Monday, June 02, 2003

A Little Notoriety For an Eisenberg, and an Isenberg

Attention to Eisenberg Sports is starting to pick up some steam of its own. I checked the search engines last night to see if I showed up on any of them, and as it turned out, I was on virtually all of them. I had a great time typing in things like "eisenberg stephen stills" and seeing my story come up, or "eisenberg lebron". But what really surprised me was that I was listed on a couple of other sites that I hadn't made any contact with. I'm on the Baseball Blogs list on Musings From RSN (Red Sox Nation), and on Baseball News Blog I'm quoted smack in the middle of their front page from my story on the Shea/Kim deal.

So its time to spread some of the wealth around. Got my on-line subscription to Baseball America yesterday, just in time for this week's draft coverage, and I was thrilled to see, at # 89 on the list of prospects, a player by the name of Kurt Isenberg.

Ok, so I know what you're thinking. That's kind of cute. They pretty much have the same name. Next topic. But its bigger than that. When I was a kid, aspiring to be any kind of athlete at all, I couldn't help but notice that if I looked at my sports cards, or watched a game on tv, there weren't any names like Eisenberg around. Anywhere. Ever. None that started with Eisen, almost none that ended with berg. I remember Bob Kuechenberg with the Miami Dolphins, but that wasn't very close, really. Not enough to matter. I didn't know what Eisenbergs did for a living, other than drive pickle trucks, which is what my Dad and Grandfather did , but I did know that they weren't athletes.

This didn't stop me of course. I played because I loved to play, and when it became obvious that my talent level in athletics was not the type that lands on a Sports Illustrated cover, I accepted it as my own shortcomings, and not something driven by an Eisenberg Curse, or a cultural stereotype. Still, it would have been nice as a kid to have a baseball card with the name Eisenberg on it.

Well, for me Kurt Isenberg is close enough. He's got a legitimate shot at making it to the big leagues some day, which means my 5-month old son has a real chance to own an Isenberg baseball card.

So let's get to the particulars. Kurt Isenberg is a left-handed pitcher, the most valuable of baseball commodities, who has just finished his junior year at James Madison in Virginia. He is currently ranked 18th in the lefthanded pitchers category, but ten of those ahead of him are high school pitchers. It is becoming closer to common knowledge that high school pitchers are much riskier picks, because they are that much younger and have that much farther to go, and because they've played against inferior levels of competition, so its conceivable that Kurt could be taken higher.

This last season, he pitched 97 innings and recorded 97 strikeouts with 42 walks, and a 5.85 ERA, which is on the high side, but his ERA was 3.73 the year before as a sophomore. He also pitched well for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League last summer. He can get his fastball into the low 90s. At 6 ft even, he's on the small side for teams who like to draft on "skills" instead of performance, but it shouldn't be a major issue here.

With 30 teams, and some sandwich picks thrown in between the first and second round, it seems as though Kurt should go somewhere between rounds 2 and 4. Wherever he's picked, you can be sure to find it here first, on Eisenberg Sports.

Yesterday's winners of the Paul DePodesta Medal of Honor for reaching base in every plate appearance, and not getting thrown out on the bases, goes to:

Toby Hall of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays! 4 for 4 with a double and a homer!

Sean Casey of the Cincinnati Reds! 3 AB 2 runs 3 hits 3 rbi 2 walks!

Not bad for two percosets every four hours. If you're new to the site, I'd love to hear from you.

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