Curt Schilling-Occupation Foole (part deux)

The always opinionated Curt Schilling was at it again yesterday, this time with our very own Javier Vazquez in his cross hairs. Appearing on ESPN radio’s  Colin Cowherd show yesterday, he made some comments addressing Javier Vazquez’s slow start in pinstripes, and brought up some commonly heard tags on Javier that I think don’t hold much water. Here’s what he said, courtesy of the Daily News:

“I never, ever thought the move to New York the first time was a good one, and I didn’t think this (move) was good as well. I don’t think he suddenly learned how to pitch when he went back to Atlanta and dealt last year,” Schilling said. “It’s hard to say this without sounding disrespectful, and I don’t mean it that way – the National League is an easier league to pitch in, period, and some guys aren’t equipped to get those same outs in the American League. And he’s one of those guys.”

He adds:

“(Vazquez) thrived in Montreal and he thrived in Atlanta, and those are both second-tier cities from a baseball passion perspective. He’s not a guy that I’ve ever felt was comfortable in the glow,” Schilling said. “… You’re seeing what you’re gonna get from him consistently all year. Having said that, he could turn around next week and throw a one-hitter with his stuff. I just don’t see him being a consistent winner in the American League.

First on the move. Is he arguing that the Yanks would be better off with Melky Cabrera on the team? Melky is barely holding onto his job in Atlanta, hitting .153/.284/.186 over 68 PA for the Braves.  I don’t care if  Vazquez’s right arm falls off tomorrow, the ‘move’ was an absolute steal at the time it was made. His health history is stellar, he gives you league average (or much better) performances annually, and he was only asked to be the Yanks 4th starter this year. There’s not a GM in Baseball who wouldn’t have made that trade, and many of them commented at the time what a terrific deal Cashman struck for his team.

Finally, onto the ‘can’t pitch in the glow’ nonsense. Refresh my memory, but didn’t he pitch well in the first half of the season back in 2004? Wasn’t that in New York? He did, he went 10-5 with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.154 WHIP. His SO/BB rate was almost 3-1 and he gave up just 105 Hits in 118.2 IP. He was so good, he was named to the All-Star team that year. He wasn’t just bad in the playoffs and World Series that year, he was equally bad for the entire 2nd half, when he says he was pitching hurt. Also, its important to remember that when he gave up the famous Johnny Damon blast, the runners on base were Kevin Brown’s, not his. He was working out of the bullpen in a situation that he had rarely done before, in what was a desperation move by manager Joe Torre, who regrets starting Brown to this day. I’m sure Curt would hate to have his entire career summed up by one bad pitch, yet that’s precisely what he’s doing to Javier.

All of that being said, I don’t doubt that Javier’s confidence is down right now. He’s had trouble getting into a groove so far this year and his results have been horrendous. But he’s been too good of a pitcher for too long not to snap out of it eventually. As an ex-pitcher, you would think that Curt should understand that.

0 thoughts on “Curt Schilling-Occupation Foole (part deux)

  1. Moshe Mandel

    Steve, your numbers are way off. Vazquez has an ERA around 4.6 in the AL. His FIP is much better than that, thoug, and he’s had some awful defenses behind him in the AL. He’s been worse in AL, but not to a ‘true’ 4.6 ERA.

    • Steve S

      I got them from the NY Post article on Schilling

      • Moshe Mandel

        The Post is wrong. BB-Ref has the right numbers.

        • Steve S

          Yeah, it makes no sense that both his NL and AL career ERAs would be lower than his career mark. Maybe they meant FIP? If so, please correct it for me. I’m in my car right now.

          • Moshe Mandel

            I’m just going to remove the paragraph, it makes the most sense.

  2. leftylarry

    And, you interviewed all of those Gm’s who said it was a great deal.It was all about Melky, not the live arms that went there too.Every GM was looking to give up young pitching and a player to take on 10 million +.

    • Moshe Mandel

      There wasn’t a single analyst that didn’t like the deal. Give it up.

      • the other Steve S.

        Hell, I loved the deal. I would have thrown in Humberto Sanchez and Brackman too.

        • Tom Gaffney

          all the analysts loved the Dennis Weaver deal too and the Kevin Brown deal – doesn’t mean they’re good deals.

  3. Tom Gaffney

    Love ya Steve, but a couple points:

    1) Schilling never (at least in your quotes) argued whether it was a good move or not, just that Vazquez can’t pitch in the spotlight

    2) Melky wasn’t the centerpiece of the deal, the Yankees top pitching prospect, Arodys Vizcaino was. Dunn is also a talented, hard throwing lefty who was also in the deal.