West Division Trip, A Legend Steps Down, Firework Cycle
The TinCaps hit the road this morning for the start of a six-game road trip, as they’ll square off with the Kane County Cougars (Royals) and the Clinton LumberKings (Mariners). It’s always interesting for teams and broadcasters alike to see the squads from the west, because you only see them for three games a year. For comparison, the TinCaps and Silver Hawks will square off 17 times in 2012. So there are few tendencies to be recognized, at least without advanced scouting data, and lots of new names and faces to learn.
From a broadcaster’s perspective, it’s 25 new stories to tell on each roster, so that’s fun. There’s also the fact that you’ve never seen these players against your team, so there’s no past history to use as a reference. Personally, it’ll be fun to see new parks and new places.
As for the TinCaps, they lost 9-4 Wednesday afternoon’s morning game against the Dayton Dragons. Dayton got a three-run home run in the fourth inning and the TinCaps committed three errors in the seventh inning as Dayton poured on more runs. The four errors committed in the game by the TinCaps was a season high.
The team also made a roster move yesterday, as catcher Austin Hedges went on the disabled list. He was experiencing some shoulder soreness, and so he’ll go back to the Padres complex in Arizona to be evaluated and hopefully get in some low-stress, warm weather workouts. In his place, catcher Jeremy Rodriguez has been added to the roster. The California native was drafted last year in the 16th round out of Cal State – Bakersfield. Rodriguez played at Class-A Eugene last year and in 38 games hit .211, 0 HR, 13 RB I. This move leaves the TinCaps with two players on the disabled list, with first baseman Jose Dore being the other.
To hear the highlights of yesterday’s 9-4 loss, and postgame comments from Manager Jose Valentin and pitcher Joe Ross, listen to today’s TinCaps Report Podcast:
A LEGEND STEPS DOWN
It was sad to hear that basketball coaching legend Pat Summitt stepped down from her position as the head coach of the women’s basketball team at The University of Tennesse on Monday. Summitt was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s last year. College basketball, men’s and women’s, has never seen a coach with more than her 1098 wins. As someone who grew up watching his sister’s every AAU basketball tournament, then playing himself, and later broadcasting basketball, Pat Summitt is someone who you learn about in the very beginning.
The 58-year-old coach assumed the job at Tennessee at the age of 22. That’s such a remarkable feat, especially when you put it in comparison to just about any other job there is out there. Many of the players on this team are just about that age, and they’re just at the beginning of their playing careers. Jose Valentin is in his first year as a minor league manager and he is 42 years old. It’s a different world nowadays, where no 22-year-old would get a head coaching position at a large university like UT, but she not only excelled, she went on to win eight national titles.
Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post is not only a fantastic writer, but she is also a friend of Summitt. Jenkins’ story talks not only about the excellent career that the coach has put together, but it also gives deep insight from Summitt:
“Everybody wants to know how I’m doing,” she says, “but they forget to ask me.”
As she prepared to go into a meeting room to tell her team of her decision, I asked her if it’s hard to surrender the job she has loved with such reckless intensity for so long. She said, “I don’t think it is. I knew this would be something I’d have to make a decision on. I’m happy about it.”
Summitt takes such a positive attitude about something that has entirely changed her life. Constantly, we hear people ask “Is it Friday yet? I can’t wait for XYZ.” If only we all had the positive spirit and joie de vivre of Pat Summitt, every day would be the best day of the week.
FIREWORK NEWS CYCLE
Brian Stelter of The New York Times weighs in on something I’ve often thought about, but never written about—just how quickly news stories and ‘controversies’ come and go these days:
“These flash-in-the-pan episodes have long been evident in the entertainment universe. The breakup of a marriage like Kim Kardashian’s or the death of a superstar like Whitney Houston prompts instant heehawing and told-ya-so-ing, and a month later we’re hard pressed to remember that it happened at all.
Except now, instead of asking, “Where were you” when a news story flashes before us like a firework, we ask, “Who told you?”
A hot topic pops up on Twitter or Facebook and all of a sudden it’s the only thing you can read about for two days. Next morning you wake up and, poof, it’s gone. It happens in sports, news, entertainment…you name it, and the firework analogy is a great one. The story explodes for everyone to see, and then it disappears.
Since Kane County is in the suburbs of Chicago, I welcome a voice from my childhood that is tangentially related to the city. My mother was, at one point, a huge fan of the musical Chicago, and on the drive to elementary school we would listen to the soundtrack. Can I recite the words to “Mr. Cellophane”? Likely, yes. But now, I take you where the gin is cold but the piano’s hot…take it away Bebe Neuwirth!