Saturday, March 03, 2012

"The Big Time"- FINALE

OPPORTUNITIES: Pitch an inning as part of the Brooklyn Cyclones (the Mets' A Minjor League Baseball team) & be part of a Mets Spring Training game
COMPETITORS: Ben Smith (Newcastle, IN; he got drafted by the Orioles while he was in high school, but got injured & his dad later took ill, prompting him to work at an industrial supply company & not pitch for four years), Hector Gonzalez (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; recently pitched in a AA All-Star Game) & Jared Johnson (Mobile, AL; an advertiser & former shortstop who survived testicular cancer & hasn't played in five yrs.)
MENTORS: Tom House (veteran pitching coach), Dan Warthen (Mets pitching coach), Dave Racaniello (Mets bullpen catcher) & Frank Viola (Cyclones pitching coach)

Opening Challenge: Each player throws five pitches at citi FIELD & the mph start, the mph end & total break for every one will be recorded by PITCHf/x.

1. 84, 77 & 8"
2. 75, 69 & 12"
3. 85, 78 & 7"
4. 71, 65 & 14"
5. 84, 77 & 6"

1. 83, 76 & 7"
2. 77, 71 & 7"
3. 81, 75 & 8"
4. 70, 64 & 14"
5. 83, 76 & 7"

1. 88, 81 & 7"
2. 78, 73 & 10"
3. 90, 83 & 5"
4. 72, 67 & 15"


Elimination Challenge ("Mixed Signal (s)"): Pieces of a baseball uniform have to be found inside 50 mostly-red equipment bags (10 on each row marked from 0 to 9 on each row) using the rapid fire signals being displayed on a TV inside a gym. They must first watch for a pitcher's mask & then pay attention to the third slide after seeing the mask for the second time, at which point they have to remember the bag to unlock w/ the designated coordinates- the shape of a row (triangle, square, diamond, circle & upside-down triangle) & the bag number on that row.

Hector has to find five bags (including a glove for only him), while his opponents each only have to find four (pants, shirt, wristband & cap).


FINAL CHALLENGE: At MCU Park (home of the Brooklyn Cyclones), both finalists have five defensive drills. On each one, using a base location & a certain number of outs on the scoreboard, they have to successfully pitch a ball at (or maybe inside if they're very lucky & skillful) the designated target.


LAST BT SEGMENT- While wearing the #30 jersey, Jared allowed the first three batters to get on base; he gave up a single the first time on a 2-1 count, allowed a fielder's choice even though his first two pitches at the second batter were strikes & threw four balls in a row at batters #3 & #4, thus walking in his first run. Jared then got on track w/ the first out on another FC to home plate after two strikes, the second on a sacrifice fly after another two K's & the final one coming on a throw to 2B right away.
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