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MLB Hot Stove: Yankee Fans Happily Say Adios To Javier Vazquez

The second time was not a charm for Javier Vazquez as a New York Yankee.

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”)

Mr. 3000: Jeter Could Be 1st Bomber To Hit the Mark

The New York Yankees are one of the most decorated and historic franchises in sports.

Names like Mickey Mantel, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra and the Babe are just a handful of the historic names to don pinstripes.

“Winning Championships” is the Yankees motto. Baseball is a team sport, which makes individual accomplishments merely an added bonus. Awards for anything other than a World Series will not absolve a season’s failure.

The Yankees have housed 22 MVPs, five CY Young winners, eight Rookies of the Year, 12 World Series MVPs, eight ALCS MVPs and two Triple Crown Winners (Home Runs, RBI, Batting Average).

The franchise itself has won 27 World Series Championships and has been witness to every kind of individual player accomplishment except one.

That one is a hitter’s most elite club. Membership is only given to a player who reaches 3000 hits over his career.

There are a mere 26 members in this section of the Hall Of Fame, but not one of them has worn New York pinstripes.

Well, the chance for a Yankee to be represented on this list has come again, and this time the player could not be more fitting: It’s Derek Jeter.

Jeter is a homegrown Yankee who has been the Captain of the pinstripes since 2003.

In 1996, his first year in the pros, Jeter won the Rookie of the Year Award.

In 2000 Jeter was both the World Series MVP and the All-Star Game MVP.

Jeter has played in 11 All-Star Games, won five Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers, two Hank Aaron awards, a Roberto Clemente award—and that is just the top of the list of awards.

Decorated to say the least, Jeter also has five World Series rings as a Yankee, which is well beyond any expectations.

So, how perfect if the name Derek Jeter were to be the first New York Yankee to grace the 3000 hit list?

Well, what seemed like destiny for Jeter, who has just 74 hits till 3000, is no longer.

Jeter is no longer tied contractually to the pinstripes, a slight predicament which no one imagined would ever be the thing standing in his way.

If the Yankees and Jeter could find a happy medium, then a New York player could be represented on yet another exclusive list.

It would make the Yankee fans ecstatic if it were our Captain Derek Jeter.

Vince Lombardi once said, “It is time for us to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever, the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.”

The Yankees should give this chance to Derek Jeter, who has done so much for the team. He deserves to have all his triumphs cemented in his pinstripes.

MLB Hot Stove: Why New York Yankees Fans Should Choose Team Yankees

With each passing day, this seemingly solid and prosperous marriage between Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees seems to be on the verge of divorce.

No doubt the two are more perfect as a union, as I don’t know one baseball fan that can imagine either surviving without the other.

Whose side are you going to choose TEAM JETER or TEAM YANKEES?

Let’s take a look at TEAM YANKEES…(click on TEAM JETER to read that post.)

TEAM YANKEES

The other side to this saga has sent people into a tailspin, as $45-$50 million over three years is way more than Jeter’s athleticism is worth.

This is true, but Jeter would still be the highest paid shortstop in all of baseball by millions of dollars. Look at the players below in comparison to Jeter:

Jeter is by far the oldest active shortstop, as well as the highest paid in 2010, taking home a $22,600,000 paycheck.

No one can hide the fact that Jeter’s age started to show last season, as his skills took a dive.

He’ll turn 37 in June 2011, and inevitably the wear and tear will only get worse.

Also, considering the shortstop position is the most athletic on the field, Jeter is seemingly way out of his prime years of production.

So, being offered $15-$18 million a season for a declining shortstop is beyond generous. It keeps Jeter way atop the payday list at his position.

It would seem ludicrous for him to not to be happy with that money. No other ball club is going to offer anything near that.

Who figured the player who says it’s not about the money would be baffled by this contract. If it is all about winning then why would he hold up more money that could be used elsewhere?

Could he be jealous of Alex Rodriguez’s bigger paycheck?

Well, then Jeter should never have signed for 10 years. He could have made his first big contract seven or six years and then we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

At the time of his contract negotiations, A-Rod was younger and a better player than Jeter; he still is both of those.

Off the field Jeter’s behavior has been perfect, which can’t be said for the PR shit-storm A-Rod has caused the Bombers post contract.

Basically if you want a better friend, Jeter is your guy. Remember that baseball is about winning, not about who did what three years ago.

Jeter is already rich and it’s not like the Yankees are low balling him. Looking at the market, he is getting way more than his skills are worth.

The fact now is that GM Brian Cashman has made Team Yankees position clear with this statement:

“We understand his contributions to the franchise and our offer has taken them into account. We’ve encouraged him to test the market and see if there is something he would prefer other than this. If he can, fine. That’s the way it works.”

Jeter is going to get a big wake-up call when offers don’t come rolling in with his price tagged, but the fan backlash is what will sting for the Captain.

Jeter wants a bigger paycheck than $45 million in an economy where people can’t afford to eat and have lost their homes.

I would love to hear Jeter’s explanation to Yankee fans, listing all the reasons why that is not enough money to bring his talents back to the Bronx.

Jeter once said:

“We just want to win. That’s the bottom line. I think a lot of times people may become content with one championship or a little bit of success, but we don’t really reflect on what we’ve done in the past. We focus on the present.”

So, why is Derek Jeter so “baffled” by the Yankees offer if the focus is on the right now?

MLB Hot Stove: Why New York Yankees Fans Should Choose Team Jeter

No one suspected that New York Yankee captain Derek Jeter’s contract negotiations would start to resemble a page out of the Alex Rodriguez biography.

The new Yankee regime sans “the Boss” has made it very clear that this is a business decision and not a personal one. The rumored offer made was somewhere in $45-$50 million range for a period of three years.

Whatever exactly was left on the table did not go over well in Jeter camp, as Jeter’s agent Casey Close stated he was “baffled” over it.

Close’s public statements did not go over well. Yankees GM Brian Cashman, along with Hank Steinbrenner defended the decisions with an attitude that if the offer is not generous enough than Jeter should go test open market, and hear the other 29 teams offers.

This has caused pandemonium in Yankee Universe, as neither the media nor the fans can rationalize whose side to take. Unfortunately, I am having this same dilemma.

The predicament remains is it Jeter or the Yankees that needs to take a step back and get real? Will you be wearing a “TEAM JETER” or “TEAM YANKEES” t- shirt?

Speaking for myself, I can’t imagine life in Yankee Universe without Jeter, but than maybe Jeter is not the man I thought he was….

TEAM-JETER

Many feel the Yankees are victimizing Jeter, as Cashman and the Steinbrenner brothers’ open lack of appreciation for someone who is the face of the franchise.

What seems more insulting is the lack of respect for the Captain of the team, who single handily made the Yankee brand what it is today.

Justifying the significant salary reduction for Jeter makes no sense. This is an organization notorious for over-paying players and out-spending every other team in baseball.

Now is not the time for the Yankees to become spending thrifty. Jeter is a special athlete, in a world full of cheaters and quitters and he should be treated accordingly.

The Yankees are officially under new ownership with the passing of “the Boss” but his sons’ reassured fans that there dad’s motto and passion for winning would never change.

Hal Steinbrenner once described the Yankees big spending as “I look at it as reinvestment for the fans sake, like we always due”.

If that statement bears any truth than Derek Jeter would be back in pinstripes already. Jeter is a winner through his leadership. The Yankee fans get to be arrogant and proud because of Derek Jeter.

Derek Jeter is the Captain every other fan base, franchise and fellow players want because he makes baseball better at time when the game has taken it’s biggest fall.

Up next….MLB Hot Stove: Why New York Yankees Fans Should Choose Team Yankees.

Women’s Week at BallHyped: Lady Loves Pinstripes Featured Site With Q&A

It is always nice to get recognized for something you put your heart into, so I was thrilled whenBallhyped.com wanted to feature Lady Loves Pinstripes as a favorite female sports site during Women’s Week. It is an honor for women to be getting acknowledged in the sports world. I want to thank Ballhyped for hosting a week to honor women, as it is a step in the right direction for us ladies.

What is Women’s Week at Ballhyped?

This week is Women’s Week at BallHyped, and we’re reaching out to some of our favorite female bloggers to get their take on the state of the blogosphere, tips on creating a successful blog, how their sites are doing and where they see this blogginess going one, two, five years from now. -Ballhype.com

Click this link to read Lady Loves Pinstripes featured Q&A and please feel free to comment.

I also want to thank anyone who has ever read Lady Loves Pinstripes or just clicked to take a look. I truly appreciate it and hope my site lives up to your expectations.

About Ballhyped.com:

Ballhyped.com is a community for sports fans by sports fans, highlighting the best sports news, commentary and blogs from around the sports world and blogosphere.


MLB: 2010 MVP Award Winners