Monday, April 2, 2012

Verbal Kint and Ubaldo Jimenez

In the movie The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey plays the role of a low level street criminal named Verbal Kint. Kint walked with a limp, was feeble, and was in police custody as he began to relay the tale of an arch criminal that was feared by all the underworld named Keyser Soze.

Keyser Soze was a ruthless Hungarian who came home to find his family being held hostage by a rival gang that wanted his drug territory. Rather than acquiesce to the rival gangs wishes he showed these men of will what REAL will really was. He shot two of the hostage takers along with his entire family allowing one member of the rival gang to flee back to his bosses and report what Soze had done. After he buried his family he went on a killing spree wiping out his rivals family and friends and as Verbal said "poof- just like that he was gone."

According to Kint, Keyser Soze becomes a myth - he disappears underground and is never seen again. He becomes a spook story that criminals tell their kids at night - "rat on your pop and Keyser Soze will come and get you."  He says no one really believes in Keyser Soze to which the investigator questioning him asks if he believes in him. Kint says "people say they don't believe in God but they're afraid of him. Well, I believe in God and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze."

The movie concludes with the revelation that Keyser Soze and Verbal Kint are one in the same.The Cleveland Indians thought they were trading for Keyser Soze instead they received Verbal Kint.

Ubaldo Jimenez once upon a time was a fearsome pitcher for the Colorado Rockies. He threw a fastball that moved all over the strike zone and topped out at 98 miles an hour. Not long ago he was fearless and menacing on the way to a 15-1 record with an ERA of 2.20. When the calendar flipped from June to July 2010 the transformation of Ubaldo Jimenez to Verbal Kint began. The old Ubaldo went underground and has since been replaced by a pitcher who can't find the fastball he once had and is unable to control what he has left in his arsenal.

The Indians front office felt that they had seen a mechanical flaw, an adjustment in stride that Ubaldo may of made to compensate for the groin injury suffered early in 2011. Unfortunately, that flaw was not able to be repaired after arriving in Cleveland and so far this spring there has been a combination of lack of velocity and lack of command. Neither bode well for a pitcher that the front office is relying on to provide innings and productivity at the top of the rotation.

Both Indian fans and front office executives hope to see the weak Verbal Kint version of Ubaldo Jimenez lose the limp, unclench the hand, and walk with a confidence as he takes the mound against the Toronto Blue Jays. In this version of the story, Verbal Kint goes underground and becomes the player that other General Managers fear acquiring.

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