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REBIRTH April 6, 2010

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Yuni started the season pretty well.


Midwest bound and down. July 10, 2009

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The grim news is so fresh that mlb.com has a typo in their subheadline:

Mariners deal Betancourt to Royals

Seattle acquires pair of prospects in excange for shortstop

I’m bummed, but right now that’s about the extent of my depression.  Sure, Yuni getting injured last month was awful.  At the time, I felt it was karma for destroying Endy Chavez’s Marinerdom, but it turns out the left side of the Mariners defensive lineup is curse.   (For the sake of drama, include catchers Kenji Johjima and Jeff Clement in the Mariners monkey paw of despair.)  Apparently this trade for unknowables Daniel Cortes and Derrick Saito, along with the recent departure of Ludacris-enthusiast Mike Morse,  is the true retribution for one bad play, and bountiful potential squandered.

As anyone who can read the dates on this blog can tell, I gave up on Yuni.  Other people so mercilessly and factfully pointed out his undeniable flaws that rooting and writing about him felt like watching the beginning of Munich–it’s kind of confusing, you know someone’s going to die, but hopefully something good will come of it in the end.  And perhaps that’s the case now: the Mariners have DD pitchers, and Yuni has the change to disappoint or surprise a new batch of fans, hang out with Willie B, Gil Meche and Jose Guillen, and maybe even take a bath in a neat fountain.

Kansas City may be a cow town, but they have a good stadium, and a lot of Hallmark-centered interesting-ness throughout town.  Boulevard is a more-than-acceptable beer.  Maybe he’ll inherit the ghost of Buck O’Neil or Frank White.  To me, this trade epitomizes the Midwest: it’s sad, but can be vastly productive.  I’m bummed that Yuniesky’s now no longer a Mariner, glad that the Mariners were able to salvage something from his corpse of a career, and strongly considering making the 5-hour drive to see Yuni in KC later this month.

Goodbye, sweet motorbike.  Let it go.

If any Royals fans would like to continue this blog in perpetuity, leave a comment.

Yuni’s nemesis? April 18, 2009

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The highlights from yesterday’s game cast a new light on the disastrous events that happen when Yuniesky Betancourt and Brandon Inge get together.  There weren’t any injuries last night, but there were a pair of misplays that decided the game.  The highlight announcer thankfully glosses over Yuni’s weak attempt to field Inge’s grounder.  That glove slap led to Detroit’s early lead.

But fate is just.  Perhaps Yuni knew karma was with him when he hit a grounder at Inge near third base, forcing the utilityman to make a dreadful throw home.  Knowingly or not, Yuni’s choice of forcing Inge’s folly over actually earning a hit payed off–Inge, once again, proved to be the foolish villain.

M’s win!

Good headline, TNT April 15, 2009

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Possible police-blotter headline if things go south: Killer bat-work from Betancourt.

He does make good contact.  Selected highlights:

Yuniesky Betancourt knew what he needed to do… Kill the ball.

Yeah, Betancourt killed the ball. He killed it to perfection.

Kill the ball?… Kill it.

“That was a fantastic bunt.”

Yep, it was pretty great.  Also in the article: apparently Endy Chavez is taking the place of Miguel Cairo and Carlos Garcia as the Yuni-whisperer, which translates into ball-killing.

More lies! April 15, 2009

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Another recent Yuniesky Betancourt wikipedia update:

Yuniesky Betancourt is generally overrated on both sides of the ball. He is also fat and lazy.

Hey, anonymous vandal from Portland, first off, you’re city has nice transit, bridges and (I’m told) doughnuts.  Second, watch this.  Yuni is apparently trying to bunt.  Sure, he took a double take, needing to make sure he actually did what Wakamatsu wanted, but he got the bunt down.  On that one play, he did not have the poorest execution of all; Scot(t) Shields did. Yuni’s off to a good start–he’ll keep his spot in the lineup (last!) for a while.

To celebrate Yuni’s positive contribution, another wiki-vandal:

When he was only 7 years old he entered a pig into the Kentucky Derby and got first place.

I like the creativity–though it feels like a tired meme–but it’s entirely misplaced.  Besides the complete geographic inaccuracy (horses can’t get to islands like Cuba, Cubans can get to places like Kentucky), it just doesn’t seem like something Yuni would even like doing.

Vandalism! April 12, 2009

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This isn’t breaking any new ground, but there’s often incorrect information on Wikipedia.  Even Yuniesky Betancourt’s page is subject to vandalism.  It’s worth highlighting here because it’s second-grade-level vandalism.  Back in January, someone changed “He was considered the fastest second baseman in the Cuban league” to “He was considered the horniest second baseman in the Cuban league.”  Zing.  The author, an anonymous poster from Worcester, Mass., sadly has no sources for Yuni’s libido, and hasn’t tried vandalizing his page any other time.  The out of place adjective only lasted for one minute; a mod used a robot to correct it.

Surprisingly, the old story of Yuni arriving in Mexico on a raft is still on his biography.  It’s not what happened, though.

Side note: Backup shortstop Ronny Cedeno has a longer Wikipedia entry than Yuni.  I’ll have to fix that the next time I need to procrastinate.

Spring training March 24, 2009

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What I posted under USSMariner’s “Optimism Sunday” post: 

It dawned on me last week that I haven’t seen Yuniesky play since last August (I moved out of state, and the Mariners don’t get on Comcast Sports Midwest very often). It’ll be really fun to watch him play again. He’s not a great player, nor even an average player, but for whatever reason he’s the one Mariner right now that I key in on. Especially when going to games at Safeco, it’s fulfilling to have that purpose of hawking one player, all game. Yuni usually does something great, funny, or depressing whenever I watch. A lot of people feel this way about Ichiro or Felix (which is probably more sensible), but that’s Yuni.
On the flip side, if Yuni crashes and burns, it’ll be nice to find a new favorite player.

It was the only comment even mentioning Yuni.  People aren’t excited about him this season.  At all.  They’re barely even trying to tolerate the apparently below-average shortstop.  From Larry LaRue, TNT:

When Yuniesky Betancourt was caught trying to steal third on Monday, manager Don Wakamatu wasn’t unhappy. “Yuni was trying to do what we’ve been working on, getting the jump off second base,” he said. “Instead of taking a couple steps toward third and taking off, though, he took a couple steps toward the pitcher and then went. We’ll talk to him about that, smooth it out, but he was trying something different. I had no problem with that at all.”

I can picture that, and it makes me smile.  If anyone has video evidence of Yuni trying to steal third by walking towards the pitcher, I’d love to see it.

This blog’s suspended. August 26, 2008

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Due to one huge mitigating factor, I’m not going to be updating Yuniform on a regular basis.  No, it’s not the general terribility of Yuniesky Betancourt (he is getting handfuls of walks this month) or the Mariners (who are getting handfuls of wins this month).

No, I’m taking a break because I moved from Washington state to the apparently great state of Illinois.  And I’m in grad school.

If anyone would like to take up the torch of blind devotion to a below average middle infielder, drop me a line.  I’ll be happy to hand it over to you.

Today’s depressing assessment… August 13, 2008

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…comes from Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:

When an error by the shortstop costs your team three runs and a win, it gets to the point where you wonder how much longer that team can continue to play said infielder. Yes, Yuniesky Betancourt did look like Ozzie Smith on that groundout in the seventh inning. But what can I say? 

For those of you keeping track (including manager Jim Riggleman), that’s Yuni’s second game-losing error (or GaLE) this week.

This isn’t much fun anymore.

Yuni single-armedly threw away Friday’s game August 10, 2008

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Watch the grisly highlight here.

Not even the not-missed Riche Sexson could’ve caught Yuniesky Betancourt’s ridiculously high throw to first base.  The ball ended up out of play, and let two runs score.  Since Carlos Silva was on the mound, that wasn’t the end of the damage, as the Rays added another run that sealed off their 5-3 victory on Friday.

In his post-game press interviews, it sounded like Silva wanted to destroy Yuni.  From the P-I:

“Maybe Chief (Silva’s nickname) has to come and grab somebody in his neck and pin them to the wall,” Silva said to reporters. “I’m very close to doing that, so write that down.”

I’d be scared if I was Yuni.  Carlos Silva’s got approximately 6 inches and 500 pounds on Yuni (at least by the look of him.)  Plus, referring to yourself in the third person (albeit, in a nickname) is merely aggravating if you’re a designer on Project Runway, but fairly menacing if you’re a large, depressed Venezuelan man.  Yuni should watch his neck.

The second-most depressing part of Friday’s game was at its conclusion.  Down by two runs with two out in the bottom of the ninth, Yuni’s ninth spot in the line up was due up.  But who stepped up to the plate?  Willie Bloomquist.  I got out of my bleacher seat and left.  I did see Willie’s swinging strikeout, but I watched it from the first-floor concourse at Safeco Field.  That way, I had a head start on the rest of the crowd filing out after the M’s loss.

This season’s been one disaster after another, for Yuni and his team.