After almost winning the NL Cy Young in 2009, Vazquez bravely returned to the Bronx in 2010. He had high hopes to end the Yankee fans smear campaign, which dated back to the 2004 season.
Just in case you were subconsciously blocking out 2004 (trust me I do), it was the year the Boston Red Sox finally beat the Yankees in the ALCS. The Yankees blew the series after being up 3-0 in games, with three outs to sweeping the series.
Obviously, Vazquez is by no means to blame, as the Yankees imploded pretty well as a team.
Vazquez started a tremendous emotionally charged Game 7, by giving up two homeruns, one of which was a grand-slam, to than Red Sox Johnny Damon. It was the breaking point for Yankees fans and no need to reminisce anymore.
Still, I have to give credit to the Red Sox, as Boston deserved to win the 2004 World Series. That ALCS is hands down one of the greatest comeback stories in sports history.
If you are really interested in Vazquez’s round one in pinstripes ESPN did a 30 for 30 called Four Days In October – Don’t Let The Red Sox Win! Yankees Self Destruct. You might have caught it on October 5, 2010, when ESPN debuted the short film the night before Game One of the 2010 ALDS.
So, Javy’s second chance did not go over well with the Yankee fans making it quite an unhappy reunion to say the least. This was evident when Vazquez got booed before throwing his first pitch at the Stadium.
Call it ill-fated timing with Alex Rodriguez finally being clutch in the post-season set the precursor for Yankee fans to open a can of whoop ass on Vazquez. It was pretty ruthless and pointless, as the only place that should want to remember 2004 is the city of Boston.
Vazquez couldn’t hide his sadness and the damage clearly affected his production in 2010. The proof that it was New York and not Vazquez was that he had been first-rate everywhere else he has pitched.
Vazquez as an Atlanta Brave finished 2009 with a 2.87 ERA, throwing for 219 innings, giving up 20 home runs, 44 walks and striking out 238 batters.
As a Yankee in 2010 he only pitched 157 innings, with an ERA of 5.32, giving up 32 bombs, 65 walks and striking out over 100 less batters with a total of 121.
Skipper Joe Girardi had no choice but to cut Vazquez from the 2010 playoff roaster. Translation is that AJ Burnett was more reliable than Vazquez had been.
The Yankees and Vazquez were done. Vazquez couldn’t be happier to get the hell out of the Bronx, and I don’t blame him.
So when the Florida Marlins came knocking Vazquez ran and took a significant pay cut from the Marlins due to the Yankees offering him aberration. Textbook call by GM Brian Cashman as there was no way Vazquez would accept it, and the Yankees came away with the Marlins best draft pick. Presumably, this is the reason for the discount given by team Vazquez to get the deal done.
It’s about darn time the Yankees have no reminders of the 2004 season on there roster, and let’s hope we never do again.
All I have to say to Javy Vazquez is “Adiós para siempre!” (“Goodbye Forever”)
- Marlins closing in on deal for Vazquez (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Javier Vazquez Signs With Marlins On One-Year Contract (sbnation.com)
- Marlins Reach Agreement With Javier Vazquez (mlbtraderumors.com)
- “Report: Florida Marlins Sign Pitcher Javier Vazquez to One-Year Deal” and related posts (nesn.com)
- Reports: Marlins reach agreement with Javier Vazquez (sports.espn.go.com)
- Former Yankees pitcher Vazquez signs with Marlins: report (nypost.com)
- Marlins Closing In On Javier Vazquez (mlbtraderumors.com)