Blue says Jordan will be easy pitching pickings

February 15, 1994|By R.E. Graswich | R.E. Graswich,McClatchy News Service

STOCKTON, Calif. -- Spring was in the air. So were questions about a certain retired NBA star who wants to try his luck at baseball.

Curious about Michael Jordan's chances, I asked someone who might know, one of baseball's greatest left-handed pitchers, Vida Blue.

"Here's the situation, Vida," I said. "It's Opening Day. You're on the mound. The leadoff batter is Michael Jordan. What are your first four pitches?"

Blue was laughing, but now a scowl crossed his face. He said: "What are you talking about, four pitches? Why do I need four?

"My first pitch would be my fastball. My second pitch would be my faster ball. And my third pitch would be my real fastball. You have to remember, all my pitches had movement. He would be so confused he would be reciting poetry on his way back to the dugout."

Blue is 44. His last active season was 1986, when he went 10-10 for the Giants. He lives in the California Gold Country town of Twain Harte, works for the Giants as a community-relations spokesman and plays golf when the schedule permits.

Like many veteran ballplayers, Blue resents Jordan's sudden revelation that baseball might be a game worth conquering.

"You know what Michael Jordan is going to be? He'll be a fish out of water," he said. "There's no way a guy can decide to play baseball after not having played for 12 years. It's crazy. I don't know what the guy is thinking. If you figure it out, let me know."

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