Last night my dad called me and asked me if I wanted to go to the Yankee game with him on Sunday. I told him I had plans for Sunday and asked him why we didn’t just go Saturday (today) instead. I was promptly told, no and reminded that Javier Vazquez is pitching today which meant that he didn’t want to go. “With so many good pitchers on the staff I’d rather wait and go see somebody better,” my dad said.
That’s the way it is with Vazquez, people just would rather avoid him. Well, Javy’s former manager Ozzie Guillen can’t avoid him, not today. Why would Guillen want to avoid him? Well because today is the first time Vazquez will face his former team since the manager called him out.
‘’He hasn’t been [a big-game pitcher], that’s the bottom line,” said Guillen. What you see is what you get, Javy is going to be Javy. I just want him to be aggressive, throw the ball over the plate and knock somebody on their [butt]. That’s a big three games for us… You have to be mean. Go out there and show them we show up to play, show up to kick your guys’ [butts]. And believe me, that will take care of itself.’’
Unfortunately for Guillen it did not prompt the response he was looking for, anger. Instead Vazquez responded this way:
“You know what? It’s not going to [change a lot of opinions] because I’m really the type of guy that when I retire, I’m going to be home in Puerto Rico with my family. I’m not looking to have to change minds if people feel that way…”
So being directly challenged by his manager was not enough to get Vazquez to pitch with a chip on his shoulder. Will facing him for the first time since the run-in do it? Can he use this as motivation to turn his season around? It’s hard to say, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.