All Things Bubba

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

Sunday, August 27, 2017


Wow. The flooding in Houston is unreal. They're calling it "worse than the worst-case scenario."

The last time I was in Houston, Brays Bayou had hardly any water in it. It was just a huge, mostly empty canal. Now it's overflowed and is flooding Houston.

This storm really is unprecedented. It reminds me a bit of Hurricane Charley, which was supposed to be Cat. 2, but "bombed out" right before hitting Florida, and made landfall as a Category 4. But with Harvey, it's not the winds but the rains that are disastrous.

And they are still predicting the storm will loop out to sea, then back over Houston. CNN is reporting that double the amount of rain they've gotten so far will fall in the next two days.

The Minnesota Twins have three players on the roster from the Houston area. Including Tyler "The Doof" Duffey. He said his neighborhood, the Westbury section of southwest Houston, is holding up well. Jason Castro lives near Rice University, and Robbie Grossman lives downtown. They said some streets have flooded but their homes are okay. Castro grew up in Cypress, which has significant flooding, but says his parents' house is safe.

Houston is calling for boat owners to help out with water rescues, and hundreds have responded. It's like Dunkirk. (Hopefully without the shooting.)

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posted by BubbaFan, 3:55 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, August 21, 2017

Paul Janish granted his release

Nothing to do with this post, I just like this photo I took of today's eclipse

The Baltimore Orioles announced today that they have granted Paul Janish his release from the AAA Norfolk Tides. Previously, they had said he would play out his contract, including through the end of MLB season if needed. But I guess they don't need him any more, with Ruben Tejada outrighted to Norfolk and JJ Hardy there on rehab assignment. And, sadly, the Orioles are playing so poorly they are unlikely to need to call up anyone for the stretch run or the post-season, no matter what happens.

Paul said he couldn't wait to start at Rice, so this is probably good news for him.

He's had quite a career. A lot of players were drafted out of Rice that year. Janish has lasted longer than any of them.

Jeff Niemann (#4 overall) was probably the most successful of the lot, by money earned and Wins Above Replacement, but he had just a 7 year career. First rounder (#3 overall) Phil Humber played 10 years (and had that perfect game). First round pick Wade Townsend didn't sign that year and ended up playing just 5 years (the last year in independent ball) and never made it to the big leagues (shoulder injury). Fourth rounder Josh Baker played only three years and never made it out of A-ball. Tenth rounder Chris Kolkhorst played two years, peaking in high-A.

Paul Janish is retiring with 14 years in pro baseball, including parts of 9 seasons in the big leagues. Quite an accomplishment.


posted by BubbaFan, 7:34 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Calling it a career

Some links to articles about Paul Janish's retirement announcement...

Tides infielder Paul Janish will retire after season, take coaching job

“I have a lot of vested interest in Rice, and having the opportunity to coach under him, it’s just a pretty cool deal,” Janish said Saturday from Rochester, N.Y., where the Tides were scheduled to play the third game of a four-game series. “And being able to do it at home, where I’m from and stuff – a lot of stars aligned, to be honest with you. It’s just the right time to do it.

“The only complication, really, was that I’m still playing. But at this point in my career, it’s pretty clear to me with this opportunity being presented what’s supposed to happen.”

...Janish’s career .983 fielding percentage in the big leagues has helped establish his reputation as one of the game’s most sure-handed shortstops. His friendly, approachable demeanor has made him a clubhouse favorite among teammates and the media.

...“Paul has got strong leadership qualities and that will definitely help, and of course his character is impeccable,” Graham said in a statement. “I think it’s all good. It’s an all-win situation. We’re really happy to have him, and I think the Rice community will be real happy to have him.”

Norfolk Tides shortstop Paul Janish to retire, join Rice University coaching staff

“I am of course very happy to have Paul come back home to Rice and join the coaching staff,” said coach Graham, who in 2017 completed his 26th season at the helm of the Owl program. “Paul has always had high character and I think he will be a great teacher and coach.

“He was a team captain for us in (the national championship season of) 2003,” Graham explained. “For all the talented players we had on that team, I am not certain we still could have won the national championship without Paul Janish at shortstop. He was a great player and great leader. His leadership qualities are among the reasons we first recruited him, well before 2003.

“I don’t think I could ask for a better transition of going from playing to the next chapter,” Janish said. “I have long kept in touch with coach Graham and always tried to visit when I have been in town. Now having a chance to come back and coach at Rice, under coach Graham, is very important to me. There are a lot of things that had to align for this to happen, and I am very thankful. I cannot wait to begin.”

Wayne Graham also tells the story about the last time he was ejected from a game...when Janish was playing for him.
“I will add that the last time for me to be ejected from a game (in 2003) was for arguing with an umpire when Paul was called out on strikes,” Graham recalled. “I was thrown out of a game because I have always been a big believer in his judgement.”

Janish to retire

"He’s a quality human being. His priorities are a good husband, a good father, and then try to be a good shortstop," [Buck] Showalter said. "He’s got things in order."
That last bit reminds me of one of Janish's former teammates, Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo's first priority was always baseball. But now his rubber arm has finally given out. He's 40 years old, and doesn't expect to come off the 60-day DL. He knows his career is over. Like Janish, he will be retiring after this season. Unlike Janish, he doesn't want to be a coach, though it sounds like they would welcome him if he did. He's ready for life beyond baseball.
He’s ready for his second chapter. He said he’ll pop back into the baseball world every so often, but he wants to catch up with the people he’s missed the last two decades.

“The ride the last 22 years, it was my life’s work. It’s what I set out to do, man,” he said. “Like I tell people, if my body would hold up as if I was a 30-year-old guy for the next 50 years in this game, I’d probably continue to pitch. And then you’d look around and all your friends would be dead and you would have done nothing else but play this game.

“In a lot of ways, the exit from this is an opportunity to enjoy the millions of other things that are out in the world.”

Arroyo used to tell young players to simplify their lives, so they could concentrate on baseball. Unlike many players, he never bought a big mansion. He lived in a small apartment, so he wouldn't have to worry about maintaining a house. He never married or had children, seeing them as a distraction he could not afford.

There's a lot of sacrifice involved in a career in baseball. Maybe it's good that it doesn't last forever.


posted by BubbaFan, 10:09 PM | link | 0 comments |


The High Falls in Rochester, NY

There's a pretty waterfall in downtown Rochester, NY. The Genesee High Falls. It used to power their industry back in the day. Now it’s a park. An old railroad bridge has been made into a pedestrian bridge that you can view the falls from.

Anyway, it’s pretty close to Frontier Field. Walking distance. And there’s a parking garage between Frontier Field and the falls. Parking is free in the garage (at least on weekends - not sure about evenings). You can pay $6 to park across the street from the ballpark, but I recommend parking in the city garage for free instead, and stopping off to see the falls.

I went to scenic Rochester, NY to see Tides play the Red Wings. (That's the Rochester Red Wings, the Twins' AAA team, not the hockey team.)

Janish made a really nice play Saturday night, laying out to rob Twins top prospect (and IL player of the month) Zack Granite of a hit. Holding up the ball so the umpire can see he made the catch:

I wanted to get a nice shot of him on defense, seeing as it’s probably my last chance. That was the best I could do in the low light. He moves too darned fast, even at his advanced age. ;-)

Some photos from Sunday's game. (The lighting was a lot better, since it was a day game, though there was a lot less action to photograph.)

Warming up before the game...

During the national anthem.

At bat.

They light up the falls with colored lights at night.

The High Falls in Rochester, NY

I should have gone to the lookout on the far end of the bridge after the Saturday night game. I bet the post-game fireworks would have looked great. Next time...

posted by BubbaFan, 1:36 AM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Hanging 'em up?

MLB sources: Former @RiceBaseball star Paul Janish,who has played for Reds,Braves& @Orioles,expected to join Owls staff following 2017season

— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 10, 2017

I'm not surprised he's contemplating retirement. He’s been talking about the end of his playing career for awhile now. I was planning to go see the Tides in Rochester this weekend, in part because I suspected it might be my last chance to see him play.

But I am surprised he's returning to Rice. I was expecting him to join the Baltimore Orioles minor league coaching staff. Buck Showalter said he wanted Janish as a coach when he retired, and Janish seemed happy at the idea. I guess Rice would be a more appealing option to a guy with three little kids. Less travel, and family around to help out.

I am disappointed that it's looking like Janish won't be on the big league roster for Player's Weekend. I wonder what name he would choose? Maybe "Soft-J," the nickname given to him in Cincinnati?

Tony Cingrani, now a Dodger, is going with "Grani." Tyler Duffey is "The Doof." Brock Holt is "Brock Star." Anthony Rendon is "Ant." At least they didn't go with their real first or last names, like a lot of players did.

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posted by BubbaFan, 11:59 PM | link | 0 comments |