Lip Sweaters, Life Begins at 40, WinCaps

The first two games between the Bees and the TinCaps have been extremely enjoyable to watch. The games have featured strong pitching, timely offense and well-played defense. In Thursday night’s game, it was the offense that broke out early with both teams scoring two runs in their respective halves of the first inning. For Fort Wayne, it was Travis Whitmore hitting a two-run shot over the wall in right, which as he said after the game, carried up into the “jetstream”. The wind was blowing out to right, but he got enough on it that it would’ve been gone either way.

Fort Wayne’s Frank Garces pitched five innings and struck out seven, vaulting himself into the lead for strikeouts within the Padres player development system. The bullpen was as good as it’s been all year as Johnny Barbato, newcomer Daniel Cropper and Matt Stites worked four innings without giving up a hit or a walk. Cropper pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning for his first win.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear the highlights from last night’s game, including post-game reaction from Whitmore, Donavan Tate and Manager Jose Valentin:

LIP SWEATERS

Brewers closer John Axford: “I truly believe that a nice, masculine mustache would look wonderful on anyone.”

That’s easy to say after theAmerican Mustache Institute named him its Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year…and he’s Canadian.

The Wall Street Journal gets to the bottom of where baseball’s great mustache trend came from. The article calls the the Oakland A’s “the most mustachioed team ever.” This is gold, Jerry, gold!

“There’s a self-evident truth about ballplayers with mustaches: Ballplayers with mustaches love talking about mustaches. And sometimes they get nostalgic. “I was good friends with Dwight Evans, and he’s got a big one,” said Dennis Eckersley, a Hall of Fame reliever who now works as an analyst on Boston Red Sox broadcasts. Eckersley hasn’t shaved his mustache since 1983, when he broke out his clippers in the wake of a New Year’s Eve party. (“One crazy a– night, know what I mean?”) 

“Ex-New York Mets star Keith Hernandez is attached to his mustache. He still uses “Just For Men” products to color it, though he said his endorsement deal with the company recently ended. Hernandez, an analyst with SNY, said he’s shaved it off three times in his life, and each time regretted doing so. He recalled once getting rid of it after a breakup with a girlfriend. “And then I said, ‘That’s silly. Come on, get over it.'”

After reading that article, I think my day can only go downhill from here.

WORKING HARD AT 40

As Andy Pettite tries to make his way back into the Yankees rotation next month at age 40, he’s pitching with New York’s minor league affiliates to re-build his arm strength. In a recent start with the Double-A Trenton (N.J.) Thunder, he worked with a 24-year old catcher named Jeff Farnham. Consider most guys in the Fort Wayne clubhouse are not much younger:

“Farnham, who grew up in Las Vegas, said he was an Angels fan growing up but of course couldn’t avoid seeing the Yankees and Pettitte as they paved their path of dominance. The opportunity to catch Pettitte was one he couldn’t even envision coming up.

“You work your whole life toward this,” Farnham said.

Farnham said he tried to treat it like any other start, sitting down with Pettitte before the game to go over their plan and matchups. Yes, Pettitte was listening to the scouting reports of Double-A hitters.

And, yes, Farnham called the pitches. For the most part, the pair looked in synch. Only twice did Farnham go out to the mound for a discussion.”

While Pettite’s making $2.5 million on the minor-league contract he signed back in March, that game will probably be priceless for Farnham.

MUSICAL GUEST

ELO…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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