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What’s going on with Javier Vazquez?

Dec 24, 2011, 11:47 AM EDT

Javier Vazquez AP

Under normal circumstances, Javier Vazquez would do pretty well in this weak free agent market for starting pitchers. The 35-year-old right-hander was awful over the first two and a half months this past season, but finished with a 1.92 ERA and 115/19 K/BB ratio over 126 2/3 innings in his final 19 starts. Only Cliff Lee and Clayton Kershaw had a lower ERA over the same timespan.

Of course, these aren’t normal circumstances.

Vazquez indicated that he was leaning toward retirement at the end of the season. He hasn’t made an official announcement yet, so his plans for 2012 remain a mystery. Joe Frisaro of hears that the Marlins aren’t expecting him back and are looking at alternatives for their starting rotation. Meanwhile, one MLB executive told Jon Paul Morosi of yesterday that he believes Vazquez will pitch in 2012.

If Vazquez decides to return, the options will probably be pretty limited. Not because the market will be thin, but because he prefers to pitch on the East Coast in order to make it easier to travel to his home in Puerto Rico.

  1. humanexcrement - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Honestly, the guy has the whole offseason to hang out in Puerto Rico. I will never understand fully grown adults who go nuts if they can’t go home to mommy and daddy every couple of weeks. Leave the nest and move on; it’s part of growing up.

    • baseballisboring - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:08 PM

      Yeah…people who spend time with their family…pussies…

      Btw it’s talking about his home in Puerto Rico, not his parents’.

      • humanexcrement - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:14 PM

        Yep. Pussies.

      • Old Gator - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:42 PM

        One can only assume with a handle as apt as yours, not to mention as idiotic a take on life, that you probably don’t have a houseful of people somewhere who miss or need you, much less who can stand you at all.

    • wrg885 - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:21 PM

      I pity you. You either-A) Have no family B) Troll because you have no life C) Are not of the human race. I prefer the acronym POS. I’d love to be with my mom during the holidays, but she was before age 50. And I’m sure there are plenty of other HBT readers that have similar and/or more respectful stories. Happy holidays sir.

      • humanexcrement - Dec 24, 2011 at 8:37 PM

        I have a family, and I love them very much. I buried them out back under my vegetable patch, and they’re fertilizing it right now. Without them I wouldn’t be able to have these delicious tomatoes for my BLTs. So I guess we spend a lot of time together. You want your mama, go dig her up.

      • JBerardi - Dec 25, 2011 at 1:27 PM

        “I have a family, and I love them very much. I buried them out back under my vegetable patch, and they’re fertilizing it right now. Without them I wouldn’t be able to have these delicious tomatoes for my BLTs. So I guess we spend a lot of time together. You want your mama, go dig her up.”

        Ohhhh, you’re so dark. Is anyone else visualizing a chubby 14 year old with a black Slipknot hoodie who could maybe use a few hygiene pointers?

      • Old Gator - Dec 25, 2011 at 7:28 PM

        No, but I can visualize a fourteen year old.

      • humanexcrement - Dec 25, 2011 at 8:32 PM

        no, asshole, I’m not some chubby 14 year old in a slipknot sweater. It’s a Marilyn Manson sweater. It’s got your cumstain on it, remember?

    • JBerardi - Dec 24, 2011 at 4:23 PM

      …A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.

    • joegolfer - Dec 24, 2011 at 11:01 PM

      The name you chose as your username pretty much explains it all, as it is so apt.
      The guy is 35 years old and probably tired of seeing his little children grow up without him, as he’s in another country from March (Spring Training) through the end of October.

      • humanexcrement - Dec 25, 2011 at 3:12 PM

        Awww, let me go get my violin. Maybe the guy should have been smart enough to figure out how to put on a condom like the rest of us, then he wouldn’t have to sacrifice his baseball career for his dumbass kids.

      • cur68 - Dec 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        ‘excrement, should you get a female drunk enough, I hope you take your own advice.

  2. Old Gator - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    The question is: do we get the Javy of the first half of 2011 or the Javy of the second half? If we get another bifurcated performance akin to last season’s, can the Feesh sustain the beatings of April, May and June and still be within striking distance of the wild card in September?

    Questions, questions. I will have to sit down with my Ouija Scrabble board tomorrow while all about me are burping, belching and farting off the carbohydrate hangovers of tonight and try to shame the oracle into giving me some hints.

  3. baseballisboring - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    Maybe the Red Sox take a look…? Say what you will about his time in New York but second half Javy Vazquez works in any division/ballpark. Just gotta make sure the price is right cause who knows exactly what you’re gonna get…

    • randygnyc - Dec 25, 2011 at 12:14 AM

      Javy won’t pitch in the American league, period, let alone the beast offenses in the AL east.

      I’d bet his agent is either flushing out the Mets, trolling the Marlins or caucusing the Nationals.

      • dan1111 - Dec 25, 2011 at 11:29 AM

        I think people are giving too much weight to his one bad season in New York. The AL is a more difficult league for pitchers, but not by that much. Most likely, the difference between his AL and NL stats is partly a coincidence.

    • skeleteeth - Dec 25, 2011 at 12:45 PM

      Hell no! Please no!! I really appreciate his second half last year as it helped me win $150 in a fantasy league and it was great to see such dominance but for the love of god, it’s Christmas and all I want is for him to stay as far away from the AL as possible, nevermind the AL East….unless he resigns with NY. I can still remember Damon’s first-pitch granny like it was yesterday….

  4. spudchukar - Dec 24, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    He could come to St. Louis and he and Beltran could fly home together. Hell, if Molina wanted to go then maybe they could afford a charter.

  5. drunkenhooliganism - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    I have a buddy who works for the Marlins and he said that there are some issues with his visa. They said that he’s been working under a phony name since he signed. His real name is Leo Nunez.

  6. xmatt0926x - Dec 24, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    I think the marlins should make a push to get him to pitch for them. People talk about his failures in NY or in big spots in general. Who cares? If he pitches great in the regular season and gets the team to the playoffs he wouldn’t be a significant player in the postseason anyway as a 4th or 5th starter. I still don’t think the marlins have enough to overtake the Phillies just yet but a 35 start, sub 3 era season from Vazquez would go a long way towards closing that gap. As a phillies fan I hope he stays retired.

    • xmatt0926x - Dec 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

      **mistakingly said “sub 3 era”. Meant to say 3+ era. Sub 3 might be pushing it for vazquez at this stage of his career.

      • 78mu - Dec 24, 2011 at 3:16 PM

        Yeah, sub 3 era would make him a 1 or 2 on every team unless the rotation has guys named Greg M, Tom G, and John S.

  7. cur68 - Dec 24, 2011 at 4:18 PM

    I have to admit, if I was well off pro MLB player, with young kids and a family I miss, then I too would prefer to be close to them. If I also get to keep my pro athlete job, well then, bonus. Good luck with that Mr. Vazquez. Don’t blame you one bit.

    • spudchukar - Dec 24, 2011 at 8:46 PM

      Well said.

    • JBerardi - Dec 25, 2011 at 1:30 PM

      No, he should take the most money he can get, like Pujols did. You see how well the fans reacted to that.

  8. joegolfer - Dec 24, 2011 at 11:09 PM

    I can understand him wanting to spend time with his family, as he probably has young children who are quickly growing up, not seeing their father except for the off-season of November through February.

    That said, a man of his means (he’s a multi-millionairre already) could easily afford to find a residence in Miami for the summer months.
    His kids could still go to school in Puerto Rico, but his whole family could live in Miami from the start of June through the end of August, then return to the island for school. That way, he would only be away from them in the early season and the last two months of the season. And it’s a short plane ride from Puerto Rico to Miami, so his family could easily visit on weekends even during the school year.

    Plus, he’d be playing for a manager whom he is quite familiar with, Ozzie Guillen, as Vasquez was formerly a White Sox player. Ozzie would be glad to have him, and he’d already be familiar with his style (often falls apart after six innings). There would be no language barrier between manager and pitcher. He wouldn’t have to face a DH, so he’d keep his ERA down. He’d pitch in a pitcher friendly park, even if it’s not quite as pitcher friendly as the old Florida ballpark was.
    And considering how much money he’s already made in his career, he doesn’t need to ask for the moon in contract talks. Just take what is average for a pitcher of his caliber.

  9. 27xwschamps - Dec 25, 2011 at 1:31 AM

    Keep his sorry a@& out o the bronx.. Let him play 4 the jv team (muts)..

    • anxovies - Dec 26, 2011 at 3:13 PM

      Yes! He can go to the Marlins or Rays, the Bosox can take him, he can hang out with humanexcrement in his basement, but please, please, keep him away from Cashman.

  10. Gonzo - Dec 25, 2011 at 3:20 AM

    Even if he did play in Miami, how often could he go visit Puerto Rico? The All-Star break, sure. I get it. Teams get about 25(?) other off days per season. And quite often, they are travel days. Does he plan on being in PR during games when he isn’t pitching? Unless your name is Roger Clemens, every pitcher must attend every game.

    The only thing I can think of is that he has a sick family member and needs to be able to get there quickly in dire times.

    • Old Gator - Dec 25, 2011 at 4:56 AM

      Works both ways. It’s also a measure of how often and easily they can get to Macondo to see him.

  11. pisano - Dec 25, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    If Javy decides to return he should only think about the NL. The AL pounded him when he pitched there. He has a lot of mileage on that right arm, maybe he should continue with his thoughts of retirement.

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