The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 8, 2013

Schremmer: Bridges begins pro career, local pitchers faring well in minors

By Mark Schremmer
Globe Sports Writer

— A quick rant through the week in sports:

• It’s a wonderful thing to see people realize their dreams. For Carthage High School graduate Drew Bridges, his dream of professional baseball came true when he signed with the New York Yanees organization on Friday.

• Bridges, who hit .522 with 24 extra-base hits during his senior season for the Tigers, will get his start as a third baseman with one of the Yankees’ rookie teams.

• Carthage coach Mike Godfrey said Bridges has the right mixture of natural ability and work ethic. Bridges also is blessed with great plate discipline that should serve him well at the next level.

• Girard High School graduate Tanner Poppe and Pittsburg State product Matt Stalcup are continuing to find success in their first stints at professional baseball.

• Poppe, who was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers after his senior season at Kansas, is 1-0 with nine strikeouts and no runs allowed over his four games as a professional.

• Stalcup is 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA and seven strikeouts over 10 innings of work with the Vermont Lake Monsters, the low-A affilliate of the Oakland A’s.

• Greg Holland has had no shortage of success with the Kansas City Royals this season, but it apparently wasn’t enough to warrant his first All-Star nod.

• The Royals closer boasts a 1.97 ERA and 19 saves and has been nearly flawless since a couple of mishaps in April.

• Kansas City’s pitching staff has been the team’s strength all season, while the offense has been a glaring weakness.

• So, of course, two Royals position players make the All-Star team, while no Royals pitchers make the squad.

• Wait a second ... What?

• Alex Gordon was past due on receiving his first All-Star bid, while Salvador Perez has many more All-Star appearances in his future. Still, having Gordon and Perez as Kansas City’s All-Stars isn’t a good representation of this team’s strength.

• The National League All-Star team is stockpiled with St. Louis Cardinals again. With Yadier Molina, Carlos Beltran, Matt Carpenter, Allen Craig and Adam Wainwright making the team, the Cardinals have at least five representatives for the the third time in the past four years.

• Meanwhile, Kansas City has two representatives for the first time since 2003.

• I deserved anything but all-star status for my performance in the Pittsburg Parks and Recreation’s wiffle ball tournament on the Fourth of July.

• I hadn’t played any form of baseball for years. And it looked like I hadn’t played any form of baseball in years.

• Maybe I should take up “cup ball” instead. Does anyone else remember playing this game as a kid? After drinking a soda from the concession stand, you’d take the leftover waxy cup and form it into a ball. The batter would hit the “ball” with his hand.

• After being humbled in wiffle ball, we reminisced about “cup ball” for a bit. My teammates and I wondered why you never see kids playing this game anymore. The lack of the waxy cups is one possibility.

• Either way, I think my wiffle ball and “cup ball” days are over.

• I also competed in the Pittsburg Park and Recreation’s bocce ball tournament. Bocce ball is more my speed. You have to love any game that you can play while holding a cold beverage in your left hand.