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
  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

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    July 18, 2014

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    July 16, 2014

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    July 16, 2014

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    July 15, 2014

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    An announcement is expected shortly.

    July 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: MLB All-Star game biggest celebration of top athletes

    You will pardon me if I find something else to do when the Pro Bowl rolls around, or if I try to find a “Three Stooges” marathon when it’s time for the NHL All-Star game. As for the NBA All-Star game, I’d rather watch a replay of a four-year-old Uruguay-Ethiopia World Cup soccer match in which I knew the outcome.
     

    July 14, 2014

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    July 13, 2014

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    In the end, West Virginia University’s decision to place the mantle of starting quarterback upon veteran Clint Trickett was less about quarterback than it was about leadership.
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    July 6, 2014

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