Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ballplayer stuck in bathroom

On this day four years ago, one of the funniest moments in minor league baseball history occurred. You have to read about it to believe it. I'll let Jason Stark of ESPN tell the story:

He's a hitter with a rep for being streaky. So Jeff Liefer has heard that term, "locked in," before. But last week, he gave it a whole new meaning.

Liefer, who used to play for the White Sox and Expos, turned himself into a human rain delay for the Brewers' Triple-A farm team in Indianapolis last Thursday. How? By personally causing a 15-minute delay in a game with Louisville -- when he got locked in the dugout bathroom between innings.

"Now that," Brewers coach-witticist Rich Donnelly told Really Wild Pitches, "is what you call long relief."

When Liefer finally got to the field, the fans greeted him with a standing ovation and the opposing team presented him with a roll of toilet paper.

It's just a reminder that minor league baseball can be as fun as the bigs. They do all sorts of crazy stuff to bring in attendance. At the minor league park near where I live, home of the single-A San Jose Giants, one opposing batter every game is designated as the "Beer Batter." Whenever he comes to the plate, the music "Roll Out the Barrel" plays over the PA, and if he strikes out, beer is half price for the next 15 minutes. You can imagine the anticipation when he gets two strikes on him, with fans literally on the edge of their seats, and when he strikes out, it's bedlam. Fans SPRINT to the concession stands to get their $2 beers.

I don't know if the Beer Batter is a staple at minor league parks everywhere, but it should be.

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