Brett Tomko was placed on irreversible waivers Friday night, ending his brief tenure in Kansas City. In sixteen games, Tomko was 2-7 with a 6.97 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was excellent at 40-13, but he was hittable, oh he was hittable. Opponents hit .314/.344/.529, meaning he pretty much turned every hitter into Magglio Ordonez.
For his trouble, Brett will walk away with $3 million and a Playboy-model wife.
Brett and Julia will laugh all the way to the bank.
How will you remember the Brett Tomko era? Let us take a look back.
Trey Hillman manages his first game in a Royals uniform. His plucky young Royals take a 4-3 lead against the heavily favored Tigers as we head into the bottom of the seventh. Gil Meche had given us a strong outing, but was hitting 100 pitches. With the entire bullpen at his disposal, Hillman turned to the gritty veteran Brett Tomko, much to the howls of Royals Reviewers. After a leadoff walk, Tomko silences his RR critics by inducing a double play and getting out of the inning unscathed. Undeterred, Trey Hillman leaves Tomko out for the eighth where he promptly gives up a game-tying home run to Carlos Guillen.
Tomko gives the grittiest, guttiest veteran performance in a Royals uniform as he blanks the Twins over five innings. Local artists are commissioned to create a Tomko statue to stand next to the George Brett statue in the renovated Kauffman Stadium.
Tomko proves he is a Twin-killer, giving up two runs in six innings. However, he also shows "he doesn't know how to win" to paraphrase Joe Morgan, by not motivating his teammates to score any runs as the Royals lose 2-0.
Brett yields five runs, but guts his way through seven innings in the loss.
Its the first game of a doubleheader, and Brett understands how badly Trey wants to use his bullpen for the eighteen innings of baseball, so he graciously pitches just four innings, giving up eleven hits and seven runs.
The Royals spot Brett five runs in the first two frames, and the wily veteran understands "pitching to the score" and gives up five runs of his own. Again unselfishly, he bows out in the fourth inning, content to let reliever Ron Mahay pick up the victory.
Sleeping in his own bed with his hot, hot wife, Tomko is motivated to toss seven shutout innings, giving up just two hits.
Tomko, king of the great peripherals, but lousy BABIP, strikes out eight and walks none. Great outing, right? He also gives up nine hits and six runs and uses 110 pitches to get through five innings in the loss.
Tomko recalls how inferior the NL is and dominates the first place Marlins, giving up two runs in six innings in what would be his last win as a Royal.
Tomko shows proper respect to Red Sox Nation by bowing out in the fifth after allowing just five runs. Red Sox fans whine about how bad they've had it anyway.
Brett fails to understand that his ERA, converted to Canadian dollars, is even worse. Damn you weak American dollar! He gives up seven runs, but grits through six innings. Despite the guttiness, Trey demotes him to the bullpen.
On Memorial Day weekend, Brett performs as most Royals fans will remember him by. He coughs up a 4-3 lead and takes the loss to fall to 2-7. In fairness, Gil Meche was the starting pitcher, and the Royals offense and bullpen are contractually obligated to suppress Gil's win total as much as possible.
The Tomko Bullpen Experiment rolls on with a 1-2-3 inning.
A wild game in which Tomko is called on in the 5th. He pitches well for the first 1 1/2 inning, before giving up a two run homer to decidedly unclutch A-Rod in the seventh.
My son's first ever game. I didn't tell Brett I was coming, but its almost like he knew it was my son's first game. The Royals built up a 5-1 lead in the eighth. With two outs and one one, a Mark Teahen error extended the inning and caused Trey Hillman to pull the cruising Ron Mahay in favor of Brett. Tomko allowed a double to big jerk Milton Bradley and a single to David Murphy before Trey decided to Yasuhika Yabuta would be more reliable. The Royals lost 6-5. I wouldn't have it any other way for my son's first game! He must be indoctrinated into Royals baseball!
Tomko's days are numbered.
The Royals were already trailing 8-5 in the 9th, so Tomko got some garbage time. And he sure pitched like it. After David Murphy homered on the first Tomko offering he saw, four more Rangers would collect hits, and Tomko would yield three runs.
On June 12, the Royals designated Brett for assignment, effectively ending his Royals career. They called up Carlos Rosa to replace him, but after Rosa showed he was overmatched by allowing a 2.70 ERA and a .677 OPS against, he was demoted for Horacio Ramirez. Who is like, totally way better than Brett Tomko.
Brett ends his Royals career 151st in franchise history in innings pitched, tied for 156th in wins, and tied for 142nd in strikeouts. He will be eligible for induction into the Royals Hall of Fame in 2011.
All he will have to console himself will be the $17 million he has earned in his professional career, his Playboy model wife, his house in Southern California, and the memories of a twelve-year Major League career.
Brett, you will be missed.