This story is only tangentially linked to baseball, but it’s a slow Saturday afternoon, so what the heck. As you’ll see below, former pro wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts led the Turner Field crowd in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during last night’s game between the Dodgers and Braves.
Roberts (whose real name is Aurelian Smith, Jr.) doesn’t have the best singing voice, but that shouldn’t come as any surprise to those who watched him wrestle in the 80s and 90s.
The 57-year-old Roberts has had all sorts of issues with drug and alcohol addiction, but he has cleaned himself up recently with the help of another former pro wrestler, Diamond Dallas Page. These days, Roberts is doing things like tweeting pictures of his gluten-free cookie mix. 2013 is weird, man. But in all seriousness, it’s nice to hear that he is making an effort to turn his life around.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.