These days, Farnsworth considers himself a peacemaker. At least among his pet dogs.
But even mediators can get pierced by the shrapnel of violence (see Hans Blix), as Farnsworth was reminded Tuesday morning.
Farnsworth injured his left, non-pitching hand when one of his pet American bulldogs bit him as he tried to break up a fight between the two canines. He suffered cuts to his index finger and the bites went deep enough to reach, but not cut, a tendon.
Yo, dog. You serious?
Farnsworth taped his finger, tucked it under his glove and shagged balls during batting practice, telling manager Trey Hillman he was available to pitch.
"I'm just glad it wasn't my other hand," said Farnsworth, who has been clocked at over 100 mph but has shown only the occasional ability to command his stuff. Let's just say his bark is worse than the bite on his breaking pitch.
In addition, Farnsworth might prove to be dog's best friend, but he is a mediocre referee. UPDATE: We have hired a new dog, the correct kind of bulldog, for the above photo. Thank you, readers.
Apparently, 80-pound "Strike" and 90-pound "Rambo" got into a row over which was more deserving of Farnsworth's kids' attention.
("Strike," huh? They're loving the irony at Wrigley Field, where the Farnz used to pitch, let me tell ya'.)
It was Rambo, Farnsworth believes, who bit the hand that feeds him.
"I don't know," Farnsworth said. "I reached in there and started grabbing dogs and throwing dogs. And one of them got me. One of those things that happens. It's never pretty. I've had to do it a few times and it's ugly."
Somebody, step in and rescue Kyle from Rambo!
Both dogs are current on their shots, so don't expect Farnsworth to start foaming at the mouth any time soon. Then again, he's a special case.
Dog owners can relate to getting bitten, but it's another in a strange series of incidents and injuries in Farnsworth's enigmatic career. Before he became a puppy peacemaker, The Farnz showed more of an interest in participating in fights rather than breaking them up.
• Paul Wilson of the Reds discovered this six years ago, when Farnsworth tackled and bloodied him in a brawl with the Cubs at Great American Ball Park.
• This was a guy, Farnsworth, who actually seemed to fancy himself a football player. He often wore a customized Chicago Bears' "No. 44 Farnsworth" jersey into the Wrigley clubhouse when he pitched for the Cubs.
• He also tried field goals. In a fit of anger in 2004, Farnsworth kicked a fan — not a Bleacher Bum but instead the boxy, mechanical, blowy kind — and injured his knee.
• Then there was the time he broke his foot in 2002. The Cubs claimed he did it warming up in the bullpen, but unconfirmed reports said Farnsworth broke it punting footballs. Pooch kicks, if you will. Another source said he was kicking around a baseball like a hacky sack. Could both be true? Sure.
• The same year, Farnsworth was accused of taking a nap in the Cubs clubhouse during a game. It also has been written, perhaps related to his sleeping habits, that he struggled balancing Wrigleyville night life with Cubs day games.
Those days are over. Now, bow to your sensei and go to a neutral corner. Or no tummy rub and special treat!