I read in Baseball Prospectus about a lefthanded reliever in the Dodgers' organization named Alberto Bastardo. This morning I did a double-take, because in the Phillies' boxscore for Saturday was a pitching line for A. Bastardo. I did some searching on Google, and lo and behold I found out that the Phillies' Bastardo is Antonio Bastardo. The former is from Venezuela, and the latter is from the Dominican Republic.
As you probably know, the writers of Baseball Prospectus can be pretty blunt, and sometimes that translats into humor. And in their blurb on Alberto they articulated what I had thought -- that it would be cool for this Bastardo (the only Bastardo I had heard of before this morning) to be a lights-out reliever. Why? Because you could just visualize it -- walking in to the haunting gongs of Rocky's "Go the Distance" is none other than Albert the Bastard, reliever extraordinaire. Except, of course, that BP doesn't think that this Bastardo projects to fill that role, but boy oh boy the writers would have a field day with it.
So right now there could well be a race of the Bastardos to get to the Majors. Imagine Antonio's pitching in Citizens Bank Park on a dollar hot dog night that attracts college kids who drink too many $6.75 Budweisers. You can just hear Phillies' public address announcer saying, "Now entering the game, Number 74, Antonio Bastardo." Remember that the Phillies play in South Philadelphia, and that for a while lurid tales of mob intrigue peppered the dailies. So, in a tip of the hat to the days of Angelo Bruno and La Cosa Nostra, you'd have "Tony the Bastard" pitching in relief for the Phillies.
You just can't make this stuff up.
He'd probably be the most popular player on the team for a while.
Until, of course, he'd tip his hand as to which cheesteak he prefers -- one from Geno's, or one from Pat's. And for reasons Philadelphia cognoscenti would understand, I'm sure he'd prefer Pat's.
Only in America.