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Becoming Facebook friends with switch-pitcher Pat Venditte.

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There’s a fad going through the baseball world right now.

It’s called “the Pat Venditte story.”

Everyone’s got a Pat Venditte story. The Charleston Post & Courier wrote one. The Sporting News wrote one. Hell, even Rick Reilly wrote one about a month ago.

For those of you still using Skip-its and snap bracelets, Pat Venditte is baseball’s only switch-pitcher. He’s acting as closer for the Charleston Riverdogs, the Yankee’s low A affiliate, and he’s excelling. Through Tuesday, he has a .90 ERA, 13 saves, and 31 strikeouts in 20.0 innings pitched. Despite what the critics say about his underwhelming stuff, he’s been a great pitcher through college and two levels of pro ball. It really is a fascinating story.

And I’ve got an original spin on it.

Last night, I friended Pat Venditte on Facebook.

I’ve seen Pat pitch a couple times, I write a baseball blog, and after Googling “Pat Venditte Facebook,” the option was right there. That’s about all the qualifications someone needs to be “friends” these days, so I clicked the “Request as Friend” button. Almost instantly I wished I could take the move back; I’ve never been a guy who “friends” people I don’t know, nevertheless a dude I don’t know. The move made me look like an instant fanboy, a nerd in the worst sense of the word.

Well sometime yesterday, Pat accepted.

You’re probably thinking, Well, it’s probably not actually him. You’re wrong. There’s pictures of Pat and his girlfriend, there’s people teasing him about his dancing ability, and his sister wrote on his wall saying she’ll be attending a sale at Coach with his credit card. Looking at some of the candid photos, it’s clear that this really is his profile.

Creepy, creepy, creepy.

Facebook really is creepy, but it’s given me an opportunity that I otherwise wouldn’t.

Pat Venditte is a young man who, due to his unique talent and pitching ability, is one of the most exciting things to happen to baseball in recent memory. It’s impossible for casual baseball fans to realize the importance of his skills, the historical implications of it all. There’s been ambidextrous pitchers before, but there’s never been a successful one.

Venditte should be a national commodity, a star in the purest sense of the word. He’s not known for shooting steroids in his ass or being a prick. Instead he’s know as an extremely accessible player who goes out of his way to sign autographs, help kids learn to be ambidextrous, and the like.

He’s got a very real future in the major leagues, and a one-on-one experience with him is likely just a button click away.

But the question is: do I do it?

Or do I find a more traditional avenue to access the budding star?

P.S. College of Charleston’s Brandon Sizemore has yet to accept my request. Prick…

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