October 2012

Chatting Practice: A Payday Podcast – Episode 3

Welcome one and all to the “It’s All Relative” blog, where our namesake rings true during the baseball off-season as we bring you another edition of our (soon to be…maybe) famous podcast! We’ve changed the name slightly, so it is no longer just “The Payday Podcast”, but it is “Chatting Practice: A Payday Podcast”. Get it? Chatting Practice…like batting practice…right? It’s OK, I know you’re chuckling on the inside.

In this edition of the podcast we discuss:

Mike’s sister’s wedding 2:40

Volleyball bruises 5:18

Michael’s San Francisco Giants winning the World Series 9:05

Why people like Sons of Anarchy (with special guest TinCaps Assistant Director of Marketing and Community Relations Abby Naas) 14:55

The shift in country music toward rock and roll 24:40

And then we challenge one another to eat unhealthy quantities of Halloween candy (pictures below) 35:36

Michael enjoys his densely-packed cotton candy. (Don’t worry, it doesn’t expire until August 2013!)

There’s plenty more where that came from.

This is the face you’d expect someone to make with a mouthful of Sour Patch Kids. Never….Again…

Thanks for checking us out. We’ll be back for some more swings (get it? like in batting practice! No? Ok…) on November 15th!

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

Downtown Zombies, Parkview Field in the Running

This past Saturday was Fright Night in downtown Fort Wayne, and it brought out all types of zombies, ghosts and ghouls–and, of course, Johnny in his best Halloween costume:

There were some seriously great costumes that I saw, and perhaps my favorite was the zombie golfer, who had a driver that appeared to go right through his stomach. I do imagine it might be a bit difficult to drive a car that way. Then again, can zombies drive cars?

Here are some more photos from the Zombie Walk, courtesy of Michael Limmer:

It’s never a bad time to wear your TinCaps gear!

Are those zom-bears?

The zombie walk invades Calhoun Street.

I was at Parkview Field on Saturday night helping folks through the scavenger hunt, which was a lot of fun. I helped to hang the jack-o’-lanterns and ghosts around the ballpark on Friday (mostly in the higher locations because of my height) and then on the night of the event was there with some other TinCaps staff members to guide Fright Night participants through what they had to do to take part in the scavenger hunt. If you weren’t there and aren’t familiar with the Scavenger Hunt, we here at Parkview Field post stickers of jack-o’-lanterns and ghosts around the concourse of Parkview Field. You can then come into the park, take a lap, and try to find as many of the jack-o’-lanterns and ghosts as you can, finally submitting your guess to be eligible to win a number of prizes. If you did participate, we posted the answers yesterday and there were 23 jack-o’-lanterns and 23 ghosts. Winners have been contacted by email, so if you listed your email address make sure that you’re on the lookout for an email possibly coming your way.

Thanks to everyone who participated.


If you’re on Facebook (Oh, you’re all still here? Ok, good…) then make sure to head over to the TinCaps page to vote for Parkview Field in the Baseball America Great Parks Calendar contest. Here’s how it works–each week there are six ballparks placed into the competition, and each park is paired off with another. For Fort Wayne, it’s Parkview Field against Dow Diamond, the home of the Great Lakes Loons, also of the Midwest League. The park that receives the most votes in head-to-head competition earns a spot on the 2013 calendar, which is already for sale on the Baseball America website. As I write this post on Tuesday afternoon, Parkview Field is leading Dow Diamond, 166-10. Let’s keep it that way!

Here is the direct link to vote: https://www.facebook.com/BaseballAmericaMag?v=app_153839431317646&rest=1

Consider it your warmup for the real Election Day.


If you’re in an organization like a Lions Club, Rotary Club or Kiwanis Club that happens to be looking for a speaker, please let me know. The TinCaps Speakers Bureau is always open for business, and I’m more than happy to come speak at your group’s next event. We’ve got a webpage set up now for you to submit requests:


Please the word along if you know of anyone who might be interested in hearing more about the TinCaps.


This song came on when I was ironing the other night (hey, even my life isn’t exciting sometimes) and it made me want to share it on the blog. 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.

TWIL Notes, Payday Podcast, Speakers Bureau

Welcome to another off-season edition of It’s All Relative. First, an update on Parkview Field’s re-surfacing. The grass situation went from this:

Just dirt.

Yep. Still just dirt.

To this:

The sod installation begins. (Photo taken Monday, October 15th, 2012 around 1:00 PM,

If you were at Parkview Field last week, you would have noticed that the field sat without much activity. That was because the entire area was fumigated and the infield and plate areas were leveled in preparation for the laying of the sod.  The grass, which is being installed this week, comes from Graff’s Turf Farms. In recent years they have sodded the following venues:

Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs): 2007, 2009, 2010
Notre Dame Stadium (football): 2007
Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals): 2006, 2007 
Target Field (Minnesota Twins): 2009
Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers)

All of the sod is scheduled to be laid down by Thursday, after which the infield will be laser-graded. Remember that Parkview Field is open from 7 AM until dusk each day, so if you’d like to take a look at the instillation then come on down!

If you’re headed to Fright Night in Downtown Fort Wayne this Saturday, don’t forget to stop by Parkview Field for a scavenger hunt and some live music. I’ll be out at the tent in center field where the registration will be for the scavenger hunt, so come and say hello if you’re around.


The TinCaps Speakers Bureau is open for business. I’m available to come speak at your group’s next event. During the off-season I’m featuring three different talks that I’m really excited about:

-The Transition from the Wizards and Memorial Stadium to the TinCaps and Parkview Field

-The History of Baseball in Fort Wayne dating back to the 1860’s

The box score from the United States’ first ever professional baseball game, played in Fort Wayne on May 4, 1871.

-The Business of Minor League Baseball

A 2012 “It’s All About You” contest winner dancing with the Bad Apple Dancers.

If you or someone you know would like me to speak to your group or at your event, please give me a call at 260-482-6400 or email me at Couzens@TinCaps.com.


Remember on the old This Week in Baseball, there used to be a segment called “TWIB Notes”? Well, now I’m going to adapt that and make it into “TWIL Notes”, which stands for This Week in Life.

This past weekend I went up to Michigan to take in a University of Michigan football game. It was my first ever trip to Ann Arbor and The Big House, and it was a lot of fun. Nice venue, good crowd…all in all a solid experience. Granted, Illinois could have put up a little bit more of a fight, losing 45-0, but hey, can’t win ’em all…or even score sometimes.

As I documented several times over the course of the baseball season, offenders of the English language will not escape the wrath of “It’s All Relative”. This week, we spotlight Good Time’s Pizza of Midland, Michigan. 

Good times were not had by all…

Hi, my name is Good Time. Please, enjoy some of my pizza.” 

I was asked at one point by loyal reader @drkensf to explain why it is that I get so caught up with grammar mistakes. I suppose this will be the blog post where I explain why.

There’s not much of an explanation to it other than that I think most of the mistakes are easily remedied. The owner of the aforementioned pizza place (I can’t bring myself to type the name again) could have easily run the name of his or her business by a few friends, who hopefully would have seen that the name didn’t really make much sense. When people confuse your and you’re or their and there–there are millions of helpful search results that are at your fingertips and can help resolve any issues in a pinch.

When it comes to using a semicolon, I can understand how that gets a little confusing. But this is basic stuff and so that’s why I get fired up about it. Perhaps it also has to do with having gone to journalism school and having my writing constantly dissected by professors and peers that has made me more aware of any grammatical blunders I may encounter. My job entails writing press releases, which once they’re sent out they cannot be taken back. They’ve got to be right the first time because that’s the only chance you get. I wasn’t big into proofreading my papers in college (but let’s be serious…I didn’t really know anything about the annexation of Texas anyway) but it’s become second nature now.

I should also share that I had an exemplary spelling test record in elementary school at Mamaroneck Avenue School. The lone hiccup of my early educational career came in Mrs. Krieger’s second grade classroom. The class-wide spelling competition was down to two people: me and Allison. The word? Xylophone. I, not knowing the correct spelling, had to go first and proclaimed proudly that the word began with a “z”. A crushing defeat was in the works after that. Not only did Allison win, but she did so with the help of Mrs. Krieger who, in an unconscionable act of teacher misconduct, whispered, “X-Y” to help my competitor take the spelling crown. I was reduced to tears that day, while vowing to myself to never be defeated again.

So, a scarring childhood experience has led me to a life of being a grammar freak. I make mistakes all the time when writing and hopefully I catch them before I hit “Send” or “Publish”. If I don’t catch them, please pour your wrath upon me.

Continuing TWIL Notes, I called the Garrett-Heritage game last Friday night at Heritage High School. I couldn’t take a picture during the game because I was calling the action, but I did snap this picture at the half when the marching band was on the field.

Heritage High School

Little known fact: I was in the marching band in high school and I played the drums. During the football season we were a marching band and for the rest of the year we were a concert band. During the concert portion of the year I was classified as a percussionist. I was not a very good musician. Because of that, I played the parts that, even if they were played incorrectly, nobody would really notice.

“Triangle? I’m on it!”

“Oh, this composition has a suspended cymbal part? I’m all over it.”

In the present day I do play a mean set of air drums if you’re ever looking for someone to perform at a wedding…or to laugh at as you drive home from work and I happen to be in the car next to you. I think I’ve mastered this song:

Lastly, a special TWIL Note on food. When I was in Ann Arbor this weekend I had the pleasure of eating at the Maize and Blue deli, which makes one heck of a delicious sandwich. Their menu is incredibly stacked with choices, and their sandwiches are stacked with meat:

I had to unhinge my jaw like a snake to eat my chicken sandwich (the above photos are from Google Images), but I’ll be darned if it was not the best sandwich I have eaten in a long time. The meal was a little pricey at $9, but it was well worth it. Kudos to you, Maize and Blue Deli, for making a delicious, food coma-inducing sandwich.


We here at Parkview Field are proud to bring you episode two of The Payday Podcast, which features me and TinCaps Vice President of Marketing Michael Limmer talking about anything and everything under the sun. This week’s agenda includes:

-Michael’s community service at 2:30

-My trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan and the humongous sandwich at 8:50

-The time I cried after losing a spelling bee at 11:30

-Why I was not impressed with the NFL RedZone Channel at 20:35

-Michael’s disappointment in his Facebook friends at 26:20

-And the Odd Food Challenge, featuring me eating anchovies and Michael eating figs at 34:15:

This tasted like eating a pile of salt mixed with a can of tuna.

This apparently tasted good, meaning I failed as a competitor.


Usher…take it away!

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

Fort4Fitness and the Debut of The Payday Podcast

Welcome to another edition of “It’s All Relative”, where there may not always be Midwest League baseball, but there will always be something to interest you.

This past weekend was the fifth annual Fort4Fitness event in downtown Fort Wayne, and almost 10,000 runners took part in the excellent two-day event. I was fortunate to be involved with it not on the running end, but in anchoring the first-ever live television broadcast of the event. The finish line is at Parkview Field’s home plate, and I was situated outside the first base dugout. The coverage went from 7-11 AM on Saturday, and I talked with many of the event’s organizers, and even the winners from each of the races (4 mile, 10K, Half Marathon). A big thank you goes out to Brian Schackow and Abby Naas for helping me prepare for the broadcast and for helping me the day of the event. Thanks, also, to all of the guests who joined me on the air.

When I went on the air at 7AM, the sun had not yet risen. That black fixture to the right of the table is a big light that helped illuminate the set.

The Fort4Fitness finish line.

Runners coming around the warning track and nearing the finish line.

The view from above (photo courtesy of Tony DesPlaines).

If you live within the Comcast viewing area (Channel 81) the event may be replayed in the coming days (we’re looking in to it) and we may also put some segments from the broadcast up on our YouTube page. Stay tuned!



Direct from the offices of the Fort Wayne TinCaps at downtown Parkview Field in Fort Wayne Indiana, we proudly present the first ever edition of the Payday Podcast.

Who: Me, and Michael Limmer, TinCaps Vice President of Marketing

Where: This very blog

Why: For your entertainment

What: Anything and everything. This week we cover my road trip to Virginia, notes on fatherhood (including taking care of a baby with a cold and how that involves a mini-turkey baster), Fort4Fitness, Dancing with the Stars and the first Odd Food Challenge.

When: Every two weeks–payday.

In this week’s episode:

3:30 Week in Review

21:40 Pop Culture Item of the Week

28:50 Odd Food Challenge

In the Challenge, each competitor has a $10 limit with which they are to buy whatever food they like for the other person to eat. I chose Banana Plum Brown Rice Baby Food, and Michael chose Hot Dog flavored potato chips. The baby food, predictably, tasted awful. However, the chips were delicious and I finished the entire bag.

Baby food and Hot Dog flavored potato chips. Delicious!

You can’t tell me this doesn’t sound scrumptious.

If you have any suggestions for upcoming Odd Food Challenges, please let me know. You can reach me via email at Couzens@TinCaps.com or on Twitter @MikeCouzens.


Miranda Lambert…take it away!

I definitely rocked out to this song in my car this weekend. Apologies to those drivers that were distracted by my flailing limbs and off-key notes.

Thanks for reading!