Wednesday, February 14, 2007
"Wookiee" What Happened?
Included alongside a Nationals Spring Training Article by Todd Jacobson from the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star was this stunning picture of Nats reliever, Jon Rauch!! What happended to "THE WOOKIEE"!!
At 6'11", Rauch is the tallest player in the history of Major League Baseball. And, with a regulation pitching mound set at no more than 10" off the flat ground of home plate--a batter facing Number 51 would potentially see Jon's baseball release from well over 10' in height, when you take in his overhanded pitching motion. That's SCARY, when you really think about a guy throwing in the low to mid 90's.
But, what made Rauch so special these past two seasons, was his "LOOK". Most every good reliever has an image, something that makes a batter think twice at the plate. A hint of invincibility. "The Chief", Chad Cordero, has his wonderful FLAT Brimed Cap shuddered down over his eyes. The batter can't see under that brim. And ask anybody, when you can't see someones eyes, there is a mystique about that person. Something mysterious. Almost devilish. That's Intimidation.
Rauch's long hair, beady eyes, dangling chain, massive height was as INTIMADATING as can be. "The Wookiee" had it all. And, if anyone in baseball history looked like "Chewbacca", the character from Star Wars--it was Jon Rauch.
If you were the batter at the plate, and Jon Rauch lumbered out to the mound.
WHO WOULD YOU RATHER FACE?
I'd feel alot more comfortable facing "Gentle Ben"
Jon, what are thinking? Bring that inimidation factor back!!
PS--I came across this fabulous shot of "Chewbacca" throwing out the first pitch in a promotion at Fenway Park. Too bad, "Chewy's" throwing lefthand. This photo was perfect for this post. Too bad.