Reds Rely on Latos as Giants Come to GABP

His win-loss record versus the Giants may not look good: 2-3. The rest of the numbers tell a bigger story on why Mat Latos has some success against the San Francisco Giants. The 2.64 ERA and 1.000 WHIP are pretty awesome real-life and fantasy baseball numbers.

And I’ll add to it. How’s 45 whiffs and 10 walks in 58 innings grab you? A 4.5 SO/BB ratio is pretty darn good, isn’t it? These are some of the numbers Latos has compiled in the nine starts where he’s faced the Giants. Translation: Latos fares pretty well against the Giants.

While 2012 hasn’t exactly started the way many of us had expected from Latos, there is one team that Latos does enjoy facing: it’s the guys from San Fran.

Latos will square off against Matt Cain in this evening’s clash. Please note that’s with two “t’s” not one, like “Mat”, as is the case with Latos.

And I also say “clash” for a couple of reasons. I’m sure Giants fans will never let Latos forget a couple of incidents while he was a Padre. Well, they haven’t…still. One was a mishap on a ball that struck the sunroof of Giants announcer Dave Flemming’s vehicle. The other was the signing of baseballs with “I hate SF” on them.

As I said, fans won’t forget. They also won’t listen, at times, to any sort of reasoning. There is cause for this, justified or not. Actually, many causes. One would be a blind “hatred” for a team and/or a particular player. Reds fans have that angst aimed at a couple of Cardinals players…Yadier Molina and Chris Carpenter. I will take a guess here than whenever Albert Pujols makes a return to GABP, provided he’s still able to play, will manage to receive his fair share boos as well.

In regards to the Flemming auto ordeal, which by the way, was two years ago, Latos was shagging fly balls in the outfield at AT&T Park. As he was leaving the field during practice, Latos winged a ball, underhanded, toward the stands. The ball reportedly bounced off the concourse prior to landing in the players’ parking lot beyond the left field stands. That same location also serves as a lot for media types. Flemming’s vehicle was among those in the lot. The ball struck Flemming’s auto.

In response to a question surrounding the incident, Latos offered this to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News. Again, two years ago…

“I’ve heard people are saying I threw it over the Coke bottle. That’s not even close to true. Look, people are going to believe whatever they want to believe. If they send me a bill, I’ll pay it. I’m sorry it happened and I’ll be responsible for it. But I didn’t know there was a parking lot back there. I wasn’t trying to throw it out of the stadium.”

Accepting responsibility, apologizing and footing the bill: good or bad? I guess it’s bad, mmkay?

But it doesn’t end there.

In the short amount of time Latos and his wife Dallas have been members of the Reds community, we’ve learned they have a willingness to support causes. Earlier this year, we caught a glimpse of such as images of the couple showing their support for the NOH8 campaign were published.

I bring this up because apparently supporting causes in which you a firm backing isn’t an adequate excuse.

In early 2011, Latos autographed three baseballs. Three. Underneath his signature was the phrase “I Hate SF”. This still rubs some SF fans the wrong way. I get it. Initially, I would be hacked if I saw Molina or Carp ink something like “I Hate CIN” on a baseball, but if the reason was to help raise money for the MLB Players Alumni Association or any other worthy cause, my hackness would be severely diminished. In fact, I wouldn’t be upset at all.

For the record, the balls were posted on eBay for $299.99. Along with the posting for each ball was a note stating that 50% of the proceeds would go to the MLB Players Alumni Association. That little ribbing was to raise money.

So doing good deeds is bad? Since when?


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Tags: Baseball Cincinnati Reds Mat Latos MLB

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