Aggression, He Gone, Happiest of Trees

Plays of aggression were what defined the TinCaps’ 5-4 loss to South Bend Friday night. Two in particular, which both happened late in the game, seem to stand out.

In the seventh inning, Fort Wayne reliever Johnny Barbato allowed a leadoff single. At the time, the TinCaps were leading 4-2. The next batter up hit a ground ball to second base, which Tyler Stubblefield mishandled. He was charged with an error, and the inning continued for South Bend, as the Silver Hawks scored three, unearned runs against Barbato.  At the seventh-inning stretch, South Bend led 5-4.

In the bottom of the eighth, the bases were loaded and Jace Peterson was at the plate. On the previous eight pitches, both Kyle Gaedele and Travis Jankowski had drawn walks. One swing of the bat could have given the TinCaps the lead; instead, one swing sent them back to the dugout. Peterson chased the first pitch he saw from reliever Kaleb Fleck, and Fort Wayne left the bases loaded.

Opportunity knocked again in the ninth. Tyler Stubblefield had a chance for redemption as he stood at the plate with runners at second and third and two down. South Bend’s Jake Barrett had a 2-2 count working, and had to decide whether it would be a fastball or a breaking ball to Stubblefield. Earlier in the inning, Barrett had bounced a breaking ball to the plate, sending it soaring into the sky and allowing both Yeison Asencio and Travis Whitmore, who had legged out infield singles, to advance to third and second, respectively.

Barrett went with a fastball and Stubblefield poked it down the right field line, only to see Chris Ellison make a game-saving, diving catch that began in fair territory and ended in the TinCaps bullpen. The game was over.

“I’m not happy because we lost but I’ll take my chances with the way we’re playing baseball,” said Manager Jose Valentin. “When you play the game aggressive, sometimes you’re going to make mistakes, but I can live with that. I’m glad to see the guys go out there and play hard rather than just be lazy and be afraid to make mistakes.”

The TinCaps had won their last three series, not dropping a set since losing two out of three to Beloit earlier in the month.  Today brings a new opponent, as Great Lakes comes to town. The Loons are 16-17 in the second half and have lost three of their last four ballgames.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear from Manager Jose Valentin after last night’s one-run defeat:


The manager who became widely known in 2006 for this incident:

is at it again.

Joe Mikulik, the manager of the Asheville Tourists, a Rockies affiliate in the South Atlantic League, was ejected from last night’s game against Charleston. Danny Wild of has the details:

“On Friday, things got interesting when RiverDogs leadoff man Cito Culver hit a ground-rule double and tried to steal third.

A pickoff attempt caught Culver in a rundown, but the Yankees’ 2010 first-round Draft pick advanced after managing to avoid the tag of lunging third baseman Samuel Mende.

Mikulik appeared to dispute whether Culver should have been called out for running out of the baseline while evading the tag. Culver was thrown out at the plate two batters later, so no damage was done.

Mikulik had a brief but heated argument with infield umpire Mike Patterson, who tossed him after the skipper drew the baseline in the dirt with his foot. He then rifled his cap into the outfield, re-enacted Culver’s baserunning tactics, pulled out third base and handed it to a fan in the front row near the third-base dugout.

Mikulik and Patterson traded words again before Milulik retrieved his cap, waved to the crowd and took a bow before entering the dugout.”

The link to the article also includes video from last night’s ejection.


I don’t think I ever really watched a full episode of “The Joy of Painting”, the Bob Ross-hosted show on PBS that brought us great phrases like “happy little clouds” and “happy trees.” It’s one of those shows that you happened to stumble upon when flipping from the broadcast networks and were going up to try and find the TV Guide, and you think, “Well, what in the world is this guy doing?”

And then you got sucked in a for a few minutes, laughed a little, and kept going in search of the Kardashians.

Even though the show went off the air in 1994, its legacy lives on in popular culture and in this great remix of Bob Ross, who has now been autotuned:


Soundgarden…take it away!

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

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