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by Alex Ciepley
Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight,
And burned is Apollo's laurel bough,
That sometime grew within this learned man.
Faustus is gone. Regard his hellish fall,
Whose fiendful fortune may exhort the wise
Only to wonder at unlawful things,
Whose deepness doth entice such forward wits,
To practise more than heavenly power permits.
- Doctor "Neifi!!" Faustus
Oh Neifi!! What have you done?
I fully expected it. I thought it was inevitable. I praise Neifi!! for having been a Good Cub so far, and he promptly rewards my accolades by grounding out to second base in 25 consecutive 1-pitch at-bats.
So far, so very wrong.
Today Neifi!! earned a second exclamation point. In yet another vintage Mark Prior outing (jinx!), our once-wallflower shortstop-replacement drove in four runs, including a three-run smacker. He's now hitting .388/.412/.551 in 53 plate appearances for the season. He even has two (2!) walks.
You know, if Neifi Perez did sell his soul, how much you think he got for it?
Popular theories include:
Neifi!! is secretly a native of Port Huron, Michigan, and just won the $205 million Mega Millions jackpot. Slightly embarassed that he has spent his career posing as a Dominican and not a born-and-bred Michigander, he has yet to claim his prize.
Neifi!!'s real name is Joseph Ratzinger. He prayed that he wouldn't be named Pope, but hey, God works in Mysterious Ways. Neifi!! now takes time from Mass to slay the demons of the world, otherwise known as the Cubs' opponents.
Niefi!! is really a teenage girl, using bodybuilding steroids to get the "toned, sculpted look of models and movies stars". As a side benefit to having the bod of Jennifer Aniston or Iman, he gets to hit homers and drive pitchers batty with singles up the middle.
I'm still going with the "random as hell" theory to Neifi's success, but you know, as long as it's working, devil may care.