Five for Monday: Keys in the World Baseball Classic (Updated)
For those who check this space regularly, you probably noticed I didn’t end last week with the usual Five for Friday post. So, let’s do it now, leading off with what was posted Friday, the day the 2013 World Baseball Classic began.
1. Bumbry’s British baseball experience
Steve Bumbry, a Key in 2011 and 2012, spent the end of last September in Germany playing with Great Britain the World Baseball Classic qualifying round. I talked to Bumbry and his mother, who was born in Wales, about a week and a half ago about their experiences overseas. An excerpt from the story is below:
Steve Bumbry had never even been to Europe before.
But there he was last September in Regensburg, Germany, he and a few others on the steps of the Bavarian town’s historic cathedral, belting out Britain’s national anthem “God Save the Queen.”
“Oh, God. Yeah, that happened,” said Bumbry, recalling his rookie initiation with Great Britain’s World Baseball Classic team the night before the Brits’ first WBC qualifier. “We were in the Cathedral square, and we’re (singing) on the steps of this cathedral and people are sitting outside cafes eating, drinking and whatever.”
A Frederick Key in 2011 and 2012, Bumbry batted third and played right field for Great Britain in its three qualifying games at Regensburg’s Armin-Wolf Stadium. The Brits blew out the Czech Republic in their second game, but fell to Canada and Germany and were eliminated from the tournament.
While Bumbry’s on-field performance – he tallied just one hit in nine at-bats – wasn’t very memorable, he said his entire experience overseas, from playing baseball on that stage to connecting with a part of his heritage, was unforgettable.
If you want to keep reading, the full story is here.
2. Former Keys in the WBC
(Correction: An earlier version of this post stated there were six former Keys in the WBC. My apologies to Richard Salazar and Danny Figueroa.)
By my count and that of a few more veteran Keys employees, there are right former Frederick Keys playing in the World Baseball Classic this month, representing the Netherlands, Australia, Spain, Italy, Canada and the United States. They are:
Jonathan Schoop, 2B (NED) – The Orioles’ top positional prospect is a native of Curacao and batted second while playing second base for the Dutch (1-1) in their first two games. Schoop played 83 games for the Keys in 2010 and 2011 and is hitless with one walk in WBC play. He hit .271 with 37 RBIs in 77 games with the Keys in 2011.
Allan de San Miguel, C (AUS) – This 2012 Key is a native of Bentley, Australia. He caught the Aussies’ (0-2) second game against Korea (a 6-0 loss), batted ninth and went 0-for-3. As a Key, San Miguel hit .260 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 30 games.
*Schoop and San Miguel’s countries square off at 11:30 this morning.
Paco Figueroa, 2B (ESP) – Now in the Philadelphia organization, Figueroa played 90 games in Frederick in 2006, hitting .284 and stealing 20 bases (though he was caught stealing 13 times). Figueroa’s twin brother, Danny, played center field for the Keys in 2008. Spain’s first game is Friday against Puerto Rico.
Danny Figueroa, OF (ESP) – The other Figueroa brother patrolled center field for the Keys in 2008, stealing 33 bases in 104 games while batting .239. Selected by the Orioles in the 2005 MLB draft, he was released in 2011 after two seasons in double-A Bowie.
Richard Salazar, P (ESP) – A member of the Keys for parts of four seasons, Salazar has been playing independent baseball since 2008. He pitched in 100 games with the Keys over the 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons, finishing with a 7-6 record and a 4.09 ERA. He threw 171.2 innings and struck out 141 batters in his Keys career.
John Mariotti, P (ITA) – No longer in affiliated baseball, Mariotti played for the Keys briefly in 2008 and for all of the 2010 season. In 2010, his last season in the Orioles’ organization, he finished with a 3-6 record, three saves and a 4.08 ERA in 21 games. He played for independent team Les Capitales de Quebec the last two seasons. Italy’s first game is Thursday against Mexico.
*For those of you who read French, here’s an article from Les Capitales announcing Mariotti making the Italian roster.
Adam Loewen, OF (CAN) – A left-handed pitcher drafted by the Orioles with the fourth overall pick of the 2002 MLB draft, Loewen spent all of 2005 with the Keys. He started 27 games and made one relief appearance that year, finishing 10-8 with a 4.12 ERA and 146 strikeouts in 142 innings. The following March, Loewen started Canada’s 8-6 victory over the U.S. in the first World Baseball Classic. A stress fracture in his left elbow ended his pitching career in 2008 after reaching the majors the prior two seasons and Loewen made the transition to the outfield. He made his major league debut as an outfielder in 2011 with Toronto. Canada’s first game is Friday against Italy.
David Hernandez, P (USA) – Originally on the Mexican roster before he was ruled a generation too far removed from a native-born ancestor to play for Mexico, the 2007 Frederick Key was added to the American roster to replace Cleveland Indians reliever Chris Perez. Now a key cog in the back-end of Arizona’s bullpen, Hernandez started 27 games and made one relief appearance for the Keys, going 7-11 with a 4.95 ERA while striking out 168 batters in 145.1 innings pitched. The U.S. plays its first game Friday against Mexico.
3. Shaking past 1,000 views
Are you tired of Harlem Shake videos? Good, I didn’t think so.
In honor of passing 1,000 views on YouTube, here is our Harlem Shake video once again. Harlem Shake your Keys.
Last week’s Keys newsletter is here.
5. On the links
*2012 Key and baseball’s top-pitching prospect Dylan Bundy was scheduled to pitch Sunday, but was held back because of groin spasms, according to Britt Ghiroli.
*2000 Key Brian Roberts is on fire. Another big spring training game Sunday for the O’s second baseman.
*Steve Melewski has 10 questions for O’s fans, three of which directly involve former Keys.
*Also, here are Melewski’s top 10 current O’s. How many do you think are former Keys?
*Just like at Harry Grove Stadium, no smoking at Camden Yards.
*31 days until opening night at the Grove.
Shake your Keys.