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

Posted by Brad in news.
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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.


Yuni is the winningest Mariner April 3, 2008

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The Mariners won again last night, thanks mostly to Carlos Silva (somehow Vidro hit a home run), and now stand at 2-1 after the first series. If not for some costochondritis, they might be 3-0. Who’s to blame thank for the M’s winning record?
Yuniesky Betancourt.
According to FanGraphs, he leads the team in Win Probability Added, a stat that puts every play into a context of how it helps a team win games. It doesn’t factor in defense, though. (If you’re curious, here’s the article everybody, even Google, links to about WPA.) Right now Yuni’s contributed 0.54 WPA–so Yuni’s given the team about half a win. The next closest on the team is Felix Hernandez with 0.35 WPA. I guess hitting .545 really helps a team win.

Also worth noting: Yuni played some great defense last night.

Yuni implicated in Carlos Silva signing January 2, 2008

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Old news: Carlos Silva is the Mariners’ shiny new Christmas present that they’ll probably be bored with by July, after which they’ll still owe him over $40 million.
Why did Silva sign with the M’s? Because they gave him the most money. But what did he tell the press? That he came for Yuniesky Betancourt.
Silva in the P-I:

“We’ve got Adrian Beltre, YUNIESKY BETANCOURT!!! and Jose Lopez… With an infield like that, man, all I have to do is throw the ball over the plate. Maybe I’ll let them hit the ball and I’ll strike out even less people this year.

(Emphasis added.)
The News-Tribune has a bit more Silva:

“Before, I was mad or whatever when I gave up a base hit… Now if I get a groundball hit, that’s good for me. That means my pitch is working and I don’t even get worried about it.
If they get a base hit, let’s get another groundball. I know I give up a lot of hits, but with the sinker I have the ability to get out of the inning.”

While it’s nice that Silva can point out his biggest flaw (he can’t strike anybody out), Yuni really shouldn’t improve his game too much. Last year, Silva pitched in front of Jason Bartlett at short (he’s since been traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays), who is probably a better defensive shortstop than Yuniesky (evidence here and here). I thought there’d be big difference between the Metrodome (Silva’s old home field), and Safeco Field. But last year the Metrodome, despite its ugly roof, was actually a better pitchers park.

One more amusing quote from Silva in the TNT:

“Some guys, when they play, (that’s when) they show emotions. Not me. I show my emotions every minute, every second on the field. I play for my team, and not only on the mound. You are going to see Carlos screaming in the dugout all the time.”

Not only will Carlos show his emotion, he’ll also refer to himself in the third person! That’s just Carlos being Carlos.