AKA “El Pulpo” or “Freak”. Alfonseca, for the three of you who don’t know, has six digits on each of his hands and feet. It doesn’t seem to be much of an advantage. He’s been in the majors for seven seasons now with the Marlins and Cubs without particular distinction. He’s had two seasons of pitching significantly better than league, and two worse, and his worst season was last year.
Ah, but Alfonseca has a shiny “C” on his chest because he’s saved 121 games in his career, including 45 in 2000. Of course, the year he saved 45 he also had a 4.24 ERA in a pitcher’s park, and those 121 saves are against 35 career blown saves and a 4.11 ERA. That’s not enough to make people realize that he’s not that much of a pitcher, and the Braves gave him a guaranteed contract for more than a million dollars, plus incentives.
Alfonseca’s comparables through Age 31 include a remarkable collection of the game’s notable pseudo-closers: Ricky Bottalico, Heath Slocumb, Jay Howell, Todd Jones, Darren Holmes. Never have so many made so much money for so little work of such small value. In particular, Alfonseca seems to be following the Bottalico career path. Bottalico, two years older than Alfonseca, fell off a cliff… two years ago.
I guess every Braves relief staff needs a worthless righthanded fat guy now.
Speaking of worthless fat guys, am I the only person old enough to remember the original Atlanta Braves worthless fat guy… Chi Chi Olivo?
They list him at 6-2, 215, but that is far from my recollection. When he was sent down to the minors in 1966, he was briefly famous in Atlanta for saying: “They send me down and tell me I come back. but I know… Chi Chi no come back.” (By the way, he had 7 saves in 1966.) Is Antonio Chi Chi reincarnated?
Ah, fat righty relievers. That makes me harken back to the salad days of Rick Camp, Joe Boever, and Juan Berenguer. Too bad Terry Forster was a southpaw or he would be king of them all.
I don’t think anything could match the thundering of the Boom Boom Bobby/Ray King L/R combo of last season… By the way, Alfonseca thinks he’s a college power forward or something. He’s listed at 6-5, 235. Yeah, right.
“Never have so many made so much money for so little work of such small value.”
I must say Mac as an English Braves fan, I love the Churchill paraphrasing, keep it up!
Look at it this way, at least the Braves fans have something interesting to point out – ‘hey that guy has extra fingers’ or ‘you see that guy Julio? he was around for the Renaissance’ stuff like that.
Joe Boever – palmball – wow, I’m remembering stuff I hadn’t thought of in quite a while. Coincidentally, I’ve never heard of anyone having major success being a ‘palmball’ pitcher
Didn’t Jim Palmer throw one? I seem to remember seeing that somewhere, but I could be wrong.