A Week in Michigan
Greetings and salutation from the Wolverine State–Midland to be exact, where the TinCaps are in the midst of a four-game series with the Great Lakes Loons, the Midwest League’s Dodgers outfit. Game one didn’t go so hot, as the TinCaps dropped the opener, 6-4. It was a close ballgame throughout, but with the help of the TinCaps defense, the Loons added a few runs on this play in the bottom of the eighth inning:
The TinCaps entered the ninth down, 6-1, but Jose Carlos Urena helped carve into the deficit:
Strangely enough, and by a massive stroke of luck, I happened to be talking about Urena’s batting practice power earlier that day. For those who believe in the broadcaster jinx–when we say something hasn’t happened (a no-hitter) and then the opporiste happens, usually in a bad way, do you believe int he broadcaster un-ijix? (For the record, I don’t believe it that at all. If there’s a no-hitter happening, it’s my job to document the game and talk about it, so that’s what I’m going to do.) From now on when the TinCaps have the bases loaded, I’ll mention how they haven’t hit a grand slam yet this year, and will be happy to accept your praises for my un-jinx when it happens.
Onto more serious matters…
Yesterday before the game I chatted with TinCaps Manager Michael Collins (in lieu of our usual Sunday chat, since it was a day off) and we talked about the team’s then-three-game winning streak, Walker Weickel, and how his batting order works with Ronnie Richardson and Mallex Smith’s great speed…
TINCAPS REPORT PODCAST
Yesterday was Social Media Monday at Dow Diamond, and with the help of Loons broadcaster Brad Golder, Jared Sandler, also a loons play-by-play man, and I showed the score at the seventh-inning stretch. Please note my dismay, as I’m holding the TinCaps’ run total:
WORKPLACE SERENITY BY THE HOUR
As a frequent traveler for work, whether with the TinCaps or otherwise, I often find myself searching for a strong WiFi signal, and a comfortable, quiet place to work. Rarely does that come in the form of a Minor League bus trip, as movies might be blaring, although I must say this year has been enjoyable so far, as the two bus rides I’ve been on with the team have featured nary a motion picture. SERENITY NOW! Makes it a lot easier to read for pleasure–it’s the small things, folks.
I found common ground on the easy-to-use workspace with Julien Smith, a 34-year-old who, as The Atlantic tells us, has created “Breather” which is a company that rents out small spaces in chunks of time for the traveling businessperson:
“Everyone has been here. “You’re sitting in an alleyway, next to a dumpster, trying to make a phone call, and a garbage truck rumbles by,” Smith told me, laughing. We met recently in New York, the epicenter of such unpleasant urban experiences, and where Smith has just launched the latest round of Breathers. At 34, he is trim and boyish, with tattoos up his arms and large circular ear piercings, and he greeted me with an easy familiarity (“Hey, man” is a frequently used phrase).
The concept of Breather, he explains, is at once simple and revolutionary. “If you’re walking around, and you need a break, you reserve and go,” he says. “Or you have to make a phone call — you literally press three buttons. It costs a reasonable sum of money, you arrive at the door, you enter a code. It’s so basic to talk about, but you close the door, and it’s your space. It’s such a paradigm shift. The whole experience of how you go about your day is changed.”
Breathers vary by size, but the amenities are pretty consistent: a great window, strong Wi-Fi, a couch, a table and chairs, an accessible bathroom. The aesthetic is simple and utilitarian: white walls, good lighting, wood floors, a muted color palette. There are stylish touches, too, like a wooden park bench, old-fashioned coat hooks, and carefully curated books.”
While I don’t see these popping up in a Midwest League city near me any time soon, I do appreciate the concept. For now, when hotel WiFi isn’t working well–ah, the plight of the Minor League Baseball broadcaster–I will continue to make Panera and Starbucks my ‘breathers’. I’ll drink as much coffee as I need to not be labeled a loiterer. Hazenlut, please!
EARLY MORNING HONORS
Jared Sandler, he of the photo above, is a good friend of mine, and quite a workaholic. He’s extended the invitation to many a Midwest League broadcaster to join him for a 6:15 a.m. game of pickup basketball at the Midland Community Center (the official gym of the Great Lakes Loons!) and I know that in the last two years at least myself, John Nolan, and West Michigan’s Ben Chiswick have taken him up on the offer. (For those of you eagerly wondering, I am 6’4″, but play like Dirk Nowitzki–lots of fadeaway shots, not a lot of under-the-rim action…except most of my shots don’t go in.)
Today a new competitor entered the fold, as TinCaps athletic trainer Ricky Huerta joined the group for the first time. I’ll be keeping a close eye on Ricky’s caffeine intake as our 6:05 p.m. first pitch approaches.
If you’re around tonight, hope you can listen on The Fan 1380 or TheFanFortWayne.com. I’ll talk to you on the radio.
Katy Perry…take it away!