Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Eye On Pie

He's still hurt, but Phil Rogers on ESPN.com profiles Felix Pie. He doesn't talk about Pie's high strikeout numbers, but he does compare him favorably to Corey Patterson in one way - Pie wants to win while Corey wanted to hit third.

West Tenn manager Bobby Dickerson said. "He loves to win. That's the biggest thing I've seen. He really enjoys winning ball games, and he always wins. Every team he's been on has made the playoffs, and three won championships."

Dickerson called Pie an "unselfish, talented player." Patterson is gifted with all the talent in the world but has never accepted being one of the guys.

When Patterson struggled in the leadoff spot -- his on-base percentage was .270 when he was demoted -- he talked about wanting to be a No. 3 hitter. How about just being happy to be written anywhere onto a lineup card in the major leagues? Patterson made big catches and got some big hits, but day after day, week after week came up empty, making it difficult for Dusty Baker to keep going to him.

Patterson could never quite fulfill the hype that followed his being selected with the third pick overall in the 1998 draft, then tearing up the Midwest League in his first season as a pro. The beauty of his tenure could turn out to be that he allowed multitalented Pie to develop quietly in the Cubs' farm system.

Dickerson says Pie is a team leader.

"Everybody who plays the game wants to win, but he thrives on it," Dickerson said. "A lot of players go 0-for-4, their team wins and there's not really any jubilation. He's the type of guy that he goes 0-for-4, the team wins and he's happy. I remember one time this year we had won six in a row. He's walking off the field going, 'My team! My team! My team is great!' He just enjoys being part of something special, and it [becomes contagious] around him."

I dunno if Pie will make it. But, it already seems easier to cheer this kid on.

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