Heading Home, All the “Tooles”, Culinary Highlights

It’s time to head home after tonight’s game in Lansing, where the TinCaps will try for a split of their four-game series with the Lugnuts. Yesterday was a 5-1 loss, which followed a 4-0 loss on Sunday afternoon. That means Fort Wayne has scored one run in the last 18 innings.

As the TinCaps have two of three, the playoff race has suddenly become a lot closer than it was just a few days ago. Lake County now leads by one game over Fort Wayne, and West Michigan has continued to win, narrowing its gap behind Fort Wayne to just one game with a week left in the regular season.

The TinCaps have a chance to fend off the Whitecaps in a three-game series at Parkview Field this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, I talk with Padres minor league hitting coordinator Sean Berry. He’s been in town the last few days to talk with TinCaps hitting coach Jacque Jones and to observe the Fort Wayne hitters. He formerly worked as the hitting coach for the Houston Astros, so I asked him what the difference was between working at the major league level and the minor league level, and his answer might surprise you:

ALL THE “TOOLES”

While Fort Wayne’s Tyler Stubblefield has almost played every position this year (center field and catcher still to go), Cleveland Indians minor leaguer Justin Toole recently played every position on the field in one game.

Courtesy of the Carolina Mudcats

Toole said:

“My manager … came up to me at the beginning of the year and asked me where I could play. I told him, ‘Anywhere,’ and he came up to me later and said I’d play all nine positions later this year,” Toole said. “I kind of laughed [at the time], but as the season was winding down, he picked tonight and we ran with it.”

Toole began the game in right field, moving across the outfield over the first three innings. He made his way to the infield in the fourth, starting at first base and reaching third by the seventh. He caught the eighth and finished the night on the mound.”

And to top it off, his team won, 4-2. The TinCaps have only put position players in to pitch once this season, and they lost that game 16-0 against South Bend.

CULINARY HIGHLIGHTS

Today we wrap up a seven-game road trip, during which you easily tally lots of restaurant meals and plenty of dirty laundry. If you ever make a trip up to Lansing, here are two things you’ve got to try:

First up is the chicken salad from Christie’s, the restaurant at the Lexington Lansing Hotel. This is the second-most delicious lunch I’ve had on the road this year. Number one was a pulled pork sandwich from Smokin BBQ in Dayton. But this is a very close second. It’s good chicken salad (not at all watery), with fresh fruit, and the chicken salad sits on top of a sliced pineapple. Healthy and delicious. Come get some.

I’ve eaten this exact same lunch the last four days. It’s become the peanut butter and jelly of my adult life.

Awful exterior, delicious interior (not the building, but the coffee)

The second place you must go is directly across the street from the hotel. As you can tell, I go to extreme lengths to travel far and wide when on the road. HOWEVER, they do have delicious beverages. Yesterday I had an iced honey nut latte. It’s hazelnut flavoring (three pumps…I counted) and real honey, with whatever else is in a latte. Delicious. They have a lot of other flavors, and I definitely plan on returning there soon.

MUSICAL GUEST

Crazy Town…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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