"I don't like throwing things! Look at the sadness in my eyes!"
Wow. Matt Karchner, eh?
Well, we've already done past WTHHT's with the Sox, Bulls, and Bears, so you've got to give the Cubbies their due.
Karchner is an interesting case -- he started his career with the White Sox as a relief pitcher that couldn't get angry or throw with intensity. I know it sounds weird, but look at this photo:
The poor guy looks like he's going to cry! He wasn't cut out to be a pitcher -- he always wanted to work as a masseuse. As he worked long nights of relief through endless sobbing, he eventually managed to compile one good season with the Sox in 1997. The Cubs, who needed major-league-ready relief pitching, made a move when Karchner was struggling in 1998, trading Jon Garland for Karchner (thanks, by the way).
There's just one problem -- Karchner wasn't struggling: he was just bad. When I went to do my Google search for Karchner images, 90% of the images were of other batters and titled "...hit the game winning home run off of Cubs pitcher Matt Karchner." Yes, Karchner was the arsonist out of the bullpen when the Cubs needed him most, providing the complete opposite of the word "Clutch" at any given moment.
After the 1999 and 2000 seasons were limited by injuries (and helped by a particularly abysmal 2000 campaign), the Cubs sent Karchner to AAA Iowa in late July of 2000. He was never called up again.
What the hell happened to Matt Karchner?
Matt took his tissues to the Yankees' Spring Training camp in 2001, but failed to make the team after apologizing to Jorge Posada for throwing the ball so hard. He was out of baseball for the 2001 season, and spent the 2002 season reconditioning to try and make a comeback. After being inducted into the BU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003, he ultimately decided that he just wanted to drink a warm glass of milk and call it a career, hanging up his spikes for good.
In late 2003, Karchner was hired by Susquehanna University for the position of interim baseball coach. For those of you that don't know, Susquehanna U is located in, um, well, somewhere in Pennsylvania. Not important. Karchner was hired to replace the old coach of the Susquehanna Crusaders, and it looked like a happy ending was in store for Love-A-Lot Bear.
Unfortunately, it would seem that Karchner didn't pan out, as Denny Bowers will be starting his third consecutive season as head coach of the Crusaders in 2008. Karchner "resigned" (was fired) as a result of introducing "cuddle time" with his star players, or it might have had something to do with his 16-52-1 record over two seasons as head coach (that's more games than he won with the Cubs).
Yet, in an unusual twist of fate, someone in WTHHT is actually relevant TODAY -- Karchner mentioned in the Mitchell Report that he had seen two Cubs players play "inject steroids in your ass" at his apartment.
"Karchner said that during spring training in 1999, he observed two of his Chicago Cubs teammates inject themselves with steroids in an apartment that Karchner was sharing with them...one of the players brought the steroids to the apartment but was afraid of needles and therefore asked the second player to administer the shot. The second player injected the first player with steroids in the buttocks and then injected himself. Later that season, Karchner was offered steroids by certain of his Cubs teammates."
Karchner refused to name names, but let's take the information one step further, shall we? In 1999, Karchner was rumored to be sharing a spring training apartment with Kyle Farnsworth and Rod Beck -- and I can already name one additional person who had a prolific homerun total in 1999.
Hmmm....I wonder if Sosa needed a translator to say, "Me Scared of Needles."