On Tuesday, Maicer Izturis will turn 31 years old. He sure put another big candle on the this season's Halo pennant hopes Wednesday night!
Maicer is the brother of Cesar Izturis. Unlike Bengie Molina and Jose Molina, the Izturis brother were not born eleven months apart. The Izturis brothers were born seven months apart. You see, Maicer's dad is a deliveryman in Venezuela, He would be gone on his route for days, sometimes weeks at a time before returning to the wife. The road is a lonely place and one day he brought back an unexpected package home. It was the infant Maicer. Nobody ever publishes Maicer's mother's side of the story, but suffice to say, Cesar's mother was ...uh, fucking pissed off.
But, bless her soul, she took in the baby (much more warmly than Pops, who slept on the porch for two years) and raised him as her own with his brother. The two boys grew up consumed with dreams of big league baseball and you cannot be human without being touched by their tale of reaching the bigs.
But it doesn't really stop there. Maicer Izturis has established a silent legacy with the Angels. In addition to being the god of clutch in last night's come from behind victory, his four plate appearances Wednesday moved him past Devon White into 30th place on the All Time franchise list for PAs with 2,431. The only active Angel with more visits to the batter's box wearing a halo is Howie Kendrick. His double last night was his 126th, ranking 19th in Angels history. Rod Carew is 18th with 140 doubles. That's 14 more doubles in 1,100+ more PAs and almost 200 more games.
And for you WAR fanatics, his 12.9 WAR before last night's game was just ahead of Torii Hunter's 12.3 with only a hundred more PAs favoring Izturis. His 2.6 Defensive WAR matches Dick Schofield's mark in Anaheim in only 60% of the playing time as the great 1980s shortstop.
While the oft-mentioned August 1995 injury to a for-once-hot-hitting Gary DiSarcina is invoked repeatedly as the reason the Angels blew their season and one-game playoff, Izturis' injury in late 2008 sealed the fate of the Angels in the 2008 LDS when another switch-hitter would have worked wonders. Fast forward to last night and Mariners manager Eric Wedge leaves a gassed Charlie Furbush in to face what looks like a midget with the tying run on 2B, the go ahead run at 1B and the inevitabile switch to the Left Side of the batter's box by the switch hitter. Instead of the longed-for double play... cue comic book: it is an Emerald City bitch-slap all the way to the wall, Clutch God exists to destroy sabermetric atheism.
It has all added up to an Angel who gets a lot of love here on Halos Heaven. Here on the oldest archived Angels blog are the relics of our collective love of that little love package from deep in the Venezuelan jungle... Here on this blog, the man with the unique two-name combo (Mario + Cesar) is the man of many nicknames...
Izzy - First used in July of 2005 by Rex Hudler on air, as recorded in THIS Game Thread by cupie.
Izzy Pop - It was September of 2006 when yeswecan dropped this rockstar allegory into THIS Game Thread.
Izzy Stardust - It was TheOptimist (legendary for an Izturis Avatar for years as the token Angels fan posting at Lookout Landing) comparing Maicer to David Bowie's favorite Alter-Ego in THIS May, 2008 Game Thread.
The Miceman - THIS Game Thread comment by cupie in July of 2005 evoked Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece of nihilism The Iceman Cometh. After many clutch hit over the years, Game Threads have challenged 20th century theater history to rise to the level of excitement as the moments where THE MICEMAN COMETH.
Mighty Maicer (a favorite term for Maicer of Rex Hudler's back in the day) - It was THIS June, 2008 Game Thread where HawaiiHaloFan35 echoed Hud's comparisons to the mythical Mighty Mouse (which has also been a popular name of Maicer's over the years).
UPDATE: Just added one based on reading the comments here: The Great Gazoo, which started off as Kazoo, mentioned in THIS awesome discussion of Maicer nicknames from the summer of 2007. Gazoo was a character from the Flintstones and the doppleganger effect was unmistakable once pointed out by K3YEROUT.
Pharoah - Read all about yeswecan's revelation in October, 2006 of how a scientific recreation of King Tut's likeness based on catscans of his mummy revealed a face that looked exactly like the greatest utility infielder in Angels history, and we are not talking Chone Figgins. This led to a variation on the theme that you will read in these parts often: Boy King and many a Steve Martin King Tut SNL screen shot.
And of course, the NC-17 classic: MICE TITS. From whence did it emanate? On THIS September, 2005 thread, Matt Welch of all people asked a question and cupie answered it...
Leading to many questions like THIS by proletariat throughout the 2006 season.
And there you have it. Bill Stoneman turned a suspended Jose Guillen into Juan Rivera and The Clutch God of Nicknames in November of 2004 and here it is, 6 years and 10 months later and there isn't enough valium in Texas to stop the anxious mountain of worry forming over in Arlington.