The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Apr. 12, 2024

Random Thoughts: hoops, hardball, more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

This week’s installment of Random Thoughts centers around Mother Nature, the TinCaps, the NCAA Final Four, MLB’s pitch clock, an awkward season and mixed feelings.

Mother Nature

Mother nature hasn’t exactly been kind to local spring sports so far. Here’s hoping things improve quickly so things stay on/get back on track.


The start of the 2024 season is just around the corner for the Fort Wayne TinCaps – Friday to be exact, then they open a weekend series at Great Lakes. The home opener is next Tuesday, April 9, against Lake County. Best of luck to the TinCaps this season.

Pitch clock

Major League Baseball is starting a second season with a pitch clock. With one full season in the books, do you like it or not and why or why not? Let me know at

Final Four

North Carolina State and Purdue, and Alabama and U Conn – that’s the final four. Personally, I don’t think Alabama stands a chance against the Huskies but I do think NC State and Purdue will be a very good game.

U Conn is the best team out there and I’ll be surprised if they don’t finish as national champions.


This is going to be a long and very awkward season for the Oakland A’s and their fans. As you know, the team is moving to Las Vegas, but a new stadium won’t be ready until at least 2028.

Fans protested the opener against Cleveland and it seriously looked like about 400 fans were in attendance at Saturday’s game. The announced attendance was just over 5,400 but that’s counting season ticket holders who didn’t show up.

I’m not sure what the plan is after this season. I know there was talk of the A’s playing in the minor league stadium in Las Vegas. If that’s an option, they might as well pursue it, because fans won’t be coming to games in Oakland.


As a Browns fan, I’m a little torn.

There’s talk, very real talk, that the Browns may build a new domed stadium in the suburb of Brook Park, very near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Why am I torn? I like the idea of the Browns staying on the waterfront in downtown Cleveland. I like the idea of no dome and using the weather and outdoor conditions as an advantage. Then again, I also realize waterfront property is prime real estate and could be used for many other development purposes.

To be clear, the current Cleveland Browns Stadium is awful. It’s sterile, it’s bare bones, it was quickly and poorly thought out and rushed into construction. Outside of the nearby municipal lot, there’s no real parking and getting into and out of the area can be pure frustration.

Brook Park is near several major highways and arteries and fans wouldn’t have to deal with downtown traffic. Yes, a domed stadium would be nice for fans in November, December and January and one would think that this stadium would be much better planned, constructed and fan friendly.

Of course, the price tag for renovating the current stadium or building a new one will be quite hefty, $1 billion and $2.5 billion.

Personally, I think a domed stadium in Brook Park is all but a done deal but we shall see.

As always, if you have thoughts on any of the above subjects, feel free to email me at

POSTED: 04/02/24 at 3:25 am. FILED UNDER: Sports