Tagged: Javier Vazquez


2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #8 – 4/14/10 – Angels @ Yankees 

To boo, or not to boo?
That is the question.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of the outrageous spoiled ones,
Or to take arms against a sea of bandwagoners,
And by opposing end them?
I may be dramatizing this a little bit, but hearing the booing at Yankee Stadium yesterday struck a nerve with me (as many things do).
I’m sorry, but did we move Yankee Stadium to Philadelphia when I wasn’t looking? I’ve always been annoyed with the way Phillies fans seem to boo everything, now it’s happening in the Bronx? 

Yes, I’m aware that this isn’t the first time a player has been booed at home, and I know it won’t be the last. However, this is probably the fastest a Yankee has reached the jeering level. An argument could be made for such stupidity if Vazquez had failed in pinstripes last year, but it’s been six years since we last saw him on our roster. Give me a break!
You thought I was annoyed with fans panicking over April losses? Darling, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Nothing enrages me more than seeing members of our own fanbase acting like complete idiots. Believe it or not, what I heard during yesterday’s game disgusts me far more than Red Sox Nation ever could. Why? Because it happened at home. These morons are giving my own fanbase a bad name. That angers me. 
The very same fanbase that was hailed as being classy for cheering for Matsui all throughout the Home Opener, erased all the good by booing Javier Vazquez yesterday. Baseball fans all over the country are once again calling us classless. This time, I actually agree with them. We’re not all classless, but as always, the bad seeds ruin it for the rest of us.
I’ve reached my boiling point.
I encountered a few Yankees fans who defended yesterday’s booing. I’m not even surprised that I’ve come across fans defending such douchebaggery. They filled Yankee Stadium yesterday, I’m bound to bump into a few of them in person. 
I just want to say to these idiots: “Your lips are moving, but all I hear is Blah blah blah, [expletive] blah.
Here are a few of the well-thought statements made in defense of yesterday’s embarrassment (in bold):
“We pay good money to go to games, we can boo the players if we want to.”

You have the right to boo the players because you pay good money to see them play? Well save your money, do the rest of us a favor, and stay at home. Believe it or not, there are other Yankees fans who would love to have your seats so that they can actually cheer our team on. The whole point of you paying good money to see the Yankees play is so that you can be part of the team, the extra man on the field. If you can’t do that, stay at home and boo your TV.
“Booing is known as The Bronx Cheer. Get with the program.”
Booing is the “Bronx Cheer”? Really? It’s justified because that’s what the Bronx is known for?
Well, I’m from the Bronx, how about I go to your workplace and boo you every time you make a mistake? How does that sound? I’d only be doing it because that’s my way of cheering. I am a Bronx native, after all. 
The Bronx is also known for being the home of the most spoiled fans in baseball. Congratulations on continuing to prove that such a generalization is accurate. 
“It’s been happening for years, why stop now?”
Why stop now? Oh, I don’t know, maybe because it’s idiotic and spoiled to be booing your own players, especially in the first homestand of the season. I suppose we should all continue pathetic behavior simply because it’s become a regular thing. 
It’s April for Heaven’s sake, if you’re so miserable now, when we have a winning record, what will you be like when we go on a losing streak? 
“Players should learn to put up or shut up. That’s why we boo them.”
The old “Put Up or Shut Up” argument. Interesting. How about you give the player a chance to put up? Until then, I suggest that you shut up. 
I don’t agree with ever booing your own players, but an argument can be made for such an idiotic act in August, not in April. If a player isn’t performing for a prolonged period of time, then I expect Yankees fans to boo him. I don’t agree with it, but I’ve come to anticipate it. Yesterday was Vazquez’s second start of the season, give him a chance to perform. I’d like to see you go back to a work environment in which your customers incessantly spewed venom in your direction. Let me see how you’d perform in your first two days on the job.
Get the [expletive] over yourselves.
What gave you the ridiculous idea that booing your own players is a good thing? Was it because Tino Martinez said he missed the boos when he left New York? He had to say that. He was put on the spot. Unlike you, he has more class than to blast anyone who is a part of the Yankees, even the fans. Too bad you can’t show the same respect that our players show you. 
Oh, that’s right, you’re paying their salaries, that gives you the right to treat them the way that you do. 
Get the [expletive] over yourselves.
Call me crazy, but I was under the impression that fans stood by their players until they showed that they’re no
t worthy of the support. Buying tickets and wearing the jersey doesn’t make you a fan. Having the number ’13’ on your back doesn’t give you the right to boo Alex Rodriguez (like you did in 2006). 
Supporting your team through thick and thin is what makes you a fan. I’m sad to say that there were a lot of non-fans attending yesterday’s game. We weren’t even going through a rough patch, and the “fans” were already hating.
Why do we complain about Red Sox fans booing our players at Fenway? Our own fans boo our players at home! Congratulations to many of the fans at Yankee Stadium yesterday, you made the team feel as though they were playing in enemy territory. A lot of you deserve to have your fan cards revoked.
The boos started with Javy, but kept occurring whenever a Yankee made a mistake. I wasn’t at the stadium, but watching the game on TV, I noticed that the booing continued even after Vazquez was taken out. The fans began to boo a hitter for striking out, and an outfielder for failing to catch a ball. It was ridiculous! 
The angry fans at yesterday’s game must have been the ones who couldn’t get tickets to Opening Day. The boos for our players were such a huge contrast from the cheers they were getting the day before. The loudest boos, of course, were for Javy.
Since you can’t logically be booing Javier Vazquez because of two starts, I’m assuming the hate for him comes from 2004. Way to build a bridge and get over it, Yankees fans. It’s been six years since he last wore pinstripes, and you people still aren’t over it. Javy wasn’t even the only one to blame for the 2004 collapse, the entire team choked that year. Fans in the Bronx, however, need a scapegoat to blame for the failure of the entire team.
How idiotic.
You are aware that the 2004 ALCS shouldn’t have even reached Game 7, right? You do realize that if the entire team didn’t choke in games 4, 5 and 6, it wouldn’t have even come down to Javier’s Game 7 start? There are so many factors that caused the loss that year, stop blaming it all on Javy.
Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Javier Vazquez was the only player to blame for that year’s heartbreak. Let’s just assume that that’s true. It’s been SIX [expletive] YEARS! We’re currently the reigning World Champions! What will it take for you people to forget? 
Regardless of how you feel about Vazquez, booing is not the answer. It’s never right to boo your own player. An argument can be made for booing a player who doesn’t make any sort of effort for a prolonged period of time. I don’t agree with it, but that argument is valid. To boo a player in April, however, after he hasn’t been on our roster for six years, is never acceptable.
I don’t understand how fans who have experienced the 1980s and early 1990s in the Bronx could possibly be upset in a winning April coming off of a World Series victory. Why don’t you look back to twenty years ago, and be thankful for the fact that we have much to cheer about now?
Are you aware that there are millions of baseball fans who dream of their teams one day coming close to the Yankees in success? How about you try to be a fan of the Kansas City Royals for a year, then come back and boo our boys in the Bronx. Better yet, try to imagine being a fan of the Yankees in the 80s and early 90s, then tell me you have anything to be upset about right now.
A fellow Yankees fan said it best: “A good dose of Mike Gallego at short instead of Jeter, or Danny Tartabull in the cleanup spot instead of A-Rod, would shut them up!”
We’ve become too spoiled for our own good. I’m grateful for all the success the Yankees have had since 1996, but yesterday showed that the success has harmed us by spoiling our fanbase. If you think you’re doing the team a favor by going to games just to boo them when they make a mistake, you’re wrong. You’d be doing the team a bigger favor by staying home. The main reason why playing at home is considered an advantage is because you have your fans behind you. 
Furthermore, I cannot understand why fans would consider booing anyone on the mound the day after a World Series ring ceremony. If Satan himself was pitching for us the day after we raised the World Series banner, I’d be cheering for him. This is supposed to be a happy April for us, not a miserable one. We won the first two series on the road, against our two toughest division rivals. If for nothing else, cheer for that.
Do I expect fans to cheer for a poor performance? No, I do not. Javier Vazquez didn’t have a poor performance, though. Not in yesterday’s game he didn’t. Yes, he gave up a few runs, but his only problem was his lifeless fastballs, and the Angels capitalized on that. The rest of his pitches were filthy. Adding life to his fastball will be easy for him to do. Once he does, it will be filthy too.
Whatever happened to finding the positives in a negative situation? The biggest positive from yesterday’s game was that it was a huge improvement from Javy’s first start this year. Try to focus on that. Who am I kidding, though? A lot of Yankees fans can’t be positive about anything that isn’t a World Series win.
What bothers me the most is that Javier Vazquez was going to be booed regardless of his performance. Unless he pitched a perfect game, he was going to get hate from the fans. Even if he got out of a bases-loaded situation unscathed, the fans were going to boo him. The hate for Javy resurfaced in December, when the trade was made, it was only publicly shown yesterday.
I don’t enjoy being angry with my own fanbase. I would love nothing more than to hold my head high and be proud of my fellow fans. Most of the time, I am. During our Home Opener, I was proud of the class we showed. During yesterday’s game, however, I was disgusted with the vast majority of fans at Yankee Stadium. It was one of those rare “I’m ashamed to be a part of the same fanbase as these idiots” moments. 
Bottom line is: You can criticize your players, you can refuse to cheer for poor performances, but booing your own players at home is never justified.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com

Don’t Push It

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #4 – 4/9/10  Yankees @ Rays

My fellow Yankees fans, since you’re all so quick to get up on the railing, just waiting for the right moment to jump ship, here you go:
Push it. Go ahead. Push it. 

There, you pushed it. Let the panic ensue! Run around like a headless chicken because the world is coming to an end! Our season is over!
Congratulations on once again showing that Yankees fans are spoiled. 
Now that you’ve pushed the panic button, please feel free latch onto another ship. Don’t forget to pick up your complimentary Boot Up The Butt gift basket on your way out. In it, there’s a guide to all that you’ll be missing now that you’ve chosen jump ship.
Thank you for traveling with us for five days this season, please don’t let the Yankee Stadium gate hit you in the back on the way out.
Good riddance.
Now, for the remainder of you who decided to hang around for the ride after our season-ending, two April losses, I will speak my mind.
It’s only April, and already I’m tired of saying “It’s only April”. Wow, that sounds like a Yogi-ism. 

Javier Vazquez had a rough start. So what? It’s the beginning of April, and this was his first start. I had this crazy notion going into yesterday’s game, that it was just an April game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Silly me. Apparently they changed it to a playoff game while I wasn’t looking. My bad.

Javy got lit up. So [expletive] what? I seem to remember a pitcher last year who got lit up in his first start of the season. In fact, he got lit up in two of his first three starts of the season.

Oh… if only I could remember who that pitcher was…
The name is on the tip of my tongue…
It starts with an ‘S’..
S… So… Se… Sa… Sab…
Sabathia! Oh yeah!
It was C.C. Sabathia!
In case you’ve been stricken with Bostonitis – a disease which affects your memory and gives you the memory-span of a goldfish – let me remind you of last year. CC Sabathia pitched 4.1 innings and gave up 6 runs in his first start of 2009, that’s an ERA of 12.46. Remember it now? Or were you not on board back then?
Yesterday, Javier Vazquez pitched 5.2 innings, and gave up 8 runs, that’s an ERA of 12.71. That’s awfully close to Sabathia’s first performance of 2009. 
It’s normal for pitchers to get roughed up in their first start of the season. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s common.
I don’t seem to remember anyone blasting Cashman for signing CC Sabathia after his first start of the season. I don’t even remember anyone blasting Sabathia or Cashman when CC got lit up again in his third start. Yet, yesterday, the majority of Yankees fans threw Javier Vazquez and Cashman under the bus. Maybe it’s because we didn’t win the World Series – or make it to the playoffs – the year before CC became a Yankee, so we didn’t have the bandwagon-jumpers we have today.
So much venom was spewed after Vazquez’s start yesterday. So many hateful comments: “Way to go, Cashman”, “Cashman, you idiot, great job signing a loser”, and my personal favorite, “God. First Kei Igawa, now Javier Vazquez. Brian Cashman sucks at this”.
So, why are Javy and Cashmoney getting slaughtered, when the worst CC got was “It’s OK, he has slow Aprils“? 
Part of it is because our World Series win last year welcomed back the bandwagoners we lost over the past decade. The other part of it is because Yankees fans absolutely love living in the past. 
I agree, sometimes it’s more fun to live in the past. I love talking about our glorious history. I wish I could get stuck in the 1996-2000 era, and keep repeating those four years over and over again. That way, I’d stay 12-16 years old forever, and we’d win the World Series 75% of the time, all the time.
That would be a perfect world for me. Other Yankees fans, however, seem to love living in 2004.
I don’t understand why, and I don’t understand how. 
Do you know when I forgot about 2004? In 2005. Sure, some things remind me of it from time to time but, to me, “2004” was purely digital.
Why some Yankees fans insist on bringing up “2004” is beyond my understanding. It was just a regular year. The Yankees came back from a big lead to lose. So what? It obviously wasn’t some kind of “curse”. First of all, we’re Yankees, we don’t believe in curses. Secondly, we won it all last year. Isn’t it about time we put 2004 behind us?
Even if you insist on bringing up 2004, the loss wasn’t only Vazquez’s fault. He’s only one of several players who choked that year. It wasn’t only because of Vazquez’s pitching in “Game 7”. We could have won games 4-6, too, you know. There are a few players still around from 2004, care to blame them as well? 
No matter who you want to blame for 2004, you have to move on. Living in the past is only fun if you’re choosing the right year to live in. I suggest 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. I recommend you stay away from 2004, for two reasons:
  1. It’s exactly the year Boston and ESPN want you to stay living in.
  2. You’re pissing me off. I’m not so “Pretty In Pinstripes” when I’m p*ssed off. I’m more like “Bite Your Head Off In Pinstripes”. 
Javier Vazquez had a few good years since 2004, including last year, in which he finished fourth in Cy Young Award voting. Funny, CC Sabathia also finished fourth in Cy Young voting last year. Of course most of you, as Yankees fans always do, only remember Javy’s bad performances from the past. You refuse to look at his numbers and look back at logs of his games before you throw him under a bus.
Call me crazy, but a pitcher of Vazquez’s standards deserves at least four starts before we start slaughtering him. He wasn’t some last-minute addition to our roster. He wasn’t just a casual invitee to spring training. We traded Melky Cabrera for him, and we built the rest of our pitching around him and the other starters in our rotation. He’s kind of a big deal, you know.
So, do me a favor, take a deep breath. Center yourselves. Remember that pitchers have bad Aprils. Remember that the Yankees have become notorious for losing in April. As long as there are no mechanical problems with Vazquez (see: Wang in April 2009), then we should at least give him the benefit of three more starts before we judge him. 
Furthermore, judging a pitcher on a good performance in April is different from judging a pitcher on a bad one. 
A pitcher with horrible stuff doesn’t magically bring “the goods” for one game, out of nowhere. It means he has the skills, but it’s up to him to maintain. A pitcher with good stuff, however, can “forget” to bring “the goods” in an April game. Many pitchers need a few games to warm up. If they didn’t, every good pitcher would have 25 wins every season. So that’s why we can praise a pitcher for a job well-done in April, while we shouldn’t slaughter a pitcher for a poor performance.
Please, don’t give me the tired old “He can only pitch in the National League” argument. I’ve heard that argument fifty times since last December. 
He pitched well with the White Sox, and had a very good year with them in 2007. A good pitcher is a good pitcher. Sure, the American League does have tougher hitters and, yes, his ERA probably won’t be as low as it was last year. Don’t tell me, however, that a good pitcher in the National League can’t be a good pitcher in the American League. His numbers might suffer a little bit, but otherwise, there is no truth to that statement. It doesn’t even make sense. Last I checked, a strike is a strike, regardless of what league it’s thrown in.
You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn, but you can predict two things about Yankees Baseball in April: 
  1. Yankees fans will panic as soon as the Yankees lose an insignificant game.
  2. I will get angry at these fans and go on rants, defending our players and team.
If there were an end to my rage, then I would say that it’s being wasted right now, when it should come out later on in the season. My anger, however, is a renewable source of energy. It’s similar to the air that we breathe. It won’t end. So, don’t worry, the more you panic, the more bitchslaps I will hand out to smack you back into reality.
I haven’t begun with the bitchslapping, yet, but if this insanity continues, I will be left with no other choice.
I’m at my wit’s end with you spoiled and fairweathered fans. I’m close to the edge. 
If you don’t want to continue seeing me ranting and raving: Don’t push it.

You can find Beeeebzy’s blog entries and more at 161st-and-River.com

Lactose Intolerance

Got Melk?
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.

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 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.