Going crazy about Javy Vazquez

34 Comments

Earlier today I made a comment about how talk radio would go crazy on Javier Vazquez. I haven’t listened to any New York talk radio today to see if they have, but regardless, I owe the radio people an apology for suggesting that they have a monopoly on overreaction. Web writers are just as capable of ridiculous hyperbole. Here’s Greg Cohen from Sliding into Home:

I think it’s time we accept that Javier Vazquez might just be gutless bitch who can’t handle New York or
the American League.

Vazquez has been bad, no question. His velocity is down and because of it hitters are able to wait for slop and are teeing off on it.  If it keeps up Joe Girardi is going to have to think about giving his starts to someone else. And yes, people can boo him if they want I suppose.  I’m abandoning that crusade out of sheer futility.

But to suggest that the guy’s on-the-field failures are the result of some inherent character flaw or moral failing — in other words, to call someone a “gutless bitch” — seems way over the top to me. Save me the “you’re not from New York and you don’t know how it goes” business. This is just the most facile kind of analysis possible and it adds nothing to the party.

Dodgers upset with Héctor Neris after Thursday’s game

Hunter Martin/Getty Images
11 Comments

July hasn’t treated Phillies closer Héctor Neris well. Entering Thursday, he had allowed runs in three of his last four appearances, blowing two saves in the process. His struggles continued as he allowed a two-out solo home run to Alex Verdugo in the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon, closing the deficit to 7-6. Thankfully for the Phillies, he was able to get the final out, getting Justin Turner to fly out to right field. An excited Neris looked into the Dodgers’ dugout and yelled an expletive.

The four-game series between the Dodgers and Phillies had quite some drama. After Matt Beaty hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning on Tuesday, Neris threw a pitch at the next batter, David Freese, seemingly in frustration. Neris was suspended three games. He appealed his punishment, which is why he’s been allowed to pitch. In the fourth inning of Thursday’s game, Max Muncy and Beaty stepped on first baseman Rhys Hoskins‘ ankle on consecutive plays. That, along with his own struggles, explains why Neris might’ve been amped up after closing out the ballgame.

The Dodgers were, understandably, not happy about Neris yelling at them. Several players shouted back, including Clayton Kershaw and Russell Martin. An unamused Muncy glared at Neris. Martin suggested to Neris that they meet in the hallway.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game, “I think we played this series the right way, played it straight. To look in our dugout and to taunt in any way, I think it’s unacceptable. Look in your own dugout.”

Muncy said, “He’s blown about eight saves against us over the last two years. I guess he was finally excited he got one. Whatever.”

Neris attributed his outburst to emotions, saying, “It’s a great win for my team and just I let my emotion get out.”

In baseball, everyone is pro-showing-emotion when it’s himself and his teammates, and against when it’s players on the other team. Muncy got into a back-and-forth with Giants starter Madison Bumgarner after flipping his bat and watching his long home run at Oracle Park last month. Bumgarner jawed at him and Muncy said, “I just told him if he doesn’t want me to watch the ball, go get it out of the ocean.”

Neris, however, is the last guy on the Phillies who should be antagonizing the Dodgers after his terrible decision to throw at Freese, not to mention his overall poor performance against them. The Phillies were pigs in mud who wanted to wrestle and the Dodgers jumped in with them for some reason. Thankfully, the two teams are done playing each other for the rest of the regular season.