Cinderella isn't just a March Madness thing. Baseball has its own Cinderellas.
As teams break spring training, inevitably, there are a number of players who wind up making the 25 man roster that a large majority of the baseball-watching population has never heard of.
Unless you're a complete diehard baseball fan, there is no chance that you knew of all these players before today. Usually, these are not top prospects or even fringe prospects. Instead, these are your average four-A players, just struggling to get by and searching near and far for opportunity.
Because I am a huge roster aficionado and an overall admirer of the underdog, I decided to create the "betcha' don't know me" pitching staff. I have scoured 25-man rosters, searching for the most obscure players who have the least amount of name recognition.
All of these guys have made a 2009 major league roster presumably against all odds, and dammit, it's about time they get their moment in the sun.
So without further ado, here is my pitching staff—starting pitchers and relief pitchers included.
Chris Jakubauskas (Mariners)
Shawn Kelley (Mariners)
Kevin Jespen (Angels)
Eddie Bonine (Tigers)
Warner Magridal (Rangers)
Andrew Bailey (Athletics)
Luke Gregorson (Padres)
Joe Martinez (Giants)
Brian Duensing (Twins)
Juan Gutierrez (Diamondbacks)
So how many of these guys can you HONESTLY say you have ever heard of in your baseball watching life?
My total is four...and no, I have no idea who Chris Jakubauskas is. Have fun with that, Mariners.
And finally, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Warner Magridal.
Classic. I'm thinking Rich Garces meets Carlos Silva...what a wonderful combination.
(Note: I'm trying to come with a "Betcha' Don't Know Me" lineup, but I'm struggling pretty badly with it. Besides Clint Sammons and the Yankees new backup shortstop, I'm pretty much stuck.)
Good luck to the Cinderella pitching staff. Let's hope they stick!