To most Red Sox fans, there’s no man faster than Jacoby Ellsbury. The kid’s projected to steal 32 bases next year after swiping 9 bags in the majors in 33 games last season, without getting caught. His first big league hit came when he beat out an infield single, running so fast not even the TV crew was quite prepared. We watched him dash from second base to home plate on wild pitch, and score standing up. Considering the organization had disdained speed for decades, it wasn’t surprising that many Sox fans had to scrape their jaws off the floor.
But actually, as it turns out, Jacoby Ellsbury may not be the fastest man on earth. He may not even be the fastest man in the Red Sox organization.
Pitching prospect Clay Buchholz, who threw a no-hitter in his second career start, was a champion sprinter in high school. He recently challenged a certain Phillies prospect to a footrace for “talking smack” about pitchers while the two were training at the Athletes Performance Institute near Penascola, Florida. Moreover, writes Baseball Prospectus, “While at Angelina college, Buchholz was also the best hitter on the team, and would still have been drafted in the first ten rounds as an outfielder if he’d never pitched.”
But could Clay beat Ellsbury in a track meet? The world may never know. Despite recent rumors that the two had squared off, Buchholz insists it ain’t so:
“I’ve already been told,” he said, “that I’ll be fined if I race against Ellsbury.”
If someone can get me a reliable source with the name of the Phillies prospect and the outcome of the race, I’ll send you UmpBump stickers!
Other strange news:
Item 1: In case you missed it, Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal were filmed at a cock fight in the DR. Aside from the issues of animal cruelty and cultural difference which the two-year old video raised, the news spawned new heights of adolescent creativity in headline-writing bloggers everywhere.
Item 2: What, Debbie Clemens took PEDs too? Surely you jest!
Item 3: Livan Hernandez finally has a home with the Twins. But there are numerous free agents still available, including Barry Bonds, Kenny Lofton, Bartolo Colon, Kyle Lohse, Shawn Green, Mike Piazza, Shannon Stewart, Armando Benitez, Josh Fogg, Freddy Garcia, Tony Graffanino, Jeff Weaver, Tony Clark, Trot Nixon, Sammy Sosa, Corey Koskie, and Corey Patterson. I know there are teams out there that still have holes to fill, benches to populate, money to spend. Pitchers and catchers report in two days! And, of course, Julio Franco is still available. Won’t someone sign him please? The man’s got a good six months before he turns 50.