Greetings from Michigan, Harper in Perspective, A Barber Story

Greetings from Comstock Park, Michigan. The TinCaps hit the road this morning at 9AM, arriving here in Michigan about four hours later (with a stop for lunch included), for the start of a three-game series with the West Michigan Whitecaps.

These two teams are separated by just one game in the standings, with the TinCaps 13.5 games out of first and the Whitecaps 12.5 games back. The real goal right now is trying to catch second place Bowling Green, which is 9.5 games back of first place Lansing. There are 12 games to go in the half, and only the top two teams in the division qualify for the playoffs. Every game is crucial for that race right now.

Here are a few notes to get you ready for today’s game:

Sore Ankle: Infielder Jace Peterson, who is fifth in the league in on-base percentage (.399) and tied for fifth in stolen bases (18), has not played since June 1st with a sore ankle. Peterson missed 11 games in mid-May due to a neck injury.

Hot and Cold: After carrying a team-high-tying eight-game hitting streak from May 15-24, Donavan Tate has just one hit in his last 21 at bats. The outfielder, who was the third overall selection in the 2009 draft, has struck out in 14 of those 21 at bats.

Runs In The Family: Fort Wayne Manager Jose Valentin was away from the team for the last two games, as he returned home to his native Puerto Rico to be with his son, Jesmuel, for the MLB draft. The younger Valentin was selected 51st overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers, the parent club of the Great Lakes Loons. Jesmuel was a middle infield mate of top overall pick Carlos Correa at the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy.


With yesterday being an off day for the team, I was at home relaxing and catching up on life. I happened to be tuned into the Mets-Nationals game, listening to Howie Rose and Josh Lewin, the Mets broadcast team. I was tuned in for a few innings around the 7th or 8th,  and then checked back in later to find that the game had gone to the 12th inning. Bryce Harper ended up hitting the game-winning single for the Nats. Bryce Harper is 19 years old. Johnny Barbato, Austin Hedges and Matt Wisler, all of the TinCaps are also 19 years old. Harper is one heck of a player.

Thus, this information regarding Mr. Harper:

That’s good company.


I’d written yesterday about finding the $8 haircut in Fort Wayne, and what do you know, today I come across a great story about one gentleman’s affinity for his barber. It’s not just a piece about having your hair cut. It’s much deeper than that:

“…To have a head with any amount of hair is to have a chance to connect with someone.

From the years when we are guided by wonder, through the years when we realize not every dream is worth chasing, through the years when we work to provide, and through the years when we just live before we die, we need a haircut. And no matter what we’ve been through, the barber works in closer physical proximity to us than any other professional relationship we have, his scissors just inches from our thoughts.

What he extracts says more about us than it does him. The more a man talks to his barber, Randy tells me, the less that man talks to others outside of the barbershop. In other words, that man needs a friend.

Conversely, the less a man talks, the more he says outside the barbershop. Randy cuts the hair of several doctors in Greensboro. They don’t talk at all in his chair, he notices. Most close their eyes. And Randy does things, a slower neck shave or an extra clipper shaping, to prolong the haircut. He knows the doctor needs the full 15 minutes of peace.

The barber, then, is the man we talk to when we have nobody else, the man who keeps quiet when we have too many others, and the man who cuts our hair even if we don’t have much to cut.

The barber is our balance.”


David Ryan Harris…take it away!

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

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