Arrival in Michigan, The Baseball Spectrum, Riding Solo

Hello from Midland, Michigan! The TinCaps arrived here early this morning after dropping a 3-1 decision in South Bend on Wednesday night. Through the first six games of the year, Fort Wayne is 2-4. When the offense is hot, the team has won. The TinCaps have scored 17 runs combined in their two wins, and in the four losses, just six. So when the bats are alive, that’s been a sign of a good night for Jose Valentin and his crew.

Last night, Frank Garces dazzled once again, throwing five innings, and striking out six, while allowing just one run to pass on two hits. South Bend starter Archie Bradley wasn’t bad either. The seventh overall pick in last year’s draft went six innings and struck out seven, earning the win. Bradley had a little issue with control in the first inning, walking two and allowing one run to score, but after that he was dominant. His fastball touched 96 and he used his curveball to strike out the side (all looking) in order in the second. It’s no wonder the Diamondbacks have invested $5 million in his future.

Take a listen to today’s TinCaps Report Podcast to hear from Austin Hedges, as he talks about his first career grand slam from Tuesday night, and how he communicates with Frank Garces, despite a language barrier:

MEANWHILE AT THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM

The career of every player on the TinCaps roster is still very much nascent, where they’re either one, two, or in some cases three years into pro ball. There are many chapters left to be written for these players. However for a guy like CJ Nitkowski, who debuted in 1995, he may have reached the end of the road. He recently received a tryout with the Mets, and writes about his subsequent rejection very candidly on his blog:

“I wondered and am still wondering if I could ever get another look. And if not, does that mean this is how it ends? It’s not a good feeling. Four weeks ago I was about as content as one could be with a sports career ending, but now that’s all changed.

I stood on a big league mound again and I threw the baseball well. I had a respected baseball executive and major league pitching coach tell me it was good and indicate my new sidearm could play at the big league level. I pictured myself putting the uniform on again, competing successfully and making a sort of comeback that is extremely rare.  I was going to defy odds, which is a challenge I would have loved to conquer. But not now, the chance to make that happen may be gone, and it’s been eating me alive.”

The full read is well worth your time.

THE DISCONNECT

There’s a fascinating piece in the upcoming edition of The New Yorker about the rising number of folks living alone. It’s not just young people, either.

“In 1950, four million people in this country lived alone. These days, there are almost eight times as many, thirty-one million. Americans are getting married later than ever (the average age of first marriage for men is twenty-eight), and bailing on domestic life with alacrity (half of modern unions are expected to end in divorce). Today, more than fifty per cent of U.S. residents are single, nearly a third of all households have just one resident, and five million adults younger than thirty-five live alone. This may or may not prove a useful thing to know on certain Saturday nights.”

I think it’s somewhat of a reflection upon the way so many of us live our lives now: online. We’re connected, but in a different way. The trend of people living by themselves doesn’t seem like it’ll be diminishing any time soon. As someone who’s lived with some strange roommates, I can say living alone isn’t the worst thing in the world. But if you live with someone who’s great, whether it’s a spouse or a friend like back in college, that can make it a lot of fun, too.

MUSICAL GUEST

In honor of the TinCaps 2:30′ AM arrival to Midland this morning, I will round up and leave things to Matchbox 20 to take us home:

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

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