A Budding Virtuoso

At a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, the heat level on the chicken wing sauce goes from “Hot” to “Wild” to “Blazin’.”



The description of the most blistering level reads as follows:  “Keep away from eyes, pets, and children.  The hottest sauce we got”


I propose an ever hotter level.


It’s called “Kalish.”



(photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)


PawSox outfielder Ryan Kalish is on an incredible tear.  Thursday night in a 9-2 loss to Rochester, Kalish went 4-for-5 for his first 4-hit game at the Triple-A level.  He’s had multiple hits in 7 of his last 8 games, going 17-for-33 for a .515 average.


Shoot, you might even say that over the last week, Kalish has been as big a virtuoso with a baseball bat as Itzhak Perlman is with a violin.



Kalish would dig the reference.


Believe it or not, the 22-year-old from Red Bank, NJ is trying to learn how to play the violin.


“My favorite band is Yellowcard and my walk up to the plate song is one of theirs called ‘Breathing,’ Kalish told me.  (You can listen to it here)  “If you listen carefully to the song you’ll hear a very strong violin piece in it.  I just think that in a rock band, a violin makes it.  Yellowcard uses a lot of it, so it’s something that I want to learn.”


Kalish is serious.  Before getting promoted to Pawtucket on June 1st, he purchased his first violin.


“I bought one at a local music store when I was in Portland,” Ryan said.  “The guys kid me because I have a tendency to make spontaneous purchases and they’re like, ‘Oh man, you made another one of those decisions with your money – you’ll never learn.’  But I’m going to try to prove them wrong.  Right now they’re right, but when I get more time I’m really going to work on it.” 


I have not seen Kalish practicing in the clubhouse or lugging his violin case on road trips, but he says that could change next season.


“I’ve been messing around with it, but it’s going to take a lot of time – it’s really hard to learn,” Kalish said.  “It’s hard right now because during the season I can’t find time to take lessons.  You’re up so late playing ball that you just want to sleep in the morning.  I have my violin along with a little disc on how to play, but I really need lessons from a person to really hone in on it.  I’m going to take it up seriously in the off-season and hopefully I’ll come back next year and be able to jam out with Lars and a couple of the other guys that can play guitar.”


For now, we’ll enjoy watching Ryan wield his bat.


The bow will have to wait.


* * * * *


Adam Mills will take the mound on Friday night at 7:05 as the PawSox conclude their brief 2-game series against Rochester.


I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage beginning with the pre-game show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and pawsox.com.


I’d love to hear from you.  Please take a moment to tell me who you are and where you’re from in the comments section or you can e-mail me at dhoard@pawsox.com.


And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard


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