Skip to main content

The Chico Outlaws' Girl Pitcher Gimmick

Sprinkled with former big leaguers and career minor leaguers striving to be recognized by a Major League organization, the attention of fans and media, regarding the Golden Baseball League, seems to be focused on the league's 18-year-old female pitcher. Eri Yoshida's knuckleball got her recognized at age 16 and allowed her to become the first female drafted by a Japanese professional baseball team. Just a couple years later, Yoshida is a professional pitcher in North America.

Plenty of hype surrounded the teenager, after she pitched in 11 games last year for the Kobe Cruise 9 and later earned a victory for Yuma in the Arizona Winter League. Yoshida signed with Chico, of the Golden Baseball League, in April this year and made her debut as an Outlaw in May.

Since then, batters in the independent league have figured out Yoshida's deceptive style. In 3 outings from July 23rd-August 1st, Yoshida allowed no fewer than 6 earned runs each time out. Making her first road start for Chico, Yoshida walked 7 batters in 2 1/3 innings in a recent outing against Victoria. The appearance against Victoria, in British Columbia Canada, made Yoshida the first female to pitch professionally in 3 countries.

Despite the rough stretch this summer, Yoshida, nicknamed "The Knuckle Princess", donated the jersey she wore and the bat she used to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, to be included in a "What's Happening Now in Baseball" display. The items share a case with the cap that Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg wore in his Major League debut in June.

Still looking for her first GBL victory, Yoshida, who stands 5-feet-1-inch tall, has posted a 0-3 record with a 12.68 ERA through 7 games with Chico. A starter, Yoshida has lasted 5 innings only once this season. The Outlaws' pitching staff only has 3 pitchers with ERA's over 4.37 and Yoshida's ERA is nearly 5 runs higher than her next closest teammate.

I recently spoke with manager of the Philadelphia Phillies' Single A affiliate, former Major League catcher, Mark Parent, who previously managed the Outlaws, about Chico's lady hurler. Parent wasn't very familiar with Yoshida, but is friends with current Chico manager, Garry Templeton, another former Major Leaguer, and offered up some pity for his pal. "That must be a head ache," Parent said of the circus atmosphere that goes along with having a female pitcher at the professional level.

Many would be hard pressed to not admit Yoshida's presence on the Outlaws pitching staff is not a gimmick to help draw attention to the team and increase attendance. Nettleton Stadium, the Outlaws' home park, was filled nearly to its capacity of 4,200 for Yoshida's debut, which is roughly twice the typical Chico attendance figure. The team and its league are surely receiving more attention because of Yoshida's presence than they have at any other time. No wonder the Outlaws announced 10 days in advance, on Tuesday, that Yoshida is slated to make her next start on August 20th.

Efforts to exploit a situation aside, there's surely nothing wrong with giving someone a chance. However, when a carnival act proves costly by hurting the team's chances of winning and keeps a more deserving player from receiving a chance to shine, perhaps the plug should be pulled on the princess' opportunity.

__________________________________________________

Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter HERE.


BallHype: hype it up!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'

18-inning Marathon Results in Early Return For Doc

Righty hurler Roy Halladay , who was slated to appear in another rehab outing for Double-A Reading on Sunday will return to the big league club instead, following a marathon of baseball Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park. In Saturday night's (Sunday morning's?) 12-7 defeat at the hands of the Diamondbacks, the Phillies sent nine pitchers and two position players to the mound to make it through the lengthy affair. Starter Ethan Martin could not escape the opening frame, as he allowed three hits, three walks and three earned runs. Over the 4 2/3 innings that followed, Luis Garcia and Zach Miner allowed a combined four earned runs. The remainder of the relief corps including Cesar Jimenez , Justin De Fratus , Jonathan Papelbon , Jake Diekman and B.J Rosenberg combined for 6 2/3 scoreless innings while Sunday's originally scheduled starter Tyler Cloyd was called upon to toss five scoreless frames. As the need to use Cloyd approached, the Phillies d