People of Atlanta, take note.
Other times, you will curse him and swear you’re watching the worst pitcher in baseball.
You will learn to alternately curse and dread the fifth inning of every single game, although this being the National League it may be less of an issue as the best or worst pitcher in baseball can quite easily be swapped out for a pinch-hitter under the guise of strategy, rather than the guise of all-consuming fear.
In June, you will start to think he’s finally turned it around, that maybe those 200-strikeout seasons truly were just scratching the surface. That the ace has come out of hiding. That this guy is going to be the reason other teams lose. He will hold teams to three, two, maybe just one hit. Even the mightiest of foes will be rendered powerless.
In September, you will despise that man with everything in you. He will strike out ten guys in four innings, then cough up three runs before loading the bases. You will watch as every fifth day means certain death at the hands of known inferior teams.
In lean times, he will be one of the few bright spots as he garners Cy Young whispers; in times of team prosperity, he will be the bane of your existence. You will loathe him. You will cast hex after hex upon him. He will infuriate you. He will perplex you. He will make you hate him, but he will also make you hate yourself for ever believing in him.
You will wonder what in the world ever made you cheer his arrival, and you will wonder what makes you cheer his departure. You will know he is quite good, and you will know he is also not very good at all. You will not understand him, but you will also not want to.
He is a nightmare. He is a savior. His dominance often leads to failure, and his best outings are almost always meaningless. His numbers are among the best, but his career among the worst.
He is the most interesting man in baseball.