The first two qualifier's for this years inaugural MLB and Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Costest to be held on July 4th proved to be quite a show. Ichro Suzuki won the first qualifer, beating out Coco Crisp on a turn of Coco's stomach. In qualifer number two, Brian Wilson narrowly edged out Jason Giambi with a last minute stuffing. The third qualifier features participants from the American League Central Division.
Representing the Cleveland Indians is Orlando Cabrera. From the Detroit Tigers, Daniel Schlereth. The Chicago White Sox representative is A.J. Pierzynski. From the Kansas City Royals, we have Matt Treanor. Rounding out the competition is Carl Pavano of the Minnesota Twins.
An ESPN fan poll saw no clear but favorite in this qualifying round. Orlando Cabrera held the slight edge with 27% of the fan vote, followed by A.J. Pierzynski's 24%.
As they lined up to the table and awaited the word to start eating, a buzz spread through the crowd. Alyssa Milano appeared, showing off her 6 month pregnant belly in an undersized t-shirt that said "Who's the Boss?" Carl's jaw dropped as Alyssa made her way to the stage and took her place behind him as his bunnette. After she gave Carl a little peck on the cheek, she complimented Misty May, who was standing behind her husband Matt Treanor, on her outfit that just happened to be from Alyssa's "Touch" sports clothing line.
Once the commotion settled, the contestants were ready to start.
By the two minute mark, it became apparent that the competition from this heat wasn't nearly as fierce as the previous qualifer. Orlando and A.J. were each working on their third dog while the other three competitors each had finished two. By minute four, the entire field was neck and neck with five dogs apiece.
By the six minute mark, it was becoming apparent that this would be by far the weakest group of competitors. Orlando Cabrera was leading the field with eight. A.J. was right behind him with seven. Matt Treanor and Daniel Schlereth had downed six each and Carl Pavano was in last place with six.
The competition looked as if it would end with a whimper as none of the competitors looked all to happy about ingesting any more hot dogs by the eight and a half minute mark. Orlando Cabrera was sitting on ten and was looking a little green. Matt Treanor, being cheered on by Misty had worked his way up to eight and a half. Schlereth was stuck on seven and Carl Pavano had gone on the competitive eating's equivalent of the disabled list a minute earlier. A.J. Pierzynski had managed to pull into a tie for first with ten.
As the competition rolled to a close, Orlando had stopped eating. He was trying hard to keep what he had down and managed to hold on just long enough to make it official before vomiting into his bucket. A.J. choked down one more dog to edge out Orlando and win with an uninspiring total of eleven.
Here's the final results from qualifer number three:
A.J. Pierzynski - 11 Hot Dogs
Orlando Cabrera - 10 Hot Dogs
Matt Treanor - 10 Hot Dogs
Daniel Schlereth - 8 Hot Dogs
Carl Pavano - 6 Hot Dogs
A.J. Pierzynski moves onto the next round and will be competing against Ichiro Suzuki and Brian Wilson on July 4th. The final three entrants will be determined shortly.