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May 16, 2013

Quotes and notes from Panthers BP at Knights Stadium

FORT MILL, S.C.--In the newspaper business, sometimes you just run out of space.

I wanted to get in the news of the day along with some notes from the Panthers taking batting practice before the Charlotte Knights-Louisville Bats game Wednesday night. Instead, the news took over, and I ran out of space.

But the internet has infinite space, and here are the notes from last night that Charles Woodson beat out as if they were Peyton Manning in the 1997 Heisman Trophy race.

-As radio voice Bill Rosinski pointed out, if a baseball game happens to break out in the NFC South, the Panthers have a pretty good shot. New Panthers linebacker Chase Blackburn hit back-to-back home runs over the left-field wall in BP last night.

The former Giant finished the night with three homers. Of the 10 Panthers there, only S Haruki Nakamura joined him on the homer list with one.

Blackburn joins a Panthers team with a stout starting linebacking corps with Thomas Davis, Jon Beason and Defensive Rookie of the Year Luke Kuechly. He knows it'll be tough to unseat any one of those players for their spot but said he looks forward to working himself into the rotation.

"I’m happy to be around guys like this," said Blackburn, who added he expects to be a big part of Carolina's special teams units. "Our meeting room is a lot of fun because we know football and we talk a lot of football. I feel like it’s a great meeting room to be a part of it."

He also lived up to his last name on Wednesday. About an hour and a half before he went to the ballpark, he was attempting to plug in a WiFi airport when fire came out of the socket and burned his right bicep.

Blackburn figured it was a faulty wire, but the result left him with a nasty burn the circumference of a baseball. He bandaged the wound and proceeded to lead the team in home runs.

-Panthers coach Ron Rivera showed off his players and fans by switch hitting and throwing the knuckleball to players in BP.

Rivera found the shallow outfield a few times from the left side of the plate and fewer times from the right. But nonetheless, he was able to knock the ball from either side despite it being a while since he picked up a bat.

"I played a little bit of baseball and experimented and had a lot of fun with it," he said. "I was a catcher by trade and you were involved in the game constantly."

Rivera played through high school and even for a spell during his freshman year at Cal. He was on the JV team before football spring training began.

-Panthers right tackle Byron Bell made a late appearance to batting practice. Bell was wearing a throwback Chicago White Sox flatbill hat. He said it was just a coincidence he happened to be wearing the hat of the Knights' MLB affiliate.

Click here for photos from the event.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on May 16, 2013 at 09:40 AM | Permalink


great article. very informative.

any idea on what we're doing with our cap money?

Posted by: big gulps | May 16, 2013 10:15:09 AM

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