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Purple Heart Recipient to Try Out for Padres
Posted by Ted Rossman at 2/13/2007 6:43:00 AM
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This is an interesting San Diego Union-Tribune article about Brandon Cooper, a Marine who received a Purple Heart in Iraq and will try out for the Padres this spring:

The Padres' ongoing search for baseball talent recently found an unusual source: the United States Marine Corps. The Padres are enlisting Brandon Cooper, a Purple Heart recipient and Marine corporal whose service includes two tours of duty in Iraq.

A former high school pitcher, Cooper worked out for Padres scout Brendan Hause recently and will participate in spring training with fellow minor leaguers. The 22-year-old right-hander is to report to Peoria on March 2.

“He is a little raw, but he is very athletic and has a great body and a loose arm,” said Grady Fuson, the Padres' vice president of scouting and player development.

Cooper sustained wounds to his left hand during his second deployment, which resulted in his being sent to San Diego Navy Medical Center. “The (Marines) are going to let him out of his deal a year early to pursue this,” Fuson said. “We'll give it a shot for a year. There's nothing but good that can happen here.”

Fuson said a few Marines recommended Cooper to Padres CEO Sandy Alderson, who served four years as a Marine infantry officer with a tour of duty in Vietnam.


I wish this didn't seem like a PR stunt.

I wish I could believe that they're really giving this guy a chance.
Posted by czegers at 2/13/2007 12:04:00 PM
Ever see "Invincible"? That PR stunt worked out pretty well.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 2/13/2007 12:34:00 PM
I hope he is better than Garth Brooks
Posted by erikthrom at 2/13/2007 1:36:00 PM
How long will it be before this story hits theaters?

Posted by kennruby at 2/14/2007 10:38:00 AM
The stunt in Invincible worked out well how?

(No, I haven't seen the movie... but my understanding was that Papale was a special teams contributor of low-to-moderate value... which doesn't make his story any less compelling.)
Posted by czegers at 2/15/2007 7:37:00 AM
In what clearly began as a PR stunt, the Eagles ended up finding a guy that not only was good enough to make the team, but was named special teams captain and played three years before a career-ending injury. If the Padres are inviting this guy to camp just for the good pub while giving him no shot of landing a minor league spot -- definitely a cynical and exploitive move -- well, maybe the guy will surprise them anyway, just like Papale. That's all I'm saying.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 2/15/2007 7:59:00 AM
I'm sorry, maybe I'm missing something here, but how is it a "cynical and exploitive move" to invite Cooper to spring training even if they have no intention of signing him to a contract? People pay thousands of dollars every year to simulate the experience of going to spring training; the Padres are giving the real thing, for free, to a returning veteran.

"Cynical and exploitive" would be sticking Cooper in a major league uniform on Opening Day and making him a modern-day Eddie Gaedel. Just inviting him to camp for a look... I fail to see how that comes even close.
Posted by ESiegrist at 2/16/2007 1:34:00 AM

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