DENVER – The woebegone Colorado Rockies, stricken with the worst pitching staff in baseball, attempted to improve on their collective ERA by recruiting the man who threw the ceremonial first pitch before yesterday’s game to start against the A’s.
Darren Beaty, a corporate sales manager for Staples, won the opportunity to throw out the first pitch by entering a contest on the Rockies website. Beaty threw a fastball in the mid 60s that surprised manager Jim Tracy with its accuracy.
“He threw that ball right over the plate, totally clean, without hitting the ground or nothin’,” observed Tracy. “And instantly I told [pitching coach Bob Apodaca] that we had to have him take the mound.”
Beaty, who pitched for his high school baseball team as a junior, was caught off guard by Tracy’s invitation but instantly accepted, realizing how rare an opportunity it was.
“When he first asked me, I was certain it was a joke, but then he told me to run down to the locker room and they’d fit me for a jersey,” reflected Beaty. “I had to check my iPhone real quick to see how I was supposed to position my fingers for a fastball, but once I got to the mound I kind of just chucked it and hoped for the best.”
Beaty gave up six runs over four innings, securing all outs via pop ups and ground balls. Backed with strong offensive support, including a first inning grand slam from Todd Helton, it was feasible that Beaty might actually earn a win.
The A’s prevailed, however, after rocking reliever Rafael Betancourt for five more runs. Regardless, the Rockies staff was impressed with Beaty’s performance and is seriously considering signing him to a single season contract.
“Would you believe it? That guy must’ve thrown 20 or 30 strikes!” beamed pitching coach Bob Apodaca. “I’ll be damned if he doesn’t have a future in our rotation.”