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!

Sun’s Out, BIG FUN’s Out

Sun’s out, BIG FUN’s out at Parkview Field today.

BIG-FUN

Design credit: Tony DesPlaines

It’s much appreciated after a chilly and dreary Monday night when the TinCaps lost to the Great Lakes Loons, 7-3. Fort Wayne scored the game’s first 3 runs, before the bats went silent. The TinCaps were held to 2 hits from the 3rd inning on. Meanwhile, after a solid debut by starting pitcher Bryan Verbitsky (5.0 IP,  5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K), the bullpen couldn’t hold on to the lead. Mike Couzens and I recap the loss in the video below:

IT’S CANO, DONT’CHA KNOW

The Tonight Show had a good baseball-related bit last night. Jimmy Fallon sent a correspondent out to the streets in New York City, where Robinson Cano will be playing tonight for the first time as a member of the Seattle Mariners since he left the Yankees. Men on the street were encouraged to boo a cardboard cutout of Cano. But wouldn’t ya know, Robbie was standing behind it, and emerged. The fans’ reactions were LOL-inducing.

We’ll save a conversation on booing in sports for another time, but for now, we’ll just laugh at this.

TV ANNOUNCERS RANKINGS

The website AwfulAnnouncing.com solicited feedback from fans on their local MLB TV broadcasters and came up with a not-entirely-scientific 1-30 ranking of each team’s broadcasters. The Padres’ team of Dick Enberg, Mike Pomeranz, Jesse Agler, Mark Grant, and Tony Gwynn ranked in the top half of the league at No. 12.

Analysis: Only Oakland and Seattle (who were part of the AL West crunch) had fewer A grades in the top 15 than the Padres. Our voters showed a lot of respect for the venerable Dick Enberg and the humor of Mark Grant, which we’ve seen on display before.

Reader Comments:

“Enberg deserves an A, but I really think Gwynn brings down the broadcasts when he acts as an analyst.” -DanielOrmsby

Mets broadcasters Gary Gohen, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, and Kevin Burkhardt came in 4th. I’m biased having grown up as a Mets fan, but I don’t think there’s anyone better. With that said, the top 3 is a formidable list. The Orioles (Gary Thorne, Jim Palmer, Jim Hunter, Mike Bordick) come in 3rd. The Dodgers (Vin Scully, Charley Steiner, Orel Hershiser) are 2nd, though in all due respect to the latter two names there, we can all agree they get that ranking because Mr. Skully is the greatest play-by-play broadcaster ever. The Giants (Duane Kuiper, Jon Miller, Dave Flemming, and Mike Krukow) were ranked No. 1.

Let us know who your favorite broadcasters are in the comments below or on Twitter @John_G_Nolan. And if you have any feedback on our XFINITY Channel 81 broadcasts, we’d love to hear that, too.

MUSICAL GUEST

Mentioned up top that last night’s TinCaps starting pitcher was Bryan Verbitsky. He’s from Levittown, New York. That’s on Long Island — less than an hour away from New York City. So Billy Joel, take it away…

Remember you can catch the TinCaps & Loons tonight on XFINITY Channel 81 or on The Fan 1380 and tincaps.com. Thanks for stopping by.

Back Home

After a 7-day road trip, the TinCaps are back in the warm and sunny Summit City. Tonight Fort Wayne kicks off a 7-game homestand, beginning with 4 games against the Great Lakes Loons (who else?) followed by 3 with the South Bend Silver Hawks.

The TinCaps and Loons have already played 8 times in the month of April, with Great Lakes holding a 6-2 advantage in the season series. They won’t see each other again until July 8 once this series is over. But keep in mind that at this point, just about a month into the campaign, Fort Wayne has yet to play 5 of its 7 divisional opponents.

The only other East Division squad the TinCaps have seen is West Michigan, where Fort Wayne was over the weekend. On a windy and cloudy 48-degree Sunday afternoon at Fifth Third Ballpark, the Whitecaps froze the TinCaps’ bats, 2-1, in the rubber game of the three-game series. Fort Wayne managed just 4 hits in the game and was being shutout until there were 2 outs in the 9th. 

The lack of offense spoiled a solid start for Adrian De Horta, who gave up only 2 runs in a career-high 5 innings. It also didn’t help that 1 of the 2 runs he yielded was unearned. The TinCaps committed 2 errors Sunday and now have 43 on the year to claim the dubious distinction of leading all of Minor League Baseball in errors.

Before yesterday’s loss, Mike Couzens caught up with manager Michael Collins to discuss Fort Wayne’s defensive struggles, and more, in their Sunday conversation.

TITLE TOWN

While the TinCaps dropped 2 out of 3 over the weekend, congrats to the Mad Ants on winning their 1st NBA D-League championship with a 2-game sweep of Santa Cruz.

Credit: The Journal Gazette

And the Mad Ants aren’t the only team that calls Allen County War Memorial Coliseum home to pick up a big victory this weekend. They’ve still got a few more rounds to go before they earn hardware, but kudos to the Komets for knocking off the ECHL’s top-seeded Readington, which won the Kelly Cup last year.

If you’re a TinCaps supporter, hopefully this is a good omen for a postseason run at Parkview Field in September.

MUSICAL GUEST

In the exciting life of a minor league broadcaster in Comstock Park, Michigan, on Saturday night, I finally watched Frozen. Yes, I know I’m way late to the party. In fact, the party may be over. But now when I hear “Let It Go,” I’m glad to know what it’s actually about. So Demi Lovato on the remix, take it away…

Thanks for stopping by. Mike is on TV tonight with former Fort Wayne Wizard Javi De Jesus, while you can hear me on The Fan 1380 with ex-Phillie, and New Haven native, Dave Doster, plus Mike Maahs.

Sunday Getaway

There’s a little bit of rain falling right now at Fifth Third Ballpark, where the TinCaps will look to make it two out of three against the West Michigan Whitecaps this afternoon at 1:00. A win today would give the TinCaps their first series victory on the road this season.

Yesterday, a 5-4 setback for the Fort Wayne nine, as three errors gave way to a pair of unearned runs for the Whitecaps.

Also yesterday–John and I played mini golf at AJ’s Family Fun Center next to Fifth Third Ballpark. With a one-stroke lead heading into the 17th hole, I choked the lead away, hitting the ball into the water trap on three straight tries, and John came away the winner. Congrats, John.

How do they get the water that shade of blue?

How do they get the water that shade of blue?

Today, a 1:00 first pitch. Our pregame coverage gets underway at 12:45 as we chat with manager Michael Collins on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.

TINCAPS REPORT PODCAST

Prior to yesterday’s game, John chatted with TinCaps starter Coby Cowgill (pronounce CO-gill):

ANALYSIS FROM PEOPLE FAR SMARTER THAN ME

I know, I know…you’ve read the headline and are thinking, “Well, sure, that could be anyone!”, but I assure you. these folks are likely smarter, at least with numbers, than most people you know. Over at FiveThirtyEight.com, the site started by numbers genius Nate Silver, there are a few posts that I enjoyed, albeit didn’t totally understand, about predicting wins in baseball. In the article written by Neil Paine entitled, “How to Predict MLB Records From Early Results“, he writes:

“We often hear announcers and commentators say a baseball team is “on pace” to win and lose a certain number of games, by simply applying a team’s current winning percentage over 162 games. Those statements may technically be true, but in a randomness-filled reality, they’re meaningless.

Sabermetrics constantly struggles with randomness, an unavoidable fact of sporting life and the reason there’s almost always a difference between a team’s observed performance and its actual talent level. Moreover, the smaller the sample of games, the less confident we can be that what we’re seeing is skill and not luck. We’re fewer than 10 games into Major League Baseball’s season.

This is why it’s necessary to regress observed statistics to the mean. Things — including baseball stats — tend to average out. But how much do we need to regress? And which mean should we regress to?”

Regression to the mean, according to my brief internet research, simply means that in small sample sizes, an extreme measurement of any kind (1-0 record does not extrapolate to 162-0) will likely be closer to the average a second time.  This article, linked above, provides an interesting formula to try and predict MLB win/loss totals. I think it would have to be changed for MiLB, though, since the Midwest League season is only 140 games.

Another article worth taking a look at is called “What Arizona’s Rough Start Says About MLB (and the NFL and NBA” and compares winning totals in the three leagues.

MUSICAL GUEST

Sleeper Agent…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

TinCaps Win, Former TinCaps Play, Test Your Grammar

Good morning from Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan. Today’s game is a 1:00 first pitch between the TinCaps and Whitecaps, as Fort Wayne looks for its third straight road win, which would be a first for the TinCaps this season.

The view from the visiting radio booth at West Michigan.

The view from the visiting radio booth at West Michigan.

Walker Weickel takes the mound in search of his second win of the season. The second-year pitcher has received a decision in each of his first four starts (1-3), but has no commanded his fastball the way he’d like to so far. After his Monday start on this roadtrip, he told me that he’s shot himself in the foot with walks, and also pointed out that in his last two starts, four out of the five earned runs he’s surrendered have been because of walks. So we’ll be keeping an eye on that today. First pitch is at 1:00 with pre-game coverage on The Fan 1380 at 12:45. John Nolan will talk to yesterday’s winning pitcher, Coby Cowgill, on the Hupe Insurance Services Pregame show.

TINCAPS REPORT PODCAST

Prior to Friday’s game I talked with the fifth-year play-by-play voice of the Whitecaps, Ben Chiswick. We discussed the rebuilding of Fifth Third Ballpark, the lack of late-game success for West Michigan and their new manager, Andrew Graham:

YEAH, THE PADRES LOST, BUT…

So, Stephen Strasburg did Stephen Strasburg things last night and struck out 11 in seven innings against San Diego last night. He can strike out 11 against any lineup..no big deal. However, two former TinCaps got into the game last night: Jace Peterson at third base and Kevin Quackenbush out of the bullpen. Peterson got a hit in his first at-bat and went 1-for-2. For a guy who’s only going to be there for a few weeks (at least this time) that’s a great start for Peterson. Quackenbush, who’s there to relieve a tired bullpen, gave up two runs in 1 2/3 innings after starter Robbie Erlin got shelled for eight earned in 5 1/3 frames.

TEST YOUR GRAMMAR

If you’re up for such a task on a Saturday morning, I invite you to try this fun grammar test based around song lyrics. For example, is this correct?

Somewhere in middle America...

Somewhere in middle America…

Although I didn’t think it was possible, this does take grammar and combines it with pop culture. Way to go, BuzzFeed.

Here’s the link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/nathanwpyle/grammar-quiz-with-beyonce-and-friends

MUSICAL GUEST

Cage The Elephant…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

 

Rebuilding a Ballpark, More TinCaps to the Bigs, Table for One

On back-to-back night the TinCaps didn’t have much to show offensively at Great Lakes, but fortunately they were able to pick up a 2-1 victory in the series finale Thursday night. Facing the possibility of a four-game sweep, Fort Wayne scored once in the first and once in the 11th to slide out of Midland, Michigan, with the win. Josh VanMeter scored the eventual game-winning run on a passed ball in the 11th, making the TinCaps 3-2 in extras this season. That”s five extra-innings games in 19 contests. That puts the TinCaps on pace to play 36 extra-inning games this year. I’m not good at math, but something tells me that won’t hold true.

The TinCaps oday make their first 2014 visit to Fifth Third Ballpark, which was decimated by a fire in early January. I remember watching the news unfold from a hotel room in Wheeling, W.V., and wondering if they would be able to host baseball this year. Just a few years ago, the Yankees Triple-A team in Scranton, PA, played an entire season on the road due to stadium re-construction, and I thought the same might happen this year for West Michigan.

However, the leadership of West Michigan was steadfast in saying that there would be baseball on Opening Day at Fifth Third Ballpark, and that the All-Star Game, the 50th for the Midwest League, would still be held there in June. So far, things are going as planned. We’ll learn more in the coming days as we visit the park, but it appears to be such a resilient and tireless effort from the full-time staff, which is working in temporary offices this season, and the construction crew to tear down and rebuild during a freezing winter. Here’s a video put together by the team to tell the story of the fire and the rebuild:

You can expect to find pictures here in the coming days of the park and the ongoing construction. I know I’m not alone in saying that I look forward to the ballpark being back to 100 percent.

Tonight’s game is a 6:35 ET first pitch at Fifth Third Ballpark. I invite you to join me and John Nolan for the call on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.

TINCAPS REPORT PODCAST

Prior to yesterday’s game, I chatted with TinCaps outfielder Ronnie Richardson about what the team needed to to get a win, the use of pine tar in baseball, and more:

THE CAROUSEL OF FACES

Fort Wayne will have two new players in the clubhouse later today when it arrives at West Michigan’s Fifth Third Ballpark. The Padres announced yesterday that starter Yimmi Brasoban has been sent to extended spring training and is being replaced with 2013 third-round pick Bryan Verbitsky. The righty Verbitsky is a 21-year-old who was selected by the Padres out of Hofstra University in New York. He was the first pitcher taken by the Padres in last year’s draft.

Brasoban is only 19, and still has plenty of potential and plenty of room to grow, but didn’t get the job done for the TinCaps while he was here. He went 0-2 with a 14.29 ERA in four games and allowed 18 earned runs with 11 walks in 11 1/3 innings. The Padres are likely hoping that Verbitsky, a former college pitcher, will bring more measured aggression to the mound.

Additionally, the Padres are sending first baseman Luis Tejada up to Double-A San Antonio in the wake of the news that Travis Jankowski is injured. Tejada, who is hitting just .189 in 14 games is having his roster spot filled by 2013 draft selection Jake Bauers, a first baseman from California. The Padres took Bauers in the seventh round out of Marina High School in Huntington Beach, CA. Last year with the AZL Padres he hit .282 with one home run and 25 RBI.

ROBERTSON, PETERSON, QUACKENBUSH

After Daniel Robertson was called up–by the Rangers, not the Padres–becoming the 123rd former Fort Wayne player to reach the majors, it looks like there are two more right behind him: Jace Peterson (2012) and Kevin Quackenbush (2011).

Peterson gets the call from Double-A San Antonio, following the news that Padres 3B Chase Headley is headed for the disabled list after straining his calf in last night’s game against the Nationals in Washington, D.C. From gaslampball.com:

“Peterson is familiar with his new teammates, as he was a non-roster invitee this spring and saw time at third base when, this might sound familiar, Headley was injured. A first round pick out of McNeese State University by the Padres in 2011, the 23-year-old Peterson had moved up a single rung of the minor league ladder each year until this jump. Primarily a shortstop, he has appeared in one professional game at second and third bases, both coming this season.

In 18 games with San Antonio this year, Peterson hit .311/ .386/ .392 with three doubles, a homer, and four steals in 83 plate appearances. Speed is a big part of young Jace’s game; in his three full seasons he stole 39, 51, and 42 bases, in that order. His 13 triples with high-A Lake Elsinore last year were good for third in the California League.”

Peterson was a tremendous asset for the TinCaps at shortstop, and also a great teammate and person to be around. Nothing but the best for Jace on a huge day in his life.

Quackenbush, once the TinCaps closer in 2011, also appears to be on his way to the majors, although it’s not yet clear whose spot he’ll be taking on the roster.

With Robertson’s arrival to MLB, here’s the full list of 2009 TinCaps who have made it:

2009 TinCaps Who Have Reached the Majors (MLB Debut / Current Team)

  1. RHP Mat Latos (July 19, 2009 – Padres / Cincinnati Reds)
  2. OF Blake Tekotte (May 5, 2011 – Padres / Triple-A Charlotte)
  3. RHP Anthony Bass (June 13, 2011 – Padres / Houston Astros)
  4. INF James Darnell (August 9, 2011 – Padres / Triple-A Durham)
  5. INF Andy Parrino (August 26, 2011 – Padres / Triple-A Round Rock)
  6. RHP Brad Brach (August 31, 2011 – Padres / Triple-A Charlotte)
  7. C Ali Solis (September 26, 2012 – Padres / Triple-A Durham)
  8. RHP Erik Davis (June 2, 2013 – Washington Nationals / Nationals)
  9. OF Jaff Decker (June 20, 2013 – Padres / Triple-A Indianapolis)
  10. RHP Simon Castro (July 5, 2013 – Chicago White Sox / Free Agent)
  11. LHP Colt Hynes (July 14, 2013 – Padres / Triple-A Albuquerque)
  12. INF Dean Anna (April 4, 2014 – New York Yankees / Yankees)
  13. INF Vince Belnome (2014 – Tampa Bay Rays* / Triple-A Durham)
  14. OF Daniel Robertson (2014 – Texas Rangers* / Rangers)

* Yet to have an official appearance

TABLE FOR ONE

Here’s something I mentioned on last night’s broadcast, but assuming you weren’t listening to the entire broadcast (unless you’re my mother), you might have missed it. Being a Minor League Baseball broadcaster comes with a lot of fun perks, namely calling baseball games for a living. One thing that comes along with the profession is a lot of alone time, which given your level of misanthropy, might be a great thing. So, when it comes time to eat breakfast or lunch (since dinner’s usually at the park), you’re often flying solo. The common response from a host or hostess at a restaurant when you ask for a table for one is a mix of bewilderment and surprise, or the old “How would you like to sit at the bar?” if, indeed, this fine Midwest League establishment does have a bar.

I take a whit of offense when getting a strange look for asking to be seated alone, although I do see where the reaction comes from. After all, the meal, as an event, has historically been something shared by many, whether family, friends, or colleagues. It’s  time to relax, share, and learn about one another. So, when done alone, it may “defeat the purpose” of having a “meal”, however don’t forget that one of the other main reasons we continually sit down at a table (or in 2014 scarf down egg sandwiches in our car on the way to work) is because our bodies need continued nourishment. That’s an aspect that’s hard to overlook. I still need to eat, people!

Forgive my soliloquy, but the reason I wrote all that was because of an article I came across yesterday entitled, “Eating Alone by Design: An Entire Restaurant with Tables for One“.

From Business Week:

‘“The taste of persons eating alone seems different, and even more intense, according to our guests,” says Marina van Goor, owner of the temporary eatery, which is called Eenmaal. As such, the chef takes care to serve four-course meals (at a moderate €35, or roughly $48, including drink) prepared from quality local and organic ingredients. Even the interior is left intentionally raw and no-frills, to emphasize the simple pleasure of unapologetically eating alone.

Don’t expect to fill the void with social media—Eenmaal doesn’t offer Wi-Fi. “I wanted to show that a moment of disconnection, by eating out alone, sitting alone, can be attractive, especially in our hyperconnected society,” van Goor says. Instead, diners are encouraged to read physical magazines and books.”

And Steve Martin couldn’t be happier:

MUSICAL GUEST

Mike Mains…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

Robertson Makes It 14

On our last day in Midland, which is always a sad day, given the great hospitality of the folks at Dow Diamond, the TinCaps will aim to avoid a four-game series sweep. The last time Fort Wayne was swept in a four-game set away from Parkview Field, it was at this very park in 2009. Since yesterday’s game, a 9-2 loss in which the TinCaps had four hits, wasn’t one to write home about, I will recap it with a baseball haiku:

Ball one, not your friend

Neither is batting around

Avoid the sweep, men

In other news, a former TinCap made it to the show last night…

ROBERTSON TO THE RANGERS

Daniel Robertson, a member of the championship-winning 2009 TinCaps squad, was hanging out in his hotel room as a member of the El Paso Chihuahuas when he got a text message from Padres farm director Randy Smith asking to talk. The talk involved two things:

-Pack your bags

-You’ve been traded

And the best news of all, was that Robertson was immediately placed on the 40-man roster for the Rangers.

“Their injury epidemic so significant that they have no more position players on the 40-man roster, the Texas Rangers sent cash to San Diego late Tuesday for minor league outfielder Daniel Robertson, who was then immediately promoted to the major leagues to replace injured reliever Pedro Figueroa.

Figueroa threw one pitch Tuesday, hit Josh Reddick and then grabbed his arm. Initially diagnosed with inflammation in his elbow, he returned to Dallas to be examined by team physician Dr. Keith Meister to check on the possibility of a ligament tear in his elbow.

Robertson, 28, is a small, speedy right-handed hitter who will fill the role of pinch runner/late-inning defensive specialist that Jim Adduci had for the club before he went to the DL with a fractured finger.

Robertson was a 33rd-round draft choice of the Padres in 2008 and moved to Triple-A in 2011. He has a .295 batting average at Triple-A with a .371 OBP in 1,141 at-bats at that level.”

Robertson now becomes the 14th player–the 14th one!!!–from the 2009 TinCaps to reach the major leagues. Incredible.

TINCAPS REPORT PODCAST

In today’s edition of our audio get-together with someone around the game, I chat with the voice of the Loons, the esteemed Brad Golder to talk all things Great Lakes. We discuss the team’s proclivity for stealing bases, the second Midwest League stint for the son of former TinCaps Manager Jose Valentin, Jesse, and more. Have a listen:

DUELING COMMERCIALS

Ah, corporate America. So, Cadillac puts out a commercial that features a hard-working guy walking around his big house with a pool and talking about how America’s tireless work ethic led to many great things…and then, surprise!, he walks outside to reveal he drives a Cadillac. Take what you will from that, but Ford put out a parody of the ad that’s pretty clever:

Here’s the original Cadillac spot:

MUSICAL GUEST

Foster The People…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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