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A SAD TALE: THE NEXT CHICAGO CRYPE PLAYER
Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:16 AM
P- BEN CHRISTENSEN (1999 1ST ROUND 26TH OVERALL)
Maybe you have forgotten the tale. Wichita State pitcher Ben (the Butcher as some started calling him) Christensen nails Evansville player Anthony Molina(who surprisingly was not a catcher) in the eye while Molina was "timing" his pitches in the on deck circle. The Wichita State pitching coach had instructed all of his pitchers to brush back any opposing players that did this. Christensen followed the orders and the pitch hit Molina right in his eye, fracturing his eye socket and permanently impairing his vision. Molina later sued Christensen for ending his potential pro career.(you know, because all college players go to the pros) They settled out of court. Christensen's reputation was ruined. He was seen as a bigger risk to eye safety than the Red Rider BB Gun.
In the 1999 Draft, many teams shyed away, but our Cubbies took the risk and selected him 26th in the first round. Within a year it looked like a great gamble! In 2000, Ben had a very successful season at 2 minor league stops going 7-3. Baseball America had him ranked #37 overall going into 2001! But his arm soon fell off, maybe it was Wichita's policy of throwing at hitters as well as guys not currently in the box. His success never came close to that 2000 season.
Some people said it was "Karma" or payback for the Molina thing, you can argue that he was just trying to brush him back, you can blame the coach, either way...probably worked out right. So welcome to the Crype team Ben, sorry Anthony Molina couldn't join you
Oh yeah, other players drafted right after Ben: Brian Roberts, Carl Crawford, Justin Morneau, John Lackey
CHICAGO CRYPE ROSTER
IF- TY GRIFFEN, GARY SCOTT
OF- RYAN HARVEY, EARL CUNNINGHAM, BROOKS KIESCHNICK
P- HERMAN SEGELKE, BEN CHRSITENSEN
Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:41 AM
I have a hard time blaming the Cubs for his (lack of) development. As far as drafting him in the first place... well, that's difficult. He was regarded as the best pitcher available, but one who made a really, really bad decision.
Edited by TWC, 22 September 2011 - 10:58 AM.
Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:49 AM
Philo, I think you're understating the horribleness of Christensen's actions. He didn't throw at an opposing batter, he threw at the guy stepping out of the on-deck circle twenty-four feet away, effectively sucker-punching him with a 3" diameter sphere thrown upwards of 90 mph to the face. That's not excusable. Period. And his college coach was a total asshole for encouraging it.
Bingo. I hated the pick for that reason. Hated it, and didn't really have a huge beef with him washing out.
Great fit for the Crype team, though.
Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:58 AM
Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:18 AM
Claiming it was "attempted murder" is, I think, unfair hyperbole. I think Christensen's actions are inexcusable. Period. And I think he should have paid consequences for his actions - which he did.
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