Friday, August 27, 2010
Brian Fuentes burns a bridge to Orange County
In case you missed it, Brian Fuentes took a shot at Angels fans on his way out the door. He was traded to the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named later Friday, a move that was about dumping salary as much as anything.
Here's what Fuentes had to say about the intermittent booing he received at Angel Stadium over the past two seasons:
It was funny. I felt like I was pitching on the road quite a bit. I came in to a lot of boos, but the fans here come out in droves. They’re here to be entertained. They’re entertained one way or another, through my frustrations or through my success. I felt like I’ve given them a lot more success than failure.
These comments seem ill-advised for a couple of reasons:
1. Do you really want to rip the people who paid for the tickets and stuff that allowed you to be paid $17.5 million over the past two seasons? On a fundamental level, should it be that hard to hold your tongue when you step back and look at the big picture?
I'm sure the guy was stung by the lack of support at home, but rise above it.
2. They were perfectly within their rights to boo him, especially when he was blowing three out of eight save chances from April 21 to May 26. And yeah, they still remember that awful pitch to Alex Rodriguez in the playoffs that might have cost the Angels the ALCS.
When the Angels actually were in this race, he was at his worst. Ever since they've been fringe contenders, at best, he has thrived.
Most of Fuentes' internal numbers are ugly by closer standards. He barely averaged a strikeout per inning. Right-handed batters hit five home runs off him, many of them crushing blows. Nothing about watching him pitch would inspire anyone to have confidence he would lock down clutch situations. It was rare lately for him to crack 90 mph. All he really had going for him was that funky delivery and the fact he threw with his left hand.
Angel fans never warmed to Fuentes and, after listening to his comments Friday, it's easy to see why.