Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Farnsworth pitched for KC Royals bullpens where his 97-mile-an-hour heat was unusual. Without a blizzard of five fireballing relievers like Ned Yost has today, then Kansas City Royals manager Trey Hillman kept giving Farnsworth set-up chances in front of closer Joakim Soria.
And, in 2009, Farnsworth usually disappointed. He finished the season with two blown saves and a 5.30 ERA. SI.com’s Tim Marchman said this about signing Kyle Farnsworth after the season:
"They [the Royals] pay too much for terrible players like relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth and shortstop Yunieski Betancourt and are then mystified when their team is terrible."
Kyle Farnsworth turned it around in 2010, starting the season as the garbage man but then becoming trusted to pitch in tighter games. He finished with a 2.62 ERA and seven holds out of nine save situations, before getting traded to Atlanta.
Of course, Farnsworth then went on to have the best season of his career in 2011 for Tampa Bay, where he became the closer and racked up 25 saves to go with a 2.18 ERA. Giving up on a guy just before he had a career year was pretty much par for the course in Kansas City five years ago.
Farnsworth then went on to pitch for three playoff teams in four seasons: Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh. It felt like the Baseball Gods were laughing at Kansas City.
Kyle Farnsworth hung on in the major leagues into 2014, before retiring this winter. He earned a tidy $37.9 million over his 16-year career.
Then, for some reason, he decided to play semi-pro football at age 39.
Next: Kyle Farnsworth Decides To Play Football