Behind the Curve: Luis Castillo, Austin Brice and Isaiah White to Discover Goetta, Cincinnati Chili

This week I introduce a new irregular feature, “Behind the Curve,” wherein I discuss baseball news sufficiently old to have grown a layer of adipocere. As a graying eminence in literary and comparative cultural studies, I am often summoned to travel and digress in exotic settings as far flung as Lon Gisland, Chicago and Albuquerque. More often than not roundball stories of middling consequence break when I’m on the road and I can’t always address them here with my usual alacrity. Using my hind flippers like a nesting sea turtle, I have now hollowed out this nook in the ethos wherein I can finally get back to stories I couldn’t cover when they surfaced.

Last week, the Feesh – following a break with tradition when they signed a relief pitcher with a sub-4.00 ERA for more than the major league minimum (see – netted righty Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds for two of their best prospects, pitchers Luis Castillo and Austin Brice, and outfield prospect Isaiah White. It has been speculated that Scrooge McLoria had a nightmare the evening before wherein all three crushed him in an arbitration hearing years hence, and he awakened in a puddle of grease, grabbed the tin can on his bedstand, pulled the string tight and ordered Michael Hill to dump them before they could get their…uh…hooks into him.

Straily, who enjoyed an excellent bounceback season with the Reds last year,  went 14-8 with a gutter level club that has more rebuilding to do than Dresden in 1946, and put up a 3.76 ERA to go with his 1.181 WHP. He will, it is hoped, squeeze like a watermelon seed Jeff Locke, who the Feesh signed a few weeks back to “add depth”…

The Feesh official depth chart. Note the Jurassic strata at the bottom of the abyssal zone, from which sand bearing traces of strontium-90 was discovered in Godzilla’s footprint.

….into a long relief or mop-up role where he can do as little damage as possible, the assumption being that he won’t be called in until the Feesh are hopelessly out of a game. No doubt Straily was hoping that he had pitched his way out of the rebuilding scene and maybe onto a competitor, but I doubt if working for Scrooge McLoria was the fulfilment of his hopes and prayers.

Anyway, the three hot prospects who suddenly turned to bycatch in this deal will now be playing in southern Ohio where they can discover some of the culinary delights of the City of the Seven Hills. We’ve discussed Cincinnati Chili – that metastasized Greek pasta sauce – here before, so I won’t belabor that. They’ll also have a chance to discover goetta, an unholy blend of pork and pork by-products “extended” with the addition of oats cut from a loaf and fried up for breakfast with your morning eggs. Here’s a picture of goetta:

Dan Straily, on the other hand, will have to make due with ropa vieja, since Scrooge McLoria only buys new uniforms about once every three years.




13 thoughts on “Behind the Curve: Luis Castillo, Austin Brice and Isaiah White to Discover Goetta, Cincinnati Chili

    • Your relatives have mediocre taste in Cincinnati chilis. Dixie, Empress, Blue Ash and, especially, Camp Washington Chili all make better, richer stuff. Skyline is OK if you’re stuck on a desert island but it’s just an industrial chili made from a mix.

      Gold Star is definitely on the bottom of the list.


    • I stopped through Cincinnati some time back and had a morbid interest in trying the local version of “chili”. We never did get around to doing it, preferring to sample some of the more indigenous foods. I plan to give it a shot at some point in the future.

      I have, however, read, heard and seen TV shows about it. It seems to me more of a cinnamon-infused pasta sauce (OG sounds right when he calls it “Greek”). And served on spaghetti?

      I think that version of chili would have a tough sell anywhere in the Southwest – Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, etc.. (Probably unfair, since I didn’t actually try it, but I think I have a strong sense of what it is like.)

      Loyal Texas partisan that I am, I think the best Mexican dishes come out of New Mexico/Arizona. I think the Indian influences gave it an extra kick.


      • Ackcherley, Cincinnati chili is a Greek recipe. Next time you taste a good moussaka, remember the flavorings. They’re mostly the same ones you’ll find in Cincy chili. The stuff was invented by some Greek immigrants who ran a little restaurant on one of the hills of the city (though I don’t recall which one) who served it over spaghetti because Greek style noodles were so hard to find in stores here. In fact it was “invented” several times, in nearly all cases by Greek immigrants, because the basic sauce was common in their native cuisine. They of course made do with other local ingredients like chocolate, in some cases, when they couldn’t find everything they were used to cooking with back home.

        As far as New Mexican cuisine, with its addition of dry native herbs like sage to the traditional Tex-Mex recipes, the pearl of Albuquerque gustatation is carne adovada with its earthy, almost mossy backtaste. I will be in Albuquerque for the annual Southwest Popular Culture Association conference – the most fun an academic can have with his corduroys on – in mid-February, and I’m making a beeline for Garcia’s Truck Stop in Old Town for their version of this sublime dish and the best chicharones (may Buddha smile down benevolently on my artery walls) that ever made their way out of a deep fat fryer.


        • Posole with shredded pork. Stacked (not rolled) enchiladas. Fry bread tacos (the revenge of the Hopis on our cholesterol counts). Carne avodava. Rellenos the way they are supposed to be done. And chili the way the cowboys ate it.

          They don’t mess with the tomatoes and such in their sauces; it’s dried peppers and spices all the way. Always ask which is the hotter sauce (green or red) and then proceed with caution.


  1. I see where the Feeeeeesh just picked up Severino Mr 7 ERA Gonzalez from the Feeeeeelies. This will surely put them directly into detention……. I mean contention.


    • At first I thought you were joking. But alas, non. The pressures at the level of the depth chart where this guy belongs could crush a diamond bowling ball.


      • Gamera is not surprised that Godzilla drives a BMW, it’s exactly what Gamera expects a guy like Godzilla to drive. Gamera also suspects that Loria drives a BMW.


        • Not surprising, as Scrooge McLoria has done almost as much irreparable damage to Macondo as Godzilla did to Tokyo. Birds of a feather, and all that. (see also Gator’s recent joke about the difference between a BMW and a porcupine).


Join in on the conversation!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s