‘Port’ Authority, Offensive Outburst, Crazy Commas

Lovely game at Dow Diamond last night as the TinCaps and Loons opened their four-game set. Adys Portillo went six and two thirds, tying his career high for innings pitched. He was just one batter shy of making it through seven full, before issuing a walk with two out. Quite the outing for the 20 year old from Venezuela. Padres Farm Director Randy Smith was following the game closely:

That’s a great turn of phrase right there, hope it’s not copyrighted!

Lots of credit is due to the staff for helping Portillo get off to a great start this season. Last year in 23 appearances, only five times did Portillo pitch more than four innings. Jose Valentin told me before the game that during spring training, the staff had Portillo focus on throwing the ball over the plate, even in two-strike counts. The way to corral a wild arm, it seems, was to overcorrect back to the middle and have him throw more strikes than necessary. It has certainly paid off, as Portillo began the year without allowing a hit in his first six innings of work, and has allowed just two in 10 2/3 innings.

Oh, right…there was the big offensive outburst last night, too! In the first inning, Jace Peterson and Travis Whitmore both went deep off of Loons starter Brandon Martinez. You can hear those highlights in today’s TinCaps Report Podcast. Also in today’s edition, part of my conversation with TinCaps hitting coach Jacque Jones. He gives his thoughts about the team’s start at the plate this year, talks about new third baseman Duanel Jones, and explains why he missed work earlier this week (for a very good reason):

TAKE THAT, CELLPHONE THIEVES!

If you’ve ever had your cellphone stolen, or just lost it and had it fall into the wrong hands, there’s a chance that it may have been re-sold somewhere. However, some major cell phone companies are partnering together to try and make the allure of a stolen phone not quite so hot. 

“The database, which the wireless companies will build and maintain, will be designed to track phones that are reported as lost or stolen and deny them voice and data service. The idea is to reduce crime by making it difficult or impossible to actually use a stolen device, reducing resale value.

Currently, Verizon Communications Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp. block phones that are reported stolen from being reactivated. AT&T Inc. and Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile USA don’t. All four have agreed to be part of the new database.”

So if you’ve got the MegaTexter9000 or the E-Phone 8X (don’t try Googling those), you can breathe just a bit easier now.

IN DEFENSE OF THE COMMA

All of the game recaps you read on TinCaps.com are written by yours truly. And as a self-professed grammar freak, I often debate over the placement of commas in said stories. I wonder (not aloud, thankfully), “Should a comma go after that phrase,  or would it be fine standing alone? Would it feel lonely?” Strangely, I get very tied up over spelling and punctuation. I’m not sure how it happened, but that’s just the way it is. So when I came across this piece about the possible overuse of commas, I thought it would be interesting to share:

“Nobody is really arguing about the serial comma. We like it because it prevents ambiguity. For instance, “I invited my boss, her nephew and my acupuncturist to the party.” Without the serial comma, one might mistake my boss’s nephew for my acupuncturist. This would be misleading, if only momentarily: Sam is a nice kid, but I would never let him near me with a needle. With the serial comma, there is no ambiguity: “I invited my boss, her nephew, and my acupuncturist to the party.” You could argue that only a perverse reader would mistake my boss’s nephew for my acupuncturist, but the point is that when you restrict the use of the serial comma solely to those instances where a genuine ambiguity exists, then every time you come to a series you have to stop and think. By adopting the serial comma, we have more energy to devote to sprinkling in commas elsewhere.

Next: the hyphen grinder.”

The last line is really what does it for me. Any time that grammar can be mixed with kitchen utensils, it’s a party.

DOW DIAMOND

Here’s my view from the press box for this four-game series. Very nice conditions for a game yesterday.

It’s also worth noting that the Loons air their games on a radio station that is in the press box. Yes, that is correct. The entire radio operation is on the third level of the ballpark. My radio booth is actually a production studio for ESPN 100.9, the home of Loons baseball. I will post some pictures tomorrow of this setup, which I’ve got to think is one of a kind of Minor League baseball. It’s really neat, especially for a radio geek like myself.

IF YOU’D LIKE

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MUSICAL GUEST

Styx…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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