Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Javier-self a lousy little Christmas, or why I don't want Javier Vazquez as a Yankee again!

The news that Javier Vazquez is putting on the pinstripes once more - he was just traded for Melky Cabrera and Mike Dunn - is literally the worst thing I've heard all day. And given that I have been stuck at Newark Airport for over five hours now, and am looking at maybe another eight to ten hours before I can get a standby flight to Austin, that is really saying something!

Yes, I'm angrier about Home Run Javy's return than I am at missing my flight to Texas this morning thanks to wretchedly slow security and baggage check. Grrrrrr.

I called Squawker Jon a little while ago to tell him about my flight debacle, and he told me the trade news. I didn't exactly take it well - I screamed "Noooooooo!" into the phone.

As I wrote on Facebook this morning, if Javier Vazquez is the answer, then I don't want to know the question.

Yes, I know Vazquez had a great 2009 with the Braves. Carl Pavano also had a very good year as well, but I don't want him back, either. The first time for both of them in pinstripes was more than enough for me.

Remember Vazquez's 5.00 ERA against the Sox in 2004, or his 9.95 ERA in the postseason against Boston? (Yes, I know that most of the 2004 roster is gone, but still.) While Javy did have a strong first half in 2004, he was so terrible in the last few months of the season that he was out of the postseason rotation. Yes, Joe Torre trusted Kevin Brown - broken hand and all - more than he did Vazquez.

And I still have nightmares about witnessing Vazquez's last performance in pinstripes in person, on October 20, 2004, when he gave up a grand slam to Johnny Damon on the very first pitch, breaking Yankee hearts everywhere, and making me weep.

A Red Sox fan/Squawker reader on Facebook asked me who I thought the Yankees should have traded for instead. I said Carlos Zambrano. He's a little wacky, but at least there's the hope he could be successful in New York. I have no such hope for Vazquez.

Brian Cashman appears to be systematically getting rid of the postseason stars/good personality guys/players able to handle New York on this team, like Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and now Melky Cabrera. It's one thing to trade Cabrera and get a pitcher in return - I can understand that. I just can't understand giving Vazquez another try. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

We all know how important it is for a player to be able to handle New York. It's why Johnny Damon was worth every penny of that $52 million contract - he's a winner. Hideki Matsui hit a grand slam in his first game as a Yankee and became a fan favorite - and MVP of the World Series. Javier Vazquez, not so much.

Yahoo Sports' Big League Stew calls Javy a "baseball chameleon," noting:
It's often been said that Vazquez is a pitcher that throws best when the expectations are low and his stats do back that up. Three of his top ERA+ years came in the anonymity of Montreal and one came for the 2007 White Sox, who went 72-90. This year's ERA+ of 139 equals his career-best with the 2003 Expos, but while the Braves stuck around as a potential contender for longer than expected, they didn't occupy striking distance space for long.

Meanwhile, Vazquez's worst ERA+ years — with the exception of his first two seasons — all came with contenders: the '04 Yankees, the '05 D'Backs and the '06 and '08 White Sox.

What the heck is Cashman thinking? He offers Damon $7 million a year (as one of our readers notes, less than even Mike Cameron is getting from the Red Sox), but takes on Vazquez's $11.5 million contract? Good grief.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Rocky said...

Please God tell me I am still sleeping and having a very bad nightmare. This is terrible news, just terrible. I am so angry I just can't express it in words. Your article pretty much said everything I was thinking. Great article. Good luck getting a flight.

Anonymous said...

look its not that bad javy's done good recently, he'll be pitching as the 3 or 4 guy in the rotation, taking some pressure off of him, he's matured since 2004, and can handle the pressure better, and its not like melky was an all-star, just a good all-around player, we needed a starting pitcher, we got one, and who knows maybe we'll get bay holliday or damon because melky's gone now

Anonymous said...

what do i think? i think i'm unsubscribing from this blog due to the idiocy of this post.

Kyle said...

Worst. Trade. Ever. Vazquez is a bum. Awful AL pitcher. To also throw in two of the Yankees top 5 prospects is ridiculous. He is an NL pitcher. his ERa as a Yankee will be 4.75. Write it down. Not a better option than Joba or Hughes.

Anonymous said...

You're being irrational based on literally the smallest possible sample size (one game) from the postseason. If that's the case, we should just dump Andy Pettitte because he couldn't get out of the third inning in Game 6 of the 2001 World Series with a chance to clinch, so he's obviously a really bad big-game pitcher. And Mariano Rivera of course blew the save and the game in Game 7, which means he can't handle pressure.

Oh, and Javy was hurt for the second half of 2004, hence why he fell off a cliff. If you don't remember, he was very good before that, 10-5 record with a 3.53 ERA. Did he suddenly realize he was in NY and panic? I don't think this is THE GREATEST ACQUISITION EVER!!! but people are being really crazy about this.

He's not going to be an ace and no one expects him to be one. I am not in any way expecting him to perform up to his 2009 numbers, and obviously neither should anyone else. We'll get a #4 guy who will give us around 200 IP, 200 Ks, and a league average at least ERA.

"Brian Cashman appears to be systematically getting rid of the postseason stars..."
Why did we ever sign CC Sabathia? He had an ERA of almost 8 in the postseason. Oh no!!!

This blog is normally good but you're really off-track here. Have we all not moved on from 2004 yet? Cuz that's kinda pathetic if so.

Jonmouk71 said...

I'd rather have had Garland than Vasquez to eat up innings. I guess the door might have re-opened a bit for Damon. Mitre goes next for a bag of Spauldings.........

Jonmouk71 said...

I was just thinking - is Vasquez the second coming of Jaret Wright? Wright had one great season in the NL and Cashman went nuts giving him a 3 year deal for $$$.

Uncle Mike said...

I've long since forgiven Vazquez for his 2004 ALCS Game 7 disaster, which was hardly all his. But I'm very upset at losing Melky.

The Yanks went from having Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner as potential outfielders to having Swisher, Gardner, Curtis Granderson and... and... and... somebody wanna help me out here?

And I want to smack Mike Francesca. When he was done talking about football at the start of his show on the day of the trade (seriously, New York has NEVER been a football town, even if it was a Joe Namath town for a while, that was about the man, the personality, not the team), he was so thrilled, and said, "Melky Cabrera, my God, you're giving up a fourth outfielder?"

No, "Sports Pope." We're giving up a second outfielder. Damon was first, Swisher was third, Gardner was fourth, and Matsui, once a terrific left fielder but now damaged goods, was the fifth choice, even though he was the first choice DH.

So the Yankees need to re-sign Damon, and to heck with the cost (we are not the Pittsburgh Pirates), or pull another rabbit out of the hat, because they need a left fielder. As my nieces would say, "Pease? Now!"

Hmmmm... Suddenly, the idea of Jason Bay playing left field for a New York team doesn't sound so screwy.

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