Scott Mathieson lit up the news wire yesterday, and not because of a poor relief appearance or pieces of his body ripping in half. This time, it was Scott’s last dance through the Philadelphia headlines, as the Phillies took their final look at the flamethrower who never was and cut him loose.
The Scott Mathieson Story would have had Phillies home DVD sales through the roof. Not only did he come back from a pair of Tommy John surgeries, he was once dubbed “The Closer of the Future.” On a team that’s still interested in Billy Wagner taking on those duties, that’s clearly quite an honor. He just always seemed like a guy destined to have the Rudy theme music played behind him.
But if we are assuming that the Story isn’t over, and that this is just the next chapter, then we are about to watch Scott’s can-do attitude take on life in Asian baseball, in which Scott appears to have a deal with the Yomrui Giants. Do they want him to actually pitch? Or merely harvest his arm for spare parts? I know what we wanted. And we didn’t get it.
This pries open a spot on the 40-man roster for someone else. Maybe Jiwan James? Maybe the pitching robot? Who knows. All they’ll have to do is be better than 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA and they’ll be more effective than Scott.
But who knows! Many guys have jetted off to the Orient and become superheroes. For example, I believe there is still a death warrant out on Charlie Manuel’s head in Japan. So maybe this time, the Phillies weren’t the climax of an athlete’s professional career. Maybe they were the prologue for a greater legend, one that is to be written in the hallowed, at some points insane world of Asian baseball. And maybe that Rudy theme will be played as Scott Mathieson jogs out of the bullpen just yet.