Reflection, Sounding Off, Robinson in the Summit City

Yesterday, quite obviously, was different than any day we’ve all had in quite some time. We woke up, showered, made coffee, went to work, caught up on emails and days were relatively normal until 2:50 p.m. At that point, in Boston, Massachusetts, bombs went off, killing three people and injuring many more at the Boston Marathon. Since then, it’s been almost all I’ve been able to think about.

Why did it happen?

Who did it?

How will this change things going forward?

Those are the big picture questions that everyone will deal with.

For me, though, I also had the question of where my job fits in with all of this. Primarily, I’m here to bring you information about the TinCaps. I also look to entertain those people who stop in and listen to the games, because that’s what sports are–a form of entertainment to get away from the rest of the things that we deal with on a daily basis. But at what point do sports lose even that meaning? At what point do they become insignificant in comparison to what’s happening in the rest of the world? In Boston, the scheduled game between the Celtics and Pacers for tonight has been cancelled, which is an NBA first. The Boston Bruins also cancelled their scheduled game against the Ottawa Senators. It would have been ignorant to have those games go on as planned.

Sports have different meanings for different people. I love them because I grew up playing them and am still entertained each day as I go into the “office”. For others, sporting events after tragedies are said to be cathartic. The home run Mike Piazza hit at Shea Stadium in 2001 is said to be one of those moments:

While sporting events might provide a temporary moment of relief after a tragic event, I think we might give them too much weight as to their “healing effects”. In the grand scheme of things, what does a baseball game really mean? Will a home run by a Hall of Fame catcher really turn the emotional tide of a city? No. While games might provide three hours of ‘normalcy’, they can’t turn back the clock.

There is nothing that can change what happened on September 11, 2001 , in Manhattan or on April 15, 2013, in Boston. No lives can be replaced. No memories erased. Sometimes tragic events take place and there is no antidote. We want to look for ways to heal, but sometimes there is no answer. I feel like that was the case yesterday for me.

I have no personal ties to anyone injured or affected by the explosions that took place in Boston, but as an individual deeply struck by the images I saw yesterday, I thought about the significance of sports. They can be a great distraction and provide great entertainment, but let’s never let them become all-consuming. How silly do we feel arguing about balls and strikes or a close call at first base, when parents have to deal with the loss of their eight-year-old child?

But if sports, or baseball in particular are your getaway, please don’t let that change. Like a good book or a piece of poetry, sports mean different things to different people.

So today when I come on the air, I will do my best to entertain you and to bring you the stories of the TinCaps and Silver Hawks. I won’t let my emotions across on the air, but know that I will call the game with yesterday’s events in the back of my mind, my heart a bit heavier than it was the day before.


With another baseball season underway, we also venture into year two of Sound Off With The TinCaps, the weekly show bringing you behind the scenes with the team. It’s hosted by 21 Alive Sports Director Tommy Schoegler and Kent Hormann, my broadcast partner for TinCaps TV games at Parkview Field. Below you’ll find a link to the entire first episode which features:

-An in-studio interview with Manager Jose Valentin

-A profile of outfielder Corey Adamson

-The “Bat Boy Breakdown” where six-year-old Preston asks the TinCaps some hard-hitting questions

-And an interview with TinCaps VP of Marketing, Michael Limmer

Here’s the link:


As much as I would like to say that this is the only TinCaps blog you should read, I would be lying if I told you that. The TinCaps’ own Maxx Tissenbaum is chronicling his season in blog form too, over at In his latest entry, he writes about the excitement of Opening Day at Parkview Field, the difficulties of grocery shopping for four professional athletes, and about the frustration of not coming through in a bases-loaded situation:

“We were one swing from a HUGE comeback win, one that could really put us on a roll.  “Now batting, second baseman, Maxx Tissenbaum,” the announcer boomed over the stadium speakers as I walked to the plate, not hoping to win the game, expecting to.  I dug in, as my walk up song played and I was ready. I knew the kid on the mound didn’t have great feel for his secondary stuff, and that I’d get a fastball to hit.  He fell behind 3-1 and I knew it was time to turn the game around.  The 3-1 pitch was a fat fastball, probably one that I should have hit into the gap or if I got it up in the wind maybe out, to win the damn game.  Instead I rolled it over to the second baseman to end the game.  Talk about a crushing blow to the confidence. That at bat hurt, I knew I blew our teams opportunity to win, and I knew that I SHOULD have done something with that pitch, especially in that kind of hitters count.  I sat in the dugout staring at the ground trying to find an answer to why I suddenly couldn’t hit when I was ahead in the count. “

Good stuff from Maxx, and I look forward to more of his posts throughout the season.


Did you know Jackie Robinson visited Fort Wayne on three separate occasions? With yesterday being Jackie Robinson day across Major League Baseball, John Nolan put together a solid post on Robinson’s visits to the Summit City. Give it a read here:


John Lennon…take it away.

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


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