Roster Shuffle, Open to the Public, Going For It

Hello from Lansing, Michigan and Cooley Law School Stadium, the home of the Lugnuts:

Courtesy of the TinCaps Amateur Photography Department

This is the sign that greeted me upon arrival in the press box this afternoon:

Great work by Lugnuts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler

Checking it at 6’4″, I may be the tallest broadcaster in the league. Please file that away under useless miscellany.

Onto baseball related matters:

Since we last talked, the TinCaps have made a few roster moves. Here we go:

Pitcher Daniel Sarria and infielder Duanel Jones have been placed on the disabled list. The two corresponding moves are that infielder Tyler Stubblefield has been reinstated from the disabled list, and infielder Connor Powers, who was with the team in 2011, has been transferred from Advanced-A Lake Elsinore to Fort Wayne.

Stubblefield will likely jump right back in to his normal second base spot, which has been occupied in Stubblefield’s absence. Remember Stubblefield came out of the game on August 5th after being hit in the head by a pitch. It initially looked like the pitch had plunked Stubblefield in the ear flap of his helmet, but it turns out that it grazed his cheek and led to a little swelling, sending him to the disabled list.

As far as the addition of Powers, he gives the team an everyday third baseman with Jones on the shelf. Powers mostly played first base with Lake Elsinore this year (76 games) and played a little bit of third base (14 games). Last year he had a great season in Fort Wayne, hitting.338 in 76 games.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear my chat with Omar Minaya, the Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations for the San Diego Padres. We’ll talk about what he does in his new position (he started in December), how speaking Spanish has helped him in his career and what it was like to work as a general manager in New York:

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

The State of Vermont is doing something very unique: turning over its official tourism Twitter account to members of the public. “But there could be the potential for total disaster,” you might say. Yup, there could be a disaster. But it’s been good so far:

“At first I was like, ‘What are we going to do here, this sounds like a train wreck!’ ” said Jen Butson, the director of communications for the state’s Department of Tourism and Marketing. “That’s the communications mind.”

Still, Ms. Butson said, the project could offer this rural state — where the population has the second-oldest median age in the nation, according to the 2010 census — a chance to present a contemporary, humanized narrative as it works to attract more tourists and young residents.

“It’s neat that we can introduce a Vermont that is Web- and tech-savvy to people who wouldn’t assume that’s part of what Vermont is,” Ms. Butson said. “We’re kind of hip. We like to have a good time, we like to share our stories.”

So on Monday, less than three weeks after that first meeting, the department fired up a feed called @ThisIsVt, as well as a Web site where Vermonters can nominate one another (or themselves) to be the state’s Twitterati.”

I lived in Vermont for six months, and I will say it is a beautiful state, but it also gets very cold in the winter. I definitely recommend visiting Lake Champlain in the summertime. They’ve even got a baseball team, the Lake Monsters, which play in Burlington and are a member of the New York-Penn League.

GOING FOR IT

San Diego State head football coach Rocky Long is considering taking the “Madden” strategy of college kids everywhere, and putting it into practice. That’s going for it on fourth down. When it’s in a video game, why not go for it? There’s nothing to lose, except maybe your temporary bragging rights. When it’s real football? Well, that’s a different story:

“And yes, Long — who apparently hasn’t yet tried it all in his 40 years of coaching — is serious about this.

“It makes sense,” he said, seeming almost giddy in talking about the possibilities.

“Additional plays would allow you to score a lot more points,” he said. “It also puts a whole lot of pressure on the defense.”

Before football traditionalists and bloggers go nuts, understand that Long is merely considering the possibility and not yet sold on it. He has the Aztecs working on it during scrimmage periods in fall camp.

“It’s a day-to-day theory,” Long said with a grin late on Friday night. “I haven’t decided because we’re getting a feel for it out here. I just read about this guy, and I don’t know if I can do that because everybody in the world is going to say this is not Football 101, right?

“But there’s a reason why he’s winning those games. Maybe he just has better players than everybody else; or maybe it’s their team gets used to playing like that and the other teams don’t get used to playing like that. It’s fourth-and-seven — most defenses run off the field. And now they’re going to stay out there. ‘What? How come the punt team isn’t coming out?’ ”

Another possible advantage: If you know you’re going to take four downs, the play calls on third down may be less conventional and the defense could be caught off guard. That situation actually happened in the Aztecs’ practice on Friday, and the offense busted off a long run on third down when the defense anticipated a pass.

While scrimmaging on Saturday night, however, the Aztecs converted only 1 of 5 efforts on fourth down.”

I’m trying to think of what the baseball equivalent of that would be…trying to steal every time you had a runner reach first base? Anyone got anything here?

MUSICAL GUEST

The Rolling Stones…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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