Hoping Things Go Wright in Dayton

Last night the TinCaps lost, 7-4, in the opener of a three-game series. You can read about it here.

Tonight, they try to win the middle game of the set, sending righthander Adrian De Horta to the mound against left-hander and college basketball player Amir Garrett. Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. Garrett, who is 22, spent two years playing basketball at St. John’s before transferring to Cal State-Northridge this past season and sitting out. The Reds drafted Garrett in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft out of high school basketball powerhouse Findlay Prep in Nevada.

Here are the headlines from today’s game notes:

Among the Best: Fort Wayne’s Fernando Perez and Dane Phillips have continued to swing their bats well into the month of May. Perez’s .328 average ranks seventh in the league, and Phillips, at .322, is good for 11th. Perez has 40 hits, which rank him third, and his 23 RBI are most on the team. Elsewhere, Mallex Smith has 22 stolen bases, which leads all of Minor and Major League Baseball.

Four Straight Southpaws: Dating back to Tuesday’s morning game at Lansing, the TinCaps tonight face their fourth straight left-handed starting pitcher. The lineup, which can feature as many as six left-handed bats, it hitting .269 against lefties and .250 against righties. In the last three games, Fort Wayne has hit .232 (23-99).

Where They Stand: The TinCaps have committed a Minor League Baseball-leading 71 errors through 33 games. The next two closest teams in that category are Lake County with 58 and the High Desert Mavericks of the California League, who have 54. The average number of errors per team (120 teams) in each league is as follows: Midwest – 40.8, South Atlantic – 37.9, California – 38.3, Carolina – 36.1, Florida State – 35.8, Texas – 39, Eastern – 29.7, Southern – 32.1, International – 28.1, Pacific Coast – 28.7. The Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, with 20 errors in 33 games, have the fewest errors in Minor League Baseball.

POM: The San Diego Padres today named Mallex Smith the organization’s baserunner of the month and Fernando Perez the fielder of the month.

Tonight’s broadcast, if you are so inclined to listen to me describing the sport of professional baseball on the radio concurrent to the time it is being played, begins at 6:45 on The Fan 1380, TheFanFortWayne.com, and on the TuneIn Radio app.

TINCAPS REPORT PODCAST

Prior to yesterday’s game, I spoke with TinCaps second baseman Josh VanMeter, who offered some good insight on his transition to the Midwest League, adjusting his diet as a professional athlete, living at home, and who he’s learned the most from in his short time with the TinCaps:

SELLOUT STREAK

From today’s Minor League Baseball newsletter:

“The Dayton Dragons are slated to extend their record consecutive sellout streak for a professional sports team to 1,000 games tomorrow night when they host Fort Wayne. Plans call for the unveiling of a banner commemorating the fans support of the team, complete with a drum roll provided by the Dayton Dragons drum line. When the game is considered an official game, fans will be recognized for their support, 1,000 balloons will be launched and fans will receive gifts from the team.”

On tonight’s pre-game show, I’ll chat with Dragons Executive Vice President Eric Deutsch, who has been here since 2000 and is an instrumental piece of the Dragons success. Hear that conversation at 6:50 on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.

SHOUT OUT

To my great friend and Dragons Senior Marketing Manager, Samantha Weaver. Thank you for bringing me four AA batteries. Without that, I would not be able to record my broadcasts. I am eternally grateful to you. Go Bobcats.

samantha weaverbobcats



MUSICAL GUEST

OneRepublic…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

Buckeye State Bloviation or Sellout Streak Study

A pleasant good afternoon to you from Dayton, Ohio, the home of the Dayton Dragons, and the temporary home of the TinCaps for the next three days as they take on the Cincinnati Reds Midwest League affiliate.

Last night the TinCaps lost, 12-5, against the Lugnuts in the finale of their three-game series at Cooley Law School Stadium. The Fort Wayne bullpen gave up six runs over the their final three innings of work, putting a comeback attempt out of reach for the offense, which had 11 hits and went 5-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

Tonight’s game, and all three in this series, will get going at 7:07, because the games are part of the Dragons’ TV package. The normally scheduled start time is 7:00 p.m. I’ll be on the air with pre-game coverage at 6:45 on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com, or for those of you technologically savvy enough, we’re also on the TuneIn radio app. However, I might take that statement back, as my mother told me she was on the TuneIn App last night, so that’s proof you don’t have to be technologically savvy to use it. Please don’t write me out of your will, Mom.

If you’ve never been to Fifth Third Field, or heard about it, it holds a special place in sports history. The Dragons, formerly the Rockford Reds, came to town in 2000 and have sold out every game ever since. Full disclosure, I used to work for the Dragons in 2011, and when I was there, I did a story about the team coming to town and it’s reception. Anything sound familiar with a ballpark coming downtown??

Saturday is going to be the team’s 1000th consecutive sellout, which only adds to the record they already hold–the longest sellout streak in professional sports history. I was here for the record breaker–815–in 2011, and look forward to 1,000. That night in 2011, I interviewed many people (in fact I had a different guest on in each of the first 12 half-innings of the game!), and two of those were the team’s co-owners, Magic Johnson and Archie Griffin:

223718_2107343768049_6516187_n 285313_2107338287912_565357_n

I still have many friends in the team’s front office and broadcast booth, so it will be something special to be a part of. People always ask me what the secret is to the franchise having sold out so many games, and I think you’ve just got to see it to understand it. Put it on your baseball bucket list.

If you are so inclined, here’s the link to today’s game notes:

http://www.milb.com/documents/1/4/4/74749144/050814_at_DAY_2bww02ch.pdf

TINCAPS REPORT PODCAST

Prior to Wednesday’s game, I chatted with Tuesday’s starter Kyle Lloyd, the California/Florida/Indiana resident who went to college at Evansville, but wasn’t so sure he’d get drafted. Hear about his first pro start and his busy childhood in this interview:

THAT’S SO MiLB

Soooooo, yesterday was Wednesday, also known to some as “Hump Day” (note: this commercial is no longer funny), and the Lansing Lugnuts took that to an extreme:

Yes, that is a real camel.

Yes, that is a real camel.

I know Lansing has a zoo, but I’m curious how much it costs to rent a camel. I don’t know…maybe the team bought it? It made one pre-game appearance, and unless it was on the concourse, I only saw it one other time, which was in the seventh, as it gave someone a ride from left field out to center and through the opening in the gate used by the grounds crew.

Your move, Great Lakes Loons.

imag0967

MUSICAL GUEST

John Mayer…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

Questions a Month In

We’ve got one more day here in Lansing, and then it’s off to Dayton. The TinCaps will play tonight for a series victory, which would be just their second of the season. Don’t forget, they swept Peoria April 17-19 at Parkview Field .Yesterday it was a 1-0 win over Lansing, with a great start from Kyle Lloyd and the lone RBI coming from Dane Phillips.

Fort Wayne sends Coby Cowgill to the mound in search of his third win. The right-hander from Virginia has led the TinCaps to a win in each of his first three starts, and is the only pitcher out of ten who have started a game for the team, to be able to say that.

Today is the second straight day that Fort Wayne faces a lefty, which would seem problematic given that the TinCaps can have, on a given night, five or six left-handed batters in their lineup. However, they’ve done better against left-handed pitching than they have against right-handed pitching. Go figure. Against righties, the team average is .250, and against lefties, it’s .275. In fact, two leftanders–Dane Phillips and Mallex Smith–are each hitting significantly better against lefties than righties. Phillips has a .357/.309 split and Smith a .320/.242 split. Bring on the lefties!

*********

I don’t know about you, but we’re 31 games in and I still can’t get quite figure out this year’s team. But then again, I don’t know that it has a true identity yet, either. There have been big wins (13-3, 15-10, 13-4) and big losses (9-0, 13-4, 10-5, 15-4, 10-3, 16-2) and shutout wins (4-0, 1-0), but rarely any consistency to this point. There have been four three-game losing streaks, a three-game winning streak, and a whole lot of roster moves in the first month. In the first 30 games, the TinCaps made a roster move on 12 different days, which is nearly one every two games. Walking into the clubhouse at times has been more like going to someone else’s family reunion that to a team that I’ve been working with for a month.

We are a little bit more than a month away from the All-Star break, and at that point, I think we’ll have a better feel for things. Does Jake Bauers continue to hit as well as he has? Do Dane Phillips and Mallex Smith stay in Fort Wayne or get promoted to join the rest of the 2013 TinCaps at Lake Elsinore? Does Walker Weickel live up to his supplemental first-round potential and shake off his 1-4, 7.81 ERA start?

Stay tuned…

And speaking of tuned…I hope you’ll join me for tonight’s radio broadcast on The Fan 1380. The game starts at 7:05, with pre-game coverage at 6:40, which can also be heard on TheFanFortWayne.com and the TuneIn Radio app.

TINCAPS REPORT PODCAST

Yesterday before the game, I spoke with Lugnuts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler.

ON THE ROAD

There are a great variety of hotels that the team stays at when traversing the Midwest League, but Lansing’s Crowne Plaza, formerly the Lexington Hotel, is far and away my favorite, for the following reasons:

1) The internet not only works, but is extremely reliable. This cannot be underestimated.

2) The internet works.

3) The rooms are very nice, and last night I was offered free milk and cookies. I mean, come on.

4) There is a restaurant in the lobby and it is not Cracker Barrel, Arby’s or McDonald’s.

5) There is an independent coffee shop across the street.

6) An indoor basketball court:

Attention all other MWL hotels: You have been put on notice.

Attention all other MWL hotels: You have been put on notice.

I put some shots up this morning, although the number of them that fell through the hoop is negligible. It’s about exercise, folks.

MINI MASTERS

I’m not really a golf guy, but I do enjoy miniature golf, which is why Jim Nantz broadcasting the mini-golf “Masters” is absolutely hilarious to me, and I hope to you, too:

MUSICAL GUEST

The Black Crowes…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

Baseball in the Morning

Well, hello there, and welcome to this wonderful little corner of the internet which we’ve cultivated to talk about baseball. Here are the headlines for today’s game, which is scheduled to tip-off, er, kick, er, get going at 10:35.

What’s At Stake: Fort Wayne looks to win at Cooley Law School Stadium for the first time since June 26th, the team’s last visit to the ballpark…The TinCaps also try to snap a two-game slide and avoid moving to seven games under .500.

About Last Game: The TinCaps plated the game’s first run just two batters into the night after Mallex Smith led off with a triple, but couldn’t generate much more offense over the next few innings. Tom Robson, Lansing’s starter, retired the next 17 batters to come to the plate. The Lugnuts notched three runs off of starter Payton Baskette and one off of the bullpen for a series opening, 4-2 victory Monday night.

ID, Please: The TinCaps made two roster moves yesterday, adding Eric Yardley and Tony Wieber, making their roster a bit older. Both pitchers are 23, bumping the team’s average age to 21.8 years old. Compare that to Fort Wayne’s average opening day age, which was 20.7.

Lights, Please:Fort Wayne enters today’s ballgame with a 2-10 record in games played prior to 5:00 p.m. The team has seen a number of pre-twilight start times, including 10:35 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 11:05 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:05 p.m.

Abacus, Please: Yesterday’s two-run difference was the closest game the TinCaps played in nearly a week, since winning, 7-6, last Tuesday. The TinCaps have fared well when putting up big run totals—they’re 10-3 when they score at least five runs, but 2-15 if they score four or fewer runs in a game.

Especially in Michigan: This will be Fort Wayne’s ninth game in the state of Michigan this season. Fort Wayne is 2-6 in the Wolverine State in 2014.

Happy Birthday: Outfielder Mallex Smith turns 21 years old today.

About the Opponnent: The Lansing Lugnuts are a 10th-year partner of the Toronto Blue Jays. Since 1996, the Lansing franchise has sent 97 players to the Major Leagues, including names like Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Beltran, and Jeremy Giambi. The team, in its history dating back to 1955 (throughout various cities) has been affiliated with the Cubs, Royals, Padres, Indians and Red Sox.

Today’s game, heard on The Fan 1380 in Fort Wayne and TheFanFortWayne.com around the world is brought to you by…..

Mmmmmm

Mmmmmm

MUSICAL GUEST

DJ Vice…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

 

 

Weekly Readings

Hope you had a great weekend.

For the TinCaps, Saturday was one of the team’s most complete performances of the year. Not to mention the temperature was finally above 60. The sun was out. And a great crowd of 6,000+  was on hand at Parkview Field to make for a great atmosphere. On Derby day, Fort Wayne raced out to an 8-0 lead over South Bend through four innings, and coasted down the home stretch to an 8-4 win. Sunday didn’t go as well. Like 16-2 loss not as well. Now the TinCaps are on the road for six with three in Lansing (where Mike Couzens posted from earlier today) followed by three at Dayton.

#BIGFUN

In case you haven’t been one of the 67,809 fans who’ve been out to Parkview Field so far this season, wanted to share the team’s pregame video that plays on the giant video board up in right field before the team takes the field at home. The video — produced by PUNCH Films — features pitcher Walker Weickel, catcher Ryan Miller, and infielders Fernando Perez, Dustin Peterson, and Josh VanMeter. It’s pretty awesome if we do say so ourselves.

WEEKLY READINGS

During a seven-game homestand like Fort Wayne just had, it can be difficult to escape the “TinCaps bubble.” That’s to say there isn’t much time to keep up with the rest of the world. But here are a few links I came across that seemed worth sharing…

* We’ll start not with a tremendous story out of Idaho. No, this isn’t related to fresh fries at Five Guys. It’s less tasty, but way more inspiring. The Idaho Statesman tells the story of Eddie, a high school senior with Down syndrome who was given the chance to have an at-bat on Senior Night.

Back from getting tissues yet? This makes me think that maybe there’s hope for society after all. Hats off to everyone involved from both schools. And congrats to Eddie!

* Away from baseball for a moment, the one story that easily permeated the “TinCaps bubble” last week was Donald Sterling’s banishment from the NBA. Bomani Jones wrote about the danger of Sterling’s racism back in 2006. Unfortunately, his warning wasn’t heeded. But now with Sterling in the news, Jones — as a guest on Dan Le Batard’s radio program — explained why most people are up in arms for the wrong reasons here. If you want to learn a bit about the dangers of housing inequality, listen to Jones.

* Another well known voice who openly spoke out against Sterling before it became fashionable is ESPN’s Bill Simmons. Rolling Stone had an intriguing profile of the candid Sports Guy and how he’s gone from Boston bartender to celebrity.

* While that story shows how Simmons is no stranger to controversy, The New York Times published a piece on what behavioral scientists have discovered about the impact that interacting with strangers can have on us.

Simply acknowledging strangers on the street may alleviate their existential angst; and being acknowledged by others might do the same for us.

* And another good one from the Times, on the rise of #blessed.

MUSICAL GUEST

Word on the street is that warmer days are supposed to be comin’. Let’s hope by the time the TinCaps return from their road trip, we’ll have some “real” baseball weather at Parkview Field on May 12. Until then, Bruce, take it away…

Thanks for reading. If you have any good links to share, please send them this way on Twitter @John_G_Nolan.

Especially in Michigan…

Greetings from Cooley Law School Stadium in Michigan’s state capital:

field

And the ballpark isn’t far from the state’s legislative home. Here’s the view from the middle of the street (as I went to go get coffee) outside the ballpark, facing west:

 

I don't recommend taking pictures in the middle of a busy street.

I don’t recommend taking pictures in the middle of a busy street.

And in case you’re unaware where Lansing is located within the state…don’t worry, there are stock photo actors ready to help you out:

I'd like to see people try and do this for Hawaii.

I’d like to see people try and do this for Hawaii.

In case you missed it, the TinCaps lost, 16-2, yesterday against South Bend. Moving right along…

NOTHING ANGELIC ABOUT IT, BUT IT WAS IN THE OUTFIELD

Yesterday’s game featured a Parkview Field first–a broadcast from the outfield.

outfield call

It was quite a good time, and reminded me of my time in the Cape Cod Baseball League, where a broadcast might originate from behind home plate in a press box, or down the first-base line strung together by a parade of extension cords. Yesterday’s broadcast sounded great and it’s something we hope to do again int the future.

ROSTER MOVES

The TinCaps roster carousel continues today:

RHP Erik Cabrera transferred to Short-Season Eugene. Cabrera Stats

C Ryan Miller transferred to Eugene. Miller Stats

RHP Tony Wieber transferred from extended spring training to Fort Wayne. Wieber Stats

RHP Eric Yardley transferred from extended spring training to Fort Wayne. Yardley Stats

Wieber is a former Michigan State Spartan, and he’s already got an interview request from a local outlet, which is nice for him. Wieber and Yardley are both first-time TinCaps, and are active for tonight’s game.

I’ll chat with shortstop Chase Jensen, whose first name isn’t really Chase, tonight on the pre-game show. Coverage starts at 6:45 and first pitch is at 7:05 on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com. Talk to you on the radio.

MUSICAL GUEST

Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX (not sure how to pronounce that, so good luck)…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

 

Not-So-Fun And Games

Friday night at Parkview Field was Family Game Night. That was fun. More on that in a moment. The happenings on the field for the TinCaps? Not so much. Fort Wayne lost to South Bend, 10-3. The TinCaps tallied 10 hits but went just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, stranding 11 runners on base.

Congrats to Ryan Miller on hitting the 1st home run of his professional career in the loss. Meanwhile, Fernando Perez hit his 3rd of the season. Fernando is now the Midwest League leader in RBI (22) and is 4th in batting average (.343).

So on the fun side, check out this video put together by the TinCaps Video Production Team of Melissa Darby, David Hentz, and Jared Law. The theme was Family Game Night. As usual, Johnny TinCap is the star of the clip, but Fort Wayne manager Michael Collins also shines with a cameo in his “theatrical” debut.

Speaking of Johnny, today is his Birthday Bash. Here he is with some of his local mascot friends who came to celebrate.

The Mad Ant is among them there donning his NBA D-League t-shirt. Members of the Mad Ants will be on hand tonight, including D-League Co-MVP “Mr. Mad Ant” Ron Howard, who will be throwing out our ceremonial first pitch.

DERBY DAY

The ponies are out at Churchill Downs today in Louisville. With that in mind, a fun fact from MLB.com senior writer Doug Miller (): The only horse with a baseball-related name to win the Derby was Shut Out in 1942.

There are a few horses in today’s field with baseball-related names: General A Rod, Commanding Curve, and I’d say you could even count Wicked Strong. None of them were actually named with baseball specifically in mind. If you’re wonder how horses in the Kentucky Derby got their names, Toni Konz () has the interesting answers here.

MUSICAL GUEST

From talking Derby to talking, uh, dirty… Jimmy Fallon, Kevin Spacey, and the Ragtime Gals, take it away…

As always, thanks for reading. Feel free to be in touch in the comments or on Twitter @John_G_Nolan. I’ll be on The Fan 1380 with Mike Maahs tonight, while Mike Couzens is joined by former Phillie and New Haven native Dave Doster on XFINITY Channel 81. Enjoy your Saturday!

From Spewing Water to Hits

America is still getting a kick out of Wednesday afternoon’s “Geyser Delay” at Parkview Field. Today the XFINITY Channel 81 video made an appearance on SportsCenter’s “Not Top 10.” This is after we told you yesterday how just about every major national (and even some international) outlet did a story on the bizarre play.

Contrary to this sarcastic mug shot, Fernando is one of the BEST guys on the TinCaps. Credit: Olbermann (ESPN2)

Back on Wednesday night, Keith Olbermann went so far as to jokingly call the “culprit” of the play, Fernando Perez, one of the “World’s Worst.” Fortunately, Fernando has a great personality and sense of humor and has found the whole situation funny.

Even more fortunate, Fernando and the TinCaps went back to the business of playing uninterrupted by Geyser Delays on Thursday night. There was no spewing water — just hits. And a lot of them. Fort Wayne matched a season high with 18 hits in the game, leading to a 13-4 win over Great Lakes to earn a split of their four-game series. Eight of 9 in the lineup had at least 1 hit. As a matter of fact, 7 guys had multiple hits.

Catcher Ryan Miller contributed 3 of those 18 hits, including a double, and scored 3 times. But maybe the biggest lift the TinCaps got on Thursday was Ryan throwing out 3 base runners. That’s been an Achilles’ heel, especially against Great Lakes, which is leading the MWL in stolen bases by a figurative mile with 66. (For reference, the team with the next highest stolen base total is Dayton with 46. Fort Wayne has half as many with 33 — of which Mallex Smith has 17.)

I caught up with Ryan after the game and asked him about his all-around success Thursday and how the team can carry its momentum into this weekend’s series with South Bend. You can watch that below.

And over on the radio side last night, take a listen to Mike Maahs’ conversation with Randy Smith, the Padres’ Vice President of Player Development and International Scouting. As the man who oversees San Diego’s farm system, Randy provides insight into the TinCaps like no one else can. He and Mike discuss the youth of this year’s Fort Wayne team, but how the expectation remains to once again return to the MWL Playoffs.

TEAM PICTURE DAY

Good thing the team won last night so that everyone could comfortably flash a big smile in today’s team picture. It’s a shame it wasn’t sunnier in the Summit City this afternoon; however, the backdrop of Downtown Fort Wayne still looks great if you ask me. (In case you’re wondering, this was taken in Parkview Field’s center-field concourse.)

MUSICAL GUEST

Tonight’s Friday night theme at Parkview Field is “Family Game Night.” We’ll have an update tomorrow on all of the fun and, well, games from the evening. In the meantime, this makes me reminisce to my family’s favorite game to play when I was growing up: Trouble. So with that in mind, coupled with the fact that TinCaps Intern Maddie is currently performing in Leo High School’s rendition of The Music Man, Robert Preston as Professor Harold Hill, take it away…

I’ll be with Mike Couzens tonight on XFINITY Channel 81 for the TinCaps and South Bend at 7:05. For out-of-towners, you can tune in to Mike Maahs with the radio broadcast on The Fan 1380. Thanks for reading, and Happy Friday!

TinCaps & Parkview Field Go Viral

The month of April has come to a close, and what a wacky month it was. Fittingly, I suppose, it ended with the wildest event yet…

What started out as an innocent foul ball has suddenly landed the TinCaps and Parkview Field in national headlines.

During Fort Wayne’s game against Great Lakes on Wednesday afternoon, the Loons’ Joey Curletta hit a pop foul down the first-base line. TinCaps first baseman Fernando Perez pursued the ball and inadvertently kicked open a water valve located near the railing. With the spigot uncovered, water began rushing out of the ground like a geyser.

“It was a one-in-a-million play,” TinCaps Groundskeeper Andrew Burnette said. “There’s nothing you can do to prevent something like that from happening. When a player steps on the one square inch of the entire field where that is even remotely possible, you just have to laugh.”

Video footage from XFINITY Channel 81’s broadcast of the bizarre play has been featured on ESPN’SSportsCenter, ABC’S Good Morning America, and NBC’s The Today Show. The viral story has also been picked up by Yahoo!Deadspin, and USA Today. And that’s just a short list of national news outlets that have been talking about the TinCaps. The viral story has even received coverage overseas from the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail.

“Even if the circumstances in this case are a bit comical, it’s good to see people across the country, and even internationally, talking about the TinCaps and Parkview Field,” TinCaps President Mike Nutter said. “And hopefully it doesn’t go unnoticed that our grounds crew and maintenance staff did a phenomenal job in responding to such a unique situation.”

As for the guy who unintentionally caused all the commotion, Perez is only regretful he didn’t make what would have been a highlight-reel catch leaning into the front row. He said he had no idea the hose was there as he was went for the ball.

“I just think it’s funny,” Perez said of all the attention.

For the 6,318 fans in attendance on Wednesday, it was an example of the old adage, you never know what you’ll see when you come out to the ballpark.

Coverage of the TinCaps’ “Geyser Delay”

Walk Off, Wake Up

Good morning to you and how ya be? Just about 12 hours after a walk-off win over Great Lakes, the TinCaps are back at Parkview Field to host the Loons this morning for an 11:05 first pitch.

Fort Wayne somehow found a way to win on a warm but wet Monday night in the Summit City. The TinCaps commited 5 errors, leading to 3 unearned runs, yet won, 7-6. José Carlos Ureña was the hero guy who everyone mobbed following his fielder’s choice groundout in the bottom of the 10th to score Franmil Reyes. Reyes, by the way, was the true offensive star for Fort Wayne last night, and arguably all season, for that matter. The 18-year-old had 4 hits last night, coming up just a double shy of hitting for the cycle (which he already did once back in 2012 in the Dominican Summer League).

For more on last night’s win — which ended a 3-game losing skid — check out our postgame recap that aired on XFINITY Channel 81:

The 5 errors weren’t the only thing to make you say “whoof” last night, though. It was also the first Parkview Field appearance of the year by Jake the Diamond Dog.

And speaking of dogs… the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, the Chihauhuas, opened up their brand new ballpark in El Paso on Monday night. It was a long-time coming for both San Diego and El Paso. The Padres’ Triple-A affiliate has bounced around of late (and spent the first 3+ weeks of 2014 on the road).

Padres’ Triple-A Affiliates

But now it will hopefully have a home for many years to come. There’s an excellent article on Grantland about the Chihuahuas. If you followed the transition of the Wizards to the TinCaps, then you’re sure to be nodding your head as you read about the city investing in a downtown ballpark in hopes of a revitalization. Can you believe El Paso literally demolished its city hall building in order to construct Southwest University Park. That and a lot more interesting insight in Robert Andrew Powell’s story.

Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirr

By the looks of El Paso’s opening night, Fort Wayne has some new competition for best ballpark in Minor League Baseball. Here’s more coverage of the Chihuahuas’ Opening Night.

TIMEOUT

From the You-Don’t-See-This-Everyday Department, during the middle of last night’s Yankees-Mariners game, MLB Network broadcaster (and Syracuse University alum) Bob Costas took off his headset and left the play-by-play job to his color commentator John Smoltz. The reason? Well, he had to go to the bathroom

MUSICAL GUEST

Today’s the 10th anniversary of the release of Mean Girls. I presume you already knew that and were already wearing pink, considering it’s Wednesday. But on that note, Missy Elliott, take it away…

Thanks for reading, and hope you can enjoy today’s game while you’re at work or in your leisure if you’re off!

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