It was July 7, 2005. My family was in Atlanta to watch a Cubs game. This was the day, I believe this was the day, we learned to never, ever ride the MARTA ever again. (A tall man sauntered onto the train and promptly announced, "There's a bomb on this train." He was just having a laugh, you might say. We would not have said that, though. We did not say anything. In our brightly-colored Cubs gear, we stared forward. Silently. Patiently. Trembling.)
In this game, a decidedly woeful 2005 Cubs team marched a one Mr. Jerome Williams to the mound. I knew little about baseball at the time. (This was the year I became a Devil Rays fan and started reading DRaysBay and R.J. Anderson, so I was still early on my journey to
enlightenment an unhealthy, unprofitable obsession and career choice.) Despite my then-limited knowledge of baseball, I could discern 23-year-old Jerome Williams was not a good pitcher.
He lasted 6.0 innings, by the miracles of chance, while striking out 2, walking 3, and allowing a whopping 8 hits. It felt like the Braves started every inning with a runner on second and ended each inning with the bases loaded. The Cubs would go on to lose the game (Classic Cubs style).
I remember the game especially clearly because a young phenom made his major league debut that game -- or at least his first ML start. Why yes, after Andruw Jones had put the Braves ahead 5-4 with a two-run homer in the 8th, a 21-year-old Jeff Francoeur (Can anyone be this good?!) clobbered a spirit-obliterating 3-run jack -- to left center, if I recall correctly. That stadium, cheering for their home-grown boy, went nuts. We went home. A long, peacefully MARTA-free trek back to the Panama City.
ALL THIS TO SAY:
The Rays should beat Jerome Williams today. He's been a surprisingly useful pitcher in his career, considering how terrible he is, but as a starter, he sports a career 4.41 ERA and 4.58 FIP. The dude is not on par with the David Price.
David Price, as you know, as a career FIP of SWEET CHEEZITS and a career ERA of HOLY F*%#!