September 08, 2004

Rick Claws Back

Rick Ankiel, at one point the top pitching prospect in baseball, has returned to St. Louis Cardinals after more than three years out of action, continuing his comeback after a meltdown in the 2000 playoffs in which he suddenly lost the ability to throw strikes, and subsequently underwent elbow surgery.

I was there in Shea Stadium for Game 6 of the 2000 NLCS, when Ankiel threw three wild pitches, and it may have been the most uncomfortable scene Iíve ever witnessed at a live sporting event. Even the Mets fans, a couple of innings away from clinching the pennant, felt bad for him. Iím thrilled to finally see Ankiel back in the majors, and there are early signs he may have been cured of Steve Blass Disease: in his first game back, Ankiel tossed a scoreless inning, throwing 11 of 14 pitches for strikes.

Posted by Stephen Silver at September 8, 2004 06:42 PM

Just wait until he has to pitch in a big game again, he'll be hitting the backstop.

Posted by: Bill McCabe at September 8, 2004 08:08 PM
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