Tonight former Bowling Green Hot Rod and Tampa Bay Ray Matt Moore will pitch in game one of the American League Division Series.
And Matt Moore is the reason why the Hot Rods work here in town.
Tampa Bay has a great minor league system that is churning out major leaguers constantly. That's why they can have a payroll in the $40 million range and make the playoffs. Think about that for a second. Their payroll is only about $40 million and they made the playoffs this year and the World Series in 2008.
I think the reason minor league baseball works here is because of the chance to go to the ballpark and see future MLB players. Now, Moore is the first Hot Rod to make the majors, but the team is only three years old. The Hot Rods also had Tim Beckham who was an overall number one pick and should in all likelihood make the majors one day.
It's great when the Hot Rods are winning, like they did this year, but the best reason to go is for the chance to one day say 'yea I saw that guy play.'
Is it guaranteed that the Hot Rods will have MLB after MLB player play for them? Odds are no. It's slim for most minor leaguers to make it. But the chance to see potential big league rs at this early in their career is still enticing, or should be. At least for baseball fans.
Was there a future MLB'er on the team this year? Still way to early to tell, but I don't think its crazy to think maybe one day, Derek Dietrich gets some PT in the big leagues.
I remember when I was in high school my sophomore year I went and watched a senior named Lebron James play in the Ohio High School state basketball playoffs. Now obviously everyone knew he was going to be a star, but it was still cool to see and now to say I watched him play in high school.
I wonder if when Moore was called up a while ago if he thought about the road he took to get there and if he thought about the summer he spent here in Bowling Green.
The Hot Rods should market all they can around Moore and boast that he played here, it could help fill the seats at Bowling Green Ballpark.
So next time you are at the ballpark just think, you may be watching future big leaguers.