Even casual fans are aware of the Eddie Gaedel story -- little person with a corresponding little strike zone signed for the express purpose of pinch hitting and drawing a walk. American League president Will Harridge put an end to that almost soon as began, and we haven't seen the likes of it since. That is, until now:
Don't want no short people? That might be fine for Randy Newman, but don't tell it to the York Revolution.
The Atlantic League club is conducting what could be called Eddie Gaedel Version 2.0. During its spring training this week, the Revolution has invited Dave Flood to camp. Flood, who formerly worked for the Tampa Bay Rays, is 3 feet 2. The idea was sparked by research in a book by television producer Todd Gallagher . . . who touts the effectiveness of having a pinch hitter basically guaranteed to walk every time he comes to the plate.
I love me some independent league shenanigans as much as the next guy, but I have this feeling the little person gambit won't work this time. After all, if the fellow is all but guaranteed a base every time he's up, what's to stop the opposition -- who will no doubt not enjoy being made into more of a sideshow than they, as independent leaguers already are -- from giving him that base in one pitch, placed squarely in the back?
After a half dozen of those, I have this feeling that Mr. Flood might spend some time on the DL.