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Gulf Coast League Pirates pitcher Rinku Singh made history Monday by becoming the first India-born player to record a professional baseball win in the U.S. (The GCL Pirates are the rookie developmental team of the Pittsburgh Pirates.) You may recall that Rinku and his countryman Dinesh Patel made history before when they signed with the Pirates organization last November after placing first and second in an Indian reality-show contest called The Million Dollar Arm, thereby becoming the first India-born players to ink a professional sports contract of any kind in this country.
So how did Rinku get his first win? Did he manage to bring up the velocity of his fastball from the low 90′s? Did he paint the outside corners of the strike zone? Did he introduce something nasty and unhittable to his limited pitching repertoire?
My theory: he started keeping his eye on the ball instead of the ladies.
I kid, I kid! (Rinku, if you’re reading this like you did that other time, where you thought I was calling you a perv when I was really calling you a babe, know that this is what we call in America “giving you shit.”)
Then again, he only had to strike out one batter to get the win, so I’m not going to get my panties too far in a bunch over this “historic” moment. (Yes, Rinku, still “giving you shit.” See also “heckling.”)
Uh-oh! Somebody’s jock is in a twist, and it’s all our fault. Two weeks ago, we made Rinku Singh, winner of The Million Dollar Arm contest and one of two Indian pitchers recently signed to the Pittsburgh Pirates, our “babe” of the week. Apparently, Rinku saw this and thought we were accusing him of being a perv (from his blog on themilliondollararm.com):
One very, very bad thing about the news is that they say I on the BABEWATCH (http://disgrasian.blogspot.com/2008/11/babewatch-rinku-singh.html). this not true. i not watching girls. i only pitching, training, eat, watch baseball/Movies and sleep. American women very dangerous and very crazy. I like only Indian woman. Dinesh and JB, Sir have been harrassing me about this BABEWATCH. I do not like the BABEWATCH.
Since I can’t leave a comment on his blog, I have to clear the air here.
Rinku. Duuude. First of all, sorry. Second, chillax. We meant this only as a compliment, and it may be the nicest thing you hear said about yourself in the near future since baseball fans are notoriously vicious. In America, the word “babe” can be applied to both women and men. (Don’t bother looking this up in a dictionary; dictionaries don’t teach you anything about slang.) In this case, you are the “babe.” And we are “watching” you. Once a week, we like to feature certain people on our blog simply because they are nice to look at. I guess that makes us the pervs!
But, hey, at least you understand one very important thing about your new home–American women are dangerous and crazazy! Remember that when those groupies come to watch you pitch and ask to, like, stroke your bat and shit.
Hails from: India
Occupation: Newly-signed baseball pitcher
Rinku Singh’s life is playing out like a less gritty but no less remarkable version of Slumdog Millionaire since his signing to the Pittsburgh Pirates this week. Raised in northeast India along with eight siblings in a one-room house, Singh, the son of a truck driver, enters the Million Dollar Arm baseball contest in his home country, having never played the sport. He wins and is brought to America along with fellow countryman Dinesh Patel, who places second. Last week, when the Pittsburgh Pirates contact Singh and Patel, they’ve neither heard of the team (it is the Pirates, after all) nor the town. They get signed on Monday and become the first Indian-born athletes to ever ink a professional sports contract of any kind in America.
With a fastball hovering in the low 90s, Singh has his work cut out for him if he wants to make it to the bigs. But with that solid 6’2″ build and that face, he’s sure to win over his share of admirers (and groupies) in no time.
[UPDATE: Rinku throws a curveball! Who knew?!]