Gilchrist has been approached by the Boston Red Sox to play baseball!
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Red Sox want Gilly's power
By Robert Cradock and John Pierik
April 7, 2005
BATTING dynamo Adam Gilchrist has received an approach from the World Series baseball champion Boston Red Sox despite having played the game only once in his life.
Pinch hitter ... Gilchrist can hit the ball miles. Pic: Agence France-Presse
Gilchrist's thunderous stroke play has echoed across the world to trigger the offer of a personalised assessment session in Australia to see whether his dynamic skills are transferable to a game he played only once as a 14-year-old in Lismore.
Australia's Olympic baseball coach Jon Deeble, the Red Sox first base coach and recruiting agent, informed the club of Gilchrist's freakish power play and triggered the expression of interest which they claim could be heightened when Gilchrist, 33, retires from cricket.
"We expressed interest in him and we think he has a lot of potential, and the club has tapes of him batting," Deeble said last night. "Boston has a payroll of $160million a year and it's something worth having a look at."
Gilchrist's manager Stephen Atkinson said no decision had been made on whether Gilchrist would accept the offer of a skills assessment session, most probably before pitchers and a pitching machine in Perth, and his prime focus was on the forthcoming Ashes series.
"Adam has taken this as a compliment," Atkinson said. "There are any number of collegiate players in America who would cut their non-pitching arm off to get a call from a major league team saying we would like to come down and have a look at you.
"Cricket remains his number one priority and the approach may not come to anything but it is genuine. If we did anything it would have to fit in with his cricket commitments.
"But it is not pub talk or someone day dreaming. It is this guy's job to identify players and he likes the look of Adam. Baseball people have been saying for years that Adam would be suitable to the sport."
The chances of Gilchrist switching codes are extremely remote but he is an open-minded character who enjoys fresh challenges.
Major league salaries dwarf those earned by Australia's top cricketers who earn around $1million a year from Cricket Australia and often as much again in sponsorship.
The average major league salary last season was $US2,555,476, according to figures released by The Associated Press. For the average baseball player in 2004, a night at the ball park brought in $15,000, or $5116 per hour for work.
New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez, arguably the league's best all-round player, is the highest paid, earning $US25,000,000 this year.
Mike Young, fielding coach with the Australian cricket team and a former Australian baseball coach, said several years ago that Gilchrist, Andrew
Symonds and Matthew Hayden had major league potential had they started as youngsters in the sport.
"Had Adam played baseball as a youngster he would have had a real good shot at it," Young said. "I commend Boston for having an open mind but he is too old now. I don't think there is any chance he could make it."