Win in 12, Family First, Following a Legend


Always remember this when you’re going to watch a minor league baseball game: just because the guys out there on the field might one day be in the big leagues, doesn’t mean that they live a lush lifestyle in the present moment. After playing 23 innings in two days, including 12 last night, the TinCaps hopped on the bus and rode about five hours down to Dayton, for a 4AM arrival at the team hotel. Tonight they’ve got to open a four-game series against the Dayton Dragons. Now they’ve got to go out on an irregular sleep schedule and perform their best. No flights here, folks.

The TinCaps got a huge boost last night from the pitching staff, as Joe Ross went six innings, struck out seven and allowed just two runs, helping to keep it close. Fort Wayne scored two runs in the eighth inning, courtesy of a throwing error by West Michigan’s Warwick Saupold, and won the game with a sacrifice fly from Austin Hedges in the 12th.

Behind Ross, the TinCaps got two scoreless innings of relief from Justin Hancock, three perfect innings from Matt Stites, and a scoreless 12th from Robert Eisenbach, who picked up his first save. Stites has been phenomenal in his first nine outings, surrendering just three hits, no walks, and striking out 15.

Here’s something not everyone gets to see at Fifth Third Field:

This is down in the clubhouse level, and on both sides of the wall, each team’s logo is painted.

The Dragons have lost five in a row, including their last three against the Lake County Captains. Of intrigue tonight is that Major League rehabber Miguel Cairo is in the lineup batting eight for the Dragons . Because of Dayton’s proximity (one hour) to its parent club (Cincinnati) there have been some pretty big names to have rehabbed at Fifth Third Field, including: Joey Votto, Homer Bailey, Edinson Volquez and Jose Rijo.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, you can listen to my conversation with TinCaps first baseman Clark Murphy, as he talks about how his life changed in a big way last year. His brother was involved in a car accident that nearly killed him, and Clark stepped away from the game to be back home, where he was needed most.


If you haven’t heard, future Hall of Famer  and New York Yankee Mariano Rivera tore his ACL while shagging fly balls a few days ago.

After holding down that closer’s role for New York for nearly 17 years (his entire NYY career), he now will watch from the sidelines. So while many wonder what will become of Rivera, others ask, “Who will replace him?”

That man is David Robertson:

In June 2006, Robertson was a sophomore pitching for the University of Alabama when he gave up a game-ending, season-ending, heart-wrenching home run to North Carolina first baseman Chad Flack.

“It was like somebody had shot us in the heart,” his mother, Brenda, said in a telephone interview Friday. “Honestly, it just seemed like people avoided us afterward. We knew everyone, but that’s how emotional it was.”

Since arriving in the Bronx in late June 2008, Robertson has given the Yankees reason to believe in his ability, particularly his gift for getting out of potential trouble. Some Web sites have gone so far as to rank Robertson’s greatest escapes, and most agree that he established his fortitude in the 2009 postseason, when he wriggled his way out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in Game 2 of the division series against the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees swept the series on their way to the World Series title.”

That’s a good little read by Sam Borden of The New York Times, as he details the fact that Robertson will need to overcome significant pressure, and criticism in order to succeed in the Bronx.


The Killers…take it away!

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

1 Comment

Good article Mike. I saw the Times article about Robertson too. There is a nice Cape League mention in that article. Hope you are enjoying Indiana.

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