Friday, May 26, 2006

Boof Bonser Last Piece from Great Frisco Robbery

Like the last of three Rembrandts stolen from the Gardner Museum, Boof Bonser has taken his place alongside fellow Twins pitchers Francisco Liriano and Joe Nathan to make up a trio of stolen masterpieces in one of modern baseball's greatest armed robberies. The Twins stole the three from San Francisco in a trade of catcher A.J. Pierzynski in November of '03, with the Giants having nothing to show for it now after cutting the unpopular Pierzynski outright at the end of '04. The 6-foot-five, 250-pound Bonser, 24, has averaged more than a strikeout per inning in 10 minor league stops, and owns a 1.50 ERA for the Twins after giving up just five hits in six innings with eight strikeouts in his major league debut against the Brewers last week. His name really is Boof Bonser, as he has legally changed it thusly. His name used to be Bons Boofer, or so broadcaster Bob Uecker would jokingly have you believe. Actually, his name was John until his mother hung the Boof moniker on him when he was a boy. Though Bonser's debut last week was brilliant, as good as he is he likely is pitching a little over his head for the time being, and may be expected to experience some rough days ahead. It's hard to understand why, but Bonser had been projected as nothing better than a back-of-the-rotation pitcher, and until the wheels came off the Twins rotation this month, was not anticipated to appear except as a late season callup to the bullpen.