- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Pizarro is 24 and has enough good stuff in his pitching repertoire to conquer the world. But in four seasons—or part-seasons—with the Milwaukee Braves, he never hit it big. Roy Sievers and Lopez were talking about him behind the batting cage one day. Sievers said that Del Rice, who used to catch for Milwaukee, told him that Pizarro had a real good fast ball, but that he was lazy and didn't like to throw it. Lopez said that Lou Burdette had told him the same thing, that Pizarro was always junking around with odd pitches instead of blazing the ball in to the batter. But Lopez is a patient man. He said: "We'll give him a little work and then maybe a little hell. We'll have to see what works." Knowing Lopez's genius for mending broken pitchers, such as Frank Baumann last year, young Pizarro could be a valuable extra starter for the old White Sox.
Bill Veeck's explosive scoreboard will be setting off its rockets, sirens and whistles again this season, waking up the neighbors around Comiskey Park whenever a White Sox player hits a home run. The board erupted 58 times last year, 57 times for home runs and once by error. (The trigger man lost sight of a long drive, thought it had gone over the fence for a home run and pushed the firing button just as the ball was caught.) Minnie Minoso set the board off the first time, and Roy Sievers the last.
The board provoked considerable resentment from rival players, especially the day it went through two cycles of explosions for only one home run. But there were only two cases of outright counterattack. The Cleveland Indians' Jimmy Piersall, baseball's angry man, hurled a ball at the board after one game. He was scolded immediately after the game by Veeck, who told him, in effect, to "spray bugs, yell at umpires, stand on your head, but leave my board alone."
Casey Stengel, the noted humorist, used a more subtle revenge. One hot June night Mickey Mantle hit a home run in Chicago. As he circled the bases, the entire New York Yankee team, led by Stengel, moved to the front of the dugout and proudly waved holiday sparklers to the crowd. For one of the few times in his life, Bill Veeck was speechless.
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THE BALL PARK
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