Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Maddux, Glavine, And Smoltz Would Have Tanked In NY Too

Oh, Joel Sherman, what are we going to do with you? In his 3UP blog post this morning, Sherman says that the Yankees "cannot be overly encouraged" by Vazquez' start last night. And to an extent, Sherman's right. It wasn't a great start, but it was a helluva lot better than his first two. And he's still just three starts into the season.

But going off on another pro-Javy screed isn't what I intend to do today. Instead, let's take a look at Sherman's parting shot:
However, keep in mind that Vazquez is the fifth high-profile pitcher to move directly from the Braves to the Yankees since the turn of the century. The first four were all free agents and all pretty much disasters as Yankees: Steve Karsay, Chris Hammond, Kyle Farnsworth and Jaret Wright. Denny Neagle and Mark Wohlers were one-team removed from the Braves, when they also came with some fanfare in trades to the Yankees, and then tanked in New York.

So maybe there is a trend here that the Yankees need to beware of ex-Brave pitchers.
Wow. Just wow. So that's why Boone Logan pitched himself into that bases loaded jam in the seventh. It's the curse of the Braves!

I don't know where to begin with this one. How about Sherman's generously broad definition of "high-profile"? Chris Hammond, really? He's high-profile? The guy was out of baseball for two full years, and out of the Majors for four, before parlaying a single comeback season in Atlanta into a deal with the Yankees. And by the way, though I was no fan of his, he posted a 2.86 ERA over his one season in pisntripes. Some disaster.

How about Steve Karsay? Karsay was very effective in 2002, his first year with the Yankees. In fact, he was so effective that Joe Torre rode him like a rented mule and essentially ended his career, missing all of 2003 and tossing only 37.2 IP over the remainder of his career.

And since when were set-up men and back-of-the-rotation starters high-profile? Who could possibly have framed these middle-of-the-road type players, who alredy had checkered histories upon arriving in the Bronx, as high-profile acquisitions? I know; the New York tabloid media, of which Sherman is a part, could.

For Sherman to even refer to this foursome as Braves pitchers is tenuous as well. Karsay spent half of one season in Atlanta, throwing 44.2 innings. Hammond was there for a year, tossing 76 frames. Farnsworth was in Atlanta for just a half season, throwing all of 27.1 innings. Jaret Wright is the most-tenured member of the group, spending a whopping 13 months in Hot Lanta and pitching 195.1 innings.

All four had brief stays in Atlanta, just as Vazquez and Logan did. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe the Yankees shouldn't acquire pitchers who spend less than two full seasons in Atlanta. Or maybe the Yankees just played a late game last night, Sherman was tired, and decided to throw some garbage at the wall to see what sticks. Or maybe Sherman was being facetious, and I'm just too dumb to figure it out.

Just to be on the safe side though, if Frank Wren calls Brian Cashman offering Tommy Hansen, Cash should just hang up. It's probably a trap.


  1. Matt from the Bronx (Zoo)4/21/10, 1:44 PM

    Two questions:

    1. Does the same curse apply to field players? If so, I now understand why Sheffield didn't work out.

    2. Some of those guys have not succeeded after their Yankees tenure (ie. Farnsworth). Should those other teams boycott the Yankees or the Braves, or both? If both, perhaps teams should consider avoiding Atlanta altogether. No sense in not attacking the heart of the problem.

    I conclude with... Sherman's a turd.

  2. I like Sherman most a lot of the time, but he seems to slip into tabloid mode pretty frequently and say things with the intent of pissing people off and/or riling them up.

    If he stopped short of saying the Yankees need to "beware of" this pattern, it would have been an interesting note. But to say that the club a pitcher comes from has anything to do with it really makes no sense. Is it the amazing coaching in Atlanta? Are the Braves paying them to sabotage the Yanks? What's the point?

  3. Jason from The Heartland4/21/10, 2:10 PM

    Fascinating in Sherman's bizarre anti-Brave broadside is his ignoring the terrific success of long-time Brave, then briefly by way of Boston and Texas, Mike Stanton, who was anywhere from OK to terrific in regular seasons for the Yankees, but was unquestionably money and crucial in the late 1990s Golden Days. Yeah, better avoid ex-Braves for fear of their ending up like THAT guy and accumulating hardware through money postseason play.

  4. Teixeira was one team removed from Atlanta, the Yankees should have stayed away from him too.

  5. So was David Justice

  6. Jason from The Heartland4/21/10, 3:57 PM

    Clearly, the vein of ex-Braves having afflicted the Yankees runs deeper than Sherman envisioned. How have the Yanks and we fans ever survived the Curse of the Braves?

    Sherman is hit-and-miss with me, and this one is a big miss.