Results tagged ‘ MLB draft ’
I think it’s time to decompress, if only for a moment. The unfortunate and dynamic happenings of the past week has left anyone with an iota of compassion emotionally distressed and even questioning their own integrity and place in the social/political spectrum. But I digress– it’s time to embrace escapism and take a mental diversion by watching and then talking about the most brainless activity known to man…the MLB draft. In the past (pre-internet) this activity was relegated to a blurb in the local newspaper, but now must be scrutinized to the point of exhaustion on any self-respecting (don’t get any ideas about this particular one) baseball site. I’ve got the beers cooling and I’m already 4 deep. It’s high time I act like a professional journalist and do an impromptu review of the least hyped of the professional sports drafts. Let’s do this.
There is nothing more entertaining than watching a stiff Rob Manfred stand at a podium and announce a draft pick with the driest, most mundane zombie-like voice that any human can comprehend. Is there an elemental soul in there? The jury is still out if he’s a man, robot or a left-over from the cast of Night of the Living Dead. This is the type of show you’d want to watch if you actually hated sex because there is absolutely nothing on this earth that can turn off a woman more than Harold Reynolds talking about “statistical trajectory” or “cost/benefit analysis.” These guys are actually frothing at the mouth and full of hyperbole about guys that may never even sniff the majors but you’d think every single one of them was the next Mike Trout. It’s turned into an all out pissing contest. I’m 7 beers deep at this point. (hiccup)
It’s pick 26 and the Oakland ball club takes an 18 year old high school kid out of Turlock, a tiny valley town in California that is known for farming, meth busts and the Hell’s Angels that the locals have christened, “TurdLock.” This is a confusing pick because the A’s have made it a habit to take college players: at least during the Billy Beane era. Alas, this is the David Forst era. Tyler Soderstrom is a big kid with a big left-handed bat that probably will switch positions from catcher as he wasn’t even the best defensive catcher on his high school team. The most compelling aspect is that Soderstrom was voted the best high school player in California, a state traditionally deep in baseball talent. The sky’s the limit for this kid. He may be the next Terry Steinbach, may have a fledgling career in the minors, or may be packaged in a trade for a rent-a-player to help in a late season Wild Card run that has yet to be contemplated. Good luck young man, welcome to Oakland and good night. (hiccup)
50 Years Ago Yesterday . . .
Major League Baseball holds its first Free Agent Amateur Draft (now known as the First Year Player Draft). The very first overall #1 pick was Rick Monday from Arizona State University by the Kansas City Athletics.
We all know what happened with Rick. He became an All Star, (on 2 occasions) and a fan favorite with the Cubs and the Dodgers. With the latter team he achieved baseball immortality by grabbing the American flag from two rabble-rousers trying to burn it in right field at Dodger Stadium. (I think our fore-fathers would have found the act amusing considering the modern day economic and civil rights breakdown of this once great country) and he is now an even-keeled announcer for the Dodgers when Ol’ Vinny needs a break between the 4th and 6th.
In my humble opinion he does a fairly good job–I find his voice soothing and boring enough with just a pith of telephone operator and 50’s television dad to fall asleep too on a hot Los Angeles day during an Indian summer. Complete with lemonade, a little bit of hooch, the lawnmowers blaring, the smell of grass and the parrots in my neighborhood playing screwball and scaring the crows, and it usually turns out to be a fine day for me. (the parrots are an anomaly of themselves; the locals tell me that a pet store burned down ten years ago and they’ve been here ever since.)
But, what ever happened to Tony Pierce?
Well, Tony used a baseball bat to fend off his daughter-in-law as she repeatedly stabbed him with a pair of scissors in his Columbus, Ohio home on Oct. 27th, 2010. Tony claimed she once called him “God” for two days and on one occasion crawled into bed with him.
Laura Pierce, 32, admitted stabbing her father-in-law in a detailed bizarre confrontation, saying she arrived at his home unannounced, left her purse by the door and put his 130-pound Rottweiler in the bathroom before assaulting him as he sat on his couch.
“I thought something was wrong with her,” he said. “It’s like a fairy tale. She’s jabbing at me, saying, ‘I have to die, you’ve got to die.’ I saw it in her eyes. She meant it, too.”
She stabbed him several times in the chest as they struggled. Eventually he was able to grab the scissors in one hand and her head in another. Scanning the room for some way to ward her off, he saw a baseball bat.
He’d decided by then that either he or his daughter-in-law had to die, he said. As he reached for the bat, she stabbed him in the back.
He hit her with half a swing of the bat.
“I was trying to hit her in the head,” he said. “I mean, this was for real. The whole thing is just hard to believe.”
She went out to his front yard, screaming that she was bipolar and schizophrenic. She was still there when police arrived.
Mr. Pierce died in 2013 at the age of 67.
I usually don’t pay much attention to the MLB draft. By the time most of these guys even sniff the Majors I will probably be a different person physically, financially, mentally and perhaps even mortally. But, in this day and age it’s practically impossible not to hear some sort of information, and that’s exactly what happened as I was sipping a Corona and seeping in a hot tub. The media was lauding this as Bud Selig’s last draft (his desperation to go down in history was all but sealed when he became the first commissioner to unveil his own statue; a horrifically tacky move. I can’t imagine that sour-faced racist Kenesaw Mountain Landis doing such a thing….and really, did anyone in the history of man self-aggrandize themselves more?) when the Athletics drafted a kid out of Cal State Fullerton with the 25th pick.
“Holy Shit”, I thought, “I went to high school right across the street.”
That’s right…Fullerton, California.
( as the pot smoke clears….cue dream/reminiscent music)
I was sitting in class one day when the surfer kid with long, blonde flowing hair told me about a free concert at the college. (We had many “deep” conversations about how the Keanu Reeves movie, Point Break had bastardized surfing culture, and he knew I was highly involved in the local punk scene which consisted in playing in bands, setting up shows, putting out fanzines, making out, committing petty crimes, talking shit, and hanging out.)
“Dude, it’s Firehose….you remember Mike Watt right? The fucking Minutemen!”
Yep. We got some homeless guy to buy us beer, skipped school and saw an awesome show. (all before Matt Chapman was born in 1993!)
Obligatory ‘Fro scouting report: Mr. Chapman was undrafted out of high school, but seemingly grew into himself in college. Scout.com’s National Baseball Analyst Kiley McDaniel had this to say about Chapman in a recent scouting report: “I loved his infield and batting practice for Team USA, flashing huge raw power….. along with a plus-plus arm that some call an 80 and has hit the upper 90’s on the mound, though he’s thrown just a handful of innings in the last few years. Chapman is at least an average third baseman, so the only question is the bat. His performances haven’t been terrible, but he basically hasn’t shown the ability to hit and hit for power at the same time at any point in his career.”
The Athletics, always thinking ahead, know that this guy can be converted into a pitcher if he can’t hit professional pitching. He sees himself as a hard-nosed, scrappy player and that will always be of value in the Oakland system. I am going to give this pick a B minus….and now I am going back to the hot tub. Cheers.