Since he's a Northwestern grad, this is almost obligatory for a Chicago newspaper. But there are some fun, nice lines in the piece:
1. Essentially pitching underhand, he starts his throws down around his shoetops, and they flutter toward home plate to heckles of "This ain't bowling!" Fans call him " Disco," because his pitch speed is always in the 70s.
I don't think I knew his pitch speed was ~always~ in the 70s.
2. The journey has helped turn the computer science major and self-described "poster boy for nerdiness" into the most popular blogger among minor-league baseball players. In the blog, he uses statistical analysis to argue that he can make the leap from Triple AAA to the majors, despite what your eyes might tell you.
I didn't know he kept a blog.
3. His blog (discohayes.mlblogs.com) is the sixth-most popular in Major League Baseball's entire network. It mixes baseball analysis with endearing tangents, such as when Hayes was caught without a plunger as he did battle with a "toilet of doom" as a houseguest on the road. Hayes knew the blog's audience had gotten big when, days later, a fan in the stands held up a plunger and asked him to autograph it. "I'd like to think I've signed more plungers than anybody," Hayes said.
I guess we'll be seeing a lot plungers in the stands next year. I suspect they'll outnumber brooms in the near future.
4. "At any given time, there are going to be 10 fans in the stands who can throw harder than him," said Rany Jazayerli, a baseball writer from Naperville who co-founded Baseball Prospectus. "Chris Hayes is not just living the dream. He is living my dream, your dream. He is living the dream of every baseball fan."
Nice to quote Rany.
5. Northwestern coach Paul Stevens said Hayes was one of the best bunters he ever coached.
Good to know. - TL