From just about August last year forward, we heard theories about what was wrong with Javier Vazquez. He can’t stomach pitching in New York. Or, he’s tipping his pitches. Or, he’s not 100% healthy.
And, that last point was denied – over and over again. Yet, now, according to a TSN report we hear:
As Vazquez began throwing more crisply and consistently in spring training, he realized how much he was affected by the pain and weakness he had experienced behind his right shoulder blade in the second half of last season. “It altered his release point, impacted his velocity and ultimately crushed his confidence,” a friend of Vazquez says. Vazquez was an All-Star before struggling in the final two months. His velocity, which had dropped to 89 to 90 mph, is back at 93 to 94. . . .
“Pain and weakness…….behind his right shoulder blade”? Did anyone hear any complaint about that last year – ever? I’m sorry, but, if Yankees fans want to string up Kevin Brown for punching a wall last season and costing the team….then, you have to also make room on that tree for another and give Vazquez some rope time too.
If he knew that he was injured and it was obviously adversely impacting his ability to pitch, then he was doing a disservice to the team by continuing to go out there and blow games.
An attempt at nobility by Javy? Perhaps, I guess? But, there comes a time to put your shield down and allow an able bodied warrior to take your place (when you know that you cannot function).
Especially when it’s Game 7 of the ALCS.