Melky Cabrera, Aroldis Vizcaino and Michael Dunn were traded to the Atlanta Braves for Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan. Hmmm… I like the name Boone. I tip my hat to Cashmoney for getting this done. In my opinion, this was one Brian Cashman’s best trades of his career. No doubt about it in my mind.
I love Melky Cabrera. I have since he made his debut, and I always will. His wonderful personality outweighed his numbers in the hearts of most Yankees fans, and there was much love for him in New York. Especially from the “da womans”. I just want to make it very clear that Melky was one of my favorite Yankees when it came to character. His close friendship with Robinson Cano made him even more of a joy to watch on the field, and off. I will miss him.
Now that I’ve cleared that up, let’s discuss what happened yesterday.
I was somewhat disappointed, but not really surprised, by some of the reactions to this trade. While a lot of my fellow Yankees’ fans are happy about the trade, there are many others who are ready to see Brian Cashman fired for this. Reading all the negative reactions to this big move, in online forums and on Twitter, was hilariously infuriating to me. I didn’t know whether to laugh about it, or stab the desk with my pencil. No. 2 pencil, of course. The one thing I learned from the SATs is that No. 2 pencils are the Yankees of the pencil world.
The negativity can be divided into two categories: love for Melky, and hate for Javy.
Love for Melky:
Judging by the severity of these negative reactions, you would think Brian Cashman traded Derek Jeter to the Phillies to bring back Cody Ransom. Some fans were going crazy! Some of them were blasting Cashman for being a “heartless pr*ck who will run this team into the ground”, while others were saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Relax for a moment, people. Take a deep breath and go to your happy place. Easy there, Tiger. I love how that phrase has even more significance now.
First off, in baseball, if it “ain’t broke” it doesn’t mean you can’t fix it. Are we the current World Champions? Yes, we are. Did our team work well for us in 2009? Yes, it did. Does that mean we can’t improve? No, it doesn’t. Anyone who tries to sell me on not fixing something unless it’s broken is someone who has no business discussing baseball, or professional sports in general. When you’re the New York Yankees’ General Manager, you don’t wait until something breaks before you fix it. You keep fixing and tweaking, day after day, to prevent it from breaking. Waiting for something to break before you fix it is how you end up with teams like the Kansas City Royals and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Secondly, being “heartless” is what usually makes a General Manager great. Sorry to break it to you, my friends and hippies, but you can’t love your way to victory. You can’t hug your players to a World Championship. You need to go out there and break some balls. Not only is breaking balls as fun as it sounds, but it also leads to a franchise’s success. Being sentimental is how you end up with a washed-up has-been eating roster space and payroll money. It’s basically how you end up with Jason Varitek still on your team.
Third of all, we traded Melky Cabrera. Distraught Yankees’ fans: are we looking at the same Melky Cabrera here? I understand your love for the Melk-Man. I love him too, but that doesn’t make him an amazing player. If I had a mentally-challenged son, I’d love him, but that wouldn’t make him a rocket scientist. For the love of Mo and all else that is holy, WE GAVE UP MELKY CABRERA. We didn’t give up the next Babe Ruth. We gave up a mediocre player. Yes, I said it, Melky is mediocre. He’s average at best. Look at his numbers. He’s a C-average student in an Advanced-Placement course. While that may make him a B+ student in a standard course, the Yankees are definitely an Advanced-Placement team. Stop being blinded by nostalgia and sentiment, and open your eyes to the facts.
Finally, with Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher in the outfield, and Brett Gardner probably ready to play off the bench, Melky Cabrera was the weakest link. Goodbye. When we have several options when it comes to players in left field (I’m hearing word of the Giants making DeRosa an offer), who in their right mind would choose Melky Cabrera? Wait, I think I answered my own question within the question by including “in their right mind”. Point, set, match. I win.
Hate for Javy:
Look, I get it, “2004” wasn’t pleasant for any of us. It was devastating. Why are you blaming the collapse on Javy? Oh, I see your logic, it’s not like the rest of the team decided to start choking or anything. It’s not like games 4, 5 and 6 had anything to do with it. It must have all been because of Vazquez pitching in game 7.
Give me a <insert swear word here> break.
Javier Vazquez was expected to be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher in 2004. He was very good in the first half of 2004, and then declined in the second half due to injury. Or, as Javy says, not injury, but he just didn’t feel right. Whatever. We expected him to be our main man after Mike Mussina in 2004.
In 2010, we’re expecting him to be our #4 starter after CC, AJ and Andy. All three pitchers have proven to be solid throughout the season, and they don’t burn out our bullpen. So, if every 4th start, we get a good 6 innings from Javy, we’ll be fine. Really, people? You don’t think that Vazquez can give us a decent start in the #4 spot? Please, do me a favor (before I slam my head against a wall) and look at his numbers. Vazquez is more than qualified to be our 4th starter. With Pettitte getting older, we may need to limit his innings more, I can see Vazquez moving up to #3.
Speaking of slamming my head against a wall, I saw something on Twitter that pushed me close to doing it: “I’d rather put Mitre and Gaudin in the rotation than Vazquez”. Dude, do yourself (and us) a favor and stop folllowing baseball right now. I’m not even going to dignify that statement with any further response.
For your information, Javier Vazquez came in 4th in this year’s Cy Young Award voting. You’re right, that definitely means he’s a horrible pitcher. Funny how he placed 4th, while CC Sabathia also placed 4th. It’s also funny how his ERA was lower than any of our starting pitchers, including CC. You’re right, that clearly shows how horrible he will be in our rotation. Not to mention his 238 strikeouts this year. Oh my, that’s terrible. He also pitched more innings than AJ and Andy. How rancid. Even with the Braves, Vazquez still managed to get 15 wins this year. That’s more wins than our #2 and #3 starters got for us this year, backed up by our lineup. He definitely sucks.
Again, give me a <insert swear word here> break.
Why all the hate, people? Take a good look at yourselves and answer that question. Sure, we didn’t sign Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay, but Vazquez is a great acquisition for us. Who in our league has a better rotation than Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Vazquez and (fingers crossed) Hughes? The Red Sox? Just shut up already. We have [arguably] the best rotation in baseball now, would you stop complaining? If Vazquez even semi-mimics his 2009 performance in 2010, he will be solid for us.
I really do believe that a chunk of our fanbase consists of spoiled brats who will complain about anything and everything. Here we have our GM finalizing what could possibly be the best trade of his career, and a lot of our fans are bitching and whining.
Need I remind you people that you are supposed to be fans of the team and not of just one player? Wake up before I b*tchslap you back to consciousness.