Re: Phillips thought he'd lost an eye (and other notes)
Farney is cause of Freel's woes
ESPN.com wire reports
09/22/06 9:23 PM EST
CINCINNATI - After a week in which the Reds' Ryan Freel nearly cost his team Brandon Phillips' eye and Chris Denorfia's leg, it appears he's come clean as to the real culprit.
Farney. Yes Farney. For those in the know, Farney is the midget...err...height challenged person living in Freel's head. Initially, Farney was a boon to Freel- a hyperactive Utility player who, after producing an ESPY-worthy over-the-shoulder catch versus the Cardinals in early August- citied Farney as his inspiration.
When asked about the grab, Freel stated, "Hey, Al (Albert Pujols) was at the plate and Farney told me that we were going to something great. He smoked one at me and I just had to make Farney proud."
Farney was first discovered by Reds' trainer Mark Mann. Initially, it was reported that Farney's existence was a product of a number of conversations with Mann. However, Mann came clean on the discovery today.
"After what went on last offseason with Ryan (Freel), Wayne (Krivsky) asked me to perform an MRI on Ryan's head." Mann explained. "What I found was evidence of additional brain matter attached to Ryan's cerebellum. I contacted Tim (Dr. Timothy Kremchek) and, after much research, we concluded that Ryan had a twin in the womb and, at some point, he absorbed him."
When asked to expand on that, Mann concluded, "Basically, there is a Farney and he's capable of taking over Ryan's brain."
And he's been nasty lately.
When asked about his August hitting performance, a month in which Freel hit .220 and slugged .275, Freel confessed, "Y'know, I knew that a ton of those pitches were bad and didn't want to swing at them but it's Farney just took over my body and made me. I don't know what happened. I told him 'bad Farney' every time but that just made it worse."
Fast-forward to the first Inning of Tuesday night's Reds/Astros contest. Freel uncorked a throw that ended up resting in Brandon Phillips' eye socket. "I was lining up for a throw there and Farney said 'He's playing the position you should have.' and the throw hit him in the eye. It's tough out there when you're trying to do one thing but then Farney does another." said Freel.
But Farney obviously wasn't happy yet. When asked about the Denorfia collision in the Outfield a day later, Freel responded, "I wanted to pull up but I heard Farney mutter that Denorfia was taking away our playing time. Next thing I knew the words 'Spike him' were running through my head." Denorfia needed five stitches to close an ankle wound that wouldn't stop bleeding.
Freel did note that he was happy that Farney hadn't caused him to injure any fans this year. However, Freel also admitted that Farney had been the instigator of a number of out-of-work conflicts, including his drunk and disorderly arrest this past offseason.
The most recent was the unfortunate result of a breakfast trip to McDonald's last Thursday morning. While waiting in line for an Egg McMuffin and an order of hash browns, Freel stated that Farney caused him to run over 72-year old Ida Vershooven of Lebanon, Ohio.
When asked for her version of events, Vershooven explained, "I was just waiting for my McGriddle and taters when some young guy started pushing his way through the waitin' line screamin' 'FARNEY WANTS HASHBROWNS!!!!' Next thing I knew I was down on the ground with a cut lip and my replaced hip wasn't feelin' so good. Darned fool crazy person. Thank the Lord that my boyfriend Rheal was there to calm things down."
Vershooven was taken to a local Cincinnati hospital for stitches and observation. When interviewed about the encounter, Vershooven's boyfriend explained, "I have no idea what got into Ryan. This area isn't at all like that. It's a great community. In fact, when Kriv (Reds' GM Wayne Krivsky) traded for me, he explained that Cincinnati was flush with women in my age group. That was a big motivator for me and Ida has been a Godsend."
When asked about the prognosis, Cormier noted that Vershooven should recover and added, "It looks like she'll be fine and there's no long-term damage to her hip. When you find a woman who's had the same life experiences you have, you'll do anything you can to hold onto her. My only worry now is keeping her away from the young bucks like David Weathers."
Freel, who wasn't charged with a crime for the encounter due to the additional brain residing in his skull, finally found a way to make Farney less of a threat to others. While initial reports indicated that he suffered an ankle injury from his Wednesday collision with Denorfia, Freel brought finality to his season by injuring his thumb in the clubhouse after Wednesday's game in an attempt to smash through his skull and rid his brain of Farney.
"I just figured that I could poke through my forehead and get that <expletive deleted> midget out of there." stated Freel. "At least then he couldn't go around hurting anybody any more. How the heck was I supposed to know that my head was so hard that I'd break my <expletive deleted> finger?"
The Reds will play out the remainder of 2006 with a combination of Norris Hopper and Todd Hollandsworth manning Right Field. And somewhere in Freel's head, Farney is planning to get even.
"The problem with strikeouts isn't that they hurt your team, it's that they hurt your feelings..." --Rob Neyer
"The single most important thing for a hitter is to get a good pitch to hit. A good hitter can hit a pitch that’s over the plate three times better than a great hitter with a ball in a tough spot.”