The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

July 20, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN - Jones becomes instant smash with Pirates

MORGANTOWN — Garrett Jones is an overnight sensation … 10 years in the making.

His Pittsburgh Pirates career has started the way their fans like it, taking off like a Zambelli fireworks show, sending rocket after rocket to all parts of whatever stadium tries to hold him.

Fourteen games into his Pirates career, after getting so much seasoning in the minor leagues his nickname ought to be Lawry, he has seven home runs.

And these are not just your run-of-the-mill home runs.

Take the one he hit in Philadelphia. It cleared the “batter’s eye” background in straightaway centerfield at Citizens Bank Park. Only two people have hit balls there.

One is named Garrett Jones.

The other Ryan Howard.

Or the first of two he hit on Friday night. That came off Tim Lincecum.

He owns last year’s Cy Young Award and may win this year’s.

But Jones has him in his book.

And then there was the one he hit later in that game … much later.

This came in the 14th inning. It took two bounces and jumped into the Allegheny River, where only 27 other home runs have floated away.

Who is this guy, Roy Hobbs?

Only one Pirate has more than his seven home runs. His name is Adam LaRoche. He has 12 and all it’s taken him is 260 more at bats to hit those five additional home runs.

The thing about Garrett Jones is he looks the part that he is playing.

Perhaps the most noticeable thing about his walk-off homer on Friday night, other than the celebration of the arrival of the man who may save the season for the Pirates, was his size. He towered above those jumping up and down around him, looking almost like a Little League manager, surrounded by his players, after winning in Williamsport.

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Bob Herzel
  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Jackie Robinson’s impact extends beyond baseball

    It is Jackie Robinson Day as I sit here writing this today, and I feel as though I am doing it in a world gone mad.
    Every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who took racism’s best shot and integrated the game that was known then as the National Pastime even though it was as white a Ku Klux Klan robe.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

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    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

  • WVU baseball drops seventh straight game

    One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Gold-Blue Game answers few questions at quarterback

    Dana Holgorsen finds himself in a quarterback quandary.
    He’s looking to have one quarterback and has five of them as spring practice ends, and nothing about the spring session has done anything to straighten out the situation.

    April 13, 2014

  • Moore ‘back at home’ under center

    There are a couple of ways to look at what Logan Moore did this spring after being moved back to quarterback and given a chance to compete for what is a wide open job, as wide open at the end of the spring as it was coming in.
    The first is to say that he didn’t wow Dana Holgorsen to the point that he’s willing to say he’s the leader going into summer drills, but that would be shortsighted considering from where Moore came.

    April 13, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU punter turns heads at linebacker

    They call him “Huey the Punter.”
    His real name is Houstin Syvertson. His real position is not punter. Not anymore, anyway.
    To be honest, until Saturday’s spring game, not many people following West Virginia football knew the name or the nickname. They know it now.

    April 13, 2014

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