March 2013

The Fight that Never Was

By Patrick Drengwitz, Community Relations Assistant

I can say with all honesty that nothing excites me more than the return of baseball in a few days, and the anticipation will keep building until opening day. Of course being an employee for a minor league team, I’m sure you could’ve guessed that. There is, however, another return that has caught my attention and it’s not of a sport, but of an individual athlete that I consider the best in the game.

In 41 days, the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jr., will make his return to the ring after his two-month stay in prison. The challenger is WBC Interim Welterweight Champion Robert Guerrero. Now, normally a return for such a dominant and undefeated superstar such as “Money” Mayweather would have people buzzing like crazy. However, that is not the case, and the reason why: the man in the other corner is not Manny Pacquiao.

The fight that would end all fights and likely go down in history as one of the best of all-time would undoubtedly be Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. The two have traded the title of best-pound-for-pound fighter in the world more times than I can count, yet no combat between the two has been seen. Unfortunately, it probably never will be seen and this is where the appeal of boxing almost completely diminishes. When there are two figures in a sport clearly a step above the rest, it is only natural for fans to want to see a clash of the titans. We have been treated to it many times with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, two tennis greats who have given the public several instant classics. So why then can’t boxing get this match booked and set pay-per-view ratings that would stand ‘til Rapture?

Well, I think Pacquiao is scared.

First of all, with the egos that boxers have it’s a shocker that Pacquiao wouldn’t want to be the man that puts the first digit in the losses column for Mayweather. It’s also frustrating because I believe he’s the only guy that could do it. I don’t mean to diminish Mayweather’s past foes, because he’s fought some seriously bad dudes. And because Mayweather has put together a flawless track-record, it’s not completely out of the question to say Pacqiuao is flinching when he looks at that stellar 43-0. Pacquiao’s record is 54-5-2. In case you need a specific fact and not my own speculation, Pacquiao has also been difficult when it comes to the drug testing that has been suggested for the fight. The Filipino doesn’t want blood drawn within thirty days of the match for fear of weakening him whereas news from the Mayweather camp suggest Floyd couldn’t care less how he is tested. Is Pacquiao hiding something or does he have a legitimate gripe? He did, however, say that he would submit to testing directly after the fight, but what point would that be if damage had been done to Mayweather already?

It may have been futile to even write such an article since this argument seemed antiquated years ago when the third try for the fight fell through. But it still bugs me to see Mayweather fight and not have an opponent that legitimately puts that streak in jeopardy. I’m not really a boxing fan at all, but as a sports fan I know when I have the opportunity to watch something with the potential to be monumental. Those pay-per-views aren’t cheap either, but if that fight ever did happen, I would shell out the cash in a heartbeat.

Patrick is starting his first season with the Crawdads and hopes it leads into a long career with baseball. He is from Gaithersburg, Maryland and majored in Communications at Salisbury University. Patrick wrote for his college paper for two years before becoming the sports editor when he was a senior. He enjoys watching all D.C. sports, breaking a sweat at the gym and spending free time with friends.

 

Liver Mush and Basketball: How I Am Spending the End of the Offseason!

by Evan Schaffer, Group Sales Assistant

Just wrapped up my first couple months in Hickory and it has been a blast! I am really enjoying working for the Crawdads and it has been a pleasure meeting people around the city, whether it’s on the phone or in person.  Many people have told me that it is imperative to try Liver Mush while I am here, so now I can proudly say I finally tried it. Sorry, but I am going to stick with the brisket or pork. Hickory is definitely a different town than my hometown Houston, the 4th biggest city in the country. The biggest difference is the scenery. In Houston it’s mostly flat and at night you’re lucky if you can see two stars in the sky because of the pollution. Here in Hickory the mountain scenery and the numerous visible stars in the sky make this town great to live in!

I am very excited for the NCAA Tournament to begin. I may be from Texas, but I am a big Duke fan and I am expecting them to win it all this year. You can probably catch me at one of my favorite restaurants, Buffalo Wild Wings, throughout the tournament. Wings and plenty of TVs, you can’t beat that! We are now less than two weeks away from Opening Night and I can speak for everyone with the Crawdads that we are excited to start the season. GO DUKE!

Evan is entering his first season with the Crawdads and his second season in minor league baseball. He is from Houston, Texas, graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Sports Management before earning his master’s degree at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.  In his spare time he likes to play the drums and do anything that keeps him active outdoors.

Introducing Quinn

By Quinn Gruber, Group Sales Assistant

Hey Crawdads Fans!

My name is Quinn Gruber and I am the new Group Sales Intern for your 2013 Hickory Crawdads. I want to use my first blog entry to introduce myself to all the Crawdads fans out there who plan on coming to the park and following the ‘Dads this year. I just arrived Western Carolina last week and have already fallen in love with the area that our ‘Dads call home. Originally, I hail from the opposite side of the US, from the small town of Aptos, California. Aptos is located in Santa Cruz County, about an hour and a half south of San Francisco on the beautiful Monterey Bay. When I was ready to attend college I toyed with the idea of schools all over the country before eventually packing my stuff up and heading north to the University of Oregon, located in the friendly college town of Eugene. The son of a high school basketball coach and third of four children, I grew up a huge sports fan, and that love only grew when I stepped foot in Tracktown USA and became an Oregon Duck. At the U of O, I majored in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration. I was also a member of the Warsaw Sports Business Club and Sigma Nu Fraternity.

Like I said, I am a big time sports fan. My favorite teams include the Chicago Bears, the Golden State Warriors, and the Oakland Athletics. Being that we are an affiliate of the Texas Rangers, I suppose I am venturing into a little bit of enemy territory, but as long as we have the same results in the AL West that we did last year, I don’t think that will be a problem! In my spare time I love to play all sports, especially basketball and golf. I also love to travel the country, so I am hoping that living in a new area will allow me to explore even more places that I have yet to see!

Thanks for checking in Crawdads fans, and I hope to see you all out at the ballpark to enjoy America’s pastime this season!

Quinn is beginning his first season as a group sales assistant with the Crawdads. A native of Aptos, California, outside of Santa Cruz, he is a 2012 graduate of the University of Oregon, earning a degree in Political Science.