Rookie Garrett Richards took the mound for his major league debut on Wednesday but Angels veteran Catcher Jeff Mathis selfishly refused to bring his A-Game that has so obviously lifted the careers of minor-league has-beens like Dan Haren, Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana. Perhaps Mathis is worried about embarrassing Cooperstown pitching legends by puppeteering the ERAs of the entire Angels pitching staff, which it is so obvious he alone controls. Jeff sacrificed his own CERA (Catcher's Earned Run Average) in order to remind the rest of the pitching staff of who is in charge. That is the price of having a superstar on the staff.
And so Jeff blows off the poor rookie called up from Double-A Arkansas in order to ensure that nobody ever thinks a pitcher can get batters out. It is so frustrating for Angels fans to have the greatest controller of pitchers on their team take nights off whenever he feels like it, but Mathis does bring so much more than any of us will ever know or understand, invisible puffs of spin on sliders and polar magnetic pushes of batters into swinging at curveballs that hardly break. If Uri Geller was the dishwasher at your favorite restaurant, admit it, you'd pay extra for a bent soup spoon. And that is the blessing that Angels fans alone receive.
In the postgame comments on the Telecast, FSN-West analyst Jose Mota accused Rookie Richards of tipping his pitches with slower body movement on breaking pitches - ignoring the long-touted role of Mathis controlling the pitching game completely. If a pitcher tipping his pitches trumps Jeff's CERA magic, why did the Angels trade Mike Napoli for the utterly useless and expensive Vernon Wells? This just doesn't make sense - it defies logic to consider a pitcher being in control of his own game on the mound if offensively-impaired catchers are allowed to stay in the big leagues for their game calling ability alone. Is Mike Scioscia missing something?