Rick Ankiel is planning a comeback as a relief pitcher

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Major announcement from our own Rick Ankiel: He’s planning a comeback as a relief pitcher for the 2019 season!

- Well, folks, last Wednesday, our good friend and partner here at Fox Sports Midwest-- there he is, the lefty Rick Ankiel-- returned to the mound for the Bluegrass World Series. Now, first of all, it's part of major-- former major league players that you play-- just explain the whole Bluegrass a bit.

- So there's, you know, college guys for summer go play in a tournament basically all year to play some of their, you know, colleges and, you know, [INAUDIBLE] school. So anyway, a bunch of college teams play all year, and then a bunch of big-- ex-big leaguers come, and they just let us play in the final round. So I mean, if you look at our roster, it was Chipper Jones came in, Nick Swisher, Jason Worth, Jake Peavy, Roy Oswald, [INAUDIBLE], me, David Ross, you name it, so what a blast, it was. All our families were there. All our kids were there.

And so anyways, all them were like, come on, man, you got to pitch. You got take the mound. I was like, all right, I'll do it on Wednesday.

- So this was peer pressure?

- No, actually, I was thinking about it before I got there. But when I got there, they were, too. It's actually at the all-star game, and Livan Hernandez was like, [IMITATING LIVAN HERNANDEZ] come on, pappy, I play catch with you every day. You got to make one more I'll come back.

[NORMAL VOICE] So I've been-- I worked with a kid with the [INAUDIBLE], and I've been throwing, say, once a week with this kid for the last two months or so. But it's felt really good, so it's kind of been palling around and kind of started to get the itch. And if-- you know, when I take a look at pros and cons, right, I can make a whole list of pros. I've got nothing on the cons. Zero.

My kids want to see me play. I'm at a place now-- personally, I could care less if I throw the ball as a backstop. It really doesn't matter. We've talked about it and whatnot, and when you take a look at baseball, the game has swung back around to my style of pitching when you talk about the big curveball, fastballs up. So I feel like why not come back as a leftie reliever and put one more chapter on the book?

- So another chapter of the book or another part of the movie potentially. But you're going to have to probably get into-- like, I mean, you-- I know you work out and everything, but you're going to have to get into a big time shape to do this. Right? That's probably part of your potential comeback.

- Yeah, correct. So I want to take this seriously. Honestly, for the Bluegrass World Series, I wasn't in what you would call pitching shape, so I'm going to take the next, you know, three, four months here in the off season and get in the best shape I possibly can and see what it feels like. If I feel like I can suppress the anxiety, which I feel like I can, and everything's a go, I figure, why not?

- And the comeback is a reliever. Right?

- Correct. Correct. I mean, if they want to give me a few at-bats, I would be mad at that either.