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!