11/27/11

Baseball: - Ryan Klosterman, Chris Lubanski, 1994, Wood Bats, Pete Rose

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Longtime Florida Marlins minor league shortstop Ryan Klosterman who retired from baseball last week has joined the coaching staff at the University of Central Florida. Klosterman was in the middle of his third season at Triple-A New Orleans where he was hitting just .156 at the time of his retirement. Originally a 5th round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, Klosterman was a career .242 hitter in eight minor league seasons. Klosterman talks about his playing career and his enthusiasm for his new role as a college baseball coach. http://topprospectalert.com/2011/07/17/florida-marlins-journeyman-farmhand-ryan-klosterman-retires-to-join-university-of-central-florida-coaching-staff

It’s hard to believe that Chris Lubanski is still just 26 years old. The Kennedy Kenrick High School in Pennsylvania product never lived up to the hype he carried when the Kansas City Royals made him the 5th overall pick of the 2003 draft. After three promising seasons in Low-A, High-A, and Double-A as he climbed the organizational ladder, Lubanski hit a wall when he got to Triple-A batting just .208, .242, and .227 in three seasons with the Omaha Royals. By the end of the 2009 season, the Royals had given up and he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays and put up respectable numbers, hitting .293 with 24(2B), 6(3B), 17HR’s, and 57RBI’s in 100 games during an injury plagued season for the Las Vegas 51′s http://topprospectalert.com/2011/08/14/former-kansas-city-royals-bonus-baby-chris-lubanski-refuses-to-give-up-on-his-big-league-dreams

The book, currently untitled,  is what I call historical fiction. It is about the 1994 Baseball season. The 1994 season was shut down on August 12th and resulted in the only cancellation of the World Series. The impact was great. The Montreal Expos, the team with the Major’s best record, lost their only opportunity to stay in Montreal. Don Mattingly had his best chance at a World Series team as the Yankees were the American League’s best team. Tony Gwynn might have hit .400. Frank Thomas and Albert Belle were chasing the Triple Crown. It was shaping up as a magical season  http://thebaseballscribe.com/2011/11/20/the-new-project

However, I still wonder why coaches want to pay $400 for a bat that cannot perform any better than a composite wood bat that costs $40 to $160. Is it because metal has more 'bling', or more dynamic graphics or could it be that coaches simply are not educated about wood? Follow the money. Obviously, the bat companies promote metal based on sales and profits compared to wood. Their interests are not ours. http://www.sheboyganpress.com/article/20111127/SHE020517/111270509/Prep-baseball-Strong-case-wood-bats?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Cimg%7CFRONTPAGE

If Bud Selig is true to his word and retires at the end of 2012, he should end his commissionership with the reinstatement of Pete Rose. It would be a fitting final chapter to a period where the game transformed for the better. It would also dispel the label that he’s a cowardly commissioner that rules by consensus and has yet to make a controversial decision, even if it were for the better. Remember, steroid testing was more a result of political pressure than Selig’s courage and vision.  Personally, I would gain a ton of respect for a man whom I believe has been in the right place at the right time in the games history. A lot of his success has been due to him standing on an oil field. Dealing with the Pete Rose issue might be his toughest and most controversial decision yet http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/11/27/2589261/pete-rose-bud-selig-suspension

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