Touch 'Em All: Ankiel's story continues with Mets

New York Mets' Rick Ankiel takes batting practice prior to the baseball game with the St. Louis Cardinals Monday, May 13, 2013, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce)
New York Mets' Rick Ankiel takes batting practice prior to the baseball game with the St. Louis Cardinals Monday, May 13, 2013, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce) (Bill Boyce)
Posted: May 14, 2013

The Rick Ankiel epic just keeps going.

The 33-year-old slugger was just released by the Houston Astros after hitting .194 with five homers and 11 RBIs - and striking out 35 times in 65 at-bats. It looked like the end for the guy who arrived as a hard-throwing lefty with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999 but had to reinvent himself as a power hitter when his control on the mound totally deserted him in 2000.

After an outfield stint with the Cards, he played for the Royals, Braves, and Nationals before ending up in Houston.

He is one of four players in major league history to make at least 40 starts as a pitcher and hit 40 homers - the others are George Van Haltran, Cy Seymour, and some guy named Babe Ruth.

On Monday, the New York Mets signed Ankiel and started him that night in center field against, you guessed it, the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, where it all began.

He walked and scored a run in a 6-3 loss.

Still flyin'. Former Phillie fave Shane Victorino has been cleared to play for the Red Sox after crashing into the the low right-field wall at Fenway Park while pursuing a home run by Emilio Bonifacio on Sunday in the Toronto Blue Jays' 12-4 win over Boston.

Toronto reliever Darren Oliver, who was in the bullpen at the time, had a succinct diagnosis: "Oh man, he hit that wall hard."

Takes more than a wall to bring down the Flyin' Hawaiian, dude.

Outta here. George Postolos resigned as president and CEO of the Astros on Monday, returning to sports consulting work in the midst of what looks like it could be Houston's third consecutive season of at least 100 losses.

No truth to the rumor that he tied together some tablecloths from the executive dining room and shinnied out the window, leaving behind a note saying "I can't take it anymore."


Contact Michael Harrington at mharrington@phillynews.com

This article contains information from the AP.

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