Things aren't going well for Chan Ho Park. Just days after allowing seven runs and six hits in four innings during a 9-6 loss to Florida, Park was designated for assignment. Bad enough. But to make things worse, the person Park was replaced with has an infinite ERA.
Meet Lino Urdaneta. Urdaneta comes from the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs. The 27-year-old right-hander was 1-0 with six saves and a 5.84 ERA in 10 relief appearances in the minors.
A 5.84 ERA earns you a call-up to the show? These days, I guess it does. But despite what his minor league stats show, his major league stats leave him with something to prove.
Urdaneta has an infinite Major League ERA after making one appearance, on Sept. 9, 2004. Pitching for Detroit against Kansas City, he faced six batters and gave up six earned runs on five hits and a walk. That, my friends, is an infinite ERA.
After spending most of the last two years recuperating from elbow surgery, Urdaneta is determined to at least lower his ERA:
"The (past) is over," Urdaneta said through an interpreter. "This is a new day in my life, and I'm going to start all over. I was waiting for this phone call a long time ago," Urdaneta said. "I was working hard, especially after I had my surgery.""
You can do it, Lino! All you need is to record one out. A strikeout, a ground out, a foul out, whatever. Get that out, and avoid baseball infamy. And maybe after you record that out, you can behave like your predecessor Chan Ho and become infamous for something else...