Last night, a friend of my wife calls. She is distraught and choking back tears. Her five year old cat is dying up the street on her front lawn and she had just come upon him as she pulled up in her driveway. Being a divorced, single mother of two boys, she was afraid to approach the cat and all she had managed before calling me was to throw a blanket over the once magnificent animal.
I put on a coat and some gloves, donned one of my bright red Angels caps, (whose main virtue is that of being easily spotted by even drunken drivers), grabbed a flashlight and walked to the scene. Indeed there was a lump covered by a blanket. The cat's owner doesn't want leave her doorway, She doesn't want to look at her cat anymore. She asks me for my opinion as to whether the cat can be saved. I lifted the blanket. . . .
Yep, it is her cat under there. I had often seen him before. He used to rule our neighborhood felines with a mix of pride and some mad cat fighting skills. I had casually watched his rise from afar. Though he wasn't intact, this eunuch had more than enough stuff in his repertoire to make his life easy. . .around the other cats that is.
This cat among housecats had saliva all over his midsection. In the light of my Surefire I was absolutely certain he had been mortally wounded by a dog.
The fate of that cat came to mind this morning upon seeing the news of the Rangers winning the Yu Darvish bid. The Rangers just won themselves the rights to one of the prettiest and most exotic cats going. Too bad that MLB is a dog eat dog world. Various MLB skippers, coaches, and scouts call Yu Darvish the real deal. And that he is. He's a peerless cat fighter. However, they are projecting his performance against cats as being relevant against dogs. That's continually proven a mistake as regards the cream of NPB pitching.
Yu Darvish is the latest Japanese cat who is coming to play amongst the dogs of MLB. Certainly there have been successes from Nippon before, but really, those cats were like pumas or something, the kind of cats that dogs learn to be wary of because they have big time weaponry and skill. The Japanese cats fitting that description didn't really have two names anymore. They were simply known as Ichiro and Matsui. They were extremely dangerous in their prime.
By contrast, Japanese pitchers are housecats. Some among them have come here before and chased some dogs for a time, but it never lasts. Some proved themselves as constantly even or better matches for MLB's Chihuahuas or small terriers in their time—but the big dogs were never intimidated by their limited power and fancy pants finesse. Eventually, even the smaller dogs had a book to chew upon to even their odds. Of course those Ichiro and Matsui pumas had been panthering the Japanese housecats both here and back at home the whole time. Yu Darvish hasn't been playing against any panthers in NPB or those cats too would be posting through their teams to come here.
The Rangers just paid in excess of $51 million for the right to import a housecat who they'll one day see metaphorically guppy breathing in their front yard. His fur will be matted with the dog spit of contempt, his biggest fans wondering how it ever came to this.
"He was a helluva cat." she said.
"It only took coming across the wrong dog to end him."