In addition to scaring many of the Rays bonus babies into investing in long-term T-Bills, Rocco took swings in the cage and readied himself for an unlikely comeback. With the Rays offense struggling and Creampuffs falling left and right, the stage was set for Rocco to make his triumphant return to the low minors.
Recall the halcyon days of 2008, the original Raysopaclypse. Our hero Rocco, returning from mysterious illness later diagnosed as "cells no worky too good" cloaked in a beard of some acclaim. 2010 Rehab Rocco comes complete with a new gimmick in the facial hair arena, as seen below:
In keeping with the proud tradition of wholesome fun and desperate marketing, Rocco's current employers the Charlotte Sea Crabs are running Rocco Baldelli Mustache Night on August 4th. Never let the lure of a supernova big leaguer running through town go uncapitalized! The Sea Crabs plan to award a free hat & ticket to Saturday's game to all fans with a "naturally-grown moustache." The team is staging moustache contests across three categories, celebrating the filmography of Tom Selleck and featuring the music of Frank Zappa (!) as between inning entertainment.
I applaud the good people with the Stone Crabs for their Minor Enterprise and, of course, Rocco Baldelli for sticking with the game he loves. Giving up on the only thing you're even known can't be easy, here's hoping we see Rocco in the playoffs once again.
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Image courtesy of Minor League Baseball Dot Com