Sure, there are few guys nicer than Karlos, a really, really class act of a guy. That’s not why Joe was unmoved with the return of Karlos to Tampa Bay.
No, it was his strikeouts, which drive Joe out of his mind. Joe is old school when it comes to baseball: If you can’t get a hit, at least put the ball in play. That’s not Karlos who is for the most part, a big hit or a strikeout kind of a guy; sort of a like a modern day Rob Deer.
But in his return to the Rays today, there were fewer players in the major leagues who had more of an impact than Karlos.
And Joe is raising his glass in celebration.
Karlos blasted a C.C. Sabathia pitch in the first inning for a grand slam and an early lead. Then, in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, facing the Hammer of God, launched a Mariano Rivera pitch deep into the left field gap for a game-winning hit and a 7-6 Rays win to start the season.
Again, Joe thinks a lot of the man Karlos Pena, not so much of his bat. But after Friday’s display by Karlos, Joe just might become a fan of his bat as well.
Job well done!