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Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Story Of Shohei Ohtani’s Legendary BP Sessions, From Those Who Witnessed Them

ANAHEIM, Calif.—Three-time World Series champion and Angels hitting coach Eric Hinske burst into the clubhouse like a man possessed. Inside, the Angels relievers and a few other players, including Mike Trout, were decompressing before their May 8 game at the Rockies’ notoriously hitter-friendly ballpark.

“Oh my God,” Hinske said, to no one in particular. “That was the most ridiculous BP run I think I’ve ever seen in my life.”

The way Angels reliever Noe Ramirez tells the story makes Hinske’s “Oh my God” sound like Will Ferrell as Harry Caray.

“I guess I was pretty excited,” Hinske told me, with a laugh.

Two-way star Shohei Ohtani had just finished his first career batting practice session in Denver, and he did not disappoint. Four of the approximately 20 homers he mashed hit the third deck—one in particular landed right below The Rooftop, a standing-room-only area beyond the third level. The ball left a dent on a wall several rows up. Another came a few feet short of entering a terrace bar beyond the seats of the third deck.

“My mouth was just open like, ‘Bro, you guys don’t even get it, how far these balls were going,’” Hinske said. “Nobody’s ever hit it up there, and he just does it every swing.”

Ohtani’s Rooftop blast was estimated at 517 feet, according to Greg Rybarczyk, the creator of ESPN’s HR Tracker and an analyst for the Red Sox.

“It looked like it went 600-plus feet,” Hinske said.

 

Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 28, 2018 at 02:00 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, awesome, babe ruth

Friday, June 22, 2018

Late Yankees Pitching Coach Billy Connors: A Character With A Huge Appetite For Life

Billy Connors, the former Yankees pitching guru who died on Monday at age 76, was a man of prodigious appetites.

He could eat – at the time of his death, he must have weighed close to 300 pounds, and according to friends, hadn’t been out of a chair, literally, in years. Reggie Jackson told me on Wednesday that during his days as the Yankees pitching coach, Connors would make a big show of coming to the ballpark each day with two dozen donuts that he would leave out for the players.

One day, Jackson stopped at the donut shop on his way to work – and was told by the owner that Connors had just left with his daily order – three dozen donuts “for the guys.’’ Jackson, nobody’s fool, quickly deduced that Connors made the missing dozen disappear on his drive park.

But Connors’ real appetite was for beautiful women and unusual animals. Maybe not in that order, and definitely not together. But Connors’ passion for both might have surpassed his knowledge of pitching, of which he was an acknowledged master.

After a three-year big league career as a right-handed reliever for the Cubs and Mets, Connors reinvented himself as a pitching coach. In 1982, he was hired by the Cubs, and while in Chicago he wasted none of his free time. Connors somehow became fast friends with famous Chicago resident Hugh Hefner, a magazine publisher, who as a gesture of friendship began introducing Connors to some young women he knew.

And so began Connors’ relationship with an adult-film actress who was born Dorothea Hundley but was known professionally as Seka. She was 12 years younger than Connors and needless to say, a looker. Her nickname was The Platinum Princess and she had acted alongside some of the, well, biggest names in porn. (On a sidenote, Connors was prohibited by the Cubs to bring Seka to any games at Wrigley Field on the grounds that it was a “family ballpark.’’)

The experience of dating Seka served Connors well in his day job, however; whenever he visited the mound to calm down a pitcher, his standard line was, “What are you worried about? I had to follow John Holmes.’’

Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: June 22, 2018 at 10:00 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: awesome, gluttony, lust, yankees

 

 

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