K for Aneurysm Awareness Update/Stars of the Day
As I mentioned yesterday, the AFL is teaming up with the Joe Niekro Foundation for a great fundraiser/awareness-raiser this week. Any pitcher from one of the seven organizations Joe Niekro pitched for who strikes out a batter this week helps raise money for aneurysm awareness and research. Four sponsors have agreed to donate $36 (Niekro’s number during his playing days) per strikeout. That’s $144 per K. So lets see how things went for the first day:
Mike McCardell, Twins (Solar Sox) — 4 K
Robbie Weinhardt, Tigers (Javelinas) — 3 K
Spencer Steedley, Twins (Solar Sox) — 1 K
John Gaub, Cubs (Solar Sox) — 1 K
Chia-Jen Lo, Astros (Saguaros) — 1 K
Grant Duff, Yankees (Rafters) — 1 K
Total: 11 K x $144 per K = $1584
Not a bad start. If pitchers come up with 11 K’s a day, that will lead to a donation of just over $9500 for the foundation ($9504 to be precise). I’ll keep tabs every day here to keep everyone updated.
Just for fun, let’s also keep a running standings of which organization racks up the most K’s for this cause.
Twins — 5 K
Tigers — 3 K
Cubs — 1 K
Astros — 1 K
Yankees — 1 K
Now on to Stars of the Day for Monday’s action:
Going crazy and giving out 2 hitter awards. The second one is more for “body of work” than just for one game, but he’s still worth noting.
Nevin Ashley, C, Rays (Desert Dogs): Ashley had just one hit for Phoenix, but it came at apretty good time. With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Ashley hit his second homer in as many games, a walk-off grand slam. He’s now hit in all seven of the games he’s played in, for a .379 average.
Grant Desme, OF, A’s (Desert Dogs): He hit his 8th homer of the AFL season on Monday and drove in three runs. That’s eight home runs in 10 games, tops in the league. His 16 RBIs also lead the AFL. SLG and OPS? Yup, tops in those categories as well. The only thing he hasn’t been doing is running, a little surprising after he went 30-40 during the regular season. But we’ll cut him a little slack considering his 1.047 SLG looks more like an OPS and his OPS of 1.547 is ridiculous. Oh, and his .442 average is second highest in the circuit. As his AFL teammate Josh Bell said on his Twitter account (@JBellAFL): (Oakland A’s
Desme) Half man half amazing… DES is like a created player on a
nintendo game every category 100 except his power is 200 . Then, he added: Oakland A’s (Desme) is no longer half man half amazing, we have come to figure out he’s not human he’s a machine!!
Quote of the day comes from Ashley about Desme: “He’s my favorite player right now. I tell him that every day. I try to eat what he
eats, sit next to him to get the good vibes. It’s been working so far.”
Justin Cassel, RHP, White Sox (Javelinas): This isn’t just because the family bloodlines make for a cool story. Yes, Cassel’s brother Jack has pitched in the bigs with the Padres and Astros and was with Triple-A Columbus (Indians) this past season. His other brother, Matt, is the QB for the Kansas City Chiefs. The 2006 7th-round pick tossed four scoreless innings for the win on Monday, allowing just three hits and one walk in the process. He narrowly edges Zach Putnam, who tossed three scoreless and how has 5 IP over two outings without allowing a run.