Friday, August 10, 2007

Welcome back, Rick Ankiel

Seven years ago, yes it's been that long, Rick Ankiel lost his mojo -- and any command of the strike zone.

The uber-talented left-hander was 21 and positioned to become one of the best pitchers in the game until he melted down under the glare of the postseason spotlight.

Now Ankiel is back in the big leagues with one caveat. He is a pitcher no more; now he is a hitter. And a power hitter at that.

Ankiel hit 32 home runs in Triple-A before earning a callup to St. Louis on Thursday. He promptly homered in his first game with the Cardinals and gave another insight into the prodigious talent he owns.

In a year where we have celebrated the return of Josh Hamilton from the verge of despair and the depths of drug use, we now have a bookend return to get misty-eyed over.

And that, much like this story, is good for baseball.


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