In 1981, Collins started managing in the minors, but this time he did break in to the majors. From 1993-99, he managed the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Angels.
COLLINS AND HIS MESS:
No doubt this new venture will be Collins hardest because the Mets are in dire straits.
See, unlike the other New York team, winning is not a word in the Mets vocabulary. Of course, neither is leadership, sportsmanship, respect, healthy or any other positive aspect used to describe a quality baseball team.
The life of sports fan can be mind-boggling at times.
Days are filled with fantasy teams, power rankings and ESPN as your emotions hang on a team or an individual athlete’s performance.
It fuels a passion beyond any restraint, which explains why we fans can’t get enough, most of the time.
As a New Year approaches, I started to reflect on 2010, and three stories stood out.
They were not the greatest sports stories but the headlines that started to make ESPN seem more like TMZ.
So, which headline gave me the biggest headache in 2010?
Without question it was “The Decision” starring NBA star Lebron James.
I will never forget that day, when I almost fainted when my mother asked me “Are you going to watch ‘the decision’ at home? Your father and I have a cocktail party but will be back in time.”
My mother, who is a wonderful woman, could care less about sports. This woman reads a book at Yankees games, has been to three Super Bowl‘s in the 70s, sat on the 50-yard line but can’t remember who was playing and all she recalls is how it was too loud.
So the fact that she even knew about “the decision” gave proof that I was not just a crazy sports fan who watched too much ESPN.
The idea that Lebron James could take his talents anywhere made 2010 the most-anticipated NBA season ever.
The entire nation was obsessed, as cities everywhere groveled in attempts to land James, even going as far as using huge poster boards begging James to come play.
It was a pathetic display that I never imagined would get so out of control.
These were no longer the days when athletes based decisions on loyalty.
Now a decision became our reality, as an athlete became bigger than his sport.
The media counted the seconds until the moment James sat down. “The Decision’ drew more national viewership than the President’s State Of The Union Address just days earlier. All to hear one athlete declare that his talents where Miami Heat bound.
It was a sad day for me as a sports fan, but I was glued to my TV like everyone else.
Tensions Heat up over LeBron’s return to Cleveland (sports.inquirer.net)
This Thursday LeBron James’ Talents Will Be In Cleveland Ohio (thekortneyshanepillar.wordpress.com)
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”)