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A SAD TALE: THE NEXT CHICAGO CRYPE PLAYER


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#1 Oswego Chris

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:16 AM

In doing the research for this series I am learning just how horrible of an organization that the Cubs have been. In some cases, the player is crype before the Cubs get him. In some cases, the Cubs take a good prospect and injuries or "bad karma" crype him.


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


#2 TWC

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:41 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.

That aside, you do have your stats backwards for his 2000 season(s). I think you've doubled your totals, as Christensen only played for two teams in 2000 - Daytona (A+) and West Tennessee (AA) - going 7-3 while compiling 106 innings. Towards the end of the season he had arm surgery and never fully recovered from it.

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.


#3 Brett

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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.

#4 King Jeff

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:58 AM

Even though he had a monster year or two in the minors, I can say that this is one Cryper that I am happy that he never made it big. I remember hearing that they drafted him, it was pretty unbelievable that someone would take him in the first round so soon after his attempted murder of a player in the on deck circle. If I'm not mistaken he was one of the first guys drafted when Jim Hendry took over as the director of scouting and player development.

#5 TWC

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:18 AM

I dunno. I made some really stupid decisions as an 18-year-old, and if I had an authority figure actively encouraging me to do so, I can see how the line gets blurred. If Molina had been hit in the shoulder we'd have never heard about this story, and Christensen might have been just another flameout rather than a notorious one.

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.

#6 Oswego Chris

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:52 AM

My editor screwed up on the stats..thanks BB and those who noticed...the piece has since been edited....the piece makes more sense now..

#7 King Jeff

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 11:02 AM


Claiming it was "attempted murder" is, I think, unfair hyperbole.

I may have been a little over dramatic.

#8 TWC

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 11:05 AM



Claiming it was "attempted murder" is, I think, unfair hyperbole.

I may have been a little over dramatic.

I've heard that about you.




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