Walk-Off Win, Saves and Slams, Minor League Markets, DL Check-In

Four-game losing streak…over!

The TinCaps picked up their ninth walk-off win of the season on Sunday with a 4-3 victory over the Dayton Dragons.

(If any readers of the blog speak Spanish, feel free to critique my interview with Goris. Email me at Couzens@TinCaps.com. Also, messages written over Parkview Field via the vapor trail of an airplane are also acceptable.)

Diego Goris provided the theatrics with a single to left field, scoring Alberth Martinez. It was the third walk-off hit of the season for Goris. Tonight at 7:05, the TinCaps and Dragons close out their three-game series. It’s a U.S. Foods Family Feast Night with $1 popcorn, pizza, soda and hot dogs, so come to the ballpark hungry.


John Nolan sat down with Manager Jose Valentin yesterday for the radio broadcast’s Sunday chat with the skipper. They discussed why the team had trouble over the four-game slide, the addition of first-round pick Hunter Renfroe, Valentin’s relationship with Padres GM Josh Byrnes and Sr. VP of Baseball Operations Omar Minaya, and about the evolution of Zach Eflin:


In his second game in a TinCaps uniform yesterday, TinCaps outfielder Hunter Renfroe not only hit his first Midwest League home run, a towering shot over the 376-foot marker in left-center, but he also made a spectacular catch up against the wall in right field to end the eighth and leave a runner at third. This photo below is 36 pictures stitched together:

Photo by Jeff Nycz, Mid-South Images

Photo by Jeff Nycz, Mid-South Images

Renfroe leapt to get the baseball, it bounced off his glove and went straight up in the air, and then he steadied himself and caught the falling baseball. In two games, a very small sample size, Renfroe has made a very good first impression in Fort Wayne.


Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal just released its rankings of the top Minor League markets in the United States, and Fort Wayne checks in at a solid #7. The cities ahead of Fort Wayne are:

1 – Toledo

2 – Rochester, N.Y.

3 – Hershey-Harrisburg, PA

4 – San Bernadino County, CA

5 – Springfield, MA

6 – Syracuse, NY

Here’s what was written about Fort Wayne:

■ Teams (first season): Midwest League Fort Wayne TinCaps (1993), ECHL Fort Wayne Komets (1952), NBA D-League Fort Wayne Mad Ants (2007)

■ Venues (year opened): Allen County War Memorial Coliseum (1952; renovated 2002), Parkview Field (2009)

Baseball and hockey have long been institutions in this city, also known for being the final resting place of Johnny Appleseed. It was local pride in the folklore legend that spurred the 2009 rebranding of the Midwest League baseball team, now named for his peculiar headgear. The team also opened $34 million Parkview Field the same year as part of a downtown revitalization project. TinCaps average attendance has been around 5,600 fans a game since then after drawing 3,702 fans a game in their last season at their prior home, Memorial Stadium.

As for the ECHL Komets, they have played hockey in the city since 1952. Local fans especially showed their love for the team this past season, which was the first for the club in the ECHL after moving from the CHL. The team drew 7,583 fans a game at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, an average that was tops among all ECHL clubs.

Despite a population growth rate of only 2.8 percent over the past five years, the market’s overall attendance count for its teams increased 13.8 percent.

The only true negative for Fort Wayne, the No. 1 market in our survey in 2007, has been its inability to support an indoor football team. The CIFL Fort Wayne Firehawks folded after the 2010 season. It was the sport’s fourth attempt to break into the market.

While it’s nice that Fort Wayne is ranked seventh, I think its spot should probably be higher on this list. Reading the rankings, it appears that these were done from afar, rather than from gaining a taste of each market. I’m not asking SBJ to fly to all of these places and go to a game at each venue, although that would make the rankings better, but I can’t imagine they’ve got an idea of how passionate Komets, Mad Ants, and TinCaps fans are.

The metrics used among all cities seem to be attendance, unemployment rate, population growth rate, and things along those lines. Perhaps a more proper title for this list would be “Top Minor League Markets as Analyzed by an Economist”.


TinCaps infielder Maxx Tissenbaum has been on the disabled list for a week now with a shoulder injury he suffered diving for a ball in Fort Wayne’s most recent series with Lansing. He posted a new blog entry today, available here, and wrote about the fear that comes along with the uncertainty of injury as a professional athlete:

I immediately knew something wasn’t right, recalling the feeling I had when I hurt my shoulder the same way during my Junior season at Stony Brook.  I kept moving it, swinging it, lifting it up and down, doing any form of the chicken dance to keep it from stiffening up and preventing me from finishing the game.  I iced it down after the game, headed home and hoped for the best, waking up the next morning to a splitting pain, and basically no range of motion.  Standing with my arms hanging at my side, I could move my arm about 5 inches away from my hip before it felt like it hit a wall, one that included a brutal pain.  My immediate thought scared the hell out of me, I didn’t remember ever having pain like this before, I remembered the dead, heavy arm sensation but never the pain.  My first thought as I rolled around in bed that morning was the worst case scenario. What if I’d torn something, needed to get it fixed and would be done for the year? I really did fear the worst.  Nothing changed for a couple of days which made me even more worried.

You can find Maxx’s writing at Maxx54Padres.Wordpress.com.


We venture from the prose of Maxx Tissenbaum to a quick selection about writing I found last week that I particularly enjoyed. This comes from Simone Gorrindo, the wife of an Army Ranger, in her entry on velamag.com:

It’s a private act with public consequence, and it’s only in that private moment that I can actually figure out what it is I really mean to say. Speech has always felt to me insufficient, and I feel this more than ever in a world where I am so evidently out of place. Writing allows for a deeper, unspoken connection between reader and writer, and why shouldn’t that be the case in this particular community? The act may be done in isolation, but at the end of the day, it lives, very firmly, in all of the worlds out there, literary or otherwise.

As a broadcaster, I cannot say that I find speech insufficient because without it I’d be out of a job. But I do agree with Simone in the sense that putting words on paper allows for a “deeper, unspoken connection between reader and writer” and that it allows us to better get our thoughts across. Even when I prepare for a broadcast, there are nuggets and facts and numbers that I have printed on paper in front of me or on the computer screen to my left, but I still like to write them in my scorebook anyway. I feel that the information resides somewhere deeper in my brain once it’s been transferred from pen to paper. Even when doing basketball broadcasts, there are innumerable stats that can be kept on a spotting chart, but I like to write them all by hand so that the most important ones linger with me.

This quotation, in part, is a good explanation of why I like to keep this blog. It helps me give a better connection with fans, friends, family and whomever else wants to read, as I share what might not always make it on the air.


Even though I don’t usually prefer live music to studio-quality stuff, Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado makes me change my mind sometimes.

Mumford and Sons…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.


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