When J.J. Putz nearly blew Sunday's game against the Marlins, the fans sitting next to me were screaming at Putz, mispronouncing his name of course. I wondered if these fans had pronounced his name correctly when he was going better.
But after giving up four straight hits in the eighth tonight against the Pirates to blow the lead and the game, Putz will be lucky if any Met fan uses the proper pronunciation. Whether he is hurt, tipping his pitches, or just pitching like a..., Putz can't pitch in the eighth until he and the Mets figure it out.
And now Putz will not even have the most distinctive name among NL East pitchers. The Phillies are bringing up one of their top pitching prospects from Triple A to start Tuesday night in San Diego, replacing the injured Brett Myers. His name is Antonio Bastardo.
Phillie fans have formed fan clubs based on players' names. Randy Wolf had the Wolfpack, Sal Fasano had Sal's Pals and Chase Utley has Chase's Chicks. I wonder what they will come up with if their new pitcher becomes a fan favorite? Perhaps something based on the upcoming Quentin Tarantino film "Inglourious Basterds."
Soon the citizens of the City of Brotherly Love will be able to say they booed Santa Claus and cheered a Bastardo.
Bastardo was pitching in Triple A for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Pro baseball is glamorous for some, while others have IronPigs on the front of their jersey and Bastardo on the back.
(Speaking of jerseys, Squawker Lisa, both the Mets and Yankees allow you to personalize your jersey with "Bastardo.")
If Bastardo were not a Phillie, I would be rooting for him. Forget about voting for Manny for the All-Star Game - I want to see Bastardo!
The 2007 All-Star game did include Putz. Let's hope he can regain that form and Met fans can go back to pronouncing his name correctly.