The Javier Vazquez party is progressing almost exactly as expected. After yesterday’s boos come today’s columns claiming that Vazquez simply “can’t handle New York” and otherwise ascribing moral failings to a pitcher for giving up four runs in an April start. It’d be hilarious if it weren’t so predictable.
Here’s my favorite retort to yesterday’s post on the Vazquez boos. It really shows the class and perspective inherent in a certain brand of Yankees fan:
Are you kidding me – of course we booed Vasquez!! It is what we do, it
is who we are. You should not be writing a baseball blog and holding
yourself out as some kind of expert, you are pathetic.
1) Yankee fans don’t care what anyone thinks of them.
2) If you are not a Yankee fan you cannot relate to us, so STFU!
3) If and when Vasquez does succeed we will embrace him like no other
city, no other fan base does. That is the faustian bargain that players
buy in to when they come here. You don’t just get to be a Yankee
because you put on the uniform – you get to be a Yankee when you prove
yourself worthy. That is the way it is when you are talking about the
greatest sports franchise in all of sports history.
4) If you were a Yankee I’d boo the crap out of you too. Cause you
The best part of this is that by casting this as “a Faustian bargain,” the Yankees fans are in the position of Satan. I think that’s a bit much, but if that’s how you want to view yourselves far be it from me to stop you.
In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.
“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.
“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.
Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.