The Phillies scout the heck out of Nebraska

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This is kinda neat. Nebraska is no baseball hotbed, but the Phillies freakin’ own it:

Three of the eight Nebraskans to appear in a major-league game last season were Phillies. There is Ruf, whom the Phillies want to man left field. Diekman is a promising lefty reliever. Tyler Cloyd, native of Bellevue, provides rotation depth.

And Cody Asche, who recently was sent to minor-league camp, could become the team’s first homegrown third baseman since Scott Rolen. Asche was born in Missouri, but his parents are from Nebraska, and he attended the University of Nebraska.

Click through to Matt Gelb’s story to see why the Phillies scout the hell out of Nebraska. It’s pretty interesting. And it makes you wonder what parts of the country harbor baseball talent we simply never see because the circumstances that have led the Phillies to scout Nebraska don’t replicate themselves elsewhere.

If there is an ALCS Game 7, Ric Flair will call out “Play Ball!”

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I don’t really care who wins the ALCS, but part of me wants to see it go seven games now. Why? Because if the Astros win tonight and force a Game 7, the series will be visited by a Rolex-wearin,’ kiss-stealin,’ wheelin-dealin,’ limousine ridin,’ jet flyin,’ son of a gun, jack! From the Chronicle:

The Astros-Yankees American League Championship Series gets to a Game 7, the Astros will have pro wrestling superstar Ric Flair call out “Play Ball!” before the game in a video message. Astros right fielder Josh Reddick is a huge wrestling fan and uses Flair’s entrance music every time he steps to the plate at Minute Maid Park. Fans also have adopted the wrestler’s “Woo!” yell throughout the season.

That’s pretty cool. It’d be even cooler if it ended with a Dusty Finish.