Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Does having a bad Yankee debut really doom a player?

Sometimes I think the New York Post's Joel Sherman makes terrific points. Today isn't one of those times.

In his column about the Yankees' sloppy Opening Day, he had this to say about CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira:
Sabathia was the highest-paid free-agent pitcher of the offseason and Teixeira the highest-paid position player. In a down economic climate, the Yanks invested $341 million on just those two. They are not going to feel bad about those decisions at 0-1. However, no one wants to make a bad first impression as a Yankee because the hole is always a little deeper, so deep that many never truly escape.
Hmmm. Are there really any Yankees who made such a bad impression in their first outing that they "never truly escaped" that first game? I don't think so.

If anything, most of the legendary Yankee flops and disappointments in recent years have had terrific Bomber beginnings.

As I wrote yesterday, both Randy Johnson and Javier Vazquez had Opening Day triumphs in their Yankee debuts, yet they won't exactly be commemorated in a Yankeeography any time soon.

Hideki Irabu also made a great first impression as a Yank, beating the Tigers, and having the hometown crowd cheering for him. How did that work out for him?

Kevin Brown won four games in April 2004, his first month as a Yankee, including a sparkling debut. Too bad all those wins couldn't carry over to Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS.

And Carl Pavano, perhaps the worst Yankee free agent signing ever, pitched a very strong game against the Red Sox in his first game in pinstripes. Who'da thunk it?

There was one high-priced free agent Yankeee, though, who got off to a lousy start.

He blew his first game as a Yankee. And his second. In fact, he had such an awful first few months with the team that after one loss, he was spotted curled up in a fetal position in the clubhouse after the game, sobbing.

He was such a mess, his teammates took him out to dinner to give him moral support that night. Fortunately, the player turned it around, and he got out of that hole he had dug for himself. Oh, and the Yankees won the World Series that season as well.

Good thing the Yankees didn't give up on Hall of Famer Goose Gossage after one game.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


NAM said...

The Jay's and the O's on top. There is some poetic justice in that, even if it is short-lived...but who knows.

Symphony said...

Another example why media people are tools. Should CC have a Cy Young year I'm sure the opening day start is going to be the difference between his coming in first or second.

Hyperbole and/or manufactured hype are death of even the most solid point.

NAM said...

Kinda like the way a NY writer didn't vote for Beckett two years ago for the Cy Young. It's karma.

Rob said...

If anyone is unsure or doubtful of CC's performance yesterday, relax - it's only the first game of the whole entire season!

I'm sure CC is going to be just fine and so are the Yanks.

She-Fan said...

Great post, Lisa. You talked me off the ledge.

Anonymous said...

Sherman has a point. Consider that the yankees missed the playoffs last year, this year is a must win for them. CC and Texeira are the cavalry. the saviors. they get no quarter if they stink things up the first couple of months. Especially if the rays and sox fly out of the gate. we know that girardi isn't likely to survive a slow start.
this next statement might seem like a dig against yankee fans, but i mean it in the nicest possible way. yankee fans are an entitled bunch who are notoriously impatient. geez, there were callers on the FAN today calling for girardi and sabathia's head already!
CC might be in for a rough going in yankee land. remember, he wasn't lighting it up for the indians before heading to milwaukee. a return to the AL might be tough for him, initially at least. keep in mind also that he pitched 253 innings last year, and 241 the year before. good luck with that.

Symphony said...

There is no point to Sherman's drivel especially since these two All-Stars are notorious slow starters who always seem to get the job done before the season ends. Basically, he had nothing to write.

Every team has a bunch of fans who think they are entitled; makes the Yankees like all teams who have consistent success. Spare me.

Listen in on sports radio in any city you'll get morons.

I listened to the Rays announcers try some passive aggressive "Rays are getting dissed because they went to the World Series last year and they have to open the season on the road in Boston."

Subway Squawkers said...

KM, isn't your fan base the ones who booed Oliver Perez off the mound in an exhibition game this weekend? And the ones who booed Johan Santana on Opening Day last year? Talk about impatient! ;)

I agree with Symphony - there are knuckleheads in every part of the fan base; even Yankeedom. But really, a few sports radio callers aside, I saw more hysteria in the media today than from the fans.


Anonymous said...

No surprise they booed ollie, they will be booing castillo soon too. I thought the booing of santana last year was ridiculous, they used to boo piazza as well.

nice thing about being a met fan is that our we have realistic expectations, it's all or nothing for yankee fans. is ok to hold your team to a higher standard, but our players can win us over. you guys are like a bunch of sicilian mafioso's, no offense to sicilian mafioso's of course. you have a grudge against someone and won't let go. look what you all have done to poor alex rodriguez.

you spend that much money on 2 players and they are expected to perform. especially when they are here to right the wrongs of the last 8 seasons. for 2 guys who have never been in this kind of market, with that kind of pressure, with the unforgiving yankee fan base? could spell trouble. especially if sabathia bombs again at the opening of the new stadium.

Rob said...

Not for anything, but KM's last post is right on the money.

And I'm a diehard yankee fan.

Lisa Swan said...

KM, I actually kind of agree with you a little on the grudge thing!

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