Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the purposeful degradation of baseball in pursuit of the all-mighty dollar. Forty years ago the American League declared: “It’s OK if you can only play half of this game.” Two score seasons back, the guardians of baseball insulted fans’ intelligence by saying: “Don’t you worry your pretty little heads about the complexity of the game, we’ll make it easier on you.” Four decades ago, the powers that be decided that 14 (now 15) sinecures for aging stars were more important than the sanctity of the game. Six thousand four hundred and eighty (or so) games per MLB team later, the designated hitter has permeated every league on the planet except one.
Arizona Diamondbacks prospect Charles Brewer is our favorite up-and-coming pitching prospect in all of baseball. Sure, the Dbacks seem to be loaded with talented young arms, but at age 23, only one of them is a guaranteed, can’t-miss, surefire success in the Majors. You guessed it: Charles Brewer. (Okay, also Tyler Skaggs.)
I had the opportunity to speak with Charles after a Spring Training game earlier this month at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona. Here’s why I think Charles Brewer is destined for greatness.
1. The veterans on his own team are scared of him.
Why are the veterans so scared that they have to put Charles Brewer’s street clothes in the cold tub? I’ll be expecting a phone call from Ian Kennedy with an explanation.
People who have sent us helmets out of the kindness of their hearts: Howard Aprill, Lacy Bauer, Ira Bletz, Barb Buse Breen (and her aunt Ellen), Phil Broder, Chris Brown, Jamie Cabral, Matthew Caputo, Scott Castiglia, AJ Chlebnik, Jason D'Agostino, Kelly Farrell (and her sister Camille), Alan Filipczak, Seth Gallagher, John Johnson, Kelly Grimm Joslin, Melissa Kaspern, Sarah Keating, Tom Lappas, Scott & Susan Mealey, Art & Anita Pena, Katie Caputo Roberts, Phil Sexton, Don Simme
Minor League teams that have generoulsy donated helmets to the collection: Albuquerque Isotopes, Altoona Curve, Bowie Baysox, Dayton Dragons, Gwinnett Braves, Lancaster Barnstormers, Lexington Legends, Louisville Bats, New Britain Rock Cats, Oklahoma City Redhawks, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Toledo Mud Hens, Wilmington Blue Rocks