April 2011

Random thoughts-a-palooza

The TinCaps aren’t hitting right now. RHP Adys Portillo was touching 95 mph in the first inning on Dayton’s stadium radar gun (which is usually pretty reliable) last night, finished the night closer to 91-93 with the off-speed stuff in the high 70s, low 80s. And that, as Forrest Gump once said, is all I have to say about that.

I’ve been seeing a lot of good stuff on the internets, though, so here it is…

Random thoughts:

  • Some of the TinCaps are having to hear the tornado-related news from back at home via phone and radio. Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt went home to check on everything personally. Doug Glanville wrote a SPECTACULAR piece about it. Main points: Glanville’s favorite band is Hall and Oates, plus a life in baseball is oftentimes brutal for a person’s personal life. If you read nothing else from this post, read Glanville.
  • Mariners RHP Michael Pineda: He’s good.
  • MLB attendance is down, but baseball (still) isn’t dying.
  • Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez wouldn’t sign a teammate’s cast which was sold for charity.
  • Peter Gammons says trading draft picks would make the MLB Draft that much more interesting.
  • We’re in Dayton right now, where later this season they’ll have the Purina Incredible Dog Team. I’m already thinking of excuses to get out of the TinCaps’ game to be there to see it.

Musical guest… the only British royalty I care to hear about this weekend, Sir Elton John!

Take care!


Athletes are people too, part 927

Call me a jerk, but once the season gets going, I tend to get into a baseball cocoon and not really notice what’s really going on in the world. You know, other than the earth-shattering story of figurehead monarchs getting married in a country we rebelled against specifically to get AWAY from said monarchy (the only acceptable discussion of that wedding is going in-depth on schemes to crash the reception. That’s it.).

Anyway, yesterday a reporter called and wanted to talk to some of our players (Chris Franklin, Chase Marona, Zach Cates) about the storms down south. I didn’t really know what he was talking about, so I turned to the internets for help, and holy cow. Monster tornadoes, towns leveled, people killed… Terrible stuff. Turns out the players’ families are OK despite some damage to their houses, but you can imagine it would be tough to focus on a dumb game when things are devastated back home.

Random thoughts:

  • This year’s San Antonio Missions, also known as the 2009 TinCaps No-Mercy Reunion Tour, have already had quite the season. They’ve scored 20+ runs in a game twice, and now their home ballpark was the scene of an ugly exchange between fans and the Frisco RoughRiders (Double-A Rangers). As Baseball America points out, Rangers prospect Engel Beltre was in the middle of it and was suspended 15 games, and he’s no stranger to stirring up trouble. The Missions really weren’t involved, but it’s ugly anyhow.
  • Our old homeboy RHP Erik Davis is (still) getting it done in the Nationals’ organization. He was traded this spring for INF Alberto Gonzalez and is now at Double-A Harrisburg with another old homeboy, former Wizards radio guy (and my former boss in Harrisburg) Terry Byrom.
  • In other Harrisburg/baseball news, there’s bad umpiring at every level of this game. I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about a handful of bad umps in the big leagues, especially because MLB umps have a Supreme Court Justice-esque ability to keep their jobs despite their job performance. Get used to it.
  • Fact: The Padres are bad offensively right now. A .289 team OBP is horrendous.
  • Fact: If you think Jed Hoyer’s job should be in jeopardy, you’re nuts. Everything he touched turned to gold last year, the big-league team played over its head, and now they’re coming back to earth. But in the high minors there’s a crop of hitters (led by Anthony Rizzo, who came back in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, and former TinCaps Jaff Decker and James Darnell) who are getting closer to MLB-ready. Plus they have six picks in the first two rounds of the draft this June. Give it time.
  • The FIRST-PLACE(!) Indians are calling up their first-round pick from 2009 for a spot start. Prediction: They won’t end this season as the first-place Indians.
  • How do we bring sabermetric stats to the masses? By focusing on what the stats MEAN, not how they’re calculated. In an age where we can get the internet on our phones, if people want to know, they’ll find out.
  • Browns GM Tom Heckert proved last night he’s a stylin’ and profilin’, jet-flyin’, limosine-ridin’, kiss-stealin’, wheelin’-and-dealin’ son of a gun. Whoo!
  • Good story about the Lynchburg Hillcats’ manager. He’s the guy who got hit in the face by a foul ball at Braves spring training and lost his eye. He never lost his optimism, though.
  • You may remember our discussion of a phenomenon known as The Wertheimer Effect, named for former TinCaps video guy Allan Wertheimer. In the first month he worked for the Minnesota Vikings, Brett Favre’s consecutive starts streak ended, the head coach got canned and the Metrodome roof caved in. Well, it’s rearing its ugly head again… The Vikings took Christian Ponder in the first round of the draft last night. The one and only explanation for such a mistake is The Wertheimer Effect.
  • Between a Skyline Chili location within walking distance of the hotel, Montgomery Inn BBQ pork sandwiches at the ballpark and LaRosa’s/Donato’s Pizza being available in Dayton, I may not fit on the bus to come back to Fort Wayne at the end of this trip.

Musical guest… The Strokes!

Take care!


The TinCaps Report: 4/29

Manager Shawn Wooten explains why so many catchers become managers, plus a recap of the TinCaps-Dragons game from Thursday.

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The TinCaps Report: 4/27

TinCaps head groundskeeper Keith Winter discusses keeping the rain away with an enthusiasm unknown to man, plus Keyvius Sampson and Rymer Liriano lead Fort Wayne to a win over Lake County.

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The TinCaps Report: 4/26

Check out TinCaps RHP Matt Jackson and his plan to grow the longest hair on the team, plus Tommy Medica’s tape-measure homer from Monday against Lake County.

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The TinCaps Report: 4/24

South Bend broadcaster Owen Serey tells us how he conned a girl into saying yes to a marriage proposal, plus the TinCaps split a road doubleheader against the Silver Hawks.

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Taking over the world, one iPhone at a time

Apparently there’s no humanly way to display this link on the TinCaps.com mobile site (which is kind of important if you’re trying to listen on a mobile device)… Anyway, you can now listen to the TinCaps on your iPhone/iPad. And the link is here. Hopefully you rabid fans end up finding the link.

The stream will only be available during games. Enjoy!

The TinCaps Report: 4/22

TinCaps OF Wande Olabisi, one of the most interesting men in the Midwest League, stops by for a chat about biomechanical engineering, plus highlights from Thursdays game at South Bend.

UPDATE: Friday’s game is postponed – Doubleheader Saturday at 4:45 p.m. at Coveleski Stadium in South Bend.

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The TinCaps Report: 4/21

West Michigan broadcaster Ben Chiswick tells us about his first job in baseball as a vendor at Wrigley Field, plus highlights from the TinCaps-Whitecaps doubleheader.

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Quasi-TinCaps Report: 4/19

Today there’s so much going on that a typical audio podcast just won’t suffice. So first, here’s the rest of the Mike Couchee interview:

Now, here’s what happened at Fifth Third Ballpark today… Three inches of snow were on the ground in the morning, but you would’ve have known it by game time. However, it was still brutally cold. TinCaps lost, 7-3. I feel bad for the players because they have to be out in this every night. I also feel like their opinion of the Midwest will forever be negative because of how bad the weather’s been. I promise, in the three years I’ve been in this league, this is easily the worst it’s been for the longest period of time in any season.

Anyhow, MWL Pitcher of the Week Keyvius Sampson pitches on Tuesday. Game time is 6:35 p.m. Hupe Insurance Services Pre-Game Show at 6:20. Be there, listen in or be square.

Random thoughts:

  • I can’t find a link to it, so you’ll just have to take my word for itBaseball America did a story on TinCaps RHP Zach Cates. Good luck finding it. We’re all counting on you.
  • Apparently a behind-the-scenes lackey on Good Morning America is a TinCaps fan. Good for us, I guess, although probably three people probably noticed. Do you think Robin Roberts stole that shirt and acoustic guitar look from Neil Diamond? Nah… not enough sequins.
  • Former Midwest Leaguer Jerry Sands got called up to the big leagues, doubled in his first at-bat, hit a sacrifice fly, then got a pitch thrown behind his head which prompted a revenge pitch-behind-head incident. How did your first day at your job go?
  • Come on, Reds RHP Mike Leake.
  • I just got back from watching the movie “Limitless.” I had no idea it was based on the meteoric rise of my buddy Dave Hutte.
  • Seriously, I give the movie a B-plus. Good concept, good story, bonus points for having The Black Keys on the soundtrack, extra bonus points for me watching it alone in an otherwise empty theater (maximum lounging with minimum weird looks from fellow moviegoers). Points deducted for a young millionaire still using a land-line telephone in 2011 and for a somewhat unsatisfying ending. I won’t ruin it for you. Check it out yourself. It’s not a waste of your money.

That’s it for now. Bed time. Musical guest… The Romantics!