In the words of the great Patrick Ewing “We may make a lot, but we spend a lot” The
Tourists offense is something similar to Ewing’s philosophy. The team leads the SAL in homeruns (32) and slugging percentage (.438) and the next closest team in homers is Hagerstown with 26. However with all that raw power there is a price, as the Tourists are leading the lead in strikeouts (268). Thus tweaking Ewing’s sage like adage to “Yeah we hit a lot, but we strikeout a lot”
But don’t let those numbers fool you. The Tourists are a close second in stolen bases (52) seven behind the Columbus Catfish who have the world’s fastest man in Emil Salem. But any team can lead the league in stolen bases, just attempt a steal every time you get on base and hope for the best.
The Tourists have not only been speedy, but sneaky and opportunistic as well. Asheveill has turned in a success rate of just over 80% in stolen bases and that includes CF Michael Mitchell being 11 for 11 even though he has not swiped a bag in eight games.
So how often do you see a team lead the league in homeruns, slugging percentage AND stolen bases. Not very often. If Asheville can keep the pace they could be the most powerful and fastest team in the League.
Michael Mithcell: Speed? Yeah we got that.
With credentials like that and with the Movie Iron Man recently released it forces us to pose the question, “If the Tourists were a Superhero, which one would they be?” Superman of course being the most popular and dominant, he is immediately out of the equation. The fastest and most powerful superhero around, one that fits the character and charm of the 2008 Tourists… only if Ted.E.Tourist could fly…(can he T.J?) let’s give a list of candidates:
Spiderman? Perhaps too wussy, and not fast enough on the ground.
Iron Man ? To Artificial, Tony Stark really has no power except for the suit.
The Flash? All Speed no power, needs to hit the gym.
Batman? Noble, quick and strong but not to overpowering with a strong social conscious. Perhaps?
What exactly is your “super power Mr. Nightcralwer? The Ability to not be as cool as the others?
Anyway point being is the Tourists offense has been spectacular with strong contributions from Darin Holcomb, Brian Rike and Everth Cabrera. The team has other players that have potential to break out with catcher Lars Davis and Kevin Clark heating up. Helder Velasquez has been a big question mark, but has come up with big hits in certain situations and may just need a little time to develop (see Jason McGill’s well formed piece on Velasquez). The offense has formed with players such as Warren Schaeffer filling in and Jeffrey Cunningham emerging in the past couple of weeks with a few tape measure homeruns. Bottom line, the club can win the close ones (4-1 in games decided by one run, 2-0 in extras) and can also blow out opponents (a 16-1 victory over Columbus on Tuesday). Asheville is averaging over five runs per game and has put together a solid team effort from every player on the roster. A team Batman would be proud of .