Actress Alyssa Milano has never been a stranger to the game of baseball. From her television debut as the daughter of a washed up baseball player on "Who's The Boss?", to her MLB-themed clothing line Touch, her Dodgers blog, and her penchant for dating pitchers, it's obvious that the woman loves her baseball.
She also has a pretty profound effect on the sport. Particularly the pitchers she dates, and it's no doubt something Theo Epstein looked into before signing Penny to that one-year deal this winter. According to Shysterball, Penny is in for a bad season.
Exhibit A: Carl Pavano (2003)
During their 2003 relationship, Pavano made 33 starts and posting 12 wins with a 4.30 ERA (33/12/4.30). In 2004 after their breakup he improved dramatically to (31/18/3.00). However this euphoria proved short lived, as Yankee fans can attest, and he regressed in 2005 to (17/4/4.77).
Exhibit B: Barry Zito (2004-05)
Zito's dating numbers averaged (34.5/12.5/4.53), remarkably similar to Pavano's. After the breakup he also improved in 2006 to (34/16/3.83), nearly as big an improvement as Pavano's. What happened the year after? You guessed it, regression to (33/11/4.53).
Exhibit C: Brad Penny (2006)
Penny's dating year of 2006 was also an unspectacular (29/7/3.90). He then experienced what I am now terming the Milano Bounce with a nice (33/16/4.33) and continued this into 2008 with a (33/16/3.03). Because we are not using precise dates on the relationship, the numbers are only estimates but it appears Brad remained mentally strong for a longer period before succumbing to the inevitable Milano Meltdown with a 2009 line of (19/6/6.27).
Let this be a warning to any pitcher out there who may fall prey to Ms. Milano. Of course, since I feel bad for ruining Alyssa's chances of ever dating another pitcher, I feel it's only fair that I offer my services to her. Call me!
(Hat tip: Rob Neyer)