Dietary Decisions, Cleanup Quandary, Selfies

For the 12th time this season the TinCaps scored a come-from-behind win, defeating Lansing, 8-5, Wednesday night in their return to action at Cooley Law School Stadium. Fort Wayne is now 34-23, which is a season-best 11 games over .500. That means that 35% of the team’s wins have seen the TinCaps overcome some sort of deficit.

The big name in yesterday’s game was Brian Adams, who delivered a three-RBI night, helping the TinCaps go from a 4-3 deficit after seven innings to scoring three in the eighth and two in the ninth for the win. Amazingly, Fort Wayne is now 7-0 against Lansing this season. The Lugnuts are the only team in the Eastern Division that the TinCaps are unbeaten against. Also of note, and unfortunately for the Lugnuts, they have not won a game against any of the top three teams in the division: South Bend, Fort Wayne or Bowling Green.

Roman Madrid earned the four-out save yesterday, picking up his 11th in 13 tries this season. To give you an idea of how good he’s been since being drafted last year out of the University of Central Florida, look not just at his 0.32 ERA (1 ER in 28 IP) but at his walk totals.  We see starters so often get into trouble because they issue walks, but Madrid hardly ever does that. Yesterday he walked two batters, which was the first time all season he’s allowed more than one walk in an outing, and just the second time in 57 career appearances (65 1/3 IP and 263 batters faced) that he’s done that. Remarkable.

If Fort Wayne wins tonight, they’ll have a road record two games over .500 for the first time since April 5th, the second day of the season. Entering today’s play, they are 14-13 away from home. Also, the TinCaps hold a commanding 4.5 game lead over Bowling Green in the Eastern Division wild-card race, and have only 12 games left in the first half. Hang on, folks.

Tonight’s broadcast begins at 6:45 on The Fan 1380 in Fort Wayne and everywhere else. Hope to have you along.


To find out why Jeremy Baltz had to put his cellphone in a bowl of rice, listen to today’s TinCaps Report Podcast with Fort Wayne’s All-Star DH:


In San Diego’s Instructional League last fall, Maxx Tissenbaum, who had been selected in the 11th round of the draft that June by the Padres, was playing in unusual spots – the corners of the infield. The Padres were trying him out there to see if he might be able to learn a new position. Tissenbaum is happy that those experiments were just that–something to try but not to re-visit.

This season he’s been the TinCaps primary second baseman and has, at times, played the occasional shortstop, too. The last few nights he’s even made late-game shifts to short when Stephen Carmon has come out of the game (ejection, pinch-hitter), and the transition has always been flawless.  Earlier this season, Tissenbaum told me that several teams, including his hometown Blue Jays, said they wouldn’t draft him as a shortshop because they couldn’t see him playing there. He didn’t forget that, and seems to have stored it in the back of his mind as motivation.

This winter, while working at Splash International Marketing in his native Toronto, Tissenbaum decided to dedicate himself to building not only his business portfolio, but his body, too, by completely overhauling his diet.

“I cut out all the stuff that I actually like to eat. I’m a big cookies guy,” he said. Cookies? Gone. Sorry, Grandma.

“My grandma bakes a lot, and there were times where I had to tell her, “Don’t bake because I’m not coming over to eat chocolate chip muffins and chocolate chip cookies.”’

While working out four to five times a week, Tissenbaum started to learn more about his body. He did a test with a trainer to figure out where his body stores fat, and what types of food would be best to seek out and which would be best to avoid.

As it turned out, eating fruit at night wasn’t good for him, because his body couldn’t break it down while he slept, and although it seemed beneficial, it was actually detrimental.

So here’s what the daily food routine looked like for Tissenbaum over the winter:

Breakfast – Egg whites, piece of steak, chicken or ham. Cup of coffee. No juice. A lot of water.

10:30 have a bag of nuts and granola, maybe some carrots and an oil-based dressing. Nothing creamy.

Lunch – Some kind of salad with steak or chicken.

Afternoon snack: Fruit or vegetable.

Dinner- Whatever his mom would make for dinner.

There’s always room for a little home cooking, right?

“I made a lot of the food the day of,” he said. “I’m a big morning guy, so I would get up and prepare it before I went off to work.”

Tissenbaum’s goal, he said, was to drop about 20 pounds, since he went into the winter at about 220 pounds. Entering spring training, he had not only dropped that weight, but had also reduced his body fat from 14.6% to 10.1%.

When he got to Arizona to start camp this spring, he said people told him, “Hey, you can run a little bit!”, which meant that he’d be able to see time at the middle infield spots, rather than the corner infield positions, usually reserved for larger, lumbering types.

Although Tissenbaum says it’s sometimes hard to keep up his diet on the road when the only options sometimes are Arby’s or McDonald’s, the work he put in during the winter is surely paying off.


Of the 30 games in which Dane Phillips has played this year, 29 times he’s been the cleanup batter. As the season has gone on, Phillips, despite having the lowest average with runners in scoring position on the team, continues to hit in the cleanup spot. Believe it or not, compared to his teammates, he hasn’t seen all too many opportunities with RISP. Phillips is 4-25 (.160) with such opportunities, which is the lowest average on the team. Here are how some of his other teammates have fared:

Luis Tejada – .295 (18-61)

Gabriel Quintana (DL) – .294 (15-51)

Jeremy Baltz – . 286 (16-56)

Brian Adams – .269 (14-52)

Now with Quintana on the DL, it’s been either Phillips or Diego Goris hitting cleanup. Phillips has hit there the most, followed by Quintana (22 games) and Goris (7 games). What stood out to me though, was Phillips low RBI total–just 10 runs batted in over 30 games. Only Chris Burke, who has played in six games, has fewer.

For comparison, here’s a look at the other cleanup hitters around the league (with assistance from the other broadcasters, who sent me the name of their primary cleanup hitter):

Beloit – Renato Nunez – .290, 11 HR, 36 RBI

Bowling Green – Luke Maile – .259, 1 HR, 19 RBI

Burlington – Michael Bolaski – .237, 2 HR, 29 RBI

Cedar Rapids – Dalton Hicks – .303, 7 HR, 48 RBI

Clinton – Patrick Kivlehan – .279, 3 HR, 28 RBI

Dayton – Jesse Winker – .307, 8 HR, 38 RBI

Great Lakes – Paul Hoenecke –  .230, 2 HR, 11 RBI

Kane County – Jeimer Candelario – .262, 1 HR, 19 RBI

Lake County – Nellie Rodriguez – .194, 1 HR, 13 RBI

Lansing – Kevin Patterson – .255, 8 HR, 22 RBI

Peoria – Jordan Walton – .314, 2 HR, 22 RBI

Quad Cities – Jesse Wierzbicki – .259, 3 HR, 28 RBI

South Bend – Brandon Drury – .320, 8 HR, 41 RBI

West Michigan – Jeff Holm – .300, 5 HR, 34 RBI

Wisconsin – Victor Roache – .234, 6 HR, 25 RBI

So, while his .286 average places him seventh among this group, his RBI total is last.


Fun piece here in The New Yorker on the “selfie”, which, for those of you not under 30, is when a person takes a picture of him or her self. If you’re over 30 and have never heard of this, you’re in great shape. If you’re under 30 and take selfies, please stop.

Some gems:

From 2006 to 2009, the term “MySpace pic” described an amateurish, flash-blinded self-portrait, often taken in front of a bathroom mirror. Self-portraits shot with cell phones, or “selfies”—cheap-looking, evoking the MySpace era—became a sign of bad taste.

By the time Facebook surpassed MySpace’s traffic, in 2009, selfies seemed doomed to marginalization. But a key technological advance occurred a year later: a front-facing camera was built into the iPhone 4. These cameras are now embedded in the face of practically every smartphone and tablet, which means that you can take a self-portrait while looking at the screen, allowing for perfect framing and focus. These days, selfies can look as polished and crisp as posed group shots, and no longer require a mirror or an awkwardly contorted hand.

So now the selfie is back, as evidenced by the heavy volume of them posted by teen-agers, who document everything from new hairstyles to new shoes to no particular occasion at all. (“Cooling” is a common caption among teens for a photo of oneself simply sitting.) Celebrities like Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga post selfies, maintaining visual diaries for their millions of followers. People take selfies in public, posing everywhere and in every which way.

In other words, thanks for nothing iPhone 4!


Nikki Williams…take it away!

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