Sunday, June 25, 2006

Austin Bibens-Dirkx

I made yet another visit to Cheney -- twice in one week! Except this time was devoted to hanging out with my sister and her family, and my wife and our son. It was more family time than photography time. I sat in the GA section on the third base side for the first time, and it was my sister's family's first visit to Cheney. The pre-game tailgate pizza fest we had was fun, and I enjoyed some good beer before we got in the gates. That's another strike against good photo taking ;-)

But I still brought my camera.

I'll be honest with you -- it was tough to watch the game, since I was juggling my son and taking him to his many trips to the restroom. I missed the first, but I did see the other two doubles that Snelling laced between the center and right fielders. They were pretty much right in the same spot, IIRC.

In the top of the 8th inning, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who the M's had just selected not even three weeks ago in the 2006 amateur draft, made an appearance at Cheney. I didn't know a ton about him, but I did know that it seemed odd that a 16th-round draft choice would be in AAA only weeks after the draft, and that he was a side-arm-throwing righty from University of Portland. Because a picture says 1,000 words, rather than attempt to go all Dr. D on ya (and analyze his motion), I'll throw up a photo:



I shot 6-7 sequences of his pitching motion, and converted one of them to a Flash file. I also placed a few stills of his pitching motion in the photo album from tonight's game.

He pitched pretty decently -- 50 pitches, 31 for strikes; 5 K's and 1 walk in 2 innings, with only 2 hits. I couldn't really tell from my vantage point what the ball angle looked like, and we left right after the top of the 8th. But considering he was merely a 16th-rounder, and just starting his professional career, I'll take 5 K's to 1 walk in two innings from any reliever!

5 Comments:

At 7/11/2006 10:45 PM, Anonymous Sheryl McDonnell said...

Paul,

My name is Sheryl McDonnell and I am Austin's mom. I really enjoyed reading about his outing in Tacoma. Unfortunately, I was playing in a softball tournament in Monmouth when he called to say he had been asked to report to Tacoma. Austin's sister called tonight and said we had to see this. Her intro was...."it's pretty nifty that our boy has fans who don't even know him:)" I especially enjoyed the pictures because as of this date, we have been unable to see him play in his first year of professional baseball. He is now in Appleton, Wisconsin with the Timber Rattlers. We missed him in Everett and Tacoma.

Anyway, just wanted to say Thanks a bunch for the pictures comments.

I always have enjoyed seeing pictures of him in stride. What a rush.

Thanks again, Sheryl McDonnell

 
At 7/11/2006 11:49 PM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

Fantastic! Really glad to hear from you!

This is exactly one of my motivations for my little side photography project. Friends, family, and fans all would have better access to decent-quality pictures of players -- especially of those that are ignored by the AP and the mainstream press. I just wish I could bi-locate to Wisconsin, San Antonio, Inland Empire, Peoria, etc. Heck, even Everett's quite the hoof for me.

I'm definitely keeping an eye on Austin, and it sounds like he's had some decent success with the M's organization. Jumping all the way up to Wisconsin is a very good start to his career.

Just wait until you get your hands on his first MLB baseball card. I hear that's a pretty special thing for parents. Not sure how the rules work with all that (I believe they changed the rules recently, making it harder for companies to print cards of players who don't have big league experience, but I could be very wrong on this), though I'm quite certain he'll have his day with Topps quite soon!

Here's to hoping Austin develops into the Dan Quisenberry class of pitcher (or better) that can really help the M's. I'm definitely a fan of his unique pitching motion!

And, as elsid (George Sherrill's brother) can tell ya, I'm a HUGE fan of helping ballplayers families any way I can :-) If you send me an e-mail with your address, (hugemsfan_at_acuitydesign.com), I'll have one of those pictures printed and mailed your direction.

 
At 7/12/2006 12:50 AM, Blogger PositivePaul said...

Sheryl,

In case you visit us again...

I searched through the collection of pictures I shot that evening (I always publish WAAAAY fewer than I actually take) and I found some more. These, to me, looked pretty cool in black & white. I saved them in a larger version, too, to use as desktop wallpaper on your computer.

Here's Austin's page in my photo search bank: http://www.paulmphotography.com/searchbank/default.asp?PlayerID=188

 
At 7/14/2006 3:25 PM, Anonymous Sheryl McDonnell said...

Paul, I am still trying to get an email out to you. For whatever reason, my email is coughing up whatever I attempt to send. Can you send me an email at the following address and I can reply to you and see if that works:

smcdonnell_at_co.marion.or.us

Maybe this will work.

Thanks.....SDM

 
At 7/22/2006 11:45 AM, Anonymous Sheryl McDonnell said...

Paul,

Got the pictures, they are fabulous.

We were up in Tacoma on Wednesday - thought about having them page you to see if you were there, but wasn't sure if they would.

I asked around about getting the roster insert for that day, but no one knew if they kept them or not. It would go great in the Scrapbook my mom is working on for Austin. Oh well, hopefully, he'll be there again.

We're planning on going up again maybe next month - we have no baseball to watch here so we're spending our time watching what we can when we can.

Just wanted to let you know we received the pics. Thanks again.

Sheryl

 

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