Packed house. Bottom of the 8th. 2 outs. Down one run. Opening day. Jim Thome's 542nd round tripper. Take away all of that greatness and you still have a fantastic moment. Why? It all starts with the 6-4, 230 lb underachiever called Kyle Farnsworth. Next to Greg Maddux, Farnsworth looks like the real deal. That is, in physique. However, if we are talking pure numbers, next to Maddux, Farnsworth looks like any other wannabe pitcher. There is no doubting the velocity Kyle brings to the hill. No scouts will argue that point. Let's not forget the secret to Sandy Koufax's success. Surrendering his velocity for control. The rest is history. Cooperstown history.
And while Kyle Farnsworth brings physical intimidation to the mound, his career numbers hardly have batters shaking in their cleats. Take his rookie year of 1999, when he started 21 games for the Cubs. In 140 innings pitched for the Cubs, Farnsworth surrendered 28 home runs with a 5-9 record. Luckily, that was his only year as a starter. Following a dismal first half of 2008 with the Yankees, Steinbrenner released a teary eyed Kyle to the Detroit Tigers for Ivan Rodriguez.
In only 60 1/2 innings pitched with both the Yankees and Tigers in 2008,
Farnsworth was tattooed 15 times. One dinger every four innings. Looking at these numbers, why would a GM pull out his checkbook and commit $9.25 million over two years? It's frightening to think this clown gets paid that kind of money to serve up fat ones so consistently. All I can think is....."Once a Cub, always a Cub."