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You can get toasted grasshoppers at Mariners games this year

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Ever hear of chapulines? They’re a fairly popular snack at sporting events in Oaxaca, Mexico. A handy protein source with some chili lime action. I’ve never had them but I’m told they’re yummy. You start munching on them and you forget after a short time that you’re eating bugs.

Grasshoppers, to be specific. And now you don’t have to go to a soccer match in Mexico to get them. You can get them at Safeco Field during a Mariners game.

ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that the Mariners and their concessionaire, Centerplate added a stand run by local Mexican restaurant Poquitos that will serve toasted grasshoppers tossed in chili lime salt. From the story:

“They are a one-of-a-kind snack that the fans will really love — either on a taco or on their own,” said Steve Dominguez, Centerplate general manager at Safeco Field. “It’s a testament to our relationship with the Mariners to be bold and creative with bringing in new local partners that really embody the Seattle culinary scene.”

Make all the jokes you want, but this seems far less absurd to me than stuff like cheeseburgers with pizzas as a bun, fried hot dogs and all of the food horror we hear about at the beginning of each new baseball season. The grasshoppers have fewer ingredients, are all natural and likely have far fewer calories. And the fact that they come in taco form is an added bonus as everything tastes better as a taco.

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.

Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.

Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.

Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.