Good story on former Marshall teammates Arik Sikula and Ian Kadish, who are in second year of being professional baseball teammates with the Vancouver Canadians, a minor league club of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Story from The Province newspaper's website:
VANCOUVER - Ian Kadish and Arik Sikula aren't a package deal. It just seems that way.
The Vancouver Canadians right-handed relievers are teammates for a second straight pro campaign after spending their four-year college careers together with the Marshall University Thundering Herd.
Throw in a season of summer college all-star ball alongside one another with the Minnesota-based Rochester Honkers, and the pair have seen more of each other in the past five years than they have their families.
"Other guys will be telling their stories about college and we will just look at each other and be like, 'Little do you know,' " Kadish chuckled.
"We have stories that will put an end to all the other stories, but we don't want to kill everybody else's confidence."
He could be kidding. He may not. Kadish, 23, does come across as a guy with a big-league sense of humour, though.
He revels in good-natured jabs on Twitter (@TheBearJew_36), including stating that he had found a rookie card for recent Canadians addition Marcus Stroman, the hard-throwing right-hander that the Toronto Blue Jays made their first-round draft choice earlier this summer.
The post came with a picture of a 1990 Topps for one-time Montreal Expos ace Pascual Perez.
"My agent has been after me to step up my Twitter game," said Sikula, 23, who has been known to throw down the funny lines from his handle (@ ASik5WV). "It's a good thing to do. He [Kadish] is all about it."
There was a chance that Kadish and Sikula would have been merely Twitter fans from afar, since both were considering universities other than Marshall, the Hunting-ton, W.V. school.
Kadish was a star kicker in high school in Cincinnati and thought about walking on to a couple of gridiron teams.
Sikula originally committed to Penn State, but the then West Virginia State high school baseball player of the year recanted and stuck close to home.
His family has strong ties to Mar-shall, including the fact that his dad, Andy, is the school's associate dean of business and his brother, A.J., played on the baseball team.
The Blue Jays, the C's parent club, drafted Sikula in the 36th round in 2011 after he went 2-6 with a 5.42 earned run average in 14 games, including 13 starts, with Marshall. He did strike out 72 in 74 2 /3 innings.
Toronto followed that up by signing Kadish as a free agent.
He had been 1-4, with a 4.99 ERA, in 25 appearances, all in relief, with Mar-shall. Both were sent to the Bluefield Blue Jays, a Rookie League team, last season.
"We weren't sure if we were going to be on the same team again, but once we saw the roster, it was a relief," said Kadish, who has roomed off and on with Sikula over the years as well.
"We feel very comfortable with one another. We can talk about everything. It's like having a brother here."
Sikula added: "You have some-body to talk to after every outing and somebody who has seen you throw before and have success. It's somebody who can help you pick out the differences when you're not having success."
As to success, the 6-foot, 200-pound Kadish and the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Sikula are haves more than have-nots so far this season with Vancouver, a Short Season Single A North-west League team.
Heading into Wednesday action, Kadish, relying mainly on a fastball and a hard slider, had a 1.47 earned run average and three saves in 12 appearances. Sikula, who mixes in a fastball with a cutter and a curveball, was at 3.31 in 11 games.
They seem to be guys with futures. Whether they'll be identical, as their recent pasts have been, is open to question.
"There's going to be a time when we're not on the same team - it's obviously going to happen," said Sikula, a native of South Charleston, W.V. "Hopefully, at least one of us gets moved up. We'll still be in contact then, rooting for the other person."