June 3, 2011

Jeff Mathis makes me laugh

When I say the name Jeff Mathis how do you react? Do your eyes roll back in your head and you feel like you might pass out? Does your brow furrow and your lips get tight? Profanities start flying from your lips?

Has there ever been a player in the Angels organization who evoked more emotion and passion (usually the angry kind) than Jeff Mathis? I don’t think so; not even Mo Vaughn or Jose Guillen made an Angel fan as crazy as Mathis does.

Many have tried to understand what it is that makes Mike Scioscia so pro-Mathis and all have failed to grasp what makes Scioscia continue to write his name into a lineup on any given day. I venture to guess that we could summon the most brilliant minds in science and engineering and even they would be perplexed.

Sam Miller of the Orange County Register did a guest appearance on the Baseball Prospectus’ web site and took a stab and trying to make sense of it all. Miller sheds some light on the issue, but I would venture to guess that even he would admit that this whole Scioscia/Mathis relationship is of the great mysteries of our time.

So… what do us as fans do about this? Laugh? Cry?

If you don’t know whether or laugh or cry when you see Jeff Mathis on the field, I invite you to laugh and perhaps this blog post will help you do exactly that. Besides, laughing is therapeutic.

Here are my thoughts (many of them totally random) on Jeff Mathis. None of these thoughts are based in science or metaphysics or the supernatural or anything else that you can put a finger on. They’re simply a compilation of the various thoughts that run through my head whenever I think of Mathis. It’s my way of amusing myself; because the alternative is a path to insanity.

So without further ado, here we go…

I’d really like to see Mike Scioscia try to explain why he plays Jeff Mathis to Judge Judy. I have to believe Scioscia would get his lunch handed to him by Judy. I can picture here shaking a finger at Mike, can’t you? The exchange would certainly be funnier than those Howard’s ads we hear on the radio.

Batting practice isn’t practice for Mathis – it’s an exercise in futility.

Two words players in the outfield never hear when Mathis takes batting practice… “Head’s up.”

Two words that are never used in conjunction with a Mathis at-bat… “Clutch hit.”

Good news; bad news. Good news – Mathis is hitting higher than his career batting average. Bad news – he’s only hitting .216

Years after Jeff Mathis is done playing baseball… none of this will be funny. And the Mendoza Line will be replaced with the Mathis line. FYI: The Mendoza Line takes its name from the shortstop Mario Mendoza's lifetime batting average of .215. It is baseball slang for the threshold of incompetent hitting. AngelsWin’s Steve Haston got this one right – check out his article here.

Jeff Mathis swings a bat like Charlie Brown kicks a football; however, unlike Charlie Brown (by way of Lucy), Mathis has no one to blame but himself.

When Jeff Mathis comes to bat with the game on the line, the Rally Monkey goes home.

Jeff Mathis probably won’t hit his weight (200) this season. Heck, he might not hit Alexi Amarsita’s weight (150).

If Mathis’ bat had On-Star it would never get activated because there has to be some sort of impact/contact for that to happen.

When Jeff Mathis was a kid, he hated going to birthday parties that had piƱatas. Why? Do you really need to ask? Think about how you get the candy out of those things.

When I think about the Mathis/Scioscia relationship, I think of the old TV show - “Courtship of Eddie’s father.” Watch the clip below and tell me you can’t picture Mike and Jeff together. G’head.

I’m willing to bet that even Mathis’ mother doesn’t think he’s good enough for the major leagues. Face it, he has a game that only… well, Mike Scioscia can love.

Mike Scioscia is so enamored with Mathis that if he were a judge on Dancing with the Stars and Mathis was a contestant, Scioscia would be making comparisons between Mathis and Fred Astaire.

Jeff Mathis makes up for his lack of offense with his inability to throw out runners. Wait, how does that work?

Imagine Jeff Mathis as a peanut vendor – the peanuts would never reach their destination; fans sitting two sections over would find a bag of peanuts landing in their lap; beers would be knocked from the hands of thirsty fans and little kids would have to wear helmets.

Mathis’ arm is so bad, he couldn’t even throw out the kids who do the on-the-field “steal-third” promotion at Angel games.

Let’s just say that Jeff Mathis’ arm is so bad; he can’t even throw in the towel.

I’m telling you he’s so bad that there is actually a conspiracy among the other 13 teams in the American League to keep him in the lineup. Watch this clip of Ian Kinsler at mlb.com telling the world that Mathis is the hardest player for him to steal against. It blows my mind and Kinsler should get an Oscar for that acting job, don’t you think? By the way, this is one more reason for me to hate Kinsler. Just saying.

CSI has investigated Jeff Mathis’ playing time and they’re dumbfounded. One thing they did agree on; it’s a crime that Mathis wears a major league uniform.

NCIS also investigated and came to the same conclusions with this added observation… he should never be allowed to throw hand grenades for obvious reasons.

When Jeff Mathis comes into a game, Angel fans start dialing 911 on their cell phones.

Seeing Jeff Mathis in the lineup makes about as much sense as one of Charlie Sheen’s rants.

The best thing about an off day is that we are assured that Mathis won’t be in the lineup.

One more bit to share… and this isn’t a rant, but a little nickname I have for Mathis. If you’re a Mathis apologist, relax – it’s nothing derogatory – it’s something I imagine ESPN’s Chris Berman would say… Now batting… Jeff “English isn’t my favorite subject, but Math-is.”

And on that note… I say, bring on the Yankees.


  1. Bob from section 514June 05, 2011

    Well, this is a good start. I'm looking forward to your rants on the other 15 or so Angels who also couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat.

  2. Jeff Mathis provokes many responses: Anger, Depression, Shock, Whining, Begging and Pleading, Yelling and Screaming, and very occasionally Pleasant Shock. Seriously, there are in fact seven stages of Jeff Mathis grief and I'm still having a hard time working my through them.