Hang on, boys! We're getting the whole band back together!
The Nationals signed old (and we mean old) favorite Livan Hernandez yesterday, bringing back one of the biggest (and we mean big), baddest (and we mean bad) pitchers around. He might not be any good anymore, but Nats fans are almost universally rejoicing in the return of the Round Mound of the, ummm... Mound.
How can a pitcher who's bounced around the league due to suckiness engender such much happiness?
Nats fans have an irrational love of the guy, not only because he was the starting and winning pitcher in the team's first game in D.C. since the stone age, but because he won in style.
He went out there like a finely tuned machine -- only if that machine were doughy, lumpy, and not very athletic. He pitched like he didn't care what happened, so long as he didn't have to sweat much. Livo saved his arm, throwing junkball after junkball, letting batters get themselves out, until he was forced to rear back and (sigh) put some effort into a pitch or two.
Plus the guy threw a 55 mph curveball! Up it went, seemingly to the roof, and down it plopped in the zone: slow, tantalizing, but completely unexpected, freezing the batter with some junior-high-level heat.
He curses. He throws gloves into the stands. He eats. He hits. Oh, does he hit! He fields like a cat. (Seriously -- somehow that pot belly doesn't get in the way.) And he eats some more.
And he does it all with a wonky knee that probably oozes frosting, while looking like he really doesn't care. It's a beautiful thing to watch.
Nats fans are ready to welcome back Livan, rekindling the love affair with the team that started in those four or so months when the team was actually good.
Whether he goes out there and pitches a gem or craps the bed, for a few hours, at least, the news is bringing a smile to most fans' faces.