This week saw a quiet surprising announcement from the world of the MLB. Mark Appel, a no1 draft pick from 2013 has announced his retirement from professional baseball. The player also made headlines due to the fact that he has not thrown a single pitch in the major leagues since he was signed.
He will have until November in the League before he is released for the Winter drafts. He has been with the Houston Astros after being signed from Stanford. So far Apple has stated that he has made peace with the decision.
Details on why he is leaving or even why he has never thrown a single Major League pitch has not been addressed, but from Apple’s statements it seems he was very unhappy and lonely in the team. He said that is has always been his dream to pitch in the Big Leagues but if it doesn’t happen before he leaves then he is still happy that he was given a chance with the team.
A Promising Past
Apple signed up with Houston directly after leaving college with a healthy $6 million signing on bonus, the type of generous bonus you can find with real money pokies online. His minor league record was 24-18 with an ERA of around 5.06 over 5 seasons. In an ironic twist, Apple was picked over 2016 MVP Kris Bryant who is now making the Cubs very happy. Bryant took the team to the World Series for the first time in over 100 years.
Apple also holds another distinction; he is one of only 3 players to remain in the draft pick without taking part in any major league games. He is joined by Steve Chilcott from 1966. He received a separated shoulder injury while playing a minor league game in 1967. The third is Brien Taylor who was picked in 1991 but tore his shoulder muscles in bar fight in 1993.
MLB Finalises Full Team Safety Standards
In other news, with 1750 fans being struck by balls in MLB each year, Tampa and Arizona have finally decided to add netting to the 1st and 3rd base 1st rows. This means that finally all 30 teams have safety nets in place to protect their fans at home stadiums. These two cities were the last holdouts with regard to installing netting.
There have also been some vocal opposition to the move with many fans claiming the netting obscured their view and places a barrier between them and the players, but the majority of people are pro netting.
The move comes after a relentless effort by baseball fan Andy Zlotnick to get safety netting installed at all team’s stadiums, something which up until 2 years ago was basically nonexistent. Andy was struck by a fly ball and now suffers irreparable nerve damage on the left hand side of his face.
This week his crusade finally comes to an end as we enter a new era of crowd safety standards in MLB. Before the League simply scraped by with stadium tickets stating that there is assumed risk when visiting a stadium. Today marks the day that the teams take responsibility for crowd safety.