It might only be April, but Alfredo Aceves has been optioned to the Red Sox' Triple-A club, and his big-league 2013 might already be at its end. No worries, though: Aceves has been a constant source of... well, headlines, I guess... and with headlines come photographs.
Controversy has surrounded Aceves since late last year, when he and then-manager Bobby Valentine were at odds over the pitcher's role and importance, and it still surrounds him now as Red Sox fans hope he decides to refuse to report to the minors so that they can just be rid of him. Here's our attempt to explain his 2013, and how it led to this feeling and his demotion, through images.
Photo credit: Elsa
Aceves, smiling and happy on photo day, begins his 2013 season in spring training with the Red Sox. It's time to start fresh and put 2012's struggles and insanity behind!
Photo credit: Christian Petersen
Well, okay, maybe not just yet. Aceves is held back, just a few weeks later, by Team Canada's Larry Walker, who says, and I quote, that he "saw Satan" in the eyes of Alfredo Aceves. To be fair, anyone who saw Aceves after Team Canada pulled this stunt on him would have seen the same:
Tyson Gillies quickly realized he had made a huge mistake in attacking Aceves from behind during the Canada/Mexico brawl in the World Baseball Classic, and led Aceves straight into a pack of Canadians* to ensure his escape from an unfortunate -- and likely painful -- demise.
*They are always referred to as a pack when that many Canadians are present. Seriously guys. Read a book.
Aceves returned to Red Sox camp shortly after this melee, and... okay I have no idea what he's doing here. Possibly describing things he would have done to Gillies if he had caught him?
Photo credit: J. Meric
Photo credit: J. Meric
It's probably a good thing Ryan Lavarnway is 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, because he's not Canadian, and that's the only weakness we know Aceves has. Other than grooving a pitch down the plate, anyway, as he did here to Chris Davis on April 11...
Photo credit: USA TODAY Sports
...and here to Seth Smith on April 23, in a unsettling-ly similar photo:
Photo credit: Jim Rogash
What we sadly do not have photo evidence of from that A's game is Aceves' two (two!) balks, his forgetting to cover first base on a grounder, and his off-target throw to first that allowed the inning to extend even further. Did I mention all of those things happened in the same inning? Because they happened in the same inning, as did the three walks and run after run that shot his ERA for his last 100 innings nearly to six. This homer, which came in the very next inning, was basically the A's covering the last square on their Bingo board for the day.
You know, in case you were wondering why he was demoted on Wednesday night.