Dream comes true for Mets' Rice
Scott Rice could be considered the "Crash Davis" of pitchers … and he's finally made it to "The Show."
After 14 seasons lingering in the minors, the 31-year-old left-hander can forget about bus rides from town to town as he finally made a major league roster.
On Friday, Rice was told he made the New York Mets' Opening Day roster by manager Terry Collins. The Mets plan to use the 6-foot-6 Rice as a second left-hander out of the bullpen.
Rice, who was drafted out of high school in 1999 by the Baltimore Orioles, played 14 seasons in the minor leagues — and even pitched for three different independent league clubs. He didn't reach the Triple-A level until 2006.
From his professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Orioles in Sarasota, Fla., some of Rice's minor league stops included Bluefield, Va., Ottawa, Ill., Tulsa, Okla., and most recently Albuquerque, NM, where he pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate in 2012. He was 2-3 with nine saves and a 4.40 ERA in 59 1/3 innings in 54 games last season.
Rice, who grew up in Simi Valley, Calif., has pitched 480 innings during his long, 14-year journey, going 39-55 with 30 saves and a 4.08 ERA with 18 teams.
"I don't think it has really hit me yet," Rice told the Ventura County Star on Friday night. "It's a huge monkey off my back as far as my baseball career goes. ...
"I have always been a baseball player and I have never had another job and I don't want another job."