relearning The Farns


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I watched a little bit of tonight’s Yankee game, just to see what Pudge in pinstripes looked like. Why did I do that? Why did I think that was in any way a good idea? It was ugly and wrong and I would advise you all to avoid it as much as you can.

I don’t really want to talk about today’s game. It was stupid and made me angry and I wanted to punch Justin Verlander’s pitch count in the face. He threw 114 pitches in 5.2 innings, like a reversion to his pre-All Star break form. My blood pressure is rising just thinking about it. Moving on.

I got an email earlier today from one of the MVN Yankee writers, Tom Gaffney, containing a modern-day Kyle Farnsworth scouting report. It was awfully nice of him to offer up the goods, unsolicited, and if there was a faint air of gloating about the gesture…. well, Yankee fans deserve that right now, the lucky stink-badgers. I sent him back a scouting report on Pudge entitled Pudge Rodriguez: the man, the myth, the legend, which you can go read if you want to remember good times, man, good times.

Mr. Gaffney’s FarnsReport is reprinted herein for YOU, the reader. Things in bold are his words but my emphasis. Things in [brackets] are my snide little asides.

//KYLE FARNSWORTH: SCOUTING REPORT

Kyle Farnsworth, aka Krazy Kyle [this was the best you guys could come up with? Really? C’mon now], is a player of great extremes that [sic, unless we assume he’s actually a robot], paradoxically, winds up giving fairly average results. He came over to the Yankees from the Braves with the billing of a guy who is a legitimate closer and a perfect setup man. His years with the team from the Bronx have been riddled with complaints, diva tantrums, resurrections, and heartbreaks. Despite all this, when you look at his numbers, they’re pretty much league average across the board. [As opposed to Yankees who are divas and throw temper tantrums and make up for it by actually being awesome at baseball.]

The bottom line is that he’s been a decent arm out of the bullpen for the Yankees who has become expendable by virtue of a host of young arms flooding organization [rat bastards]. The thing you need to worry about, as a Tiger fan, is his emotional makeup and tendency to slip into funks. This is a very real danger as he was extremely close to Yankee manager, Joe Girardi and broke down into tears when told of the trade. Leyland will have to handle him with kid gloves. [Insert vast LOL here at the idea of Leyland handling anyone with kid gloves.]

Extreme #1: He throws extremely hard. His fastball lives at 95 and he pumps it up to 97-98 every once in a while. [He’s not hitting 100 mph anymore? Also, Joel Zumaya is unimpressed.] His slider is extremely volatile: one moment it’s dropping nicely down and away from righties, the next it’s hanging up in the zone for David Ortiz to clout to the moon. His command is a little below average as he is unable to hit corners. He typically lives about 2-3 inches in on the corner or 3-4 inches outside the corner. You don’t see him squeezed a lot by the umpires as his pitches are usually either clear strikes or balls. This, when paired with the fact that his heater is pretty straight, also leads to his fair share of homers. When batters guess fastball and location, they can hit it a long way. That’s pretty much it for his repertoire. He’s basically a fastball/slider pitcher. [Which is part of the reason why he never cut it as a starter for the Cubs.]

Extreme #2: Kyle is extremely emotional. [We know.] This is not always a bad thing, as he has been lauded all this year for his work ethic and passion for the game. He is consistently cited as the hardest worker in the weight room by the Yankee trainers. This bodes well for his ability to continue to be a power pitcher into his mid-thirties. [I’m not so sure about this. He has occasional tendonitis in his arms and a wonky back, neither of which is going to be helped much by the kind of obsessive weight training The Farns favors.] On the flip-side, his emotions have gotten him into many spates of trouble in the past. He has had a lot of trouble handling pitching consecutive days, pitching more than one inning, and has complained loudly at times about how he is used by his manager. [Fabulous, he’ll love it here now!]

His emotions also have led to prolonged slumps and shakiness in big spots. He’s been better this year, but his nerves really tend to fray in pressure situations where he loses command and his fastball flattens out. Current manager Joe Girardi was masterful at juggling Kyle’s schedule and his emotions, but the diva act could wear very thin with another skipper. He’s a lot of headache for an average to slightly above-average relief pitcher. Kyle’s career era+ is exactly 99 (100 is average) so you can see what I mean when I call him average. There’s no question that he’s been better this year (era+ of 114) but I question how he will react to new surroundings. [Or, y’know, old surroundings.]//

So, how long do we think it’s gonna be before Leyland feels the need to fungo The Farns in the nuts in front of the entire clubhouse? Two weeks? A month?

Tomorrow the Tigers head into glorious St. Pete to take on the Devil Rays at 7:10 pm EDT. Zach Miner goes up against Scott ‘E but not Scotty’ Kazmir. He’s having a very good season, and his WHIP is the same as Galarraga’s right now. Just think about that. Go Tigers!

7 responses to “relearning The Farns

  1. ivantopumpyouup

    I just can’t get over the Farns as a diva. Does he come with his own tiara?

  2. All I know is that my Yankee fan gf was at the game in June in Yankee Stadium when Farnsworth put his pitching hand out to catch a line drive and (luckily) only needed a few stitches to close a wound… She remarked how stupid he was to do that, and how it delayed the game, which then later had a rain delay in it… My comment was “Come on, babe, think it through… It was Kyle Farnsworth, he did you a favor.”

  3. Thanks ever so for the link to the post about the 2005 brawl. Definitely made my morning heeheehee. I miss the grand old days when the Tigers could be relied upon to participate in the Brawl of the Year.

  4. “Krazy Kyle [this was the best you guys could come up with? Really? Címon now]”
    No actually we had the name Farnsworthless for him but hey we were trying not to gloat. ^_^

  5. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050717&content_id=1134695&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
    you can see the video of the farnsworth fight there. I never even knew of this lol.
    I now have some form of respect for him and am almost sorry to see him go. =/

  6. Wait till you need him to come through in a tight spot. You want to be sure you’re not holding anything you don’t want covering your t.v.

  7. ivan, I don’t know if I’m hoping for that sight, or hoping I never see it… :P
    Jeff, I tend to cut pitchers a little slack with a play like that, because it happens so fast that it’s mostly instinct. Ball coming at you, put your hand out to stop it. Usually not a conscious decision.
    Colt, I too miss those days. Sometimes a good, hilarious fight is what you need to take the sting off a few losses, eh?
    Luke, it was actually his second big fight; he beat Paul Wilson bloody in an incident back when he was a Cub.
    Pete, the wonderful thing is that, with the Tigers bullpen this season, we’re already used to that! Between Todd Jones and Fernando Rodney, we’ve been perfectly primed for unhealthy levels of tension.

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