How delicious is the news that Cleveland pitcher Fausto Carmona is not who we thought he was?
I mean to start, from year-to-year, since 2006, the rest of us were not sure what to expect from the somewhere between 28-31-year-old anyway. As in 2006, when he was 1-10 (5.42 ERA), followed by a 2007 where whats-his-name was 19-8 (3.06 ERA), 8-7 (5.77 ERA) in 2008 with 5-12 (6.42 ERA) in 2009, 13-14 (3.77 ERA) in 2010, and then 7-15 (5.25 ERA) last year.
Roberto Hernandez Heredia--Carmona's "real" name--was revealed after the pitcher was detained in his native Dominican Republic for "using a false identity to play baseball in the United States."
As part of the fun, it was also stated that Carmona is three years older than the reported December 7, 1983 in the current baseball data base.
It seems like the mythical Faust, Heredia sold himself for the ability to pitch for Cleveland, just as the German physician got knowledge and experience along with eternal youth in exchange for his soul. Which is sort of what Roberto Hernandez Heredia gave up when he assumed the personna of Fausto Carmona.
You do have to wonder, though, how hurler Heredia came up with the moniker. Can you imagine his decision to be be known as Fausto? It reminds me of a guy who worked with my father when I was a kid. This young man--he was going to law school--came to the United States as a Soviet refugee in the late 40's as an orphaned child. I don't know too many details, but his Russian name was not used once in America, he was known as Ed Buffalo. I mean, of all names, Ed Buffalo?
Or, was it more like my pal Trace Wood thought, "For some reason, today's news about Fausto Carmona and the similar Leo Nunez circus reminded me of early Woody Allen movies: I want to draft Fausto Carmona... not the player, only his name."
Not to mention Don Drooker's trade offer that included "Carmona and a player to be named later."
Apparently, Carmona is pretty remorseful it seems, having "tearfully" asked forgiveness of his fans, the United States Government, and of course the Indians and their fans for his transgression.
As for Nunez, who is actually Juan Oviedo, the Fish were hip to the fact that he was operating, as Hitchock would write, "under an assumed identity," and the reliever was placed on the restricted list last fall when Miami, nee Florida, discovered the ruse.
Although, since Nunez has been both better and more consistent than Fausto, not to mention the right hander is cooperating with authorities cracking down on false documents, he should make a return in spring training, even if the closer is 31 instead of 29. Or 34. Or 49 like Jamie Moyer, who just signed a minor league pact with the Rockies. As long as he gets batters out, that is all that matters.
Better give up the tears Fausto, er Roberto. The only thing that will save you is getting your slider back. On the other hand, the story Faust is a tragedy.
Which brings us back to Woody Allen, who also noted tragedy plus time equals comedy.