TinCaps Return, Peterson Noticed, Strange Obessions
BACK AT HOME
For the first time in what feels like forever (OK, only eight days) the TinCaps will play at Parkview Field. Monday night marks the beginning of a three-game series with the Dayton Dragons, who have been somewhat offensively challenged to begin the season. The Dragons have been shut out twice in the first ten games, and lost yesterday at South Bend by a 10-1 final. While the TinCaps are 3-7, Dayton is 4-6 through the first ten games.
Fort Wayne throws lefty Frank Garces to the hill tonight, and he’s looked great in his first two starts. He’s 0-0, with a 0.82 ERA and has allowed four hits in 11 innings, walking two and striking out fifteen. On the other side it’ll be righthander Justice French. The Suwanee, Georgia native was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2010, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution lays out the details of his diagnosis, and subsequent recovery:
“Doctors at Emory performed operations in July to remove the cancer. The doctors removed French’s lymph nodes as well. The surgeries required a six-inch incision from the top of his head to the back of his neck. They also removed nodes on the side and back of his neck.”
It’s an amazing story to read, and to see that French has come back from a life-threatening condition to make it into professional baseball is inspiring. He’s struck out a batter for every inning he’s pitched so far this year.
Prior to Sunday’s game, I had a chat with TinCaps manager Jose Valentin. He told me about the strong effort he felt he was getting from his team, despite the early record, and how the adjustment for him has been in getting back to the minor league lifestyle. Hear our full conversation in today’s TinCaps Report Podcast:
A STRANGELY LOGICAL OBSESSION
ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian penned a great piece over the weekend about the connection baseball players have with their glove, or in many cases, gloves. We all know players can be superstitious at times, but this article delves into how players form attachments with their gloves and it’s a great inside view. This is what Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips had to say about his leather:
“You can touch my practice gloves, but no one touches my game glove, no one,” Phillips said with a smile, though he wasn’t kidding. “I put the batting glove on top of my glove so I’ll know if someone has touched my glove. If the batting glove has moved, someone touched my glove. [Reds pitcher Mat Latos] held my glove this spring, but he didn’t put it on. Hey, defense is important to me. If he’d put his hand in my glove, we’d have fought.”
A player’s glove, especially for a good defensive player, is his most personal piece of equipment, and it is treated with great respect and care. Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney takes five gloves — all the exact same model and size — with him on all road trips.”
PETERSON GETS NOTICED
Bill Center, a veteran reporter in San Diego who covers the Padres, wrote a feature on TinCaps shortstop Jace Peterson over the weekend. Jace played football in college, but Bill draws out even more detail about the Louisiana native’s ultra-athletic background:
“As a prep at Hamilton Christian Academy, Peterson played quarterback and four defensive positions in football. His favorite sport was basketball. And he divided his spring between baseball (where he was coached by his father Scott) and track where he ran the sprints and relays.
During three years at McNeese State, Peterson played cornerback and safety during the fall and baseball in the spring. Had he returned for a fourth season of football, Peterson expected to get a NFL tryout.”
Jace has played well for the TinCaps, starting every game at shortstop so far, and belted his first home run of the season on Thursday at Great Lakes.
Bruce…take it away!