did get a report on what they were up to from Brandon Phillips, via Twitter. He said:

At the field in the cold tub talking about baseball and life with my doubleplay partna Janish! Hope I don't drop my phone in the water! LOL

Didn't realize baseball players used cold tubs. I thought that was more a football thing.

Later, BP says he's going to go bowling with Trevor Reckling, and his "bra PJ" is going to go with him. I assume that's Janish.

The starting lineup (including Janish) is taking the field today.


posted by BubbaFan, 12:20 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Janish can breathe a bit easier this spring

Paul Janish isn't getting a lot of playing time so far, but he's not worried.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Paul Janish can put his mind at ease -- just a little.

At least enough to know that when Edgar Renteria started over him at shortstop on Sunday, it didn't mean Janish had already lost his job before the first Cactus League game even began.

That was put to rest over the winter. The Reds did not re-sign former starting shortstop Orlando Cabrera, but did add the veteran free agent Renteria in January. That week, general manager Walt Jocketty and manager Dusty Baker both placed phone calls to Janish so he knew that he was still in their plans to be the regular shortstop.

"It was huge," Janish said. "When I talked to Walt that day, the biggest thing he emphasized was that it was important for me to know mentally coming into camp that I was going to come into camp and play the majority of the time."

Most of the starters haven't gotten a lot of playing time so far, so I guess there's no reason to panic. Still...the way he's been parked on the pine so far is depressingly familiar.


posted by BubbaFan, 10:46 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Sports Piracy

Sports is facing the same problem the music and movie industries are facing. For a long time, they were complacent. Sports is most valuable when it's live; pirates simply couldn't distribute sports fast enough.

But technology has caught up to sports. Now, live feeds of games are all over the net, and sports leagues can't stop them. They try, but many of them come from overseas, where copyright isn't enforced, or where the law protects consumers more than copyright holders.

I think they are going to have to loosen up the restrictions on online viewing. The NFL offers online viewing overseas, but not in the US. MLB has MLB.TV, but the local team is blacked out...and the blackout areas are ridiculous.

The reason they do this is to preserve the value of the TV rights, but in the long run, that's not going to work. Any more than the music industry's attempts to sell albums instead of individual songs worked. To combat piracy, they have to offer what the consumer wants - at a price low enough that piracy loses its appeal.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:12 PM | link | 0 comments |