Friday, April 18, 2008

Will Startup maybe in on the DL, but he's a winner

Photo taken from Portland Beavers site
DL but a winner

Portland Beavers web site is reporting that Will Startup won the best name of the year contest...... lol.......I didn't even know this was a real event, but I guess it is......

Pretty damn funny read......enjoy

04/10/2008 3:00 PM - PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Beavers pitcher Will Startup won’t let an injury keep him out of the limelight.

The four-year professional, currently on the club’s disabled list with a left elbow sprain and rehabbing in extended spring training in Arizona, today was crowned champion of the 64-player, tournament-style “Minors Moniker Madness” competition on, the official site of Minor League Baseball.

Click here to view the final bracket.

Startup defeated Dusty Napoleon in the finals; winners of each round were determined by a vote of fans on the website to determine the ultimate baseball name in the minors. Startup garnered 56 percent of the vote in the finals, getting the backing of a record 15,192 votes in the title matchup with Napoleon, who received 11,995 votes (44 percent).

Startup, a No. 10 seed entering the competition, earned victories over Jimmy James and Bubbie Buzachero to get to the Sweet 16. He then beat Winter Polo and Rocky Roquet before passing up No. 1-seed Rowdy Hardy to get to the finals.

“This ranks right up there with the highest achievements of my life,” Startup said from the San Diego Padres spring training headquarters in Peoria, Ariz. “There’s no other feeling in the world like this.”

It was sweet redemption for Startup, who settled for runner-up status in 2007 after losing to Houston Summers in the finals last year.

“I would probably have been angrier if I had lost again more than anything else,” Startup said. “I hate losing anything, so there was a lot of anticipation on this. As much as I tried not to pay attention to the tournament, it was hard not to get caught up in it.”

Ironically, the left-hander has never started a professional game in his career spent with the Atlanta Braves and Padres organizations, amassing 129 relief appearances going into the 2008 season.

“I think the people in the stands find more irony in that than anything. Certainly, my name draws a little more attention than the average name.”

Startup joined the Beavers last season, coming to the Padres system along with pitcher Wil Ledezma from Atlanta in exchange for former Beaver Royce Ring on July 31. The 23-year-old made 14 relief appearances with Portland and posted a 4.66 ERA.

Former Beaver Tagg Bozied, a six seed in this year’s tourney, picked up first- and second-round victories before getting bounced by Given Kutz in third-round play. Bozied played in Portland from 2003-05.

Heh ! A name contest.......who knew ?

Play Ball !!!

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