Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

June 30 vs. Bowling Green (Game 74)

Fort Wayne TinCaps (3-2, 35-38) vs. Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-3, 39-36)

RHP Dinelson Lamet (2-4, 3.86) vs. RHP Chris Pike (6-2, 3.65)

Tuesday, June 30 — Parkview Field — First Pitch 7:05 p.m.  —  Game 74

LISTEN: ESPN Radio 1380 (WKJG) / TinCaps.com / TuneIn Radio App

WATCH: Comcast Network 81

ABOUT LAST GAME: The TinCaps shut out the Bowling Green Hot Rods, 2-0, in the opener of their three-game series at Parkview Field. Thomas Dorminy became the second Fort Wayne starter this year to work seven innings as he limited BG to four hits and a walk. Colby Blueberg followed with two scoreless innings for the save. Both TinCaps runs came in the fourth. Nick Torres delivered an RBI double, while Franchy Cordero added a run-scoring single.

SHUTOUT: Monday was Fort Wayne’s third shutout victory of the season, and third since May 31. That was when blanked West Michigan at Parkview Field. Fort Wayne also shut out Beloit in Wisconsin on June 5. As a reward, TinCaps pitchers were given the chance to take batting practice on the field this afternoon.

PITCHING WINS: The TinCaps are 7-2 over their last nine games. During the stretch, Fort Wayne has allowed a total of 13 runs (11 earned) and has an ERA of  1.16.

TORR-ID STRETCH: Outfielder Nick Torres is on a season-long 14-game hitting streak. It’s tied for the sixth longest hitting streak in the Midwest League this season, and the longest for a TinCap. During the stretch, Torres is 22-for-54 (.407) with a .441 OBP. Seven of his hits have been doubles. On the year, Torres leads the MWL with 25 doubles and is tied for the league lead in extra-base hits with 29. His .332 batting average is second in the circuit to only Lansing’s Ryan McBroom (.347). With 84 hits so far, Torres is on pace for the second most hits in a season in franchise history. Josh Barfield holds the franchise record with 164 hits in 2002.

HOT AT HOME: The TinCaps have won seven games in a row at Parkview Field and five consecutive series in Fort Wayne.

THE OTHER GUYS: Bowling Green’s roster features the following Tampa Bay Rays prospects: No. 10 C Nick Ciuffo

No. 17 OF Justin Williams

***Complete Game Notes***

TONIGHT’S LINEUP

063015 vs BG - Lineup

 

  1. #1 Michael Gettys CF — Has FW’s lone HR over last 11 G (Thurs. @ GL).
  2. #12 Ruddy Giron SS — Best wRC+ (179) in MWL among hitters w/ 111+ PA.
  3. #10 Nick Torres DH — Celebrating his 22nd birthday today.
  4. #16 Trae Santos 1B* — 36 walks (tied for 8th most in league).
  5. #34 Franmil Reyes DH — Has drawn 10 walks in June (10 total April + May).
  6. #22 Franchy Cordero LF* — In June: .304 AVG with 1 HR and 7 RBI.
  7. #25 Luis Tejada 3B — Leads team with 6 RBI since debut on June 17.
  8. #21 Jose Ruiz C — Leads MWL catchers with 32 runners thrown out.
  9. #3 Mitch Morales 2B* — Making his debut in a TinCaps uniform.

* Left-Handed Batter

MUSICAL GUEST

Nick Torres may be in the midst of a 14-game hitting streak, but he’s not superstitious and recently changed his walkup from “Chains” by Nick Jonas to this…

Thanks for reading. Be in touch on Twitter @John_G_Nolan or by email.

– John

June 29 vs. Bowling Green (Game 73)

The TinCaps are back in the Summit City.

Fort Wayne TinCaps (2-2, 34-38) vs. Bowling Green Hot Rods (2-2, 39-35)

LHP Thomas Dorminy (5-5, 4.41) vs. RHP Henry Centeno (4-4, 4.81)

Monday, June 29 — Parkview Field — First Pitch 7:05 p.m.  —  Game 73

LISTEN: ESPN Radio 1380 (WKJG) / TinCaps.com / TuneIn Radio App

WATCH: Comcast Network 81

ABOUT LAST GAME: The TinCaps fell in the final of their four-game series at Great Lakes, 2-1. The Loons scored once in the second and again in the sixth off Fort Wayne starter Ernesto Montas. At the plate, the TinCaps scored their lone run in the seventh on a Luis Tejada RBI single. Fort Wayne and Great Lakes split the four-game series.

ROLLIE FINGERS: Hall of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers is at Parkview Field signing autographs as part of The Principal Financial Dreams Tour. Although well known for his waxed handlebar mustache, Fingers is one of only five relief pitchers in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Fingers pitched for the Oakland A’s from 1968-76, the Padres from ‘77-80, and for the Milwaukee Brewers from ‘81-82 and ‘84-85.

  • 7-time All-Star (1973-76, ‘78, ‘81, ‘82)
  • 3-time World Series champ (1972-74)
  • World Series MVP (1974)
  • AL Cy Young Award (1981)
  • 4-time Rolaids Relief Man of the Year (1977-78, ‘80-81)

ROSTER MOVE: The Padres sent infielder Chase Jensen up to Advanced-A Lake Elsinore on Monday. To replace him, the TinCaps have received infielder Mitch Morales (no relation to manager Francisco Morales) from Short-Season A Tri-City. The 24-year-old Jensen had the best fielding percentage among Fort Wayne infielders while hitting .197 with 2 HR and 17 RBI in 40 games. Morales, 20, was selected by the Padres in the 29th round of last year’s draft out of Florida Atlantic University. The Florida native was 9-for-23 (.391) through his first six games in the Northwest League.

HOT AT HOME: The TinCaps have won six games in a row at Parkview Field and five consecutive series in Fort Wayne.

PITCHING WINS: In June, the TinCaps have a 2.85 ERA. That’s the lowest in the Eastern Division, and second to only Quad Cities (2.77) in the Midwest League. Fort Wayne is 13-9 this month.

Complete Game Notes

TONIGHT’S STARTING LINEUP

062915 vs. BG - Lineup

  1. #1 Michael Gettys CF — Has FW’s lone HR over last 10 G (Thurs. @ GL).
  2. #12 Ruddy Giron SS — Sat Sun. for first time since joining team on May 18.
  3. #10 Nick Torres RF — On team season-long 13-game hitting streak.
  4. #16 Trae Santos 1B* — 36 walks (tied for 7th most in league).
  5. #34 Franmil Reyes DH — Has drawn 10 walks in June (10 total April + May).
  6. #22 Franchy Cordero LF* — Two hits Sun. for second time in last three.
  7. #25 Luis Tejada 3B — Leads team with 6 RBI since debut on June 17.
  8. #23 Michael Miller C — Making Parkview Field debut.
  9. #9 Felipe Blanco 2B — Made two highlight-reel plays at second on Sunday.

* Left-Handed Batter

TAKE A LISTEN

Before Sunday’s game, Kevin caught up with Manager Francisco Morales.

MUSICAL GUEST

From the year Rollie Fingers won the AL Cy Young…

Thanks for reading. Be in touch on Twitter @John_G_Nolan or by email.

– John

June 28 at Great Lakes (Game 72)

A pleasant Sunday afternoon to you.

Fort Wayne TinCaps (2-1, 34-37) @ Great Lakes Loons (1-2, 39-32)

RHP Ernesto Montas (6-4, 3.71) vs. RHP Grant Holmes (3-0, 3.68)

Sunday, June 28, 2015 — Dow Diamond (Midland, MI) — First Pitch 2:05 p.m.  —  Game 72

LISTEN: ESPN Radio 1380 (WKJG) / TinCaps.com / TuneIn Radio App

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The TinCaps were locked in another one-run game with the Great Lakes Loons on Saturday and prevailed, 2-1. Brad Wieck won his second straight start and struck out nine batters. Chase Jensen and Jose Ruiz drove in the two runs in the fourth inning that proved to be the game winners.

Box     ReCap

FIRST-CLASS RUN: Fort Wayne has been one of the best teams in the Midwest League in the month of June. In fact, since June 10th, the TinCaps own the second best record in the league. Dayton is 11-4 since that date, but Fort Wayne is right behind the Dragons with a 10-4 record of its own.

WALKING THE TIGHT ROPE: Fort Wayne and Great Lakes have played 31 innings in their first three games of this series (with a 13-inning game on Thursday). All but one of those innings have featured a tie score or a lead of no more than one run for either team. That inning was the 13th frame on Thursday when the TinCaps scored three runs to clinch a 4-1 win. These two Eastern Division teams played three other one-run games in late May at Parkview Field. The average margin of victory in eight games during the season series is less than two runs a game (1.6).

BULLPEN SHINES: The TinCaps’ bullpen is a main reason for preserving many of the pressure-packed wins lately. Relievers have allowed just three runs over their last seven games. That translates to a 0.92 ERA during that span (29 1/3 innings).  

GIVE ME A K: Fort Wayne pitchers struck out 15 Loons batters on Saturday, the most for a nine-inning game this year. In the series, that makes 36 total punch-outs, the most prolific three-game stretch this season for TinCaps pitchers.

A TALE OF TWO STARS: Ruddy Giron (.363) and Nick Torres (.324) are two of Fort Wayne’s best hitters. This is the first game all season that both have been absent from the lineup.

TODAY’S STARTING LINEUP:

062815 at GL - Lineup

MUSICAL GUEST

When in doubt, just listen to Taylor Swift…

Thanks for reading. Be in touch on Twitter @John_G_Nolan or by email.

– John

June 27 at Great Lakes (Game 71)

Fort Wayne TinCaps (1-1, 33-37) @ Great Lakes Loons (1-1, 39-31)

LHP Brad Wieck (1-0, 3.60) vs. RHP Kevin Guzman (4-5, 3.34)

Sat., June 27 — Dow Diamond (Midland, MI) — First Pitch 7:05 p.m.  —  Game 71

LISTEN: ESPN Radio 1380 (WKJG) / TinCaps.com / TuneIn Radio App

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Fort Wayne couldn’t hold on to two separate leads on Friday and fell to Great Lakes, 3-2, in the bottom of the ninth inning. Federico Celli laced a walk-off double to end the TinCaps season-high five game win streak. Starter Michael Kelly hurled six shutout innings and Nick Torres and Franchy Cordero contributed at the plate with multi-hit games.     Box     ReCap

PITCHING PROWESS: Over the last six games, Fort Wayne’s pitching staff has only yielded 10 runs. In fact, in the month of June (20 games), the team’s ERA sits at 2.98, and TinCaps pitchers are only allowing 3 1/2 runs per game. It’s helped the team start 12-8 in the month. Fort Wayne’s pitchers have also only allowed one home run over their last 11 games.

MORENO MOVING UP THE LADDER: Edwin Moreno starts in centerfield on Saturday. Although he’s played sparingly during the month of June, Moreno is batting .360 over his last eight games. That includes three multi-hit games and eight runs scored. The Dominican outfielder has scored more runs this season in 41 games (23) then he did in each of the last two seasons combined (19).

A DOZEN FOR TORRES: Outfielder Nick Torres is currently on a team-high 12-game hitting streak. It’s the second time this season he’s hit safely in 12 straight. From April 30-May 12 the Lakewood, California, native went a dozen games with at least one hit. Torres is also hitting .400 against the Loons this year.

DODGERS UNITED: Two members of the 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers World Series Championship team will be at Dow Diamond again on Saturday. TinCaps pitching coach Burt Hooton was an All-Star for Manager Tommy Lasorda’s Dodgers that season. The Hall of Famer was LA’s skipper from 1976 to 1996. He is now a Special Advisor to Dodgers Chairman, Mark Walter. That was one of two World Series Lasorda would bring to Chavez Ravine. Hooton was also named the NLCS MVP in 1981.

TONIGHT’S STARTING LINEUP:

062715 at GL - Lineup

 

  1. #1 Michael Gettys DH — Notched 9th OF assist on Friday, tops amongst FW outfielders
  2. #12 Ruddy Giron SS — Leads the MWL in runs (32) & total bases (82) since 5/18
  3. #10 Nick Torres RF — Currently on his 12-game hitting streak of the season
  4. #16 Trae Santos 1B* — Drove in a run on Friday @ Great Lakes
  5. #25 Luis Tejada 3B — Batting 5th for just the second time this year (in 8 starts)
  6. #22 Franchy Cordero LF* — Had two hits in Friday’s game @ Great Lakes
  7. #24 Chase Jensen 2B — Grew up 15 minutes away from catcher Michael Miller
  8. #21 Jose Ruiz C — Had the night off on Friday @ Great Lakes
  9. #15 Edwin Moreno CF* — Hitting .360 over his last eight games

*Left-Handed Batter

TAKE A LISTEN

Kevin caught up with the newest TinCap, catcher Michael Miller, before he made his Midwest League debut on Friday night.

MUSICAL GUEST

Former TinCaps broadcaster, and the author of “The Watson Files” in this space, Dan Watson is tying the knot today. Congrats, Dan…

Thanks for reading. Be in touch on Twitter @John_G_Nolan or by email.

– John

June 26 at Great Lakes (Game 70)

Fort Wayne TinCaps (1-0, 33-36) vs. Great Lakes Loons (0-1, 38-31)

RHP Michael Kelly (3-1, 5.48) vs. RHP Trevor Oaks (3-5, 2.89)

Friday, June 26, 2015 — Dow Diamond (Midland, MI) — First Pitch 7:05 p.m.

LISTEN: ESPN Radio 1380 (WKJG) / TinCaps.com / TuneIn Radio App

ABOUT LAST NIGHT: The TinCaps opened the second half of their Midwest League schedule with a 13-inning, 4-1, win over the Great Lakes Loons at Dow Diamond. Fort Wayne broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the 13th inning with three runs — two of which were unearned. A Franmil Reyes sac fly proved to be the winning RBI.     Box     ReCap

FIVE IN A ROW: Thursday’s victory was Fort Wayne’s fifth in a row going back to June 18. The five-game winning streak is the longest of the season for the TinCaps. The team is 21-11 over the last 32 games dating to May 18.

PITCHING WINS: During their current five-game winning streak, the TinCaps have allowed a total of seven runs (six earned). Fort Wayne pitchers have struck out 38 batters and walked 12 during the span. The TinCaps bullpen has yielded only one run over 23 innings.

K COUNT: TinCaps pitchers struck out a season-high 16 batters on Thursday. Starter Dinelson Lamet fanned six in five innings. Out of the bullpen, Yimmi Brasoban and Colby Blueberg both struck out two, while Bryan Verbitsky and T.J. Weir both K-ed three each.

WALK THIS WAY: First baseman Trae Santos drew a team season-high and individual career-high four walks Thursday. He’s the team-leader in that category with 32 walks on the year. That’s tied for 10th most among Midwest League hitters.

WITH GETTYS: Center fielder Michael Gettys hit his fourth home run of the season on Thursday in the top of the third inning. Defensively, Gettys also registered his ninth outfield assist of the season in the bottom of the inning when he threw Brian Wolfe out at the plate trying to score from second base on a single up the middle.

ALUMNI REPORT: 2014 TinCaps shortstop Trea Turner was promoted by the Washington Nationals to Triple-A Syracuse today. Turner and the Chiefs are in Indianapolis tonight playing the Indians.

TONIGHT’S LINEUP:

062615 lineup

  1. #1 Michael Gettys CF — Hit first home run in 22 days Thursday night @ GL
  2. #12 Ruddy Giron SS — Scored go-ahead run on Thursday in the 13th inning
  3. #10 Nick Torres RF — On an 11-game hit streak, third this season of 9 or more
  4. #16 Trae Santos 1B* — Has walked nine times over his last four games
  5. #34 Franmil Reyes DH — Drove in a go-ahead run on Thursday against GL
  6. #22 Franchy Cordero LF* — Hasn’t committed a single error in OF in 24 games
  7. #25 Luis Tejada 3B — From San Francisco de Macoris, DR (as is former MLB All-Star Julio Franco)
  8. #23 Michael Miller C — Making TinCaps debut in 2015
  9. #9 Felipe Blanco 2B — One of four FW hitters to drive in 4 runs in a game this year

*Left-Handed Batter

Complete Game Notes

MUSICAL GUEST

Whether or not you agree with today’s Supreme Court ruling, it’s hard to argue with saying that The Wizard of Oz was a revolutionary film and that Judy Garland sang this flawlessly…

Thanks for reading. Be in touch on Twitter @John_G_Nolan or by email.

– John

June 25 at Great Lakes (Game 69)

Welcome to the second half of the 2015 Midwest League season.

We’re going to attempt to make this a daily thing…

Fort Wayne TinCaps (0-0, 32-36) @ Great Lakes Loons (0-0, 38-30)

RHP Dinelson Lamet (2-4, 4.30) vs. RHP Matt Shelton (1-1, 2.92 – AA/AAA)

Thursday, June 25 — Dow Diamond (Midland, MI) — First Pitch 7:05 p.m.  —  Game 69

LISTEN: ESPN Radio 1380 (WKJG) / TinCaps.com / TuneIn Radio App

ABOUT LAST GAME: Before the three-day All-Star break, the TinCaps beat the Bowling Green Hot Rods, 3-2, at Parkview Field on Sunday afternoon to complete a sweep of their three-game series.     ReCap     Box

RIDING HIGH: The TinCaps closed the first half on a four-game winning streak, which included a victory at West Michigan prior to sweeping Bowling Green. The sweep was Fort Wayne’s first of the year, and the four-game winning streak marks a season high for wins. The TinCaps were 20-11 over the final 31 games of the half.

PITCHING WINS: During their current four-game winning streak, the TinCaps have allowed a total of six runs (five earned). Fort Wayne pitchers have struck out 22 batters and walked eight during the span.

PLAY BALL: This series marks Fort Wayne’s second visit to Dow Diamond this season. The TinCaps and Loons were set to open the year here 11 weeks ago, on Thursday, April 9, only to be rained out. Unplayable field conditions then led to a postponement the following day as well, and then a cancellation on Saturday. Fort Wayne and Great Lakes played a three-day, five-game series at Parkview Field from May 26-28 in which the TinCaps took the first three.

ALL-STAR CLASSIC: The 51st annual Midwest League All-Star Classic was held at Dozer Park in Peoria on Tuesday night. TinCaps outfielder Nick Torres and pitcher Thomas Dorminy helped lead the Eastern Division to a 5-0 win over the West. Torres went 0-for-1 at the plate with a walk and a run scored. Dorminy struck out the lone batter he faced. (The Loons had three All-Stars: right-handed pitcher Grant Holmes, infielder Michael Ahmed, and righty J.D. Underwood.)

THE OTHER GUYS: Great Lakes won the Eastern Division’s first half wild card, finishing second to Lansing. The Loons were 20-25 before going on a 17-2 tear from May 28-June 14 that included a 10-game winning streak. Great Lakes features the following Dodgers prospects according to MLB.com: (3) RHP Grant Holmes, (5) OF Alex Verdugo.

TONIGHT’S STARTING LINEUP

062515 at GL

 

  1. #1 Michael Gettys CF — Had first 4-hit game as a TinCap on Saturday vs. BG.
  2. #12 Ruddy Giron SS — Featured in an MiLB.com story on Wednesday.
  3. #10 Nick Torres LF — Tied for the league’s lead in doubles with 23.
  4. #16 Trae Santos 1B* — Has drawn a team high 28 walks.
  5. #34 Franmil Reyes RF — Cousin, Alex Reyes (STL), named to Futures Game.
  6. #22 Franchy Cordero DH* — Hitting .300 in June. (AVG was .207at end of May.)
  7. #25 Luis Tejada 3B — Has 5 RBI in 5 games, including 2-run single on Sunday.
  8. #21 Jose Ruiz C — Has thrown out MWL-best 30 base-stealers.
  9. #24 Chase Jensen 2B — Has not committed an error in 13 games at second.

Complete Game Notes

MUSICAL GUEST

Michael Jackson died on this day in 2009. Let’s go back to The Jackson Five days, and Indiana (just forget that we’re in Michigan tonight)…

Thanks for reading. Be in touch on Twitter @John_G_Nolan or by email.

– John

Countdown to Opening Day: 23

It’s officially spring now. Even in Fort Wayne, where we woke up to snow on the ground this morning. Hardly any, but still. It was a rude sight to see, especially after being teased with some beautiful recent weather. Monday was in the 60s.

In fact, the weather had been so nice, on Tuesday, the Grounds Crew broke out the mower.

That’s more of a harbinger of spring than any date on the calendar. Speaking of dates, though, we’re getting closer and closer to Opening Day at Parkview Field on Sunday, April 12 at 4:05 p.m. against Lansing.

Design Credit: Jared Law

Design Credit: Jared Law

If you’re looking for tickets to Opening Day, or any day, here’s the place to go. The literal place to go is Parkview Field’s Ticket Office. You can also call 260-482-6400.

WORTH A READ

Pat Connaughton appeared in six games for Aberdeen in 2014, fanning 10 over 14 2/3 innings. (Ashley Marshall/MiLB.com)

Though Opening Day draws near, March Madness is the talk of the day. Thursday’s unofficial start of the Tournament saw a record six games decided by one point. Most of the others were nail-biters, too, including Notre Dame’s four-point victory over Northeastern.

We bring this up, because, did you know Notre Dame senior forward Pat Connaughton is also a Minor Leaguer? Connaughton was drafted by the Orioles last year in the fourth round.

Curt Rallo wrote a good piece for MiLB.com about Connaughton’s commitment to being a two-sport standout. The NCAA also has a well-done video feature on Connaughton’s story.

A good lesson in here for young athletes:

“Everyone is telling kids you have to play one sport to make it to the college level,” Connaughton said. “I think that’s

. You can play multiple sports. It helps your overall athleticism. The fact that you’re not focusing on one sport, the fact that you’re not using the same muscles over and over again, that helps your competitive nature, it helps you athleticism, and it helps your ability to prevent injuries, and it helps prevent burnout.”  

As an aside, Connauhgton received a $428,000 signing bonus from the Orioles. While rare, this isn’t unheard of. For example, the last two years, the TinCaps have seen Amir Garrett of the Dayton Dragons, who the Reds signed for $1 million when he was still playing basketball for St. John’s. The NCAA’s stipulation in these deals is that these guys can no longer play college baseball after signing, but any other sport, like basketball, is fine. It’s interesting.

ONE FOR THE ROAD

Via NPR.com: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, sporting a Brewers jersey. (Photo Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

NPR’s Don Gonyea on spring training for baseball, and political candidates. It’s a humorous analogy.

MUSICAL GUEST

Eric Church was in Fort Wayne Wednesday night for a concert at the Coliseum. I’m not an ardent country music fan, but I like it more when the song is in part an ode to Bruce Springsteen. Mr. Church, take it away…

Thanks for reading. As always, would love for you to be in touch on Twitter @John_G_Nolan or by email (nolan@tincaps.com). Have a great weekend!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Are you celebrating in TinCaps style? Limited edition shamrock hats are on sale for $17 in The Orchard Team Store at Parkview Field.

StPattysHat2

The 17th fan to purchase one was lucky enough to win $25 TinCash.

ALL-IRISH NAME TEAM

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, here is a TinCaps All-Irish Name Team. Dozens of players have passed through Fort Wayne during the last six years and donned the TinCaps green, but the following lads have had names more Irish than the rest.

(Note: To complete the roster, players qualified for position assignments as long as they have played the position previously, even if it isn’t or wasn’t their primary one.)

Pitchers

RHP Ryan Butler (2014)

LHP Allen Harrington (2009)

RHP Michael Kelly (2012-13)

RHP Jeremy McBryde (2010)

RHP Dennis O’Grady (2011-12)

RHP Jerry Sullivan (2010)

Position Players

C – Chris O’Dowd (2012)

1B – Jason Hagerty (2010)

2B – Casey McElroy (2012)

3B – Sawyer Carroll (2009)

SS – Pat McKenna (2011)

OF – Clark Murphy (2012)

OF – Wes Cunningham (2011)

OF – Daniel Killian (2011)

DH – Chris Burke (2013)

If we added a spot for broadcaster, both John Nolan and Kevin Fitzgerald would obviously qualify.

WORTH A READ

Via Catholic.org

Since the day is named for him, read about St. Patrick.

ONE FOR THE ROAD

Via @SaraWagnerWANE

WANE-TV reporter Sara Wagner and photojournalist Dalton Rinehart share the story of Fort Wayne’s Deer Park Irish Pub.

MUSICAL GUEST

Irishmen, take it away…

Thanks for reading. We’ll get back to more of a baseball focus tomorrow. Anything good to share? Be in touch on Twitter @John_G_Nolan, by email (nolan@tincaps.com), or in the comments.

One Month To Go

A mere 30 days from now, baseball will be back at Parkview Field. The TinCaps host the Lansing Lugnuts on Sunday, April 12 at 4:05 p.m.

This was the scene in Downtown Fort Wayne a month out yesterday evening.

I think I’d sign for that kind of weather on Opening Day. It was about 50°.

Thanks to a few sunny days this week, the snow is all but gone. TinCaps Assistant Video Production Manager Jared Law put together a cool time-lapse video to show the transformation.

Meanwhile, down in Arizona (where there’s no shortage of sun and warmth), past and future TinCaps are in Spring Training with the Padres. They’re working hard, and having BIG FUN…

In case you can’t recognize those men in costume, that would be TinCaps hitting coach Lance Burkhart on the left, manager Francisco Morales in the middle, and pitching coach Burt Hooton on the right.

While the Padres have been playing Spring Training games for more than a week now, the minor leaguers don’t start game action until next Friday, the 20th.

WORTH A READ

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Zach Eflin pitching for the TinCaps on June 11, 2013. Photo Credit: Jeff Nycz (Mid-South Images)

Philly Inquirer writer Matt Breen has a tremendous story on 2012 TinCap Zach Eflin, who’s now in the Phillies’ organization. (Zach was part of the three-team trade that sent Matt Kemp to San Diego and Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers.)

Before he plays his first game this spring, Phillies pitching prospect Zach Eflin will grab a black Sharpie and his red Phillies cap. The righthander will then flip the cap and write a message he has scribbled inside for the last two seasons.

I play to motivate, to inspire and to show that you can fulfill a dream with faith and dedication.

The 20-year-old’s faith and dedication helped him navigate through a life filled with hurt and loss. His older sister Ashley died in 1995 of leukemia. Candace, another older sister, is intellectually disabled from being deprived of oxygen at birth. Ashley’s death drove Eflin’s mother to alcoholism. Eflin said he and his mother rarely speak.

“I want to inspire anybody. Anyone that has family issues,” Eflin said. “The message is, you can do whatever you want. You can still fulfill a dream even when things are not going your way.”

ONE FOR THE ROAD

Last night, the Pads played the Dodgers. Let’s see if you recognize any names in the lineup.

You may be familiar with former TinCaps Rico Noel (2010-11), Rocky Gale (2011), Hunter Renfroe (2013), Cory Spangenberg (2011), Jedd Gyorko (2010), Matt Wisler (2012), Kevin Quackenbush (2012), and… Will Ferrell.

Yes, the comedian suited up for the Padres. He also suited up for the Dodgers. And eight other teams, playing all 10 positions over the course of the day.

You can read and watch more here. It’s important to note that while this was certainly fun for all involved, Will was raising money for Stand Up To Cancer and Cancer for College.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

My memory is not to be confused with fellow TinCaps broadcaster Mike Maahs. Mike can tell you when and where he was for obscure events in his life, like when he last ate a taco for dinner. That kind of recall also is handy when delving into Wizards and TinCaps history.

Anyway, I’m more likely to remember a sporting event, and then be able to connect it to a moment in my life. Case in point:

I remember staying up to watch this until it ended at 1:22 a.m., and then even later as I still had to finish an AP English essay. Regrettably, I had told myself I’d watch the game, and then finish my homework. Oops.

Later that afternoon I was ready for a nap but when I got home from school I checked my e-mail and discovered I had been accepted to attend Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Public Communications. I think I was still too tired to be excited, but I put on this shirt

and went to Tony’s Pizza with a friend for a couple celebratory slices. Little did I know at the time I would indeed go to SU, and then meet Mike Couzens. Without those dominoes falling, I wouldn’t be here in Fort Wayne right now. Goes to show you, ya never know when a memorable and important moment in your life may occur.

MUSICAL GUEST

Last Friday it was announced that award-winning country music star Dierks Bentley is bringing his Songs of Summer tour to Parkview Field on Saturday, July 25. So Mr. Bentley, take it away…

Thanks for reading. Any good weekend plans? Anything else to share? Be in touch on Twitter @John_G_Nolan, by email (nolan@tincaps.com), or in the comments below.

Dierks Bentley Coming to Parkview Field

Big news from the land of #BIGFUN early this morning.

K105 has announced that award-winning country music star Dierks Bentley is bringing his Songs of Summer tour to Parkview Field on Saturday, July 25.

As someone who’s more of a basketball fan than a country music fan, I initially thought this meant Dirk Nowitzki would be driving a Mulsanne here, but this is an even bigger get for the Fort.

Concert details, such as when tickets go on sale, have yet to be released. Stay tuned.

SPRING TRAINING REPORT

Justin Upton homering in his Padres Spring Training debut. (Photo Credit: Jeff Nycz, Mid-South Images.)

Justin Upton homering in his Padres Spring Training debut. (Photo Credit: Jeff Nycz, Mid-South Images.)

How excellent is this photo of Justin Upton? As you can imagine from the looks of it, he crushed that pitch over the center-field fence Wednesday in his Padres Spring Training debut. You can watch it here.

That photo comes to us from Jeff Nycz, who photographs TinCaps games and a whole lot more for Mid-South Images. Jeff is in Arizona at the moment (lucky dog). Next week we’ll share more of his Spring Training photos, including shots of former TinCaps.

As for Thursday’s action in Peoria, the Padres played the Mariners again. (Remember, San Diego and Seattle share a complex there.) Here’s the box score.

Diego Goris batting for the TinCaps on May 30, 2013. (Photo Credit: Jeff Nycz, Mid-South Images)

Diego Goris batting for the TinCaps on May 30, 2013. (Photo Credit: Jeff Nycz, Mid-South Images)

Diego Goris, Hunter Renfroe, Will Venable, Rymer Liriano, Rico Noel, Tommy Medica, Cody Decker, Austin Hedges, and Cory Spangenberg were the former Fort Wayne players in the lineup. If you’re scoring at home, that’s 15 TinCaps and Wizards alums seeing the field through two Spring Training games.

It’s great to see Diego Goris get a hit in his lone at-bat yesterday against a veteran big league pitcher, Joe Saunders. In 2013, Goris was a utility infielder for the TinCaps. There were two different stretches during the year when he went a full week without getting a single AB. In Low-A, that’s pretty unheard of. Even the last guy on the bench is usually afforded a start here and there. In fact, Diego was so far away from being considered a prospect that he pitched not once, but twice(!) in mop-up roles. And this was after the Pirates and Royals organizations had already given him up.

With somewhat of a stocky build, the 24-year-old from the Dominican doesn’t necessarily look the part, but the results are there. He got more and more opportunities with the TinCaps in 2013 as the year went on and made the most of them. Diego had multiple walk-off hits. Last year, he was a California League All-Star for High-A Lake Elsinore in the first-half before earning a promotion to Double-A San Antonio. Good story to keep an eye on.

WORTH A LISTEN

From NPR.com: Larry David plays Norman Drexel in the new Broadway play Fish in the Dark. (Photo Credit: Joan Marcus/Courtesy of Philip Rinaldi Publicity)

Larry David is continuing his media tour to promote his new Broadway show, Fish in the Dark. Here’s an interview he did with NPR’s Fresh Air that aired Thursday. It’s interesting that he didn’t consider himself funny growing up and even when he was in school at the University of Maryland, he had no specific career plans. His mom wanted him to be a mailman. Guess it worked out for him anyway.

ONE FOR THE ROAD

In a matter of moments, the NCAA is about to announce the findings of its eight-year long investigation of Syracuse University. Hearkening back to more jovial times for the Orange, and tying in that today is Shaquille O’Neal’s 43rd birthday, here’s a photo that has no context.

Shaq lifting up then-Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor at a Syracuse basketball game against Fordham on November 12, 2011. Guess you’d say it’s Shaq being Shaq. (Photo Credit: Nate Shron/Getty Images)

MUSICAL GUEST

Shaq and Biggie, take it away…

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend. Keep in touch in the comments, by email, or on Twitter @John_G_Nolan.

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