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Defending Yuniesky Betancourt: He's not the Anti-Christ

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Ok, so Yuniesky Betancourt is an abysmal Major League Baseball player. He's not the Anti-Christ...or is he?

Respice te, Yuniesky te memento!
Respice te, Yuniesky te memento!
G. Newman Lowrance

The Phillies, or more specifically Ruben Amaro (accountability credit where it is due, after all), signed Yuniesky Betancourt to a minor league deal today. This was not universally well-received.

Admittedly, I am not really thrilled with the idea, but there are some reasons why it may make sense, as pointed out in the comments to the original posting and because, well, it makes some sense:

  1. Yuniesky Betancourt does not have "666" anywhere on his body. The only time he ever had a "6" in his uniform number was his rookie year (2005 with the Mariners when his number was "46").
  2. His nickname is "Reeking Billy" or so sayeth Baseball-Almanac.com. Furreal.
  3. The World Baseball Classic runs from March 8 - March 19, 2013, and with Jimmy Rollins playing shortstop for the US team, the Phillies will need some extra middle infielders. Especially if we want to see Chase Utley as little as possible this spring.
  4. Michael Young is, if it is possible, probably a worse defender than Yuniesky Betancourt, so keeping an extra body around at least until it is clear that the Phillies can break camp with some spare infielders not called Michael Young, it can't hurt to have an extra body called Stinking Billy.
  5. The Phillies might have some newbie medical staff on hand during spring training on the equivalents of minor league contracts. Those Delmon Youngs of the medical field should not be allowed anywhere near Chase Utley, so it makes sense to let them practice on someone expendable. Someone who, if he dies and ends up as the body on "Bones", would have an appropriate name already.
  6. A young, healthy Cal Ripken was not available.
  7. Yuniesky Betancourt, while he has butchered many balls in the field, is not a butcher of human beings like Pol Pot or Delmon Young.
  8. Yuniesky is worth 19 points on Wordfeud, assuming that I can't hit a bonus square somehow with a word that is 8 letters long, which I surely would because I kick ass at Wordfeud.
  9. Spring training would be 1,000% less entertaining if we didn't get a chance to see a team trying to get outs with Aaron Cook pitching in front of a defense with Ryan Howard at first, Michael Young at third, Betancourt at short, Demon (I saw the typo there but let it stay) Young in right, and Darin Ruf in left. Tell me that won't sell tickets.
  10. He's only made about $12,000,000.00 during his career being a shitty baseball player. His kids are likely to go hungry unless he can convert a few hundred thousand $8.00 beers into another million and a half for them.
In short, enjoy Yuniesky while he's around. I know how much I think of Juan Castro, Kevin Sefcik, Dave Doster, and Rick Schu. Yuniesky may annoy you now, but I assure you that you won't even think of him next year at this time. At least, I hope to god that's true.