Three in the Books, Away We Go

The first series of the season has come and gone, and with the dust settled, the TinCaps are 1-2 to begin the year.  Here are a few numbers from the first three games:

29: The number of runs scored between Fort Wayne and Lake County in the first series of the year.

8: The differential of runs (16) vs. earned runs (8) surrendered by the TinCaps pitching staff. Kane County has the largest gap, having surrendered 21 runs, with 11 of them being earned.

15: The cumulative number of errors committed by both teams throughout the three-game series.

15, 673: The number of tickets sold for the opening series at Parkview Field. Fan support was great, even with chilly weather for a few of the games.

2: The number of people who found this blog last week using the search term “worlds biggest shark tooth.” Thanks for stopping in!

0: Number of home runs hit in the first three games between Fort Wayne and Lake County.

It’s off to South Bend on Monday for a three game set with the Silver Hawks. They’ve gotten off to an identical 1-2 start to the year. We’ll see the debut of Bryan, OH native Matt Wisler at 7:05.

TINCAPS REPORT PODCAST

Take a listen back to some of the calls from Saturday’s game, and hear postgame reaction from TinCaps Manager José Valentin:

Click here for the video recap of Saturday night’s game with highlights and analysis from me and Kent Hormann.

TRANSACTION MANIA

The Baseball America Prospect Blog does a great job of tracking all of transactions in the minor leagues. They’ve complied a massive list from March 27-April 5 (opening day), and there are a few names that stand out there to me of players who were released by their respective organizations:

Frank Pfister and Drew Polk from Cincinnati: Both guys spent time on the Dayton Dragons roster in 2011.

Nate Striz, Argenis Martines and Brian Heere were Lake County Captains in 2011 and were released by the Indians organization.

Former West Michigan Whitecaps Josh Ashenbrenner, PJ Polk and Jeff Rowland were cut loose by the Tigers.

Raul Burgos, formerly of the Great Lakes Loons in 2011, is without a team after being cut by the Dodgers.

Emmanuel Quiles, a 2011 TinCaps catcher, was cut by the Padres.

Steve Turnbull, who pitched out of the Lansing bullpen last season, was cut by the Toronto Blue Jays.

I point this out because it’s a glaring recognition of how difficult it is to succeed in baseball. Each team enters spring training with well over 100 guys in their player development system, and the majority will not see big league time in their careers. It’s a tough business.

During Saturday night’s broadcast, the Captains send Will Roberts to the hill to make his Midwest League debut. In March of 2010, he threw just the ninth perfect game in NCAA baseball since 1957. I looked back at the last three guys to have thrown a perfect game in college, and not a single one of them made it above the Double-A level. Incredible. The point is, you just never know who will be the one to make it to the big leagues. It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of preparation and success on the field, and a pinch of good fortune doesn’t hurt along the way.

HELLO?

I like to read. Had you asked one of my high school English teachers about the accuracy of that statement, they would have told you I’m a liar. While I went Cliff Notes on most everything in high school (shout out to Catcher in the Rye–great book), I will read things that I find interesting. I know Odysseus had a rough journey and all, but did it really take 5,462 pages to tell the story? Neeeeeeeeeext.

So I came across this gem of a story in The New Yorker from 2005 entitled “Ring My Bell”. It’s explaining to folks what ringtones are, and at this point in time, we were just getting past polyphonic ringtones and to ones that were supposed to sound better. The author writes that her first ringtone sounded, like a transistor radio turned up to ten and stuffed inside a sock.”

It’s so entertaining to me to think how far phones, and technology in general, have come in the last seven years. When was the last time you saw a flip phone and didn’t laugh?

Also, the author’s first ringtone was “Milkshake” by Kelis. So, ya know, uhhhh…don’t ever have that as your ringtone.

“TOUGH BUT FAIR”

My Sunday night routine consists of watching 60 Minutes. This Sunday’s edition will be a special one, I’m sure. Mike Wallace, who was one of the show’s original contributors, passed away on Sunday at the age of 93. The New York Times has a good obit on him, including a 20-minute video interview from 2005.

“Every once in a while, what happens is, when you suddenly realize that you’ve reached each other as interviewer and interviewee. You all of a sudden forget the lights, the cameras, everything else and you’re  really talking to each other, with each other, but it doesn’t come easy, and it doesn’t come often,” Wallace told The Times.

Even though I’m not a newsman, I think the quotation above represents what anyone who does interviews hopes for. Rather than just questions and answers flung back and forth, you look for a connection–one that really comes across in your interview as genuine. Those are the best interviews, because then your audience is able to learn the most about your subject. Mike Wallace was one of the best and helping us learn.

MUSICAL GUEST:

Jimi Hendrix…take it away!

If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at Couzens@TinCaps.com or on Twitter @MikeCouzens.


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