June 3rd, 2012
Considered one of the most popular TV shows of the 21st century, Two and a Half Men has very little itself to do with baseball. In fact, maybe the most baseball related scene was Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) coming back from a softball game in one of the episodes. Sheen, however, is well known in popular culture. He starred in the movie Major League and Major League II, which is an extremely popular movie among baseball fans. It might be one of the most quotable movies that I can remember, especially sports wise. Charlie Harper’s nephew in the movie, Jake Harper, is played by Angus T. Jones as well. Jones played the son of Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid) in the Disney movie, The Rookie.
It was from Charlie Sheen that the word “#winning” became so popular in the social media world. Well, the ‘Riders have been #winning a lot this season and three pitchers are big reasons why the team is winning. Barret Loux (10-0 3.03 ERA) leads professional baseball in wins, Justin Grimm (8-3 1.86 ERA) leads the Texas League and ranks 14th overall in minor league baseball in ERA, and Joseph Ortiz, despite being five foot seven, has been Frisco’s most effective reliever this season with 19 appearances, a 2.05 ERA, and a 1.05 WHIP.
They came from different backgrounds, but there is no denying that the trio has been able to put together a special season. Barret Loux and Justin Grimm are a combined 18-3 for the season. Their win total is better than two minor league baseball teams (Louisville Bats and Rome Braves) and as good as another one (West Virginia Power).
“We have a little friendly competition but it’s not where it gets out of hand and we try to learn from each other, so I’d say we help each other out,” Grimm said when asked if him and Loux push each other, “Every time you’re on the mound, you want to do well and improve yourself and your team.”
Much like Two and a Half Men there are times where baseball players can feel like they are living with each other, especially when they are on the road. In the case of Justin Grimm and Barret Loux, they actually do live with each other. So, it’s a good thing that sometimes a player is rooming with somebody he would want to live with.
“We get along pretty well. We like to fish, golf, similar interests,” Loux said about Grimm, “He makes life interesting. You never know what he’s going to say.”
Sometimes though, it’s what you don’t say that can get you into trouble.
“I was standing out on the mound and we were sitting through the national anthem and I didn’t realize that I had my hat on until I got to the end and I had to take it off and I got so much crap for it once I got in the dugout for having my hat on through the national anthem just standing there,” Grimm said.
While Loux and Grimm deservedly get the accolades from the pitching side, there is little doubt that Joseph Ortiz has been a very valuable ‘Rider this season. Pitching in the late innings for Frisco, Ortiz has stabilized a bullpen that at times has been inconsistent.
In the 19 appearances, Ortiz has pitched 22 innings and struck out 23 batters. He has given up 19 hits and walked four batters. At one point this season he struck out the first batter he faced in six consecutive appearances. Who does Ortiz credit for his success?
“I was always looking forward to having good friends like I have now here in Frisco and I always wanted to come and play here,” Joseph Ortiz said. “That’s what’s making me do a good job on the mound because of the good people that surround me.”
Asked if he had any funny stories about Justin Grimm or Barret Loux, Joseph Ortiz smiled and responded: “The only funny thing is those guys are huge compared to me.”
Written By: Michael Damman
Original Image Courtesy of CBS