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Going crazy about Javy Vazquez

Apr 26, 2010, 2:13 PM EST

Earlier today I made a comment about how talk radio would go crazy on Javier Vazquez. I haven’t listened to any New York talk radio today to see if they have, but regardless, I owe the radio people an apology for suggesting that they have a monopoly on overreaction. Web writers are just as capable of ridiculous hyperbole. Here’s Greg Cohen from Sliding into Home:

I think it’s time we accept that Javier Vazquez might just be gutless bitch who can’t handle New York or
the American League.

Vazquez has been bad, no question. His velocity is down and because of it hitters are able to wait for slop and are teeing off on it.  If it keeps up Joe Girardi is going to have to think about giving his starts to someone else. And yes, people can boo him if they want I suppose.  I’m abandoning that crusade out of sheer futility.

But to suggest that the guy’s on-the-field failures are the result of some inherent character flaw or moral failing — in other words, to call someone a “gutless bitch” — seems way over the top to me. Save me the “you’re not from New York and you don’t know how it goes” business. This is just the most facile kind of analysis possible and it adds nothing to the party.

  1. Dan - Apr 26, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Mike Francessa on WFAN was questioning Vazquez’s mental toughness and says that he is angry with his performance thus far. Considering how Javier was saying that he never wanted to leave NY and wanted to show Yankee fans that last year is the type of pitcher he is…

  2. Greg Cohen - Apr 26, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Thanks for the quote, Craig. I had a feeling it would get people talking.

  3. Jonny5 - Apr 26, 2010 at 2:25 PM

    “gutless bitches” never pitched their way into the major leagues. This guy is off his rocker, or a New Yorker, take your pick.

  4. enough already - Apr 26, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    Seriously, this is why I love Jeff Francoeur. I know you’re scratching your head right now. But in the middle of all the misery that was last season, where you really couldn’t watch any kind of sports report because all you saw was David Wright looking like a deer caught in headlights every night, Francoeur stepped up and right in front of the media circus. Obviously, the biggest difference here was that Frenchie was personally doing well. But I really can’t imagine how much of a relief it was to Wright not to have to answer the same questions over and over again anymore. It’s really got to weigh on a guy. I feel sorry for Vazquez and wish him luck in Pittsburgh.

  5. Greg Cohen - Apr 26, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    I can assure you, I’m not off my rocker.

  6. Jonny5 - Apr 26, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    Ahhh, my northern Brother. Can you please keep your stink and garbage from traveling south and giving Jersey a bad name. And keep your Guidos from making tv sitcoms on our beaches making viewers think that’s what us Jersey folk are like. Thanks ;>P

  7. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 26, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    Through 4 Games
    PA: 24.1IP – 9.2H/9, 4.8ER/9, 5.2W/9, 4.4K/9, .4HR/9, .857K/BB
    PB: 20.0IP – 11.3H/9, 9ER/9, 4.9W/9, 8.1K/9, 2.2HR/9, 1.64K/BB
    Similar numbers save for the huge discrepancy for PB’s HR/9 and terrible K/BB for Pitcher A. However, Pitcher A faced Bal, KC, Cle and Oak whereas Pitcher B faced TB, LAA, Oak, LAA.
    Pitcher A (CC Sabathia) we were told would right himself because of previous history, Pitcher B is a gutless bitch.

  8. Nick Whitman - Apr 26, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    Although it goes against everything I stand for, I kind of have to side with Yankee fans on this one.
    Javier Vazquez is a player Yankee fans already hated. They didn’t want him to come to New York, and they certainly didn’t want to give up the inexplicably popular Melky Cabrera to get him. I mean, obviously the “gutless bitch”-type comments are completely preposterous. But the Yankees brought back a particularly disliked player who is already labeled a goat in New York by giving up a fan favorite, and he’s already pitching abominably. Why shouldn’t the fans boo?
    I realize it’s Craig’s shtick to play the shit-stirring contrarian, but Yankee fans are absolutely not in the wrong on this one. And I can’t believe I just said that.

  9. Jon - Apr 26, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    Those aren’t similar numbers.
    I think it’s silly to call Javy a “gutless bitch”, but those performances are not even particularly close.
    Let’s put it this way: “Javier Vazquez has pitched badly so far. Some New York fans have overreacted by questioning his character rather than considering (1) a small sample; (2) a loss of velocity; (3) past performance.”
    That may be more compelling than saying he’s pitched like Sabathia. Because he hasn’t.

  10. Rays fan - Apr 26, 2010 at 3:05 PM

    …now you’re just going to confuse him with the facts.

  11. Funzo - Apr 26, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    He wasn’t extremely sharp yesterday, but he also wasn’t bad enough to get pulled by Girardi after 72 pitches.
    The Abreu moonshot, ok — the guy just owns him. But the two run “double” that Thames botched would have gotten him out of the inning, and it’s not like he didn’t have a bunch of “one bad inning” games last year anyway.
    Dude’s still more than capable of giving us 200 innings with a low 4s ERA.

  12. BC - Apr 26, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    It’s April people!!!!!!! Mike Pelfry is 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA. Anyone think that will hold up? C’mon… When Javy finishes anywhere around 15-11, 16-10 with a 4.00 ERA or so as their fourth starter (that’s FOURTH) all will be well in the Bronx.

  13. *sigh* - Apr 26, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    The “gutless bitch” comment is obviously over the top and just yet another blogger spewing trash to generate hits (as he admits above).
    However, if Vasquez’s performance thusfar isn’t worthy of booing I don’t know what is.
    Who knows what the reason is but he’s not getting it done.
    Also, way to backpedal here. First you call Yankee fans “classless” for booing, then when that booing appears to be basically justified in terms of performance, you find a wingnut who makes an outrageous comment and then try to cross-reference a nasty personal attack with garden variety booing.
    Good job as always. This is why we take you so seriously.

  14. *sigh* - Apr 26, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    The “gutless bitch” comment is obviously over the top and just yet another blogger spewing trash to generate hits (as he admits above).
    However, if Vasquez’s performance thusfar isn’t worthy of booing I don’t know what is.
    Who knows what the reason is but he’s not getting it done.
    Also, way to backpedal here. First you call Yankee fans “classless” for booing, then when that booing appears to be basically justified in terms of performance, you find a wingnut who makes an outrageous comment and then try to cross-reference that nasty personal attack with garden variety booing.
    Good job as always. This is why we take you so seriously.

  15. Greg Cohen - Apr 26, 2010 at 3:29 PM

    lol…. I live in Englewood NJ, but thanks for playing. Oh, and I had a summer home in LBI and yes, that’s how people in Jersey really are.
    @BC, if he ends up with those numbers I will be very happy, but I think we’re looking at a guy whose ERA will be in the 5′s. Everything is messed up; his mechanics, his head, maybe his arm, so I think this year will be a major struggle for him. Hope I’m wrong, though.

  16. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 26, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    What about the two sets of numbers isn’t similar other than what I posted? PB is getting killed by the HR ball, but other than giving up 2 more H/9 has better K and BB #’s than PA.

  17. Greg Cohen - Apr 26, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    My initial intention was not to get hits, but if it works out that way I’m not going to complain.

  18. Greg Cohen - Apr 26, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    My intention was not to get hits, but if that’s what ends up happening I’m not going to complain.
    I was just venting my frustrations, that’s all. I’m surprised anyone cares this much.

  19. Jon - Apr 26, 2010 at 3:56 PM

    You can’t say that two pitchers, one of whom strikes out twice as many as the other, are pitching similarly. Especially when K/9 is a fairly repeatable skill.
    People had every reason to believe that CC would begin striking more hitters out last season; he hadn’t lost any velocity. Javy, on the other hand, is striking out the same as he always did, but is getting knocked around like crazy at all other times.
    If you’re arguing that their xFIPs over that stretch would be similar, I can’t really argue (though I didn’t caluclate them); but that doesn’t account for the fact that Javy is letting up a ton of HRs and CC let up hardly any.
    They just don’t strike me as similar performances.

  20. YANKEES1996 - Apr 26, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Greg Cohens’ comment just goes to show you how rough it can be when playing in NY. However, I would be willing to bet you that Mr.Cohen would not be so fast with the name calling if he were face to face with the “gutless bitch”. When calling people names it does not mean much if you don’t have the stones to do it to their face, right Mr. Cohen? Javy is having a rough time right now and that for sure is disappointing, especially when you consider that the Yanks passed on several other pitchers during the off-season. He needs to relax and find his groove, once that happens he will have success. The Yankees are holding their own right now anyway with sevral guys still not at full steam. It is a long season lets see how things are closer to the All-Star break, there is plenty of time to run Javy out of town. Mr. Cohen do all Yankees fans a favor and keep your name calling and stupid comments to yourself.

  21. Joey B - Apr 26, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    “But to suggest that the guy’s on-the-field failures are the result of some inherent character flaw or moral failing — in other words, to call someone a “gutless bitch” — seems way over the top to me. Save me the “you’re not from New York and you don’t know how it goes” business. This is just the most facile kind of analysis possible and it adds nothing to the party.”
    I think everyone is confusing three things.
    The first is that ‘gutless bitch’ is a gutless bitchfest, most of the time offered up by someone who would get their butt kicked by the object of their derision.
    The second issue is the fact that too many Yankee fans are in denial, and can’t beleive that the pressure of NY can cause someone to fold. There are people that can go to war, but be intimidated by flash bulbs.
    The 3rd is that some BB fans still can’t get their hands around the difference between the AL and the AAAA NL. Some Yankee fans want to believe he can be almost as effective in the ALE as he was in the NLE. Very unlikely.
    The 4th thing is that some fans, I won’t say which ones, think Vazquez is the pitcher represented by his 2009. The truth is that he more likely to be the pitcher he was in Chicago, which was 38-36 with a 4.40, discounted by the fact that he is 3 years older.
    The story isn’t so much that he is doing badly as much as it is that some people expected him to be much better than he figured to be.

  22. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 26, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    But that’s what I’m saying, the HR numbers are inflated which is killing his ERA. His career FB% is 40 and this year it’s 42, but his HR/FB ratio is almost double his career average (18% vs 11%). His walks are also up about double from normal, but still better than CC’s last year (facing worse competition).
    I’m just curious, and this isn’t pointed at you, as to why people are so quick to jump on a guy and remember him for one bad performance (G7 ’04) when he was put in a horrible situation. Why does he get so much disdain when others have blown games (Rivera in ’97, ’01, and ’04 twice).

  23. Greg Cohen - Apr 26, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    lo Where’s Javy? I’ll tell him to his face. What’s he going to do, hit me? That would be breaking the law, wouldn’t it?
    Anyway, the fact that you people are so upset about this is hilarious, but thanks for the attention I guess. And I did keep it to myself and my readers, I didn’t ask Craig to write his own post about my post. Blame him for making you aware of my comments, not me.

  24. Curious George - Apr 26, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    It’s April people!!!!!!! Mike Pelfry is 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA. Anyone think that will hold up?

    What if Pelfrey was a gutless bitch but isn’t a gutless bitch any more? Maybe he had seem off-season treatment. Perhaps a third testicle was added. Or maybe some heart. Or some clutchiness. Or some mental toughness. Maybe he’s a gamer now. A real man. A competitor. Maybe he’s now learned how to play the game the right way. Yes, his gutless bitch days could be long behind him.

    Please Craig, no more links like these.

  25. Joey B - Apr 26, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    “Where’s Javy? I’ll tell him to his face. What’s he going to do, hit me? That would be breaking the law, wouldn’t it?
    Anyway, the fact that you people are so upset about this is hilarious, but thanks for the attention I guess. And I did keep it to myself and my readers, I didn’t ask Craig to write his own post about my post. Blame him for making you aware of my comments, not me.”
    1-Hiding behind law enforcement so that you can call people names is gutless.
    2-Calling people names is low-class. But I’ll tell you what. How about you have your son get called a gutless bitch by someone twice his size at school, and then you can come in here rationalizing why you think it’s cool.
    Would you be happily smiling if your son started getting insulted at school with no recourse?

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