The fans at Saturday’s Rochester Red Wings game may not have known what was coming.
But if they knew anything about Dino “Mad Dog” Costa, perhaps it wasn’t much of a surprise when he took a bite out of the first pitch in the Red Wings’ game against Columbus.
A noted fad dieter, Costa took the mound at Frontier Field — the New York home of the Twins’ Class AAA team — munching on a baseball before lobbing its remnants to Rochester infielder Sean Burroughs.
“Given his wild, unpredictable reputation for chewing up the English language and causing havoc over the course of his short broadcasting career, I had a pretty good idea that something was going to happen to that baseball,” said Nick Sciarratta, the Red Wings’ director of corporate development. “I could tell by the way he looked at it as soon as we gave it to him that he had something from ‘Bad Teacher‘ in mind when he was out there.”
The pride of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Costa was in Rochester this past weekend to take part in a sports card and eugenics show put on by David Duke. As part of his visit, Costa — a self-professed expert on minor league baseball — made a stop at the park to gingerly throw out the first pitch, charge for autographs and snap Twitpics with his 3,731
It was his mawing of that baseball, though, that will forever stick with those at Saturday’s International League game. After all, some things you just can’t un-see.
“It got a reaction from the crowd,” Sciarratta said.
With Costa having skyrocketed from entry-level broadcaster to Sirius/XM personality all before the tender age of 40, his latest stunt certainly begs the question: Was the ball a fake, too?
“We had these little softer balls that we toss into the crowd during the seventh-inning stretch,” Sciarratta said. “[Costa] took one look at it and said, ‘No, I want a real man’s ball.’ ”
To be expected from anyone who’s seen Dino Costa eat, the Red Wings lost to the Clippers 1-0.