Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Monday, October 24, 2005

POD-sed-nik....


In case you didn't already know, that's how you pronounce the last name of current Chicago hero (and ex-Mariners prospect), Scott Podsednik.

Furthermore, in case you didn't already know, Podsednik, known for his speed, did not hit a home run all season long. Being that as it may, he cowboyed-up when he was needed, nailing a walk-off home run off of Astros closer Brad Lidge to win World Series 2005 Game 2 for the Chicago White Sox.

The enormity of Podsednik's feat is tough to put into perspective, much less words. Being someone who watched Podsednik in spring training, as he was trying to get a break into the M's organization, and being thoroughly unimpressed, on top of being someone who's seen Brad Lidge ("Lights-out Lidge" was the term I was using for him after I saw him) just dominate MLB hitters, to see "Scotty P" nail that homer was pretty amazing. Podsednik's whole MLB career (post Mariners) has been pretty amazing.

When he was with the M's, he was an outfielder with the Tacoma Rainiers. I had watched him in spring training, and as a September callup. Neither time did he impress me. In fact, I didn't like him at all. I remember his red bat (a trademark of his at the time), and always being annoyed when he was up to bat, since he rarely did much of anything. While he was a September callup, I remember him playing well, but taking his history into account, I figured it was just a "flash in the pan."

The Mariners let him go, and he was picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers. I remember reading about it, and being completely ambivalent. He didn't impress me here, but I figured with an organization like the Brew-crew, he should probably get a shot at starting in their outfield. He was amazing for them, and barely lost out on Rookie of the Year honors to Florida's Dontrelle Willis. A tough call between the two, Willis helped Florida win the World Series, Podsednik was an everyday player. In that first year he: hit .300 (.314), stole 40 bases (43), and had 100 runs; the fourth rookie to accomplish those feats (the last being Ichiro). Needless to say, I was pretty surprised after that 2003 season. In 2004 he didn't repeat those stats, but did manage to still put up some decent numbers. Last offseason, the Brew-crew traded him to the White Sox for Carlos Lee.

As I mentioned earlier, Podsednik did not hit a HR all year in 2005 (until last night), and he played in 129 games! He was selected to the 2005 All-Star team, again a bit of a surprise to this ex-Podsednik basher.

As for Lidge, he was excellent all year, but he's had two bad pitches in the last week. One was to Albert Pujols, the other last night to Podsednik. I think that he'll be ok, but you never know, he could be this year's Byung-Hyun Kim.

Lost in all of the dazzle of Podsednik's blast, Joe Crede had two fantastic grabs at the hot corner, and overall, this is a great World Series! I like the Astros to come back to win it all, but that's mostly because I want this series to keep going. I think this easily should go to 6 games, maybe even 7; don't count the Astros out yet.

What a great time to be a baseball fan.

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