Many years ago...more years than imaginable really...two movies came out that were packaged as a double feature. One was the Night of the Living Dead and the other was Last House on the Left. That experience unnerved the senses so much that this writer has never seen another horror movie. The latter movie was perversely titillating and not as scary. But the first one [[shiver]] was chilling. The thought that someone was dead and buried but came back as a zombie to eat humans spawned many a nightmare. Baseball has a few of those living dead and like the movie, it seems implausible, but they are out there.
Livan Hernandez is one of them. The Fan has to take his lumps here. Left for dead, buried and even eulogized with a ditty right here in this FanDome, Livan has risen from the dead and is somehow feasting. Look, the guy was dead. You saw it too, right? He made four stops in 2007. His ERA+ in those four stops? How about 95, 64, 74 and 57. His WHIP in those four stops? How about 1.595, 1.667, 1.632 and 1.785. He was dead. Buried. And then the Mets signed him. The Fan scoffed. The world scoffed. He was dead!
Uhh...The Fan kept picking against him. He kept winning. The Fan blinked and rubbed his eyes. What? He's supposed to be dead! Now he's 5-1. His ERA+ is 110. His strikeouts per nine innings is nearly double that of last year. Holy horsefeathers! It's time to lock the doors. It's the undead!
Then there is Andruw Jones, the spell checker's best friend. He was fat. He threw away his career. That's the way it was told right here in the FanDome. The once great Jones batted .222 in 2007 with an OPS of .724 despite 26 homers. Then he went to the Dodgers in 2008 and Holy Hannah (as a dear old friend is apt to say), was he bad there. A .158 batting average. He's dead. He's buried. Gone. Eulogized. Will he still make the Hall of Fame?
Then the Rangers signed him to a Spring Training contract. Hahaha! Are they serious!? He's dead! He had tried winter ball and struck out almost 75% of the time there. He started Spring Training the same way. Then toward the end of the preseason, there was talk he could make the team. What?? You're kidding right? He's dead!
Except that he's got a .933 OPS in Texas with a .400 OBP. For the first time since 2006, he has as many hits as strikeouts. He's the undead. Hide your eyes! Shield the children!
Carl Pavano became a New York running gag. He was belittled on the Letterman show. He became a new name for the DL. "He's on the Pavano." When he did pitch, he was ineffective. He was dead, man. You saw it, didn't you? The Yankees sighed in huge relief when his contract was up. Somehow, they didn't see fit to pick up his option. The Indians signed him. Hahahahahaha! That's rich. Didn't they know the guy is dead? In his first game of the year for the Indians, he lasted an inning and gave up nine runs. See! Stupid! He's dead! He had an 81.00 ERA. That made Wang's look good by comparison. He lost his first three decisions. Like the Fan told you, he's dead!
Umm...then he won six of his next seven decisions. He beat Boston. He beat the Yankees. He beat Detroit. He beat the White Sox twice. His only loss during that time was a respectable 4-2. His ERA is all the way down to 4.62. His last outing was a three hit shutout and a complete game to boot. It's another walking undead! Egads! It's not safe to leave the house. Keep the flame thrower handy.
The Fan doesn't know about you, but these three guys are bringing back some pretty scary memories. Whatever you do, don't send your children up to them for an autograph. They just might not return. And if they do return, they just might have you for lunch.