On Friday, Aug. 14, part-time outfielder Felix Pie accomplished something that only three Orioles had done previously before: Hit for the cycle.
After rounding second base en route to history, he sped to third and slid in, unaware of the task he had just accomplished.
Third base coach Juan Samuel then gave him the news.
"I didn't know I hit for the cycle," Pie said. "Juan Samuel tell me and I say, 'Wow, really?' It's exciting."
Indeed this must have been an exciting time for the 24-year-old former top prospect. After seeing his Major League career fail miserably in Chicago, he came to Baltimore looking for an opportunity.
He was given one early in the year, receiving starts on a day-to-day basis; however, his statistics were not overpowering. With his average hovering around the .200 mark, he slowly made his way to the bench as a new road was paved for the callup of rookie Nolan Reimold.
Now as a fourth outfielder, Pie does not have the burden of worrying about losing his job. Now his job is to simply steal back what he once possessed.
So far, so good.
He is hitting .321 in 84 at-bats since May 10, and he appears to be growing more comfortable with each plate appearance. He attributes his recent success to hitting coach Terry Crowley.
"Every day I'm with Crowley, he's helped me a lot."
Crowley fired the praise straight back.
"That kid has worked every day in the tunnel," Crowley said. "Every day, without missing any time, he just comes in and works. And he went a long span without getting to play because other guys were playing good and stuff. But he just kept working and working. It's to his credit. We know he's got some ability, and tonight was a game he'll never forget."
Through all of this excitement, though, lurked a dark cloud. Pie himself addressed the issue after the contest had ended.
“I apologize to Mike Scioscia and the players on the other team," Pie said. "It's part of the game, emotion, but I showed too much.”
What is he apologizing for exactly?
When Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia walked to the mound to make a pitching change, he “stared him down” and “apparently got the message across that you don't show up the opposition with a huge lead” (Baltimore Sun).
So let me get this straight.
Scioscia, the well-renowned coach of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, got mad at a 24-year old kid having the game of his life?
After originally hearing the story, that was the first thought that came into my head.
So the kid gets excited at third base when he hits a triple to complete the cycle. This is the same kid who’s career has been hanging by a limb since his days in Chicago, and he looks as though he is currently on the rise. I do not see the problem.
To conclude, I only have two messages, one for Scioscia, and one for Pie.
To Scioscia: Get a grip. So your team got beat down by the last-place O’s. That is no reason to get angry at a part-time outfielder who gets excited for doing something that is rarely seen.
To Pie: Just keep doing what you’re doing. In my opinion, there was no need to apologize, for you did nothing of fault. Let this slide past you and never forget the day for what it truly was. Keep it up, kid.
Now can’t we all just get along?
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