Bair can't figure out draft snub


One day after baseball's major-league draft, Calvert Hall left-handed pitcher Andy Bair remains perplexed why he wasn't taken in the early rounds.

"Between the death of my grandfather on the same night, and finding out late last night [Thursday] that I still hadn't been drafted, I felt like I'd died and gone to hell," Bair said. "I feel like I did something wrong, I don't know what it is, but something. I let down some of my supporters."

TC Bair, last year's Baltimore Sun Player of the Year, sat at home last night still hoping to be drafted.

He went 9-0 this year with 104 strikeouts and an 0.11 ERA, and 11-0 last year with 123 strikeouts and an 0.82 ERA.

"It hurts mentally, but now I'm getting over it," said Bair, who has signed to play at the University of Miami.

"The coach from Miami called me and told me that since a couple of players of his got drafted that improves my chances of starting there. I know I'm a good player and I know I have a career. Life goes on."

False reports surfaced Thursday that Bair had been taken by the Chicago White Sox in the eighth round. His father, Wayne, said he'd learned of his son's selection from a television newscast that evening.

The White Sox's area scout, Reggie Lewis, said the team made an offer to Bair but that the negotiations fell through.

Lewis said Wayne Bair told him " 'Andy should get $100,000 to $200,000 in cash,' and we said, 'No, we couldn't do that.' "

Lewis said the team offered Bair $50,000 and the cost of a four-year scholarship to the University of Maryland.

Bair, who is 6 feet 6 and weighs 235 pounds, wonders if his weight was a problem. But if it was, he said he wasn't told of it.

"Up until yesterday, all the scouts had been telling me that my weight had nothing to do with it and they liked me for who I am," said Bair.

Calvert Hall coach Joe Binder said, "It befuddles me that he's throwing hard enough that nobody's hitting him and he's striking people out, and he's got an 0.11 ERA, and no one's taken him.

"They're saying that in their mind Andy didn't throw hard enough to go in the first two or three rounds. But if he's throwing in the mid-80s and he's never been beaten, what does it matter that he's not throwing consistently at 88?"

Another local player, Edgewood High pitcher-outfielder Tim Hamulack, was picked in the 30th round by the Houston Astros.

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