Kyle Farnsworth: As accurate with his punches as with his pitches

#14: Kyle Farnsworth “His Weight In Steaming Shit” 12

Kyle Farnsworth: As accurate with his punches as with his pitchesCongratulations, Jacque Jones! You’re no longer the stupidest player on The Bottom 126! Nossir. Kyle Farnsworth just ran in and body-slammed the remaining smart out of himself, dropping you down to number two.

You see, Kyle Farnsworth was one of the most maddening Cubs of my time. He had a million dollar arm, but you could buy his brain for a buck and get enough change to send a sympathy card to Paul Wilson (with Paul-Wilson-face-punching video goodness).

Farnsworth’s problem is that he treated his pitching like I treated my college years. When Farnsworth first came up in 1999, he took pitching very seriously, and he listened to everyone trying to teach him how to pitch, and he didn’t let himself get distracted by all the bars and the girls.

After a year of being a good student of the game, Farnsworth decided that pitching well was too hard, and that he was going to get paid the same no matter how he pitched, so he started hitting the bars, staying out too late the night before he was expected to perform, and making an ass of himself.

At the end of the 2000 season, he realized he had a 6.43 ERA, and would likely have no job if he kept this up. So, he resolved to clean up his act, keep hitting the weights, and be the best damn pitcher he could be.

In 2001, he was. Farnsworth rammed his 100-mile-per-hour fastball straight down the throats of the National League. He was one of the best relievers in baseball, stacking up 107 strikeouts in 82 innings pitched and walking a surprisingly low 29 batters. “Farnsworth is the closer of the future!” they shouted on Clark and Addison. Everyone was happy. Farnsworth’s hard work had once again paid off.

But hard work is sooooo hard!

Farnsworth took his newfound fame to the bars. Again and again and again. The result was a steamer of a 2002 season, during which Farnsworth posted a 7.33 ERA, and struck out only 46 guys in 46 2/3 innings. So long, closer of the future. Hello, most wildly inconsistent pitcher in recent memory.

Farnsworth of course rebounded for his (fifth year) senior year of 2003. I imagine Farnsworth did the whole, “I swear I’m never drinking again. And this time, I mean it!” some time toward the end of the 2002 season. Once again, it worked for the guy with the rocket arm. Farnsworth rebounded nicely from the debacle of the 2002 season with a 3.30 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 76 1/3 innings.

If you’ve been paying attention to the pattern, you’d know that Farnsworth’s 2004 season would be garbage. You’d be right. All of Farnsworth’s numbers once again regressed to the point where, by the end of the 2004 season, the Cubs had enough. They traded Farnsworth to the Detroit Tigers for Roberto Novoa, Scott Moore, and Bo Flowers. Farnsworth took his linebacker pedigree to Detroit, tackling Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeremy Affeldt (with video goodness!). The best part is that there was no real fight until Farnsworth, running out of the bullpen, tackles Affeldt, who was not even pitching at the time. Ah, meatheads.

Farnsworth is now with the New York Yankees, and he apparently has taken it upon himself to defend the virtues of truth, justice, and the Yankee way against arrogant piece of human waste future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens. Keep fighting the good fight, Kyle. Or the bad one. It’s what you’re best at.

Before I wrap this up, we absolutely have to have some Farnsworth Meathead Moments.

Meathead Moment One:

During his time in Chicago, Farnsworth was allegedly known to frequent the Forest Park bars. Doc Ryan’s, in particular, was apparently Farnsworth’s Wednesday home. Knowing this, one of my buddies went to Doc’s on a Wednesday during the Cubs season and allegedly saw Farnsworth there with his girlfriend. My buddy said that Farnsworth could not have acted like a bigger knob. Suffice it to say, the young lass was asked on numerous occasions to pull Farnsworth’s finger. The outcome was the same each time.

Meathead Moment Two:

In 2004 Farnsworth landed on the disabled list with a sprained knee after kicking a fan. No, not the kind of fan that says, “Boo for blowing the game, Kyle Farnsworth!” The kind that circulates air.

Meathead Moment Three:

Farnsworth was allegedly the pitcher who, in 2002, was caught napping in the clubhouse in the middle of a game. And by “napping,” I mean “sleeping it off.” And by “it,” I mean “a hangover.”

Low Point: It would be easy to cite each and every even-numbered year of Farnsworth’s career, but I can’t help but go back to Game 6. Don’t forget that Mark Prior left the game in only a 3-3 tie. It was Farnsworth who gave up the bases-loaded, bases-clearing double to Mike Mordecai that really doomed the Cubs. You know. In case you forgot. Just reminding you. It really sucked, that game did.

Did You Know? Farnsworth is a black belt, and he has a brother named Jeff currently playing for the White Sox affiliate, the Charlotte Knights. Here’s hoping he gets to the big leagues in time to punch Ozzie Guillen in his smug, greasy face.

  • TDubbs

    His g/f worked at Hi-Tops or something like that for awhile. A buddy of mine yelled out “HOW BIG IS FARNSWORTH’S DONG”. He was escorted out

  • Farnsworth-less was the most overrated Cubs pitcher ever. This guy really sucked his whole Cubs career in my opinion. He did well in 2001 but don’t forget he really shit the bed down the stretch in August and September with all the other pitchers. I believe Farnsworth should have been number 5 through 1 on this list.

  • I like your style, Fro Dog. Wait until you see 1-5, though. PUTRID.

  • Prior left Game 6 losing 4-3, I believe. Your point remains the same, though, Kerm. He had a chance to get out of the inning and keep the game close and winnable. Instead he did the opposite of that.

    Kyle Farnswoth = Luke LaLoosh

    Million dollar arm, 10-cent brain. I hate the guy with a white-hot passion.

  • Really? I could have sworn it was still 3-3. I thought I remembered thinking, “Okay, if Farnsworth just holds it here, they can still win this thing.” And then he shat all over himself. Yay.

    I was laughing when I saw your Farnsworth hate over on Desipio, Mike. I was in the process of writing the entry when I read your anti-Farnsworth rant. Awesome.

  • mvpjacquestrapjones

    Maybe Fartsworth should have tried the UFC…

  • Yeah, well. Part of the reason I hated the guy was because he was so loved by the Trixies and the repressed, homo-erotic frat-boy Chads of Lincoln Park. Yeah I got yer Farns right here, douchebags. Try rooting for a guy who can freaking play through a hangover.

    As for Game 6you’re right and I’m wrong. I was confusing Game 6 with Game 7. Remember that Farnsworth also crapped his panties in Game 7, when he spazzed out on a bouncer hit back to the mound and muffed it, allowing another run to score from third. In Game 6, seeing as how he only had enough ball-sack to throw inside to fat, washed-up pitchers like Paul Wilson, he allowed Jeff Conine to dive over the plate and hammer one of his Bob-Scanlan-Straight-As-An-Arrow fastballs about 365 feet the opposite way. That was when Sammy caught it, and made the 456,8765,987,987th terrible decision of his Cubs career by ill-advisedly attempting to gun down the runner at home, allowing Mike Lowell to drag the piano with him and tag up from FIRST BASE, leaving the base open, and forcing a Farnsworth intentional walk, before Mike Moredecai would step into another hittable straight fastball by Captain Crap-Pants and match 3/8 of his regular season RBI total, putting the game out of reach.

    Thanks for making me re-live that nightmare yet again, Kerm.

  • You’re welcome. No, wait. I’m sorry.

  • Slaky

    Bo Flowers is now a freshman (and a very old one) safety at the beloved University of Illinois. He decided to go back to college and play football. How fucked up is that?

  • Pretty? Is the answer “pretty fucked up”?

  • Esposito

    That photo of the Farns-Wilson bout always cracks me up. What’s Barrett mimicking, a praying mantis or a T. rex?

    Another Meathead Moment: Late August, 2004, needing a good performance to resuscitate his career, Farns takes the mound in the final inning of a 9-6 slugfest against the Astros, and gives up six Houston runs.

  • Esposito, I was cracking up at that picture, too, but that’s actually Miller. The brawl predated Barrett’s time as a Cub. Oh, and the answer is T. rex.