I’m not calling all Yankees fans classless and ignorant. Just the ones at Yankee Stadium today — and there were a lot of them — who booed Javier Vazquez. His line: Five and a third innings pitched,
three four earned runs on six hits and a couple of walks. Not a great line by any stretch — it’s the quintessential “the starter just didn’t have it today” line — but not one worthy of booing.
And to be clear: the boos weren’t merely a function of him leaving in the sixth inning after giving up a couple of hits and a wild pitch: they started in the first inning. A fan at the
game tweets that fans were chanting “we want Melky” in the third inning.
I’m not the only one who thinks the fans were out of line either. The River Ave. Blues guys — Yankees fans all — were embarrassed by it. The Post’s Mike Vaccaro noted the poor form as well. And it is poor form. The man has started two games this year. These boos are almost certainly a function of people thinking back to 2004, which is amazingly weak given that, you know, the team just won the World Series five months ago. For a fan base that fancies itself so much more knowledgeable than anyone else’s, this was pretty bad.
Anyone care to defend the boo-birds here?
UPDATE: They booed Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira too. Can you say “spoiled?”
Last week it was widely speculated that Shohei Otani, the highly-touted Japanese pitcher/designated hitter who stars for the Nippon Ham Fighters, would not come to the United States to play due to changes in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The upshot: the new CBA caps money available to international free agents under age 25 at $5-6 million and Otani, 22, would be worth way more than that, so why take the pay cut?
Now, however, Jeff Passan of Yahoo reports that the Fighters are set to post Shotei Otani following the 2017 season. Passan says that his sources have told him that there are potential ways around the limit on spending for under-25 players like Shohei Otani and he links a Japanese article from Sponichi which says the Fighters would post him after the 2017 season.
It’d be interesting to see what that loophole is. Without knowing the exact terms of the CBA on this score it’s impossible to know, but one possibility is that there are different rules applicable to those with professional experience in other countries as opposed to amateur free agents.
Whatever the case, the notion that we could see Otani in the U.S. at age 23 or 24 is pretty exciting.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.