Eugenio saves Christmas
Just when we thought our offense was doomed, Mr. Mozeliak pulled off a Christmas miracle—the Cardinals have signed Eugenio Velez!
The most interesting thing about Velez, as you may already know, is that he went 0 for 2011. Forty times during the past season he came to the plate; forty times his batting average didn’t budge. He did draw two walks (I assume they were unintentional), steal one base, and drive in one run, but his line for the year still reads like something you’d expect from Charlie Brown:
Batting average: .000
On-base percentage: .075
Slugging percentage: .000
Perhaps you’re wondering if Velez’s streak of 46 consecutive official at-bats without a hit, dating back to 2010, represents a record. (Perhaps you’re still dumbstruck because it had never occurred to you that an OPS+ of -77 was even possible, but try to keep up, please.) The answer is yes, sort of: Velez’s streak, which is still active, is the longest by a major-league position player—but Milwaukee Braves pitcher Bob Buhl went 87 at-bats without a hit in 1961 and 1962, so if Velez intends to lay sole claim to the feat, he’ll have to do it in a Cardinal uniform.
Other fun facts about Eugenio Velez:
- Speaking of uniforms, he took the field in April 2010 wearing a Giants jersey with the name “San Francisco” misspelled (see photo).
- He’s at the center of a truly ingenious animated .gif that you can see on this page.
- He was once decked by a foul ball in a Gatorade-related incident.
- His mother, who wanted him to be an engineer, still can’t watch him play on TV—officially, because she can’t bear the thought that he might get hurt, but really, I have to think, because he has an OPS+ of -77.
And now he’s ours. God bless us, every one!