Oh dear, Javy

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, Javier Vazquez. Wasn’t the whole point of you going to Florida was that you were going to relax and NOT suck?

I got on Vazquez all last season because I thought from the start he was ill fitting in New York. But I thought a trip to Florida would be like his time in Atlanta. Relaxed and without pressure, Vazquez would revert to his All Star stuff.

Instead he got smacked around by the Mets. Yeah it is only one game… but this isn’t a good start.

I wonder if my Anonymous Javy Vazquez admirer will come back.
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Vazquez won’t flop as a fish

I’ve written some nasty things over the last few years about Javier Vazquez… and got an anonymous reader to lash out at me every time I did.

I got on his case when he was with the White Sox and I made the easy prediction that he was going to be a flop when he returned to the Yankees.

So you might think I am going to kill the Marlins for spending some of their revenue sharing by forking over $7 million to a guy who pitched himself out of a Yankees rotation that desperately needed an innings eater and off a playoff roster that screamed for bullpen depth.

It’s tough to get excited about someone who posted a 5.32 ERA for the season. A guy who posted a 5.96 ERA in August and a 8.84 ERA in September.

Yes, that first number was an 8… and yes he pitched in more than one game.

But truthfully, it is an ideal move for both the Marlins and Vazquez.

Florida should always be an ideal spot for pitchers to revive their reputations. Remember how Todd Jones became an All Star caliber closer in Miami?

Even the perennially awful Armando Benitez found his grove in the stadium formerly known as Joe Robbie.

Every once in a while, Vazquez puts together a terrific season that makes everyone think he is an ace. He’s not. He’s a .500 pitcher who throws a lot of innings and lets up a run about every other inning he throws.

He’ll probably go 16-5 next year… his ERA will be in the mid 3’s… he’ll be among the league leaders in innings pitched.

And his one year contract will be up and a team like the Mets or the Angels will overpay him and they’ll be stunned when he doesn’t post those numbers again.

And the back of his baseball card will get more and more cluttered… and he’ll have made over $100 million over his career.

$7 million will be well spent by the Marlins.
Good luck (and thanks again for both of Johnny Damon’s ALCS homers in 2004.)

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Girardi and Vazquez talk on the mound

At one point during a typical Javier Vazquez start (less then 5 innings, more than 5 runs) he got hit by a line from Blue Jays’ John Buck.

Joe Girardi and the training staff came running out to talk to him.

GIRARDI: Javy! Are you alright?

VAZQUEZ: I’m fine skip. Let’s play ball.

GIRARDI: Man this looks bad. You could have been killed.

VAZQUEZ: What are you talking about? I picked it up, I threw the guy out at second.

GIRARDI: No. I think there’s some real damage here. Can you even move your arm?

VAZQUEZ: What the hell? I’m fine. I’m ready to keep pitching.

(Girardi grinds his teeth as he talks to Vazquez real close face to face.)

GIRARDI: It would be a SHAME if this line drive took you not only out of the game but maybe even ends your season.

VAZQUEZ: Ends my season? I’m making my bid for a post season start.

(Girardi fumes.)

GIRARDI: Gee Javy… how AWFUL would it be for me to not include you on the playoff roster because of an INJURY. But I guess you would be looked at as a warrior who gave his body for the team as opposed to a bust of a starting pitcher whose ERA starts with a f*cking 5!!!

VAZQUEZ: (Standing his ground.) I’m fine.

GIRARDI: You know you being injured… it would be a shame but it would be a no brainer for me to have a healthy pitcher on the team and no loss of honor for you. Don’t you agree Javy?

(The Umpire breaks it up.)

UMP: Hey, is he ready to pitch?

VAZQUEZ: You bet I am… and you’ll see. Not only am I healthy but you are going to know EXACTLY where I fit on this playoff roster.

(Girardi glares at him and walks back to the dugout. Vazquez pitches to the next batter…)

(An inning later Vazquez lets up a 3 run homer to put the Yankees in a 7-0 hole. He finishes the game and probably his Yankee career with 4 2/3 innings, 7 runs, 10 hits, 2 walks and 0 strikeouts. His record is 10-10 and his ERA is 5.32.)

(Girardi takes him out.)

GIRARDI: You just COULDN’T play hurt, could you?

VAZQUEZ: (Shoulders slumped.) Does this affect my post season chances?

GIRARDI: Don’t worry. I am sure we can get you tickets to the games.

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