Behind the Scenes, Either Or, Going For the Record

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, Manager Jose Valentin shares his displeasure with yesterday’s 5-1 loss:

“Bowling Green and Lansing are great offensive teams. If you want to beat those teams, you’ve got to score some runs and play good defense. They way we played, I don’t think we’re going to beat anybody,” Valentin said. Hear his full comments here:

BEHIND THE SCENES

Today I went on “Sound Off with the TinCaps”, along with Kyle Gaedele.  Here’s what it looks like when you’re being interviewed (don’t worry, I took the picture during a commercial):

EITHER OR

The New York Times had an article a few days ago on batting practice:

“Baseball is a sport defined by routines and traditions, and there are few more entrenched than batting practice, a pregame ritual that is far older than most teams that engage in it. For two hours before almost every game, each team dutifully rolls out the batting cage and hits slowly pitched balls to outfields across North America.

Batting practice lasts 50 minutes for each team, and it involves infielders taking ground balls and outfielders chasing down fly balls.

But despite its almost sacred place in the game, there is one little secret about batting practice: many players think it is a colossal waste of time, a mind-numbing, flaw-producing, strategically empty exercise.”

Here are some choice quotes from the article:

Eric Chavez — “B.P. is part of baseball tradition,” Chavez said. “It’s fun for the fans; you try to hit a couple of balls in the stands. But in terms of work, what are you working on? It’s a 30-mile-per-hour pitch.”

Bobby Valentine: — “Batting practice?” he said. “I hate batting practice.”

Jason Isringhausen — “Those guys are just having fun, laughing and hitting home runs,” said Jason Isringhausen, the 16-year veteran relief pitcher of the Los Angeles Angels, “and we’re standing out there picking up the balls and getting stiff backs. I guess it’s nice to get outside in the sunshine, but it’s a waste of time for everybody.”

Oh, and this one, too:

“Nothing good comes from boredom and baseball players,” Isringhausen said. “We stand there and talk about stuff that we shouldn’t be talking about. Heaven forbid they have microphones on pitchers shagging. It would just be bleep, bleep, bleep for an hour and a half. It’s gossip hour, looking in the stands, getting into mischief, throwing baseballs to people. That’s all it is.”

While for hitters at the Major League level it may not be deemed as necessary, I think the hitters in Minor League Baseball do value batting practice very much. I was talking with Tyler Stubblefield just yesterday about his batting practice. Since his recent return from the disabled list, he’s gone just 2-15 at the plate. He told me that the struggle was mostly a mental block for him that he had to overcome. A lot of that can be worked out during batting practice.

Certainly an interesting view, though.

GOING FOR THE RECORD

I’ve brought you the story of Billy Hamilton before, but now as he is within two stolen bases of the all-time single-season MiLB record, it’s worth revisiting:

“I feel like if I get my jumps, I know I’m cool,” said Hamilton, who credits his burst to shots of Mountain Dew taken in the dugout. “When I get to first, I’m confident I can’t be thrown out.”

Tales of Hamilton’s incredible speed are collected and passed around the lower levels of the game the way folks used to tell stories of the great Negro leagues speedster Cool Papa Bell, who was said to be so fast he could hit a grounder through the box and be hit by the ball as he slid into second base.

In Bakersfield, Calif., Hamilton scored on a sacrifice fly — to the second baseman. He also scored from third when the catcher threw to first to complete a strikeout. In high school, Hamilton once made a fine running catch on the warning track. Not so unusual, except he was playing shortstop at the time.”

Hamilton has 143 stolen bases, and the record, set by Vince Coleman in 1983, is 145.

MUSICAL GUEST

It’s about 2:50 yesterday and I’m about to go on the air with our TV pregame show…and then I hear this song playing in the stadium that really catches my ear. So I go across the press box and ask who sings the song. I’m told, “Oh it’s Philip Philips, he won American Idol.”

Must’ve missed that episode…

Good song, though.

Philip Philips…take it away!

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