Friday, July 14, 2006

Tourists auction thrown base

Asheville made the best out of manager Joe Mikulik's massive tirade. Last month profiled the minor league manager's magnificent meltdown. His zany antics, including a dive a base toss and a homemade mud pie, gained worldwide attention when they were featured on SportsCenter.

The Tourists asked Lexington for the base Mikulik threw during his meltdown so they could auction it off for charity. Philadelphia resident Tom McGowan's $1,700 big was the highest, but McGowan didn't want the base. He told the tourists to keep the money, but give the base to the next highest bidder.

Turn's out the second place bidder, Craig Boyce, didn't have a place to put the base. He decided to pass it on to the third place bidder, a local tavern called Hannah Flanagan's Irish Pub, where it will be displayed for the town to visit.

McGowan, who had recently visited Asheville and fell in love with the team, added a significant donation, bringing the auction's gross to $5,000.

The Tourists hope the auction brings some closure for Mikulik, who was suspended seven games for his outburst, but they realize his meltdown will live on in minor league baseball lore.

"We've joked about it, but he's kind of over all the attention," Asheville assistant general manager Chris Smith said. "It's tough on him. He'd like to put it behind him. We realize it's going to stay with him until he wins an ESPY next year."

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