This week sees the arrival of a highly-touted new talent to the Bull City. He'll bring a wave of fresh energy downtown, having a track record of success at smaller cities along the way. Durham will offer his largest stage to date on which to demonstrate his talent, though of course if he succeeds, we should expect him to move on to bigger and better venues.
Oh, you ask, am I talking about Tom Bonfield, who starts his tenure as Durham's city manager today? Well, yeah, him too.
But I'm really talking about David Price, the pitcher out of Vanderbilt and the #1 overall pick in last year's Major League Baseball draft, who's getting the ball on Wednesday night at the DBAP against the Norfolk Tides.
In Price's radio interview with XM Satellite Radio's Grant Paulson, the latter intimated that a call-up was likely on the verge of happening for Price, who's been utterly unstoppable in the minor leagues, going 7-0 with a 1.89 ERA while holding opponents to a .206 batting average.
The only thing Paulson got wrong was his prediction that the Tampa Bay Rays would take their top prospect straight up to St. Pete. Lucky for Durhamites, Price is making a pit stop in the Bull City this week.
In the world of Bull Durham analogies, Price is Nuke LaLoosh without all the head-case qualities.
We can only imagine that Mr. Bonfield -- himself a former minor-league player in the Yankees' system before heading to the field of city government -- would be more than happy to share the limelight this week with a guy who's projected to be a can't-miss all-star in the big leagues.
It wouldn't be surprising if Price only makes one, possibly two starts for the Bulls, and this might be the only home game to see him. It's almost a sure thing that the Rays will pull Price up by the end of August to help their playoff run, and given that after the Tides series the Bulls are on the road until the 23rd, it's worth making sure you see this guy pitch now.
Tickets are on sale on the Durham Bulls' web site. (And, heck yeah, I bought mine before posting this story.)