Fort Wayne’s All-AMERICAN Fourth

Editor’s Note: Contrary to reports, Mike Couzens has not been transferred from Fort Wayne to the AZL Padres. Rather, he is away this weekend to broadcast the U.S. Open Ultimate. Yes, that is a thing. So John Nolan is in off the bench. 

The TinCaps celebrated America’s 237th birthday in grand fashion Thursday night in Downtown Fort Wayne. For the second time in two weeks, Parkview Field set a new attendance record. After 8,643 fans filled Parkview Field on June 20, a Fourth of July crowd of 8,780 came to enjoy America’s pastime on the anniversary of her independence.

From a beautiful rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner by Christie Burd all the way through to the postgame fireworks,  it was an all-American kinda night night at the ballpark, just the way it was when our Founding Fathers used to celebrate baseball in 1776. Or maybe not like that, but it was still a first-class display of patriotism.

Revolutionary War reenactors were on hand from Historic Fort Wayne to give the presentation of colors an added effect.

Revolutionary War reenactors were on hand from Historic Fort Wayne to give the presentation of colors an added effect.

Even with a panoramic shot you couldn't fit in all 8,780 fans at Parkview Field on the Fourth.

Even with a panoramic shot you couldn’t fit in all 8,780 fans at Parkview Field on the Fourth.

USA

July 4, 2013 at Parkview Field.

On a personal note, I had a cheeseburger and hot dog for dinner, got to call a baseball game on the radio, and then enjoyed some ice cream and fireworks. With the exception of being able to enjoy that all with family and close friends from home, I couldn’t have asked for much more on the Fourth.

And if you were one of the record-setting 8,780 in the house, the only thing to spoil your day wasn’t a bad hot dog (although unless you’re Joey Chestnut, hopefully you didn’t have more than a few), it was the play of the TinCaps. (If we’re being picky, actually, I could’ve used some more sun, too.) Fort Wayne lost to South Bend, 6-0, to fall to 1-11 against the Silver Hawks on the season. It’s rather hard to fathom. Even though they’re off to a 3-11 start to the second half, and have been dominated by the Silver Hawks all season, the TinCaps remain 46-37 overall on the season.

As manager José Valentín said afterward, “When you can’t hit, you can’t win.” But José also provided his perspective as a second-year manager and a former 16-year major league player, “I feel the pain. It’s how much you want to get better. I’ve been in this situation when I was a player. When I was a player I went through a lot of hard times. You’ve gotta just battle. Don’t quit. Just battle. And find a way how to get out.”

DIAGNOSING THE DISASTER

Here are some numbers to demonstrate the dominance of South Bend’s pitching against Fort Wayne in the first 12 meetings of the season.

* South Bend Pitching vs. Fort Wayne: 1.11 ERA, 12 Games

* South Bend Pitching vs. Rest of MWL: 3.87 ERA, 72 Games

* Fort Wayne Hitting vs. South Bend: .172 Average, 0.25 HR/G, 1.41 RBI/G

* Fort Wayne Hitting vs. Rest of MWL: .274 Average, 0.58 HR/G, 4.60 RBI/G

Also, you can’t forget, these aren’t your infant nephew’s TinCaps. A number of key parts to the first-half playoff qualifier have either been promoted within San Diego’s system, or are out injured. Their replacements have had mixed results so far. And in some cases, it’s not even that their numbers are bad, but suddenly they’ve been asked to play a larger role.

Key Contributors from First Half Gone

* Justin Hancock: 5-1, 1.73 ERA (Advanced-A Lake Elsinore)

* Leonel Campos: 2-1, 2.23 ERA, 5 SV (Double-A San Antonio)

* Jeremy Baltz: .268, 5 HR, 33 RBI (Advanced-A Lake Elsinore)

* Gabriel Quintana: .307, 5 HR, 27 RBI (Disabled List)

* Alberth Martinez: .270, 6 HR, 37 RBI (Disabled List)

* Stephen Carmon: .253, 1 HR, 14 RBI (Disabled List)

Filling In

* Bryan Rodriguez: 1-3, 2.87 ERA

* Colin Rea: 0-1, 1.80 ERA

* Luis Domoromo: .214, 0 HR, 5 RBI

* Chris Burke: .333, 3 HR, 15 RBI

* Diego Goris: .291, 2 HR, 29 RBI

* Tyler Stubblefield: .190, 1 HR, 4 RBI

OK, IT’S TIME FOR THE “‘MURICA” JOKES TO GO TO BED NOW

As I said already, it was a very enjoyable Fourth of July in Fort Wayne. One pet peeve, however, would be the overuse by others of “America”  as “‘murica” or “‘merica.”  Hahahaha. Very funny. Only, not anymore. The joke has jumped the shark. Please, stop.

Our friends over at Know Your Meme have the history on the unfortunate growth of “‘murica”:

“The term “Murica” was used as early as September 1st, 2003 on the Democratic Underground in a post asserting that “murica” would not hurt another country after after an earlier poster suggested that the government was funding car bombs and building fires overseas.

“’Murica” was used again on a personal democratic blog in November 2004 to describe the red states that voted for George Bush’s reelection. The term was first added to Urban Dictionary on April 8th, 2006. In January 2011, a Facebook fan page for the word was established, gaining 1130 likes in less than two years. That September, a thread on Lurker FAQs suggested the term originated from the Comedy Central animated series South Park, however the term does not appear anywhere on their Wikia page, South Park Archives.

 ‘Murica is often used on Twitter and Tumblr as commentary on stereotypical American practices as well as to emphasize a user’s iron patriotism. On Instagram, there are nearly 40,000 images tagged #murica.”

Check out the disturbing metrics on the rise of “‘murica” and “‘merica” on Google here.

I hope we don’t have to have this talk again on July 5, 2014, AMERICANS.

MUSICAL GUEST

Besides being America’s birthday, yesterday was also the release of Jay-Z’s new album, Magna Carta… Holy Grail. I wanted to share a song from there but, surprise, surprise… Nothing is clean.

So, “old school” Beyoncé and Jay-Z, take it away…

Thanks for reading.

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