Imagine for a moment that you’re Teddy Stankiewicz. You’re riding high on the wave of leading the Uni-President 7-Eleven Lions to the 2020 Chinese Professional Baseball League championship. You’ve spent two winters in Mexico and the Dominican Republic as well as two summers in Taiwan showing that you are one of the best pitchers in the unaffiliated world. You even went to the Olympics and were the lone bright spot for a Team Mexico that was outclassed in every other respect. You’re about to make your first start for your new team, Toros de Tijuana, and all you can see in front of you is a Serie del Rey title as you lead the Toros to a Liga Mexicana de Béisbol crown.
Then last week starts and you’re hit so hard in the face that you feel like you just walked outside on a hot Milwaukee summer day when the humidity is a cool 90% and the weatherman says it feels like 107. It’s okay you tell yourself, your start with the Toros didn’t go well- four earned runs, one hit-by-pitch, and a quick exit after 2.1 innings pitched- but, it’s your only regular season start and you were just trying to get used to your new team and surroundings. The LMB playoffs are about to start and at least you’ll be ready to go when your name comes up for the third game of the Toros’ opening series.
What’s that, you say, you were just pegged for a loss in the CPBL? “What the heck is going on here?” you mutter as you try to figure out how you are getting tabbed for a loss for a team you left over a month ago and in a league you haven’t pitched in since before they suspended their season to deal with a Taiwanese Coronavirus surge. If you’re not pitching in that league and are firmly situated with your new team in Mexico approximately 8,049 miles away how could you get a loss?
You get on the horn to your buddy Tim who tells you, “Oh yeah, you remember how we had that game that was delayed because we entered a Silent Hill level? We just made that up and you left that game while losing, sorry, bud.” Not only did you get blasted in your LMB debut but now you’re taking losses in your former league that you haven’t played in for months. That’s quite the one-two punch to your week, but hey, that game three start will help fix everything, right?
Back in reality, any baseball player would love to have the career Stankiewicz has spent the last few years putting together. Frankly, that he isn’t getting another look from affiliated ball is a crime and one of the best signs that Major League Baseball scouts aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Now, on top of it all, Stankiewicz can lay claim to getting credit for a loss in a league that he hasn’t played in for months while he was waiting to make his playoff debut in his new league. That’s one hell of an interesting factoid, I sure didn’t find any other instance of it in any of my research. Teddy Stankiewicz, changing the game every day.
Lead photo courtesy of Unknown – Microsoft News