Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"Blast" from the Past: Kyle Farnsworth Still Up to His Old Tricks

Bucky "f#@king" Dent was given a new middle name by Red Sox supporters after his 1978 home run in Fenway Park. It stuck with him for decades into the future.

Kyle Farnsworth earned that same middle name from Yankee fans as a result of his unreliable and putrid relief efforts.

Well, Kyle "f#@king" Farnsworth was busy introducing himself to a new set of uneasy fans on Tuesday afternoon. This time he was wearing a brand new Royals uniform.

In the eighth inning, Farnsworth was brought in to preserve a slim 2-to-1 Royals lead over the offensively inconsistent Chicago White Sox.

As if still traumatized by his years spent heckled in the Bronx, he began 2009 the way he seemed to end every game of years past...

Defeated, and with his tail tucked firmly between his legs.

Farnsworth gave up four hits including a back-breaking three-run homer off the bat of White Sox DH Jim Thome. The pitch all but sealed the Royals fate as Opening Day losers.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of Farnsworth’s turbulent baseball career involved his apparent skills on the football gridiron.

Farnsworth twice tackled pitchers to the ground with absolutely perfect NFL form, leaving Paul Wilson and Jeremy Affeldt asking, “Did anyone get the license plate number of that truck?”

He may have had a more successful future playing linebacker than he has amassed thus far in Major League Baseball.

Farnsworth has simply been unable to harness the 100 MPH fastball and biting slider that still makes 25 general managers drool across the league.

The other five have employed Farnsworth in their bullpen, and are well versed in the ulcer-causing nature of his pitching prowess.

Many supporters of the Chicago Cubs hoped that Farnsworth could become as electric as Rob Dibble once was for their division rival Cincinnati Reds.

With a career 4.47 ERA and 30-48 record, Farnsworth instead reminds fans of Billy Koch. He represents just another flamethrower that never learned how to pitch.

Upon his departure from the Bronx in a trade for catcher Ivan Rodriguez, Farnsworth surprisingly wept tears and seemed crushed by the decision.

For the first time in my life, I felt genuine sympathy for the man that is responsible for my current blood pressure medication.

Perhaps he truly believed he belonged on the big stage. Perhaps he envisioned one dominant October revitalizing his career and earning him the respect he always clawed for.

That day will likely never come for the underachieving Farnsworth.

It is only a matter of time before the Royals realize that cutting his salary from the payroll is more valuable than his innings on the mound.

Teams like Tampa Bay may be calling for his services to attempt to plug another veteran into a budding bullpen.

Unfortunately for him, it appears that you truly can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

At almost 33 years of age, Farnsworth can still throw a baseball through a brick wall. However, he still can’t throw one to a catcher’s glove on the outside corner.

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