When Bill Bavasi signed Richmond Lockwood Sexson in December, he'd undoubtedly heard from Pelekoudas and the Mariner scouting department that the prospective first baseman was pretty tall. At 6'8", Sexson would supply a punchless, meak-as-a-mouse line-up with some Ruthian power and intimidation. He also bet on Richie's gangly left arm snatching a couple of those high-arching rainbow throws from shallow center that Boone unleashes after tracking down a grounder up the middle. "Tall means good, right?" he asked his front office pals. "Sure, sounds good Bill," they answered back. "It worked out with the basketball team and that McIlvaine guy," chimed in Lincoln on the speaker phone. Let's just say, the Mariner executives we're drooling over the possibility of adding that elusive power forward type to their line-up.
But while they were clear on the slugger's precise altitude, it's doubtful they had the inside intelligence on what has apparently transpired this July. Since the Fourth of July, the Mariners' clean-up man has embarked on a two-week stretch of hitting that can lead Mariner Magic to only one conclusion:
It stands to reason that on Independence Day, Richie Sexson's enormity finally got the best of him. On that night, he was simply too tall.
As he casually stood to observe Seattle's Fourth of Jul-Ivar's Fireworks display over Puget Sound, the trajectory of a misguided spark passed through the coordinates of Sexson's sizable, loftily-positioned head, setting his golden locks ablaze. After the considerable shock subsided - not to mention the panicked head-bobbing in a bowl of Ivar's famous clam chowder to put out his flaming hair - Sexson took the residual heat and lit his bat on fire to the tune of a .422 batting average over 12 games.
Since that fateful spat with a firework, Richie has been worth his riches. 19 for 45. Four HRs, three doubles, seven walks, and 13 RBIs in 12 starts. His average has rocketed from a disappointing .242 to an acceptable, even Buhner-esque .264. Seven multi-hit games?! Now that's the hotness.
Doubt Refusing To Lose's shocking research? Try to prove us wrong. We'll leave you with this: we haven't seen Richie take off his cap for quite some time...
UPDATE: Not convinced? Further evidence - 2 for 4 tonight, with a mammoth two-run homer.