Monday, July 6, 2015

Meet the new Nova. Same as the old Nova.

I have sketchy recollections of the old Ivan "Super" Nova - the Nova of Christmas past. I can picture him standing out there - those lips, those eyes, aye carummmmbah! - in hi-def, 3-D glare. What I can't remember is whether we could ever count on him.

Before his TJ time-out, Nova always showed potential, always stood on the verge, always prepared to break out - except for when he sucked, which was whenever you thought he was truly, finally, authentically here. Because then, instead of pressing the red button with your nose and receiving a tasty food pellet, you nosed the button and experienced a harsh electric shock - thank you Dr. Skinner - which made you want to chew your long gray tail, if not the hand of your keeper.

It was as if some secret quality thermostat inside Ivan said, "OK, no more shutouts, Ima gotta get shelled!"

Which brings me to yesterday.

I figured we could give Tampa an old-fashion three-game whupping, because the new and improved Ivan was on the mound. Silly me. Maybe he was bummed about missing the Grateful Dead show in Chicago. Or maybe he was consumed by the Greece financial meltdown.

Doesn't matter. He's just back to form - ready to break out, except for when he doesn't.

Listen: I'm not saying we throw the guy a Scranton Intervention. He may still be more viable than either of the CCs - Sabathia and Capuano. But - hey - he's Ivan Nova! You order a tuna sub, and you get a tuna sub. Not the worst pitcher. Not the future ace. He's back. Now what? 

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