Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Hope for the Pirates

In what looks like one of the flimsier Bollywood scripts, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed two obscure young Indians from impoverished villages with the hopes of their being star pitchers some day.

Rinku Singh, 20, a left-hander, and Dinesh Patel, 19, a right-hander hadn't the slightest clue about how baseball was played when the Pirates signed them. However, in a reality-follows-fiction scenario, they came in first and second respectively in the “Million-Dollar Arm” competition in India by throwing a baseball faster and more accurately than 30,000 other contestants from across the sub-continent.

They are thought to be the first Indian citizens to ever sign a contract with a major US team in any sport.

Mr Singh is the son of a truck driver and the youngest of nine children. Mr Patel was brought up in a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh by his uncle and grandmother after his parents found that they could not afford to raise him.

Both are javelin throwers. Patel hit 90 mph on the radar gun during his tryout, Singh topped out at 84 mph.

Not only is the raw talent of these two -- who had never seen a baseball a year ago -- impressive, but there's also the market to think about.

The Pirates’ general manager, Neal Huntington, said: "A billion people are going to take a curiosity in what these two young men do. It sends a message internationally."

In one sense, though, it's too bad these guys didn't sign with Cleveland.

MySpace Codes

Rinku Singh


Big Dave said...


This has unfortunately become the talk of the Pirates Spring Training. The Pirates are and will be, as long as they are under their current ownership, the best farm team in the majors. Last year the Pirates would have had a winning season had the management not traded away all of their top players for "talent." Management has been trading away their top players for the last 12 years, seems to have a small coincidence with the number of losing seasons. The truth is as long as people keep going to the games we'll probably start to see livestock on the field. Management has been making a bigger profit than almost every other team in the majors.

As far as the Indian pictures go, what better way to further promote the worst team in the majors than you make it into a reality TV show. These two pitchers, if they ever pitch, will just lead to an increase in homeruns. Everyone likes homeruns.

Big Dave

Big Myk said...

Sorry. Perhaps I should have guessed. I heard this on NPR's "Only a Game" last Saturday and they called it an essentially unreported story.

Well, it's here for all those members of the Harvey Diaspora whose local media haven't been saturated with this item.

James R Harvey said...

Not only did the Pirates sign the first Indian 'players' in history, but also gave a contract to Gift Ngoepe, a South African. Perhaps there are some Cricket players in the Pirate organization. Mr. Ngoepe is a 5'9', 150 lb. short stop, who admits he has no idea where Pittsburgh is and that there is no real strike zone in So. Africa.

The good news is he is completely unaware of the losing tradition of the Pirate team.

James R Harvey said...

On the brink of setting the all-time record for ineptness over the longest continuous period, the 2009 Pirates set a portentous precedent by losing for the first time ever to Manatee Community College.

James R Harvey said...

Reaction across the world to the Manatee CC loss:

"Luckily they aren't in our division."

"Schedule only gets tougher with Bradenton Central High School tomorrow. They have a kid who throws, like 85."

"Sweet Manatee... wonder if any of those guys are looking for a contract? Better sign em now!"

"But we didn't use the Indian players."

Big Myk said...

It makes for a dreary summer. How do we survive the interval from the last Penguin playoff game to the Steeler's preseason? I'm particularly worried about Mom.