Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Posted by el duque at 6:27 AM
I don't want to be the jinx.
But, hell, this is like that cool girl you dated in 10th grade, the one who moved away without saying goodbye. One day, she's a goddess, she's everything. Then she busts her foot trying to score on a single, she puts on 30 pounds, and her folks sell her to the Nats, and she's gone, and you don't even cop a sympathy feel from her best friend, Iana Kennedy.
Chien-Ming Wang - the last great pitcher developed by the Yankee high school - is back in the educational system, working on his G.E.D. and - damn - it's as if your old flame just friended you on Facebook, and she's living in Scranton, she's lost weight, her photograph is pretty hot, she's throwing strikes, and she says she was never happier than back in 10th grade, when you used to take her bowling. (Admit it, you thought she was going to say she has a 20-year-old son named "Duque," right?)
Usually, baseball players don't come back three years after the breakdown. Robert Redford did it in The Natural. I can't think of anybody else. If a guy doesn't return within two, generally, you can invite him to Oldtimers Day. But this season is as weird as seasons get and... who knows what weirdnesses are lurking in July and August?
Yesterday, Chien-Ming Wang was throwing his old bowling ball for Scranton:
Seven innings, one run, 12 ground outs.
His ERA at Triple A is 0.95. Yeah, it's just a handful of innings. But still... 0.95. Twelve ground balls, only four fly outs.
Maybe he's got a few DP balls left. And maybe this time, we use pinch runners.
Right now, in this bizarre 2013, I would not discount anything coming to pass.
Boston beats its chest over every single, while the consensus powers bumble and stumble in the AL East. We have a pile of Nixes and Overbays, career batting average mediocrities, who are doing what our stars could not do over the last two seasons: Move runners when it counts.
We have a pile of injuries in our wake and a bigger pile yet to come. And somewhere out there lurk two incredible icebergs, dead ahead - one called A-Rod, and one called Jeet. God knows how they will play upon their return, and how they will react to the new realities of their aging and fraying limbs.
Whoever thought we might be seeing Chien-Ming Wang's second Yankee act?
Hey, her Facebook photo looks pretty good. Is she for real? Or Photoshop? Is this really happening? And whatever did happen to that other hottie, Iana Kennedy?