The glorious return

Last month, Startup and his Sugar Land teammates became the first relievers in almost two decades to ride to the mound in a bullpen cart when the Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League started using one. It isn’t just the biggest development for bullpen cart fans since Tom Berenger drove one in pursuit of Rene Russo in “Major League,” it’s also the best news for the U.S. automotive industry since the turnaround.

“The reaction has been amazing,” Skeeters vice president Christopher Hill says. “You don’t really know what to expect; and the first time it rolled on the field, a bunch of people stood up and started applauding. It was really cool. I like seeing the fingers pointing to it. You can always tell when someone is at the park for the first time because they’ll be tugging at the person next to them and pointing to the cart.”

Jim Caple, ESPN.com.

Click through and read Caple’s whole entertaining article about the Sugar Land Skeeters’ use of the long-abandoned bullpen cart to shuttle relievers into games. Pitchers’ confusion over etiquette is pretty hilarious, as is the image of fans giving the bullpen cart a standing ovation upon seeing it for the first time.

One of the issues Caple cites with the return of the bullpen cart is its inherent dissonance with the entrance-music phenomenon, but that seems easy to settle. Instead of blaring metal, guys on teams with bullpen carts just need to pick chilled-out driving music. Low Rider is the obvious choice, but Slow Ride and Little Red Corvette also probably work.

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