Thirty Pitches of Terror IV: K-Rod Returns
Three and a half years ago, a clerical error sent New York Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Brewers despite a no-trade clause in his contract that barred him from being sent to Milwaukee. Today, the 33-year-old Venezuelan signed with the Brewers as a free agent for the fourth consecutive year (despite being traded to the Orioles at the 2013 trade deadline). Rodriguez and Brewers GM Doug Melvin have become baseball’s Sarah and Stephan (This reference means nothing to you if you’re not familiar with at least the last half-decade of my love life, so don’t think about it too hard): the couple that keeps hooking back up no matter how many times it doesn’t work out, and no matter what any of their friends say. This tweet, which features some truly flawless Photoshop work, about sums up the complicated relationship between Doug and K-Rod:
Let’s run K-Rod Part IV through the Pro/Con machine:
Pro: Fransisco Rodriguez is a good baseball player, was the best relief pitcher left on the free agent market and makes the Brewers better at baseball.
Con: Francisco Rodriguez is not a very good human person. He beats up his significant others, he beats up his significant others’ family members, and he escapes punishment when his victims conveniently wind up in South America.
Pro: K-Rod immediately replaces Ryan Braun as the worst person in the Brewers organization, because beating folks up is worse than cheating at a children’s game. This frees Braun up to worry about his thumb and how he’s going to get Kwik Trip to resign him as a spokesperson.
Pro: His 2 year/$13 million deal is probably a bit below market for someone with his overall track record and veteran status.
Con: While K-Rod has been very effective over the season’s first few months during his apparently indefinite Brewers tenure, he’s shown a marked decrease in effectiveness in each of the past two years as the season dragged on, including a home run rate that has doubled in the second half:
Pro: This signing eliminates the possibility of the Brewers trading away any of their assets for the right to pay Jonathan Papelbon $26 million over the next two seasons.
Con: Papelbon is a better pitcher than K-Rod.
On the plus side, the two year deal saves us all the trouble of “will they, won’t they” this time next spring. #Brewers
— RD Topp (@RDTopp) February 26, 2015
Pro: The Brewers already have scoreboard graphics for K-Rod’s entrance, so they won’t need to spend any money on making up something for Jonathan Broxton, who will be pushed to a setup role.
Con: Broxton’s walk-up song is Black friggin’ Sabbath, and K-Rod’s is unintelligible Puerto Rican reggaeton.
Pro: This signing gives the Brewers four pitchers with closing experience: K-Rod, Broxton, Jim Henderson (still on his way back from the shoulder injury that sidelined him for most of 2014) and former Indians closer Chris Perez, who was signed to a minor league contract earlier this month.
Con: It is 2015 and “closer”, a made-up completely fictional non-position, is still a thing professional baseball managers care about.
Pro: “Thirty Pitches of Terror” is a fun nickname, and K-Rod can turn even the most boring three-run saves into a roller coaster of suspense, which is great for television ratings.
Con: That pro was actually a con.
Here’s hoping the Brewers have this in their playlist when it comes time to make a decision about K-Rod’s club option year in 2017: