The chants of fans approval and criticisms were not heard at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey.
Save that for the NFL draft.
Ping pong balls did not determine the draft order.
Save that for the NBA draft.
Nor were there green rooms, specialized draft hats or tricked out Armani suits. Rather, this draft, the MLB draft, was headlined by some of the game’s greatest legends and a new class of potential major league ballplayers.
Cole, a right handed pitcher from UCLA, went first overall to Pittsburgh. Cole is said to have the best “natural stuff” in this draft class. It took more than that generic term to take Cole, though.
He stands at 6-4 and weighs in at 220 pounds. That large and powerful frame may have been the biggest drawing factor in the selection. It surely wasn’t his 6-8 record and 3.31 ERA from his last year as a Bruin. But, his 376 strikeouts in 322.1 innings through a 3-year career opened eyes. Add a mid 90s fastball and strong breaking pitches and Cole could be a unique pitcher in a few years.
Obviously Cole doesn’t have the flair of name recognition of the two No. 1 picks that preceded him (Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper). He will, however, be forever grouped with three other pitchers chosen directly after him. Danny Hultzen (Mariners), Trevor Bauer (Diamondbacks) and Dylan Bundy (Orioles) all are unique pitchers in their own way and have the distinction of being the only four pitcher chosen in a row to start the MLB Draft.
A decade from now, one of these pitchers will have at least one Cy Young trophy sitting on a shelf of their five story mansion.
I sure hope Gerrit Cole gets a space cleared off soon.
photo credits: pirateprospects.com
Thank you, Phillies.
Because of your help a grand total of 108, 807 fans came through the PNC Park gates, this weekend. In fact, you jump-started a record breaking crowd of 39, 441 on Saturday night to set the highest number of people ever at a baseball game at the 10 year old stadium.
You also helped pumped some large numbers of cash into the economy of Western Pennsylvania through merchandise purchases, food and drinks, hotel rooms and ticket sales.
More importantly, thank you for some great memories from two of the best wins in the history of PNC Park.
Friday and Saturday were big momentum gainers for the Bucs earning a pair of hard fought wins. The play of both teams ignited the crowd, which was indeed more Philly oriented, but showed Pittsburgh that baseball could indeed be fun to watch.
The atmosphere prior to Sunday was “better than any baseball game I have ever been too, playoffs included,” one person on twitter said.
People were pumped.
Brooms were out in full force and the Pirates were just one win away from being four out in the NL Central. Oh, and a game from standing at 29-29, the immaculate .500.
While the door wasn’t slammed, this weekend proved to many people that the Pirates mean business and have the potential to play any team toe-to-toe on any given night.
For that, we have the Phillies to thank.
photo credit: getty images
“Chin music” has long been the appropriate term for a high and inside fastball running in on a batter.
In 1989, Don Slaught heard it loud and clear.
A fastball from Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd drilled Slaught in the face causing a rush of blood and resulted in several broken facial bones. Within a few weeks he was back in the Yankees lineup. For other players, gruesome injuries take a bit longer to heel. Now, there have been many worse injuries to have occurred over just a split second in a big league game. In 1976, Phillies left fielder Todd Stamps ran into the outfield bullpen, ran into a metal pipe and ruptured brain cells. Jermaine Dye splattered his shin after fouling off a pitch in 2004.
While the aforementioned ailments are indeed troubling, they were a matter of timing and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. More often than not, its a catcher that sees the most live action in a ball game with a heightened risk or traumatic problems. I bring this up because it stung to see Giants catcher, Buster Posey go down against the Marlins on Wednesday. A catcher is an unsung hero on a team. They are the protectors of home plate, the pitcher and runs against. That barrier needs to be strong, and it is. Injuries to the catcher have always been difficult to watch. These three, including Posey’s, have given a greater appreciation to old position number two.
Scott Cousins was only trying to give his team the lead. The last thing he wanted to do was send the reigning Rookie of the Year to the hospital.
As you can see from the above pictured, Posey’s legs buckled and he laid motionless on the ground for a good 20 minutes. Reports say he will likely miss the rest of the season as a result from the horrific snap play. There is no way that Cousins tried to make the play dirty. If no injury took place, he would be heralded for his hustle and toughness on such a difficult play, tagging up on a shallow fly ball to center field.
Hustle was the name of the game for Pete Rose.
Ray Fosse found that out firsthand.
In an eerily similar play to the Posey-Cousins showdown, Rose was attempting to score the winning run for his team—in an All-Star game. He’s received a bulk of criticism for the over-aggressive lunge. It was a de-facto exhibition game, but there were no fake games in Rose’s eyes. Fosse didn’t let this set him back, though. He was back in late August of 1970, the collision happened in July of that year, and performed well. He would make another All Star game in his career while earning a Gold Glove award and winning a pair of World Series titles.
Posey has an accomplished list of accolades already in his young career. Fosse is a perfect example of success following a detrimental injury.
Jason Kendall is not.
After twisting his ankle in highly unorthodox fashion on July 4, 1999, he was out for the rest of the season. Kendall was always an overrated player, but he was reliable. Behind the plate, he was a force. Kendall holds the record for most games caught in a Pirate uniform. His notorious injury is not exactly like the previous two, as you can see. However, it did hamper a solid career. He went on to have the lowest slugging percentage in the majors for three years with no further All-Star selections since 2000. Nagging injuries would continue to plaque his run as a major leaguer.
There’s nothing quite like the sights and sounds of the ballpark on a hot summer night. The game itself is one thing, but add thousands of fans, activities and concessions into the stadium and grand memories are bound to be made.
Kenny Geidel helped make many of those memories.
From Three Rivers Stadium and Mellon Arena to PNC Park, Heinz Field and Consol Energy Center the famed vendor put a smile on many customers and kept them coming back for more.
Geidel passed away Tuesday at the age of 62.
It’s not that he did anything spectacular in the stands, he just was always a charming character that made any trip to a Pittsburgh sporting event special. His routine consisted of the same blank stare, swift movements up the steps and the most recognizable voice at PNC Park. Shouts of “lemonaaaaaadeeeee here, lemonaaaaaadeeeee here!” were distinct and echoed throughout the stadium. To some, it wasn’t a Pirate game unless you saw Ken walking through your section. His forearms bulged with the look of an 18 year old top hitting prospect, he was considered one of the hardest working individuals in the city.
As simple as he was, Geidel was more than just another vendor, he was a relaible sight that gave fans assurance that a baseball game meant more than just the on field action. Now without Ken in the stands and concourse, PNC Park may not seem quite right. After every purchase he showed gratitude toward the customer to “take it easy.”
Ken, its your turn.
Take it easy up there in heaven and enjoy a cold lemonade while you watch down on us.
photo credit: pittsburgh tribune review
By a show of hands, how many people check the weather reports first thing in the morning?
When I was 18 years old I was in a high school play. To conclude my senior year a few friends and I thought it would be a change of pace to finish off four years. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was a blast, I was the camel.