Inspired by Rick Ankiel, Rich Hill to Attempt Comeback as Hitter
July 2, 2008
(Mesa, AZ) – There was a time when Chicago Cubs pitcher Rich Hill was good. At times, Rich Hill was great. But after early season struggles forced a demotion from the big league club, fans began to question if Hill would ever be back. Those questions seemed answered Tuesday when, after Hill had been sent all the way down to the lowest level of competition in the Cubs’ minors in Mesa, Arizona, he lasted just one out and gave up five runs. His goose appears thoroughly cooked.
But Rich Hill doesn’t think he’s done.
Hill admits that his days as a pitcher may very well be numbered, but that doesn’t matter, he says. That’s because he’s coming back to the Major Leagues as a hitter.
He announced his decision at an impromptu press conference after his most recent debacle of a pitching outing, saying that he had been inspired by St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel. Ankiel was once a young pitcher with the Cardinals before massive control problems stole his ability to pitch – not unlike what has happened with Hill. Following a demotion, Ankiel spent years making his way back to the majors as a hitter, not a pitcher. The comeback can only be called a huge success, as Ankiel has an OPS over .850 in the two years since he came back – highlighted by a two-run home run against the New York Mets on Tuesday.
“I saw that home run when I got home from my start,” Hill began. “And I thought, you know, maybe that’s the way for me, too. I thought, if Rick can do it, I can do it, too. I’m gonna come back to the Chicago Cubs as an outfielder.”
Hill was undaunted when it was pointed out that in over 100 Major League at bats, he was hitting just .123.
“Well that’s because I have only been focused on pitching to this point. Now I’ll be all focused on hitting, and I’ll work very hard. I’ll train my eyes using state of the art pitch-recognition technology, I’ll get in better shape, and I’ll take batting practice for five hours every day. Oh, I’ll make sure to take plenty of Human Growth Hormone, like my new hero, Rick Ankiel.”
To complete the transformation, Hill says he’ll be adding an ugly little goatee, and will “make sure to come back as a huge douchebag, too,” because he doesn’t want to “half-ass this thing.”