Back Home, Hall of Fame Tie, Banned from Baseball

The TinCaps dropped the series finale against Dayton last night, 3-2, being swept in a series for just the fourth time this season. Fort Wayne enters play today in last place in the Eastern Division second-half standings and the second-lowest winning percentage among the 16 Midwest League teams.

A few roster moves today, too. Infielder Chris Burke has been promoted to Advanced-A Lake Elsinore of the California League, marking the third promotion for any player this year (Jeremy Baltz and Justin Hancock). Additionally, outfielder Alberth Martinez was reinstated from the disabled list, after having spent nearly a month on the shelf. Martinez was hit in the face by a pitch from Lansing’s Roberto Osuna at the end of June, and had been on the DL since June 28th.

Tonight the TinCaps return home for a quick two-gamer against the Lake County Captains. It’s part of a a split four-game series with two games here and two games in Ohio. You can catch the game on XFINITY 81 and hear the action on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.

PODCAST

To hear John Nolan’s talk with Padres Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mike Cather, listen to the podcast below. Cather discusses the growth of some of the team’s youngest and brightest arms:

FORT WAYNE’S HALL OF FAME TIE

I wrote last week about some of the history of baseball in Fort Wayne, and how the first-ever professional baseball game was played here. As it turns out, one of the posthumous inductions into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday was of a former player by the name of Deacon White.

White, whose baseball career took place only in the 19th century (1868-1899) played in that first ever game as a member of the Cleveland Forest City Club, which took on the Fort Wayne Kekiongas. Although Fort Wayne’s Bobby Matthews, who is said to be the inventor of the curveball, twirled a shutout in that game, White went 3-for-4, hit a double and also hit into a double play.

According to the Hall of Fame’s website:

White was a standout catcher in a catcher-important era. Catchers did not use any equipment and were positioned much farther back from the pitcher than in modern baseball. Just catching the ball was considered an advantage, but White could catch and throw runners out.

White was 42 during his last season and had been the oldest player in the league for his last four seasons. He was also the first ever player to win a most valuable player award and earned the honor in 1875 when his Red Stockings went 71-8.

At the end of his career, White had a career batting average of .312, 2,067 hits and 988 RBIs.

Despite none of the members of this year’s class being alive, there’s still a nice bit of history in the three-man group.

BANNED FROM BASEBALL?

There’s lots of talk this week around Major League Baseball about the Biogenesis ordeal and whether more players might be named as having used performance enhancing drugs, leading to suspensions. Although no one knows if there will be more suspensions to follow Ryan Braun’s or what any penalties might be, Sports on Earth took a fun look at how many players have actually been banned from baseball since the game has been played:

The most recent cases are a varied bunch. Under commissioner Fay Vincent, George Steinbrenner famously was banned in 1990 for hiring small-time gambler Howard Spira to dig up dirt on Dave Winfield; that one lasted just three years. While Steinbrenner was out, Yankees pitcher Steve Howe was booted after his seventh drug-related suspension but promptly reinstated by an arbiter. And Marge Schott, the only person Bud Selig has ever banned, was an unhinged bigot — something that wouldn’t have gotten her so much as a slap on the wrist, back in Landis’ day.

Back then, the game was consumed by worries about game-fixing, and nearly as much by the fear of free agency. Ironically, when free agency arrived, it very nearly eradicated any concerns about gambling; after all, a player making a good salary has far less of an incentive to risk throwing a game. With those two concerns dispatched, baseball now has entirely different things to police. The sport continues to evolve, and as it does, so does its list of exiles.

If Alex Rodriguez were to get banned, he’d have plenty of company, historically speaking. But it would be a very unusual occurrence in modern baseball, and even more unusual if the ban actually stuck. He would be the first player ever banned for PEDs — though not the first for being caught with illegal substances. That would be Fergie Jenkins, who was banned in 1980 for cocaine and marijuana — and who’s now in the Hall of Fame. Lifetime bans aren’t what they used to be.

MUSICAL GUEST

Timeflies…take it away!

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

MCsig

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