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It's a Start...
2007-04-11 09:15
by Emma Span
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

You could see the seeds of this story being planted back in the first weeks of spring training, and now, nearly two months later, Carl Pavano’s comeback is proceeding apace. In a nice bit of timing, his start on Monday -- which was genuinely good, but looked brilliant thanks to the Yankee rotation’s abysmal opening week -- fell immediately after Easter Sunday; I think you could probably find a workable metaphor in either the Resurrection or, if you prefer, the giant mythical bunny rabbit with candy.

The truth regarding Pavano’s last few seasons is elusive, and what’s more, it keeps changing. The better Pavano pitches now, the more he was a victim of bad luck; the higher his ERA this season, the more he was shamefully sitting around collecting a fat paycheck, unwilling to fight to return to the mound.

There’s nothing new about this: in sports, talent and achievement tend to morph into character. That's why Ted Williams is known as a beloved icon instead of a total dick, and Joe DiMaggio is regarded as a symbol of class and lost elegance instead of an emotionally troubled loner. I'm not saying there’s anything wrong with this – we enjoy watching great players perform, and what they’re like off the field isn’t necessarily important. We’re not looking to Carl Pavano for life lessons, we’re looking to him for quality starts. But in any case, it's probably not a good idea to make moral judgments based on WHIP.

We may never know exactly what happened with Pavano. Clearly he’s been legitimately injured, but equally clearly, his own teammates thought that he could be doing more to return; I don't know if they were right, but I can’t recall ever seeing the Yankees disparage a teammate the way they publicly and on the record called out Pavano over the last year, taping the tabloids’ “Crash Test Dummy” headlines to his locker and dismissively joking about his wrecked Porsche. The result was brutal press coverage like this Bergen Record column, which called Pavano a gutless, lying weasel, more or less in those words. At this point you almost have to hope he was avoiding the mound last season – because if he tried his hardest and was simply too hurt to pitch, he’s been treated awfully unfairly.

I definitely include myself there, by the way; I’ve made as many Pavano jokes as anyone. (So much of this could have been avoided if the Yankees had just called last spring’s injury a “strained lower back” or something, instead of “bruised buttocks.” It’s absolutely impossible to take someone seriously once they’ve missed weeks of work with bruised buttocks. I mean, it’s embarrassing even to type it). But I don’t know the whole truth, and I’ve got almost no feel for the guy’s personality. I didn't get to talk to him one on one during spring training; he held a conference in the dugout one day to talk about missing a start for his girlfriend’s medical emergency, and came off as a bit standoffish and prickly -- but then, if I were forced to talk to a large group of reporters, many of whom had openly questioned my intelligence and guts in the recent past, about something that personal, you can bet I’d be prickly too.

It’s true, however, that Pavano doesn’t come off very well in interviews. He doesn’t open up, he falls back on hollow-sounding clichés, and he can’t hide how much he wishes he were somewhere else. Michael Kay sat down with him in the dugout before opening day on YES, and, clearly trying to help him out, tossed him a softball:

Kay: What a great opportunity... everything that was kind of thrown your way over the last year or so - if you do okay on Opening Day, it's like everything else is forgiven. Do you look at it that way?

Pavano (practically rolling his eyes): No. I look at it as an opportunity to go out and help my team, put my team in the best place to win, and go from there. Whatever way everything else falls, let it fall as it may, I mean I don't have much control over that stuff. I mean it happened, as far as I'm concerned it's in the past, and I'm going to move forward.


Everyone loves a good redemption story (see: Giambi, Jason) and most Yankee fans seem ready to give the guy yet another chance, but if you’re looking for a warm, fuzzy, emotional storyline, it doesn’t look like Pavano is going to play along.

Andy Pettitte, however, is. The prodigal lefty, who followed Pavano's strong start Monday  with an even stronger one last night, is spearheading the rehab of Pavano’s image, very publicly taking him under his much-loved, championship-ring-adorned wing. How many articles have you read over the last few weeks about their next-door lockers and blooming friendship? It’s been mentioned on ESPN or YES during every game either pitcher appeared in, with plenty of dugout shots of the pair deep in conversation. (I’m not actually so cynical as to suggest that this is the reason Pettitte reached out to Pavano, but, once he did, I think it’s safe to say that the Yankees wanted it to be public knowledge).

It’s working, too, at least on me. I can’t help it. Andy Pettitte – and, again, how fairly I’m not sure – symbolizes everything we loved about those late 90s dynasty teams. Andy Pettitte wouldn’t be friends with a gutless weasel! Andy Pettitte values hard work! And winning! And family values and stuff!

So yeah, what the hell, sign me up for the Carl Pavano comeback tour. I’m in. But while we should be able to evaluate his pitching pretty accurately as the season goes along, that doesn't make his character any easier to read.

Comments
2007-04-11 09:33:27
1.   mehmattski
Pretty soon, I think we might need to put a sidecar on the Pavano bandwagon.

Also: Easter Bunny? Mythical? Way to crush my hopes and dreams!

Just playin, great stuff once again.

2007-04-11 09:36:10
2.   baileywalk
"The truth regarding Pavano's last few seasons is elusive, and what's more, it keeps changing. The better Pavano pitches now, the more he was a victim of bad luck; the higher his ERA this season, the more he was shamefully sitting around collecting a fat paycheck, unwilling to fight to return to the mound.

There's nothing new about this: in sports, talent and achievement tend to morph into character. That's why Ted Williams is known as a beloved icon instead of a total dick, and Joe DiMaggio is regarded as a symbol of class and lost elegance instead of an emotionally troubled loner."

-

Pavano's story doesn't keep changing. He couldn't pitch in the second half of '05 because of a shoulder injury. He never had surgery to repair anything, and people questioned how much he wanted to come back.

He hurt his back in spring training the following year, and while rehabbing had to have surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow (despite what some people have said, it does take a while to come back from this). Rehabbing again after the surgery, he got into a car accident and broke two ribs. He hid the broken ribs from the team and made a rehab start with the injury, but the pain was too much and he admitted to the whole thing. He was shut down for the rest of the season. Then he dedicated himself to getting back into shape over the off-season, working out in Arizona, and came into camp in shape.

And here he is. End of story.

People can debate all they want about '05. Maybe he didn't try to come back. We're not in his head. But you can't fake bone chips and broken ribs.

I can't explain why Pavano's teammates took shots at him. But something that was ignored was John Flaherty recently talking about Pavano during a game and saying how in his start against the Mets in '05, Pavano told him his shoulder was killing him and his fastball was down to 85 miles an hour (which would indicate that he was in fact hurt).

Also, for what it's worth, DiMaggio is remembered as a great ballplayer who wasn't a very nice guy and as someone who had a lot of issues.

2007-04-11 09:55:42
3.   rbj
The Easter Bunny is not mythical -- that's just a vicious lie. My good drinking buddy, Harvey, is friends with him.

It's nice to see our starters pitching so well.

2007-04-11 10:36:25
4.   Knuckles
Apropos of absolutely nothing:

The 1990 Yankees (pretty much their nadir during my fanhood, I was 12 that summer) were 4-6 through April 10th of that year, and finished at 65-97.

They'd started out 4-1, with Eric Plunk vulturing 2 of the wins.
Opening day attendance was 50k, and dropped to the low 20s for the next few home games.
Nolan Ryan beat them the third game of the season, after which the Yanks won twice more, before running into a buzzsaw of good pitching. They lost 5 straight to: Jack Morris, Greg Swindell, Nolan Ryan (for the second time in a week), Charlie Hough, and KEVIN BROWN.

With a lineup anchored by a fading Donnie Baseball (OPS+ 81), Roberto Kelly (106), and Jesse Barfield (127), and an atrocious rotation that got 127 starts from: Leary, Cary, LaPoint, Hawkins, and Mike Witt. The staff's ERA+ was 94, mainly due to the 'pen. No starter had an ERA+ better than league average.

They'd go 9-28 in blowout games (decided by 5 or more runs). Yuck.

Going 18-31 out of the gate didn't help Bucky Dent, who was replaced by Stump Merrill.

On July 1st of that year, Andy Hawkins would walk 5 Chisox, K 3 of them, allow no hits, and lose. Four nothing.

2007-04-11 10:36:31
5.   rilkefan
0 "He doesn't open up, he falls back on hollow-sounding clichés"

Sounds like Jeter.

"I don't know if they were right, but I can't recall ever seeing the Yankees disparage a teammate the way they publicly and on the record called out Pavano"

Recall how Mr. Six Homers in Seven Games was treated last year.

Also, what 2 said better than I would have.

2007-04-11 10:41:21
6.   Sliced Bread
Joe Torre: "By his wounds, we were healed."

(Don LaFontaine voice over)
"Two years in the making, it's a documentary so shocking you will question everything you've ever read in the New York Post."

Derek Jeter: "One man...
Mike Mussina: "...changed the world..."
Jason Giambi: "...he changed it...
Jorge Posada: "forever."
Melky Cabrera: "forever."
Robinson Cano: "Amen."
Johnny Damon: "His name...
Hideki Matsui: "Pavano"
Andy Pettitte: "One man..."
Mariano Rivera: "...Pavano."

(Don LaFontaine voice over)
Mel Gibson presents "The Passion Of The Pavano." Summer 2007.

2007-04-11 10:44:04
7.   Sliced Bread
6 this film has not yet been rated.
2007-04-11 10:49:40
8.   Shaun P
"There's nothing new about this: in sports, talent and achievement tend to morph into character. That's why Ted Williams is known as a beloved icon instead of a total dick, and Joe DiMaggio is regarded as a symbol of class and lost elegance instead of an emotionally troubled loner."

Exactly. Its all about perception, and one's perception is based on what one knows and what one sees - or at least what one's been told by others.

That's why there can be two differing, but equally valid, ways of looking at Pavano's last two years. Like Emma said though, the ultimate question is "Do we know the whole truth?" - of course we don't.

Thanks for this piece and your excellent recap too, Emma.

4 IIRC Lee Gutterman lead the team in wins that year with 11, and no starter won more than 9. Wins aren't everything, but man, that was awful.

Meanwhile, Rags managed to get 36 saves for a team that only won 67 games. At the time I thought it just showed what a great closer Rags was. Now I think it just shows how useless the save stat is.

I loved those guys too.

2007-04-11 10:58:40
9.   JL25and3
2 Great post. I've tried to say much the same thing, but far less successfully. Thanks.

4 I still have a vivid image of Leyritz's brutal 3-base error in the no-hitter. A classic I got it, I got it, I got it, whoops!

2007-04-11 11:45:58
10.   Peter
I just looked up the play by play for the "no hitter" on Retrosheet. What an ugly game. The Yankees didn't get their first hit until the 6th inning and only had a total of 4 for the whole game. Both teams combined for 5 errors. Mercifully, it was over quick - a game time of only 2:34.

If I remember correctly, just a few days earlier, there had been 2 no-hitters pitched on the same day. When I got my copy of SI the next week, the cover headline was "No, No, Oh No!"

2007-04-11 11:46:24
11.   The Mick 536
Mike Morrissey doesn't say very nice things about Pavano either. But, we don't have to talk to him or approve of the women with whom he associated to love him. He just needs to eat up some innings and keep the Janks close until the bats have a chance at the ball.

Ted Williams became a beloved icon after he left. Never had a great relationship with the fans or the newspapers. They loved to see him hit. Never a star glove on the field, he played the monster well because he knew the soft spots. Couldn't bring them a title. Yawkey loved him.

As for Joe, lots to like and lots to dislike. Had some kind of off the field life. Was so insular, he didn't know how popular MM was when he married her or what a great writer Papa was. Regularly read comic books. Relied on the kindness of friends for dates. Wonder if Toots ever asked him to pick up a check. Revolutionized coffee drinking.

Did I say he was married to MM. Woweeeee. As they say in Jewish, Dayanu.

2007-04-11 11:48:03
12.   Zack
This is off topic, but as the #1 post, I guess it has to be done...

Would people please go over to espn.com and check out their secondary lead item: "Fenway's magical night," "historically good." Good grief, the espn Sox love has just lost it this year. It's like DM was exactly what they had been looking for these past few years, a reason to constantly over hype the Sox. Oh, wait, nevermind...

And as for on topic: I have said it before, but the thought of so many Yankees fans suddenly giving Pavano a free pass and routing for him as long as he "produces" makes me sick. Either you question his commitment and therefore never cheer for him, or you accept that it was all bad luck and go from there. But as Emma and you all have said, you can't have it both ways.

2007-04-11 11:55:19
13.   williamnyy23
12 That's nonsense...if Carl Pavano takes the mound in a Yankees uniform, Yankee fans should root for him. Heck, if Charles Manson toed the Stadium rubber, I'd be rooting for him to succeed.
2007-04-11 12:05:43
14.   OldYanksFan
While I believe there may be some 'emotional pathology' (Pavology?) involved with 'He Who May Be Carl', my feeling was the guy was legitamately hurt. After all, he was offered more money by the Sox, so if the pressure of the Big Apple really scared him, I don't know why he wasn't pitching for Boston. The fact that he tried to pitch with broken ribs seems to show some balls and determination, but that situation was turned against him in every way possible.

I also think as humans, when things go wrong, or we are disappointed, we tend to imagine the worst. I'm not ready to erect a statue of Pavs, but I thought he got a bum rap. But again, 'bad news', 'bad people' and 'bad Karma' are grist for the mill of the incompetant hack machine that is 'prosfessional' sports writing.

Emma...
I really dig chicks.
I really dig good sports writing.
Need I say more?

2007-04-11 12:11:19
15.   OldYanksFan
13 I don't know. Much to my chagrin, once Boggs and Clemens (2 surly people to be sure) donned pinstripes and started helping us win, I actually started rooting for them.

Ergo: Giving some Pavlov (get it?) is really pretty easy.

2007-04-11 12:12:40
16.   OldYanksFan
Oops... make that:
(2 surly people to be sure WHO WERE RED SOX favorites)
2007-04-11 12:14:23
17.   williamnyy23
14 Agreed...while it's one thing to ridicule Pavano's fragility (fra-geel-a, must be Italian), I don't think it is fair to question the legitimacy of his injuries. Having said that, if Carl Pavano steals candy from small children in between starts, I am still going to root for him when he pitches for the Yankees.
2007-04-11 12:18:30
18.   C2Coke
Hahaha..."bruised buttocks"...it's still funny.

The right publicity can do wonders. And actual performances on the mound can't hurt.

2007-04-11 12:21:43
19.   Zack
13 I couldn't agree more. Jsut because they are in a Yankee uniform, doesn't force me to root for them. Of course I want the Yankees to win, but I don't have to like or support every damn one of them.

But that wasn't my point. My point was that all of the people who called out Pavano and basically said flat out that he wasn't pitching because he didn't want to pitch, shouldn't now be cheering for him and making him a feel good story. If you really believe he took a year and a half off because he didn't want to play (which is not my believe, by the way, I agree with you all who trust in his injuries), then you should want him the heck off your team as soon as possible, because that is totally unacceptable. If he didnt want to play and tried to avoid starting, good ridance.

Thats all I was saying. Its not fair/right/acceptable to call him out last year and root for him this year...

2007-04-11 12:21:43
20.   Sliced Bread
Lest we believe that Pavano's image problems were a creation of cruel fans and heartless media hacks, remember that even his teammates questioned his commitment (see Mussina, Mike et al) going into this season.

Torre acknowledged that Pavano had to step up to earn the trust and respect of his teammates, and hasn't Pavano himself begrudingly acknowledged the same?

12 what's wrong with people who goofed on Carl rooting for him now? I don't think anybody who goofed on him in the past was ever rooting for him to get hurt. I think all anybody around the Yankees ever wanted from Pavano was for him (the one with the $40 million dollar contract) to show up.

Going forward, who cares what anybody said, wrote, or photo-shopped about him in the past?

2007-04-11 12:23:49
21.   Andre
Anyone looking to unload Yanks/Sox tix at Fenway at the end of this month? Prices are ridiculous right now. . .
2007-04-11 12:26:14
22.   williamnyy23
15 I am not sure why Yankee fans still have misgivings about Clemens. Considering how they parted company, I simply don't get the ex-Red Sox argument. After Clemens returned to Fenway as a Bluejay, K'ed 16 Red Sox and walked off the mound glaring at Dan Duquette, his affiliation with the Red Sox was completely severed in my mind. Besides, with the exception of 1986, the Yankees and Red Sox never really were close in the standings during Clemens' tenure, so I never built up sufficient animosity for him anyway.

Personally, Clemens is one of my ALL-TIME favorite Yankees, even though he only spent 5 years here. Regardless of how you feel about it him, I don't think anyone could argue with his effort. It was a pleasure to watch his greatness in a Yankee uniform for that brief time, and I eagerly look forward to at least one more encore.

2007-04-11 12:30:58
23.   williamnyy23
19 I think you meant you couldn't "disagree" more. I hope so at least, because I couldn't disagree more with your point, even as restated. If a player is wearing a Yankee uniform and helping them win, I am going to root for him (unless they really are Charles Manson). There is no need to cut off your nose to spite your face...we are talking about baseball, not family honor.
2007-04-11 12:39:31
24.   vockins
13 Screw that.

Productive is a monumental stretch for that guy, too. No one's taken me up on my Pavano gets season ending injury by the ASB bet, so I'll assume everyone agrees. vockins at yahoo if you decide to have a go.

If Cashman gets a BUC for him - phenomenal. Get Pavano out.

2007-04-11 12:40:16
25.   mehmattski
23 Insert distasteful Charles Manson/baseball joke here.

Seriously, I had three written before I erased them and thought better of it. But I thought I'd share the concept, anyway.

2007-04-11 12:46:47
26.   weeping for brunnhilde
All this could have been avoided if we'd only treated Andy with the respect he'd earned and paid him whatever the hell he wanted in the first place.

But no, we had to have The Next Best Thing, many times over (so many pitchers, I can't even remember them all) instead of sticking to Old Reliable.

I'm thrilled Andy's back, but honestly, I'll go to my grave bitter over having ever let him get away.

2007-04-11 12:50:15
27.   markp
in re Pavano's teammates remarks:
I've always been a big fan of Mussina, but he knew zip about what was going on with Pavano, and his remarks sounded to me like both playing to his audience and kicking somebody when they're down.
There were people beside me who said at the time that ripping Pavano even after the bone chips were discovered was wrong.
I doubt a lot of people here are old enough to remember J.R.Richards, but the attitude of the press and a lot of fans to Pavano last season is almost identical to this.
2007-04-11 12:57:14
28.   pistolpete
12 I hear that.

Basically the coverage goes as follows:

1) Day of Dice-K start: OMG, he's pitching today!
2) Day after Dice-K start: OMG, did you see him pitch yesterday?
3) Two days after Dice-K start: omg, still can't get over the way he pitched two days ago
4) Two days before Dice-K's next start: omg, who he's facing next?
5) One day before Dice-K's next start: OMG, he pitches again tomorrow!!

2007-04-11 12:58:28
29.   Andrew Fletcher
I think there was an added dimension among fans dumping on Pavano the last two years -- many of us weren't convinced he was a wise signing in the first place. We looked at a bad injury track record and only one really good pitching year (in the NL) and thought "pass." I remember reading all the Pavanopalooza headlines during his free agency and thinking, "What sucker team is going to bite that hook?" I was floored when it was the Yanks. IIRC, many of the posters on this board were floored, too.

Given that history, it was easier to rip on him while hurt. It was kind of an I-told-you-so moment. Just like with Mienkeiwicz (I still can't spell it), Womack, Cairo, BUC du jour, it's easier to rip on a player's shortcomings if we remember that we were opposed to their signings in the first place.

One of the things I love about Alex's and Cliff's writeups on this site are that they seem able to cast this tendency aside in their fandom. While appalled at the Womack signing, I remember an early game write-up where Alex (I think) described how fun he was to watch and that he wanted him to succeed. He didn't change his mind on the wisdom of the signing, but that was past and he was a Yankee now. It's an example I'm trying to follow with the few dubious inclusions on the current squad.

2007-04-11 13:07:43
30.   Rob Middletown CT
26

Um, Pettitte's elbow was hanging by a thread and in fact he was out injured most of the following year, was he not? There was a legit reason for letting him go. He was then awesome the next season when he got healthy, and then mediocre (overall - awful in the 1st half, good in the second) in the following season - last year.

In retrospect I would probably prefer that he'd never left, even knowing he was going to be injured in 2004. But it's not like it was a simple "well, if we'd just kept Andy, everything woulda been ok!"

2007-04-11 13:11:25
31.   Bama Yankee
6 7 Jim Caviezel could play the part of Pavano...

http://tinypic.com/2q3neo0

2007-04-11 13:15:56
32.   Maniakes
Also, remember we got Hughes with the draft pick Houston gave up for signing Pettite. So we can't really judge letting Pettite walk until we see if Hughes is for real.
2007-04-11 13:17:15
33.   Vandelay Industries
30

Very true. Not to mention that if one looks at the cummulative information we have, Andy was off to Houston with his buddy Roger one way or the other, notwithstanding any offer the Yankees made. The continued impression among many that the Yankees were in the drivers seat there is misguided and untrue.

2007-04-11 13:37:53
34.   pistolpete
33 Pettite signed first - Clemens came out of retirement and joined the 'Stros at Andy's behest.

Pettite could definitely have been retained, but from what I remember reading afterwards, we gave him the Bernie treatment.

2007-04-11 13:45:34
35.   RIYank
32 Ooooh, good fact. I didn't know that.
2007-04-11 13:50:21
36.   sam2175
2 Has said pretty much all I wanted to say. Just wanted to add a bit more perspective.

Carl Pavano got hit by a line drive in his head during a start and continued in the game in 2005. And then he was forced by a host of injuries to sit out an entire year. With the exception of the car accident for which he should partly accept responsibility, all his injuries, including bruised buttocks, no matter how embarrassing and comical it sounds, were legitimate injuries. In each case, I have to expect that a medical team of the Yankee organization ruled him unfit to pitch.

I don't understand why a game of baseball (or for that matter, any sport) has to be considered a place to show off machismo by putting your own health in danger. Sitting in couches, non-athlete yahoos continuously pass judgment on the physical and mental fortitude of professional athletes when they fail, or are just plain injured. And we finally end up with the likes of Ted Johnson, who is probably facing Alzheimer's disease sometime before he reaches his fifty.

Carl Pavano is not a very good pitcher, and even if he were to remain healthy, I am doubtful that he would have been much better than a league average pitcher. But the vilification of Pavano, when he suffered those injuries, was in disturbingly poor taste.

Pavano had every right to make sure that his long term health was taken well care of before he returned to sporting activities. Those who refuse to see that need some reality checks about where people's priorities in life should be.

2007-04-11 14:15:10
37.   JL25and3
I'm with Zack on this one. I think it was a bad signing, the situation was incredibly frustrating, and he seems to be more brittle than anyone this side of Nick Johnson - but when he starts to produce, I have no trouble rooting for him again.

But a lot of people were saying more than that. They were saying that he had no guts, no character, that he overblew minor injuries, he jaked his rehab and just sat back to collect his money - all because he was too scared to pitch in NY. And if someone really believes that he ditched on his teammates because he was a weak, lying coward, then I don't know how they can root for him.

I think I have some standing on this issue, after three years of sticking to my guns on Sheffield.

2007-04-11 15:41:43
38.   OldYanksFan
First off... Great dialog here. Really. Thoughtful comments, thoughtful 'corrections' when needed, good points made all around. My 2 cents:

For one, it's much easier to be funny when ripping someone. Sometimes we just WANT to rip someone. It's often not right, but good reading.

19 I agree.. but it's hard not to root for someone when they help us win.

20 Very true and there is so much we don't know. I like Mike but he surprised me. Maybe he was trying to light a fire under Pavano's formerly "bruised buttocks". Maybe Pavano had crabs or a drip or something and didn't want to say. Really, what do we, or the media, really know?

22 Hatchfield/McCoy thing. Doensn't always make sense, but has a lot of visceral emotion behind it.

26 'Respect' in baseball needs to be defined. Is it the most money, more perks, an early signing/extension?

Unfortunately, I DON'T like the fact the baseball is SUCH a business. It has always been a business, but that sometimes took a back seat to other priorities. Now, there is so much money invested in players, it's hard not to take a hard financial stance of signing players. From what I believe about George and Cashman, I think they are decent about trying to treat their players like people:

We have given neither Jorge or Mo an early extension, which they wanted, and some players demand. Does this mean the Yankees don't respect Mo? Don't respect Jorge? It's simply company policy. The way the Yankees do business.

1) I believe everyone the the Yankee organization respected Andy. Not just for what he did on the field, but for who he was/is.

2) Even looking back, while it was emotionally painful to let Andy go, at the time, I still believe it was a good decision. The fact that he was able to come back well after his injury, and that the parade that followed him decided to suck as Yankees, was kinda just random fate. Who knew?

3)32 If this is correct, again, just by random fate and alignment of the planets, it's the best move we've made in a long time.

37 I don't know how people can know this. Those kind of guts don't show up on an X-ray.

I, like all of us, don't know the real Pavology at work here. But most athletes NEED to play and need to compete. I didn't see him crying or guts leaking out of his pants leg when he beat us in the PS.

He makes $40m whether he plays or not.... NOT just for not playing. Since the money is his, what would be more fun for him? Pitching and being part of the team, or 2 years of rehab, doubt, frustration and slander. Being inactive and unemployed for 2 years is not really a vacation.

As I said, I don't know. But it's hard to believe anyone would CHOOSE Carl's last 2 years over playing. It jeapordized his career, hurt his stats, his value, his friendships, people respect for him, and on and on.

I believe he was unfit to pitch. If I'm wrong, and he was dogging it, then the guy does certainly have some serious, serious Pavology (and I'll keep saying 'Pavology' until someone laughs at it).

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