Sunday, April 25, 2010

Javier Vazquez -- There must be a pony in here somewhere

The New York Times was wrong. Everybody doesn't hate A-Rod -- they hate Javy! I think this afternoon was the most I've seen Yankee fans enraged this year, between Javier Vazquez's bad pitching, Joe Girardi's indecisiveness about intentionally walking Kendry Morales, Scott Kazmir getting away with hitting Robinson Cano, Marcus Thames' bad outfield play, and a whole bunch of other shenanigans I'm trying to forget right now. But mostly Javy.

As soon as I saw Morales' home run flying in the air, I turned off the TV in disgust and left the house.

And from the stricken look on Girardi's face, he looked like he had had enough as well. He did the whole "head in his hands" thing, kind of like what Squawker Jon did when Luis Castillo dropped the popup in the Subway Series last year.

Besides that Girardi/Marte debacle, fans were flipping out over Javier Vazquez turning in another bad performance. And because I wrote that it's a bad idea for fans to boo him, several of our readers squawked to me about Javy. One reader complained:
The most hated Yankee? Oh that is simple! Javy Vazquez for his sad-sack puppy dog eyes and inept pitching in the AL Major League....
Cheering for him is not going to make him pitch better. If he is booed, then maybe they will ship him off to Double A. Whether he is booed or not, the NY Media is going to really give it to him.
  Another reader griped:
So, Lisa what do you think of Havy now? He is what he was in 2004, lousy. He's good as a NL pitcher. No matter what the media or Cashman say, he can't cut it in the AL. He deserves to be booed, cuz he stinks! I disagree with you, just because he's I Yankee doesn't mean I can't boo him or have to like him. There are Family members I don't like and he ain't even family.
Heh -that family line is pretty funny!

So how bad are things today? I checked out ESPN NY columnist Wallace Matthews's take on the game for comic relief, and found myself nodding in agreement with a whole bunch of his points. Why did you pick this time to write a decent column, Wally? Thanks for nothing!
The only bright side is that Squawker Jon pitched Javy in two of his fantasy leagues. Snicker.

Anyhow, later on in the day, when I was channeling my inner A.J. Burnett, asking "why, why, why" Brian Cashman brought Javy back, I think I figured it out.

Cash watched pitchers like Jose Contreras and Jeff Weaver struggle under Joe Torre and Mel Stottlemyre, then leave New York and get rings for other teams.

Cashman has said that Vazquez struggled because of injury. But my theory, based on almost pure speculation, with a side order of hunches thrown in, is that Cashman also figured that the Joe/Mel brain trust held him back. And that now that Vazquez is healthy, and Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland would be working with him, that everything would be okey-dokey.

Two problems with Cashman's faith in Javy: I'm not exactly Joe's biggest fan, but he did ask Javy repeatedly in the second half of 2004 if he were injured, as did Mel. And Vazquez insisted he was A-OK, when he wasn't. As much as I'd like to blame Joe for that, I can't.

The second problem is that if Vazquez were too terrified/prideful/whatever to tell the truth the first time around, what made Cashman think that he could be trusted again, even with a new regime? Now the stakes are even higher for Vazquez. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that he might have some injury RIGHT NOW and be playing through it? Given his decreased velocity, the thought has crossed my mind.

I hope Javy turns it around, but yes, I'm getting a little concerned. This could all become a vicious cycle and turn very ugly at the Stadium this weekend.

I don't know what to think right now. Maybe I need to just give Squawker Jon a call and ask how his fantasy pitching stats went today!

What do you think? Tell us about it!


Jonmouk71 said...

I think there are two other things - Cashman hates to be wrong and tends to want to disprove his occasional lapses in judgment. Why bring back, not only Javy, but Nick "Mr. Pop-Up" Johnson or even Thames? Second, Cashman is most often seduced by the "one great year" syndrome - Javy has a great year and here he comes - just like Jared Wright, Jeff Weaver and even Kei Igawa (his last year in Japan). He would have been better off with a Jon Garland - one with a number of good years in the AL (or at least an innings eater) than Javy this year.

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Usually players on their last year of contract perform better. Javier Vasquez will come around or be out of baseball.

Okey said...

great article
Okey Oyna

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