Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Fallen Appel

Just a little observation about the Pirates' first round pick from this year's amateur draft, who, by the way, stunk up the College World Series shortly after being drafted by the Pirates and haughtily refused to talk to the media or show any enthusiasm (let alone interest) for the opportunity to play for the Pirates:

Stanford right-hander Mark Appel reportedly plans to return to college? 

Good.  Let him.  If he does, the Pirates will get a compensatory pick, ninth overall, in addition to their other first-round pick -- which, the way things are going, might well be, oh, about No. 32 overall.  At this point, we'd rather have next year's No. 9 pick instead of Appel, who "fell" to No. 8 this year.

Here at Joey Porter's Pit Bulls, we've seen all of about four video clips of Appel pitching at Stanford, and our instant analysis says his pitching motion is forced, mechanical and sloppy, and that he falls off the mound way too far toward first base in his delivery follow-through.  There.  That's it. 

But when he refused to speak to the press after being selected, instead issuing a prepared statement (no doubt crafted by agent Scott Boras) to the effect that he "needs to concentrate on his studies at Stanford."  Puh-leeeze.  We don't want him.

On the positive side, in stark contrast to the attitude shown by Appel ...

Mark Appel could learn a thing or two from A.J. Burnett. He likes it here, and the fans love him.
There's A.J. Burnett, a winner.  

Contrast Appel's reluctance with the enthusiasm shown by other draftees that evening, but more to the point, with the love that longtime veteran A.J. Burnett has shown Pittsburgh and his pride in being a Pittsburgh Pirate, as described on Monday by Dejan Kovacevic in the Tribune-Review:

A.J. Burnett walked off the PNC Park mound, the ball now in Clint Hurdle's hand, his work done. The 28,954 on hand, clearly aware that this is The Man on this team, stood and roared, loudly and lovingly.

In turn, Burnett raised his right arm.  Not for a tip of the cap.  Not even for a fist-pump.  No, that fist stayed up, triumphantly, dramatically.

"I don't know what got into me," Burnett told me afterward. "I looked around ... the fans cheering for me, for us ... they brought it out. I'm proud to take the mound for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I'm proud, man. I'm proud to pitch for these players, these fans. I could ..."

He paused.

"I'm not really going to do a good job of putting this into words. I'm just happy to be a Pittsburgh Pirate."

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