Sunday, February 20, 2005

Lovin' Livan

Esteban Loaiza wasn't the only pitcher getting some love this weekend. Livan Hernandez finally made it to spring training.

The Post's story on him is particularly good, reminding us of where he came from and some of the difficulties he must've faced. (I like the thought of him trying to order langosta in Maine.)

Livan, despite once going postal, is indisputably this team's ace. He pitches the most innings. He wins the most games. He strikes out the most batters. Hell, he even hits better than the rest of the pitchers--and even some of the infielders!

He had a few off seasons with the Giants, but since the trade to Montreal, he's been one of the most durable and consistent pitchers in baseball. He's not in the Randy Johnson/ Johann Santana class, but there are only a handfull of teams with that kind of pitcher anyway.

But, beyond that, he carries himself as if he's the ace, the cock of the walk. I'm not a big believer in chemistry and some of that clubhouse mumbo-jumbo, but I think there's gotta be something to the person who walks into the middle of the room and just has a presence that says, "things are gonna be alright, gentleman. I'm here."

For this team, that's Livan.


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