He Uses â€˜The Only Sane Part of My Bodyâ€™ to Throw Batting Practice
It often seems that when we dig deeper a story gets more interesting.Â That certainly has been the case this summer in the process of trying to find the best possible information for this Notebook. Â So today we are going to veer largely away from the usual stories of pennant races and exceptional performances to offer details on other personalities within the Atlantic League.
Â Â Â Â Â Here is a portion of one of the stories:
Â Â Â Â Â The All-Star Game marked the first time I saw Fox Beyer as he threw batting practice and later coached first base for the Freedom Division team.Â Every pitch from behind the typical batting screen used to protect the pitcher since he is much closer than the game time distance of 60 feet, six inches seemed right on target.Â It has been that way for the four seasons the 31-year-old Beyer has been throwing BP for the Somerset Patriots, and presumably also was similar when the pitches were for the Harrisburg Senators, the Class AA farm club of the Washington Nationals.
Â Â Â Â Â The accuracy becomes more remarkable because Beyer was very premature at birth.Â It was not at all certain he would make it, and at two he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.Â Despite what some would consider huge obstacles, he went on to pitch in high school and serve as manager and later as student coach at South Carolina, and today, as he told me this week, have â€œa really, really good life.â€
Â Â Â Â Â That life includes teaching Spanish at Whippany Park (NJ) High School, where he also is the freshman baseball and girls junior varsity volleyball coach, enjoying the beach at his familyâ€™s shore house in Ocean City and keeping up with some of the friends he has developed in baseball.
Â Â Â Â Â â€œI was given a very very good body,â€ Beyer professes, while admitting at the same time his batting practice arm (left arm) â€œis the only sane part of my bodyâ€ and confirming he needs to do a lot of stretching, yoga, running and lifting to be able to do what he does during pre-game workouts with Somerset.Â
Â Â Â Â Â â€œI learn more and more how grueling professional baseball can be,â€ he admits.
This â€˜n That
Â Â Â Â Â No sooner does Somerset add some pitching depth when the Los Angeles Angels swoop in and buy the contract of closer Ryan Houston.Â The right-hander with tons of Triple-A experience but no time in the majors struck out 37 Atlantic League hitters in 28 innings while saving 18 Patriots wins and posting a 2-2 record and 4.18 ERA.Â He will join Atlantic League alums Eric Junge (Lancaster, Bridgeport), Cory Aldridge (Newark) and Michael Ryan (Somerset) in Salt Lake Cityâ€¦Onetime Atlantic League hurler Brendan Donnelly (Nashua) has been released by Pittsburghâ€¦Bob Zimmermann gave Newark a big lift in only his second start with the Bears Thursday when he retired the first 16 Lancaster hitters, including 10 on strikeouts.Â The 6-foot-5 hurler, who was 7-1 with first-half champion York before joining the Bears (1-1), went seven innings in quieting the Freedom Division rival Barnstormers, 6-1.
Â Â Â Â Â Â (Subscriptions to the Atlantic League Notebook are available on a monthly or full season basis viaÂ www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com or www.WirzandAssociates.com.Â Bob Wirz also writes a weekly subscription column, the Independent Baseball Insider, which can be found via his blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com. The author has 16 years of major league baseball PR experience with Kansas City and as chief spokesman for two Commissioners, and lives in Stratford, CT.)