Where do I begin? How do you talk about ending a love-hate relationship?
That is where I am with Francisco "Coco" Cordero.
If you watched Saturday night's loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates you should already be in league with me.
Johnny Cueto left after five complete innings pitched and a one-run lead. He was in line for the first win for a Reds starter in the young season.
Three pitchers (Daniel Harrera, Logan Ondrusek, and Arthur Rhodes) were awarded a hold to set things up perfectly for our local stud, Cordero.
This is the Cordero I wrote about the other day when the wheels began to fall off, before he finally did what he is paid the big money for.
What did he do last night, you say? Let me recap for you.
The Reds were ahead 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth. He got Jeff Clement to bounce back to him. Yeah Coco, way to go my boy.
Ryan Church pinch-hit for Jack Taschner and promptly sent a single into center field.
Ronnie Cedeno walked, pushing Church ahead to second base. First and second, one out. It is getting scary up in here.
Aki Iwamura walked, loading them up for speedster Andrew McCutchen. He flies out to left and nobody moves up. Yes!
Lastings Milledge comes to the plate with the bases loaded and two out. The Reds can win right here, and Coco can get his league-leading fifth save.
Not to be, baseball fans. With a full count, Cordero walks in the tying run.
Did you read what I just wrote?
The $12 million man just walked in the tying run. Sorry Johnny, sorry relievers—Coco suddenly can't find the strike zone.
Up steps the man who is going to be the heir-apparent to Jason Bay's dominance over the Reds, right fielder Garrett Jones.
He hits a ball so far I think it is going to be a grand salami, but it caromes off the wall, scoring one and ending the game.
Cordero absorbs the loss. What a lousy performance. The man actually threw more balls than strikes, 19-17. Look at that...36 pitches in one freaking inning.
Look at his line in the box score: .2 of an inning, two hits, two earned runs, and two walks.
This feels more like it does now than it did the other day. You read that right! Caesar Cliffius is about to start, I can feel it coming.
Caesar Cliffius agrees with his best friend and partner in crime, Illya Harrell, that Dusty needs to go and he can take Cordero with him. Arthur Rhodes could pitch the ninth inning from now on, whether we are in line for a win or not.
Caesar Cliffius says we don't need to pay somebody over $10M to blow baseball games or give baseball writers their second stroke. Not a golf stroke—Caesar Cliffius is talking about a cerebral vascular accident.
If Caesar Cliffius dies from watching Cordero blow a game, can his estate sue Coco for wrongful death? Just asking.
Caesar Cliffius says Coco has made him loco. He decries Coco to be gone. No fanfare, no parade, just "hit the bricks" as Arthur Spooner would say.
Illya gave Dusty 15 games to have a winning record, and it is now impossible. I have publicly chastised Cordero twice. Don't try to defend him to me; talk to the hand.
Caesar Cliffius and I are done here.