Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Bernie Carbo--Card Corner
2007-05-02 18:29
by Bruce Markusen
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Bernie Carbo—Topps Company—1980 (No. 266)

Pictured here in his last Topps trading card, Bernie Carbo epitomizes the caricature of the 1970s flake. With his unusually permed hair and his slightly dazed look, Carbo appears to be preoccupied with thoughts that have nothing to do with baseball. (And I’m not sure what Carbo did to the pictured bat, which appears to have been slathered in mud from bottom to barrel!)

Like many fans of the game, I usually perceived Bernie Carbo as I viewed this card—with amusement. Recently though, Carbo offered some sobering revelations about his life during a lecture in Worcester, Massachusetts. Not surprisingly, the roots of at least some of his bizarre behavior could be found in a habit that is something other than amusing, specifically a steady drinking problem that evolved into full-blown alcoholism by the time that Carbo reached his 19th birthday.

For those not familiar with the life and times of Bernie Carbo, he compiled a long list of "eccentricities" during a baseball career that spanned the decade of the 1970s:

*After an early-career trade that sent him from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Boston Red Sox, Carbo received a stuffed gorilla from former Cardinals teammate Scipio Spinks. Carbo’s new friend earned the name "Mighty Joe Young," in honor to the legendary film character from 1930s cinema. When on road trips, Carbo did not like to travel alone; therefore, he usually took his "companion" with him. In order to ensure that his pet "gorilla" would remain by his side, Carbo often paid for an extra ticket. For Carbo, it was well worth the expense.

*Shortly after joining the Red Sox, Carbo gave $20 to an older gentleman who was in the Boston clubhouse and asked him to fetch a cheeseburger and fries. Carbo thought the older man was a clubhouse attendant. He didn’t realize that he was actually Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey. Ah yes, that’s the way to make the boss feel important.

*Playing on June 26, 1975 in a game against the rival Yankees, Carbo made a daring catch at the right-field wall at Fenway Park, robbing Chris Chambliss of a home run. Carbo crashed into the wall, somehow escaping injury but managing to lose the chaw of tobacco he had in his mouth. Carbo then asked umpires for time, so that he could search the outfield for the missing chaw. After holding up the game for nearly ten minutes, Carbo finally found the tobacco lying on the warning track. He picked up the filthy chaw and put it directly back into his mouth, most likely to the disgust of the fans watching from the right-field stands.

*Carbo was one of the few major leaguers who harbored interest in becoming a professional hairdresser. (Please don’t think that I harbor any ill feelings toward the profession of hairdressing; it just seems a bit unusual for a major league ballplayer.) Following the end of his baseball career, Carbo went to cosmetology school and operated a hair salon for eight years. During his playing days, Bernie coifed his hair in a permanent, which was certainly not out of the ordinary for 1970s culture but was fairly uncommon for ballplayers of that decade.

At the time, many of Carbo’s habits were considered quaint—some still are—but some of his on-field mental lapses were likely influenced by his addiction to alcohol and drugs. Carbo managed to keep his drug problems quiet for much of his career, but talked openly about them after his retirement from the game. "I was a drug addict and alcoholic for 28 years," Carbo first told The Sporting News in 2001. "I started drinking when I was about 16 or 17, started on marijuana when I was 21, did cocaine when I was 22 or 23, and got into crystal meth, Dexedrines, Benzedrines, Darvons, codeine. There wasn’t much I didn’t do."

In 1989, Carbo’s problems escalated. His mother committed suicide. A few months later, his father passed away. Carbo himself then went through a divorce. He contemplated suicide. "I did not want to live in this world," Carbo admitted.

Fortunately, two of Carbo’s former teammates with the Boston Red Sox learned of his plight. Ferguson Jenkins and Bill Lee, both of whom had experienced their full share of personal problems, placed calls to Carbo. They convinced him to address his drug problems by entering rehabilitation. During his time in rehab, Carbo learned about Christianity. Embracing the values of the religion, Carbo became a Christian minister while also performing as a motivational speaker.

Though his ascent from depression and drugs has been laudable, Carbo’s travails have not ended. In addition to losing his mother through suicide, Carbo watched his three daughters land in prison because of their involvement with selling drugs. One of the daughters remains behind bars, which explains why Carbo is attempting to adopt three of his grandchildren, all under the age of ten. Carbo’s efforts to gain custody of the children has stirred debate on some internet baseball sites, with some dissenters claiming that his past involvement with drugs and alcohol should preclude the adoption.

I have no idea whether Carbo should be allowed to adopt those children. I simply don’t know him that well. But I have to admit I’m rooting for him. He was a good role player, an underrated hitter with power who sometimes walked more than he struck out. He was a likeable and fun personality who brought life to clubhouses in Cincinnati, St. Louis, Boston, and a few other ports of call in the 1970s. He has also overcome serious drug and alcohol addiction—at least for the moment—and has come back from the verge of suicide to do some meaningful work as a counselor and social worker.

I hope that Carbo can make that final step and complete the transition from caricature of the 1970s to reliable grandfather in the new millennium.



Comments (107)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-05-03 06:32:52
1.   Mattpat11
It certainly has to be something of a wakeup call when Bill Lee thinks you have a problem.
2007-05-03 07:04:06
2.   OldYanksFan
Wow - Three daughters in jail with drug problems. What a tragedy... but one I guess they learned from him.

As far as his grandchildren... if he is truly 'Clean and Sober', and has been for a while, he should get the kids. Many people have gone through rehab. Some make it and some don't. Those that truly make it, are often better people for it, as they have seen their own mortality and survived it.

Bernie was not a superstar, but he had great potential. I believe he had 2 critical HRs in the Sox WS, and he had as much to do with keeping the Sox in until the 7th game as any player. However, he seems to get little or no historical credit for how he played.

He was definitely a ballplayer. I always wondered why he wasn't more successful. I didn't know about the drinking/drug problems... so I guess that explains it.

It's a terrible shame. The guy was very talented and fun to watch.

2007-05-03 07:19:39
3.   Josh Wilker
Great profile of one of my alltime favorite players. To follow up on one of OldYanksFan's points, Carbo's three-run game-tying pinch-hit home run in the 8th inning of the game that some consider the greatest ever played, game 6 of the '75 series, is one of the most underrated home runs in baseball history. Fisk may have hit the one everyone remembers, but without Carbo the Bosox would have died with a whimper and baseball fans wouldn't have had a contest for the ages.

His departure in '78 is noted by his friend Bill Lee as both a key element in their monumental collapse that year and the beginning of the end in Boston for the Spaceman.

2007-05-03 07:42:48
4.   Andre
When talking about hair & baseball - you MUST include Oscar Gamble. His 1976 Topps Yankees card is one of my favorites of all time. Phenomenal hairdo!
2007-05-03 07:46:30
5.   Sliced Bread
Thanks for another great story, Bruce.

Classic card; the hair, the bat, the mug.
What is Carbo thinking in that picture?
Maybe he's looking at Gary Carter and figuring "I still lead the league in perm."

2007-05-03 07:47:30
6.   rbj
4 Don't forget Joe Pepitone, either.
2007-05-03 08:06:10
7.   Bama Yankee
4 Good call, Andre. Here it is:
2007-05-03 08:07:13
8.   ChuckM
After suffering a setback during a bullpen session Wednesday, Carl Pavano (forearm) is scheduled to visit Dr. James Andrews.
Pavano hasn't pitched since April 9. "I think I need to see Dr. Andrews. It's possible there's another step I need to do," Pavano said. "I've had elbow problems before, but this is definitely something new to me. Whether rest is going to be the answer, we're going to find out. We'll let the doctors make those decisions."

UGH. I mean, to me, that says it all about the biggest mistake in Yankee free-agent history. What pitcher says, "I NEED" to see Dr. Andrews. You got guys like Mark Prior pitching with a shredded shoulder for 2 years and he keeps trying to fight through it. Guys like Jaret Wright and Kerry Wood constantly trying to pitch through pain and reconstructed shoulders. Hell, you could even see Hughes telling the guys at the mound the other day, "it's not that bad." Now I'm not suggesting that ANY pitcher try and pitch through pain, but usually the LAST thing any pitcher wants to do is see Andrews. If he ever does pitch again for the Yanks, they should make him wear a pinstriped skirt.

2007-05-03 08:19:48
9.   JL25and3
8 I'm no fan of Pavano, but I don't understand why every utterance of his is deconstructed for maximum punitive value. "I need to see Dr. Andrews." Well, apparently he does. So what's the big deal?

By the way, I heard Cashman on the radio the other day talking about Pavano. Obviously, he said that he trusts the assessments of Pavano and and the doctors that he's injured. But he also talked about Pavano's broken ribs last year. He said that Pavano was completely wrong to lie to them about it - but that, beyond that, what he did was exactly what Karstens had done. With a couple of broken bones, he kept pitching until the pain made him realize that he couldn't.

MattPat and others will ridicule this, since every single thing about Pavano must be ridiculed. I'm just quoting Cashman.

2007-05-03 08:23:22
10.   Bama Yankee
5 "I still lead the league in perm."
Good one, Sliced.
Didn't Don Sutton finish third in VORP (Value Over Replacement Perm) that year?
2007-05-03 08:32:13
11.   Simone
The situation with Pavano is unfortunate. I had high hopes when he was signed. His body has broken down and there is nothing to be done.
2007-05-03 08:34:16
12.   Mattpat11
9Do we need to name the alarmingly convenient date that Pavano decided the pain was too much?

And frankly, I stopped listening to a word Brian Cashman said in regards to Pavano three months ago. Its obvious he refuses to admit a mistake there.

2007-05-03 09:04:25
13.   ChuckM
I've never piled on Pavano before, even after getting those random emails from Mets/Red Sox fans, "what's going on with Pavano?" In fact, I was hoping against all hope that he would make a comeback this year, not just for the Yanks, but for himself. So when I made that post it wasn't for "maximum punitive value," it was because I've finally reached my breaking point with him. He's the exact opposite of the Black Knight from Monty Python. I mean, you would think that for $40 mil he would at least TRY to put forth a little effort or grit or SOMETHING-even if he was hurt, just out of a guilty conscience. The difference with Karstens and Pavano is that the former tried to pitch through a legitimate injury while the latter tried to hide one that occurred under some sketchy circumstances.
2007-05-03 09:04:53
14.   rbj
12 So what do you want Cashman to do, trash Pavano? That gets you what, exactly.

Trash him, and you don't even get a bag of balls from in independent league. Cut him, and you're still responsible for the rest of his contract. I'm not counting on Carl at all for this year or next, but I'm also not on the hook for his salary. If there truly is a need for surgery, just maybe you get something for him over the winter. (even if it's a 25 y.o. low A ball player).

2007-05-03 09:15:19
15.   Mattpat11

I don't believe in coincidences. I don't think the date that Pavano chose to report his injury is a coincidence.

I don't believe the players Cashman chose to trade and those he chose to keep this offseason are a coincidence either.

We kept holding on to this man because we wanted some kind of equal value for what we mistakenly paid him. Since Pavano had shown over and over and over and over and over again that he's an injury prone puss that isn't any good when he deigns to pitch, that leaves me with two options.

1) Brian Cashman is an idiot who thought Carl Pavano would re establish himself as a front line starter

2) Brian Cashman is a stubborn fuck who put impossible demands for a bad player so he wouldn't have to admit he made a mistake buy authorizing the worst transaction in team history.

I don't think Brian Cashman is a stupid man.

2007-05-03 09:25:18
16.   rbj
15 How do you get rid of him -- no one is going to trade for him and if you cut him, you're still liable for his salary.
2007-05-03 09:25:23
17.   Zack
Or, perhaps, as already has been said, since cutting/trading him for nothing would make no difference save having him off the team, Cashman figured he might as well get what he could and see if Pavano could be useful. I mean, honestly, if Pavano and his injuries are the cause of the team's slump, then the team really isn't fit to win anyway. And had Pavano been traded/cut in the offseason, its not like he would have been replaced with anyone different.

YOu can make a case that Pavano is a distraction/clubhouse pain/or whatever, but I jsut don't see thzt as a real problem for this team, and I really don't think trading him/cutting him would have meant the Yanks signed some other crappy pitcher like Lilly etc...The plan was/is to start brining up youth...

2007-05-03 09:25:40
18.   Zack
And by the way, all the Clippard haters/loves, check out his game last night...
2007-05-03 09:32:00
19.   Ben
What's the deal with the date Pavano reported his injury? I missed that one.
2007-05-03 09:32:31
20.   Max Nomad
18 Yea, he had a great game (albeit against a light-hitting team). I know he's not on the 40-man, but maybe he'll take Andy's start against Seattle? It lines up right. And Seattle is light-hitting, too. Hell, they're just bad. Yanks tend to promote whomever is best at the time, and Clippard is good.
2007-05-03 09:35:42
21.   Mattpat11
16Gil Meche got 11 million dollars a year. Don't tell me no one would have traded for him.

17 If Cashman legitimately thought Carl Pavano would do anything but this, he's a moron. Fool Me once, shame on you. Fool Me twice, shame on me. This would be the THIRD TIME he got fooled by Carl Pavano.

I just don't see what we gain by desperately hanging on to the laughing stock of baseball. He's a bad pitcher with a miserable attitude. At some point you cut your losses and take whatever the hell someone's willing to offer you. Its better than stubbornly waiting out the contract and getting nothing.

2007-05-03 09:36:44
22.   Mattpat11
19 It was the date the Yankees asked him to actually GASP pitch for them.
2007-05-03 09:41:47
23.   rbj
Mattpat11, I will say that no one would trade for Pavano.

Let me put it this way: You are GM of a major league club, would you trade for Carl Pavano?

2007-05-03 09:46:59
24.   Mattpat11
If I was a major league club, I never would have signed Pavano to begin with.

I also never would have signed Gil Meche, Adam Eaton or Jason Marquis. I wouldn't have traded for Jaret Wright.

Major league teams tend to be stupid like that. Someone would taken Pavano if we weren't looking for an unreasonable return.

2007-05-03 09:51:57
25.   JL25and3
13 Well, Pavano's injury was "legitimate" in that it was a real injury. Put aside the circumstances - which aren't relevant to this point - and you have two pitchers who tried to pitch with broken bones and discovered they couldn't.

The date doesn't concern me as much as it does MattPat. Of course he revealed it when he was about to pitch in a real game, because at that point he couldn't hide it anymore. I'm not condoning his hiding it - that was stupid and wrong. But he hoped he could pitch through it, and he was wrong.

Oliver Stone should make a movie about Pavano. Can anyone believe these are coincidences? Back and to the left, back and to the left.

2007-05-03 09:52:55
26.   rbj
So, would you trade for Carl Pavano? Yes or no?
2007-05-03 09:58:03
27.   Mattpat11

But I, as noted, do not run a baseball team

2007-05-03 09:59:00
28.   Zack
Actually Carl Pavano HAS done something for Cashman this year, as in pitch in like three games, which is something. ANd not pitch too badly either.

I just think you are trying to make something out of a lose lose situation for Cashman. Given the choice between tradding/cutting Pavano and getting nothing and still having to pay his salary, vs hold out hope that maybe he could give you something, as small as it might be, who wouldn't take the second? And as for him being a joke or whatever euphamism is tossed around, as I said before, if that actually affects this team, well, shame on this team.

2007-05-03 09:59:17
29.   rbj
So, would you trade for Carl Pavano? Yes or no?
2007-05-03 10:05:45
30.   Mattpat11
28 Two games.

Cashman made his own bed. I didn't make him sign the bad injury prone pitcher. I didn't make him keep him after 2005.I didn't make him keep him after 2006. Its no one's fault but Brian Cashman's that we're stuck with him.

And if he really thought things were going to be different this year, even a small chance, he hasn't been paying attention.

29 No.

2007-05-03 10:08:26
31.   rbj
Sorry for the double post folks, dunno what happened there.

And Mattpat11, the "I don't run a baseball team" is a lame copout.

Now, I actually could see some place like KC taking Pavano, if the Yankees picked up all his salary and rehab costs. In exchange, the Yankees would get a bucket of used spit.

The least costliest option would be to cut Carl -- does anyone know if the CBA allows a team to cut a player simply for being injured all the time (acknowledging the team is still on the hook for his salary)?

2007-05-03 10:11:34
32.   Max Nomad
I have two thoughts.

The first is that maybe Cashman really did want to trade him this year, but wanted a few decent outings to build value. He got one and then Pavs got hurt. Everything he says about wanting Pavano is necessary under such circumstances.

The second is that something may be institutionally wrong with the Yanks, Cashman at the helm or not. Most people believe he even brings stability to the organization. But institutionally, I mean, how can you can your fitness director "Director of Performance Enhancement"? That's ridiculous. On that same note, perhaps the team doctors are not the right guys. I'd say it could be akin to when the Mets traded Kazmir. Philips was quoted later as saying they had "too many cooks in the kitchen" and couldn't make proper decisions.

2007-05-03 10:12:00
33.   Sliced Bread
Given the league-wide need for pitching, Pavano is worth at least his weight in sunflower seeds.
2007-05-03 10:12:21
34.   Mattpat11
31 How is that a cop out? I wouldn't trade for him. I then listed several major league baseball teams that made it clear they would acquire anyone with an arm. In some case, the arm was optional.

And I'm pretty sure the team can cut a player if they don't like his shoes. They have to pay him though.

2007-05-03 10:14:26
35.   Mattpat11
32 If Cashman's plan was to pitch Carl Pavano several times before trading him, he should have known he was playing with fire. He got burned.
2007-05-03 10:16:41
36.   Max Nomad
31 I think "I don't run a baseball team" is a fine copout. Could a few of us here run a team with the knowledge we have? Yes. Should we with JUST the knowledge we have? Hell no. There are a lot of factors that we just can't be aware of, cuz we're just fans, not team officials.

And how the heck is cutting him the "least costliest" option? The Yanks would still have to pay him regardless. Medicine costs are negligible.

2007-05-03 10:18:45
37.   Mattpat11
On a related note, can someone tell me if I'm losing my mind? I seem to remember Octavio Dotel opting for the Tommy John surgery basically against the doctor's recommendation. I don't feel like searching Oakland papers from 05, but I thought the doctor basically said it would be an extreme treatment for the injury he had.
2007-05-03 10:25:29
38.   rbj
34 Maybe there were negotiations, but they broke down as per 32 -- the other teams would only trade for Carl if he showed he was healthy.

Heck Jeff Weaver still has a job, but if your option is Pavano for Weaver, I think I'll take what's behind door #3.

My point is, we don't know what Cashman tried to do with Carl, what the market for him was like (I suspect it was drier than the Sahara desert) and if he actually was making progress in rehab. Now, Cashman did stockpile a lot of young arms, so I suspect he wasn't really going to rely on Pavano (Wang, Moose, Pettitte, Igawa, possibly Clemens after the ASB) all that much.

Now, I will fault Cashman for hiring Miller 1) with such a skimpy resume and 2) far too late in the year.

2007-05-03 10:29:12
39.   Mattpat11
38 I assumed thats what Spring Training was for. He was going to prove himself healthy so he could finally go away.

he stayed.

2007-05-03 10:29:33
40.   rbj
36 In terms of a poster saying "Cashman should have traded him, someone else would have taken him", then I think it perfectly valid to put that poster in a GM's seat. Trying then to get out of the chair is not valid.

If I ever say anything like "trade him" then it's fine to put me on the spot and ask "for whom."

2007-05-03 10:33:39
41.   Mattpat11
40 And then I listed several teams that made equally confounding moves.

If Brian Cashman was holding out to get guaranteed value for this bad, injury prone pitcher with an awful work ethic and miserable attitude, he was a fool.

A trade could have gotten us something by accident. Waiting out his contract will get us nothing.

2007-05-03 10:37:19
42.   Max Nomad
Hehe, wouldn't it be funny if he had TJ surgery and missed all of this and next year, but came back in time for the '08 playoffs and singlehandedly won the Serious? That would be hilarious...
2007-05-03 10:37:38
43.   ChuckM
Dotel opted for TJ surgery against most doctors opinions (who felt he should try to rest/rehab it first), but obviously that is the exception rather than the norm. To me it just seems that Pavano is ready to run for surgery with a splinter in his toe just to avoid doing anything. Hell, at this point we'd be better off throwing the Venus Di Milo on the hill instead of him, at least she shows more life...
2007-05-03 10:39:59
44.   Max Nomad
43 Plus the whole hot chick thing...
2007-05-03 10:40:05
45.   Mattpat11
43 Okay. At least I'm not nuts.

And also, TJ doesn't mean that Pavano isn't a puss.

2007-05-03 10:40:47
46.   Mattpat11
42 They'd resign him.

And I'd weep.

2007-05-03 10:42:16
47.   JL25and3
31 As far as I can tell, under the old CBA, a team can release a player for just about any reason. You can't send a player down while he's on the DL, but I think you can release him.

Then any team can sign him for the major league minimum. As you say, the Yankees would have to pay the rest of his salary for the next two years.

I don't see what the Yankees gain by it. They don't save enough money to make any difference, and he's not taking up a roster spot if he's on the DL.

2007-05-03 10:44:26
48.   JL25and3
MattPat, I certainly have to thank you for one thing: you make my Sheffield hatred look cool and measured.
2007-05-03 10:44:45
49.   Zack
I think the idea of paying for Pavano's salary while he pitches, rehabs, or whatever for ANOTHER team is stupid. If we are paying him no matter, and lets be honest, if we traded him, we would eat ALL of the salary, then he might as well try to pitch for us. I refuse to buy into anything related to Carl Pavano hurting this team by being injured other than the loss of his pitching. And as noted above, I don't think Cashman was exactly counting on his services. My best guess was he was hoping for a month or two to try and trade him or watch him get reinjured, at which point Hughes would be ready. So perhaps it was neive to think he could get that, although elbow replacement surgery isn't really a laughing matter as has been noted, but all things considered, I like the alternatives less...

On another note, I think if Pavano really is done, which is pure speculation, it will mark the end of an era for the Yanks, no? The high priced free agent/traded for unreliable/non-NY friendly pitcher era. Gone are the Weavers, Vasquezs, Browns, Johnsons, and finally, Pavanos, and in their place are the kids, the Pettittes, and, hopefully, the Santanas :)

A rotation in two years of Santana, Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy/Clippard/Ohlendorf/ DeSalvo etc. would be very very awesome indeed. And that still elaves us plenty of room to trade a few of our minor league guys for position players/CC or whomever...

2007-05-03 10:46:48
50.   Mattpat11
47 That's why I'd have preferred some action be taken before this got out of control.

If we cut him, we'd gain the satisfaction of telling Carl Pavano to go fuck himself. And if we're going to pay him and get nothing out of it anyway...

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-05-03 10:49:44
51.   Mattpat11
49 Frankly, I have no problem with paying Pavano to pitch poorly for someone else. Better them then us. Of course the operative word there is pitch
2007-05-03 10:50:19
52.   RZG
Ok,matpatt,I see you don't like Pavano, but 12 out of 48 messages to keep saying it?
2007-05-03 10:52:58
53.   Mattpat11
48 It boggles my mind that a human being like Carl Pavano exists on this earth. For him to behave in the fashion he has for the last three seasons and have zero humility, it just enrages me. He tries to paint himself as some victim that has no idea why the players or the fans would hate him.
2007-05-03 10:53:20
54.   ChuckM
Not to mention the constant reshuffling of the rotation because he's "scheduled" to pitch only to come up with another setback. The bullpen is in rags as it is. Having to bump starters up days or whatever is the last thing the Yanks need to do at this point.
2007-05-03 10:53:48
55.   Mattpat11
52 I'm annoyed.
2007-05-03 10:57:07
56.   JL25and3
53 "It boggles my mind that a human being like Carl Pavano exists on this earth."

With all due respect for your feelings, I think a little perspective is called for. In the spectrum of evil human beings, Carl Pavano doesn't even register.

2007-05-03 10:58:20
57.   rbj
47 Thanks. I agree, there is nothing to be gained by cutting him.

Ideally, what I would like to happen is for Pavano to ask for his release, then sign a minimum level contract laden with incentives. To me, that would be the honorable thing, though I doubt the players' union would go for it. (A-Rod couldn't lose $2 mil/year in a trade.)

2007-05-03 11:00:06
58.   Mattpat11
56 I'm not saying he's evil. I just don't understand how he functions on a day to day basis. He seems to exist in his own little world where all this is normal and nothing is ever his fault.
2007-05-03 11:01:03
59.   Mattpat11
57 WHO would sign him for the minimal contract? Cleveland? Seattle?
2007-05-03 11:04:51
60.   JL25and3
58 And if it boggles your mind that a human being like that exists on this earth, well, honestly, your mind boggles pretty easily. People like that are everywhere, they're really not that unusual.
2007-05-03 11:05:41
61.   OldYanksFan
Look... Cashman is simply trying to make the best of a bad situation. We got one W from him this year. If he goes on/stays on the DL, he doesn't cost us anything more then cutting him lose would.

If by some mircle he gives us some games this year or next, so be it. If he gets healthy enough to be part of a trade, great. Whatever happens, we consider Pavano a pure loss. So if he ends up giving us anything in the next 2 years... well, it's more then we expected.

Even team has average to below average players. Just about every team has guys who are overpaid. Just about every GM makes deals that he knows could go either way (J.D.Drew anyone). This is baseball. Nobody bats 1.000, not even GMs. This does NOT maket them stupid or lazy. Its part of the way baseball operates.

2007-05-03 11:07:24
62.   Zack
58 Do you say the same thing for Prior, Wood, Dotel, JD Drew, Nomar, and the countless other players who have faced injury after injury? If so, I think you have a very poor understanding of how the human body works in sports...And don't try to say that you do, b/c clearly, you don't. I didn't really either until I hurt my back this year and tried to play through it only to hurt it more, then tried to come back a few times only to shut it down again, and now I am stuck having to wait a year to play again, and doing small things like stretching hurt like hell...
2007-05-03 11:11:10
63.   Zack
And you can make the argument that its the way Pavano has handled the injuries that makes you hate him so much, but if oyur biggest gripe is that he hid a real injury for awhile and then when he realized he couldn't really hide it anymore, he came clean, than I'm not sure I get it. Torre always said his biggest pet peeve is when players hide injuries, but then Pavano is accused of being a terrible human being because he came clear after trying to pitch through it. hmmmm
2007-05-03 11:11:58
64.   rbj
59 If I were GM of a team I would sign Pavano for the minimum, with incentives. Pitching is scarce (it's the only reason I can think why Jeff Weaver still has a job) and $325K is (in the fantasy world of MLB) small change.
2007-05-03 11:18:22
65.   ChuckM
Yeah, but those guys all had related injuries. You can hardly blame Pavano's on a cascade effect from a bruised asscheek. And those guys seemed to view surgery as a LAST resort. Pavano is coming off like a guy who wants to run to a neurosurgeon for a mosquito bite. "I'm sorry Mr. Pavano, that large bump between your shoulders is merely your head"
2007-05-03 11:18:32
66.   Raf
64 At least with Weaver, you can point to him doing well in the '06 postseason (I know, I know, I'm just saying).

I'm trying to figure out how Sidney Ponson still has a job...
As for Pavano, he was hurt in the Sox organization, he was hurt as an Expo, he was hurt as a Marlin. Why anyone is suprised he is injury prone while with the Yanks is beyond me. Wish he was traded after the '05 season.

2007-05-03 11:21:00
67.   Mattpat11
60And that's a large reason why I lost faith in humanity.

62I watched Hideki Matsui apologize for breaking his wrist. I then watched Carl Pavano state he wasn't "committed" to coming back from injury.

Its not the injuries themselves (although, in Carl's case, the bullshit injuries are infuriating too, but thats neither here nor now.)

Its Carls whole attitude throughout. Its "I can't believe I get paid to do this" its "I'm not committed" its the lies and the smug attitude and every statement he's released since this started where he's played the victim.

2007-05-03 11:22:36
68.   Mattpat11
64 "A" team meaning not the NYY, right?
2007-05-03 11:26:42
69.   Zack
65 I'm not so sure thats the case with Drew or Nomar. Why Pavano is certianly injury prone, I don't think anyone could have predicted after '05 that Pavano wouldn't pitch for '06. Hindsight is a beautiful thing: yeah, looking back, we should have traded him then. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it don't. Look at Ramiro Mendoza, really the same thing. he was good for us (not great) but got injured a good amount. The Yanks didn't resign him and Boston swoops in and suffers through two horrific years of injuries and then we take him on again in the minors and he can't really come back. So once again, an injury prone pitcher who was never great goes to a new team and just can't stay healthy. But no one questions him.
2007-05-03 11:29:34
70.   Mattpat11
69 I think people started to question what the hell was going on with Pavano when he missed three and a half months with a non specific shoulder injury.
2007-05-03 11:30:18
71.   Zack
Do you hate Derek Jeter's smug attittude? Or A-Rod's lies? Or Giambi's, who still hasn't actually confessed to anything? Do you hate Gary Sheffield for all of those reasons (see JL25and3)? You are taking your perception of why Pavano hasn't pitched (and calling the BS injuries once again shows you don't really understand injuries in sports) and calling them facts. Your argument sounds exactly like all of those Arod isn't genuine arguments...bleh
2007-05-03 11:31:23
72.   Zack
Do you remember El Duque? He used to go down with all sorts of bizarre and seemingly mental injuries, still does, yet no one questions him either...
2007-05-03 11:35:19
73.   rbj
68 No, I would include the Yankees too.
I always go by the motto "you can never have too much pitching -- or potential pitching."

Let's wait on what Dr. Andrews has to say. If after that visit, there's a statment that Dr. Andrews couldn't diagnois Carl's problem, then by all means let's lead Carl into the woods leaving him a trail of bread crumbs. On the other hand, if he sets up a surgery appointment within the week, then let's let all the Carl is a wuss talk die.

2007-05-03 11:35:49
74.   Mattpat11
71 Frankly, yeah. I think A-Rod's personality is to blame for most of the problems he's had. He has diarrhea of the mouth.

And yeah, I'm going to call missing a month with an ass bruise a bullshit injury. Same thing with the mystery shoulder ailment that somehow went from day to day to a season ender despite never actually getting a worse prognosis. I don't have to play baseball professionally to figure out that something's not kosher.

2007-05-03 11:35:50
75.   Raf
Carl Pavano, from

1995: Was disabled from June 22 to July 8 with right shoulder tendinitis.

1997: Began the season on Pawtucket disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis... Was placed on the disabled list July 1-13 with right elbow tendinitis.

1998: After shoulder tendinitis in Spring Training and seven minor league starts, made his Major League debut on 5/23 vs. Philadelphia.

1999: Placed on the 15-day disabled list on 7/12 with right elbow soreness... Underwent an MRI and was examined by Dr. James Andrews on 10/12, revealing tendinitis.

2000: Saw his season end on 6/24 due to soreness in his throwing arm... Placed on the DL on 6/25 with tendinitis in his right triceps... Examined by Dr. James Andrews on 7/5 and received a cortisone injection behind his right elbow... Underwent surgery on 8/22 in Birmingham, AL to remove bone chips from his right elbow.

2001: Was placed on the disabled list on June 27 with tendinitis in his right triceps... On July 5, he was examined by Dr. James Andrews and received a cortisone injection behind his right elbow... Finally had surgery on August 22 in Birmingham, AL, to remove bone chips from his right elbow.

2005: Was placed on 15-day disabled list on 7/7 (retroactive to 6/28) with right shoulder tendonitis... was re-evaluated by Team Physician Dr. Stuart Hershon and Dr. James Andrews and was diagnosed with rotator cuff tendonitis and associated pain in his humerus...was prescribed at least six weeks of rest and rehab for the condition...was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on 8/30.

2006: Missed the beginning of spring training with lower back stiffness... Was placed on the 15-day disabled list on 3/29 with right shoulder tendonitis... Underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chip from his right elbow... Made his final rehab assignment start of the season with Triple-A Columbus on 8/25 vs. Indianapolis, allowing 2ER in 6.0IP to earn the win... Left game because of soreness under his right armpit and revealed that the injury occurred in a car accident on 8/15... Was transferred to the 60-day disabled list with right rib fracture on 9/5.

2007-05-03 11:38:01
76.   Max Nomad
72 Yea, he went down last year for "general soreness." That seems like an excuse to rest up for the postseason. Granted his team was a lock already and he needed rest.
2007-05-03 11:38:16
77.   Mattpat11
73 Do you also enjoy the feeling you get when you repeatedly smash your head into a wall?

See, I've always felt that phrase needs to be amended. You can never have too much good pitching. Too much bad pitching can sink you.

2007-05-03 11:39:54
78.   Zack
Any word on lineups for today yet? Can't find anything
2007-05-03 11:41:36
79.   vockins
I wish one of you would have taken my "season ending injury before the ASB" bet.
2007-05-03 11:42:18
80.   Mattpat11
Probably the same lineups as last night.
2007-05-03 11:44:20
81.   Raf
77 "Too much bad pitching can sink you."

Yep... How many of us remember the 1989 Yankees?

2007-05-03 11:44:43
82.   Max Nomad

By Buster Gunning

Question: What do Elton John and Yankee Baseball have in common? Two answers: 1) Nothing whatsoever. 2) You are about to find out.

Yankees fans, baseball lovers and music historians of all ethnicities will converge in the Bronx for a very special day. Locker Talk has learned that the Yankees, in partnership with the potent Y.E.S. Yankees Entertainment and Sports (Y.E.S.) Superchannel, have already begun to prepare a heartwarming tribute to the Pinstripers' fallen young star, Philip K. Hughes … a man who went from a boy to a man (back to a boy and then back to a man) and a hero to us all.

Phil Hughes, at a tender age and with all the natural gifts any 20-year-old male could hope to possess … struck out in his prime, taken from us far too soon, just as he was beginning to dazzle America with his talents …. Texas does it again.

Fortunately, Elton John and musical collaborator Bernie Taupin live on the upper west side of Manhattan and are HUGE fans of the Yanks. During the upcoming homestand at The Stadium, Elton will appear from behind homeplate donning a sequent Bombers cap and perform a moving adaptation of his world-famous ballad during a breathless 7th Inning Stretch. Michael Kay will MC while Suzyn Waldman accompanies the rock legend at the piano although sources tell Lockertalk that she will not play a note. A blue-ribbon panel appointed by GM Brian Cashman has started to explain what baseball is to Elton John and has made all necessary and appropriate arrangements to carry Elton to the ballfield for this momentous day in Yankee history.

Locker Talk has obtained a confidential excerpt of Elton's touching adaptation of the tribute originally written for Marilyn Monroe and then for Princess Diana.
Goodbye Yankee ace
Though we hardly knew you at all
You gave the Bombers one quality start
While those around you failed

And it seems to me you threw your curve
Like a veteran on the mound
Never giving in with the fastball
Even when behind in the count

And your pitches will always paint the corner
From Monument Park to Tampa's hill
Your hamstring blew out long before
Your legend ever will

Hammy in the Wind
Music by Bernie Williams
Lyrics by Steve Swindal
Available on the album Goodbye Yankee Wins

The preceding article is a piece of satirical fiction.

2007-05-03 11:47:49
83.   Zack
So basically, according to the list in 75 almost all of Pavano's injuries, save the rib and butt, do seem to be related. What I see from that list is a pitcher with a consistintly deteriorating elbow and shoulder. Look at how many bone chips he's had removed, that means his elbow is falling apart, literally. Yeah, hes not the toughest of guys mentally, but I'm actually really surprised he hasn't had TJS already.

So yeah, it was dumb to sign him in the first place, we all know that, and a smaller, cheaper contract would have been great, but that was about the going rate for pitchers.

2007-05-03 11:47:59
84.   rbj
77 Non sequiter.

Just about anyone who's pitched at the ML level would be worth taking a shot at for league minimum. See Small, Aaron.
You have to go in realizing most of the time it isn't going to pan out, but once in a while it does. And if the Yankees having Carl Pavano on the team is the worst thing going on in your life, to consume that much hatred and energy, then you've got a pretty sweet life.

2007-05-03 11:51:18
85.   pistolpete
82 Aw man, too soon. Too soon.


2007-05-03 11:54:10
86.   Mattpat11
84 The money doesn't matter if throwing a proven failure out there is going to hurt the team. He could be making 7 dollars an hour and I wouldn't care if his pitching was ineffective and hurt the team.
2007-05-03 12:01:43
87.   rbj
Looks like the A line-up today, with a twist of Giambi at 1st, Matsui DHing and Melky in LF.
2007-05-03 12:02:10
88.   JL25and3
71 Thanks for bringing up my boy Gary again. When it comes to denying any personal responsibility for anything, Pavano's an amateur compared with Sheffield.
2007-05-03 12:05:46
89.   bartap74
Anyone else getting no sound on the YES feed?
2007-05-03 12:05:46
90.   bartap74
Anyone else getting no sound on the YES feed?
2007-05-03 12:05:48
91.   Peter
87 Does that mean house money lineup tonight?
2007-05-03 12:06:53
92.   Mattpat11
And I'd still take him on my team over Pavano.

I'm a very petty man. If you contribute, I couldn't give a crap if you moonlighted as Jack the Ripper.

If you don't, all your flaws come rising to thr surface.

2007-05-03 12:07:36
93.   Mattpat11
91 Sounds like a Minky/Nieves lineup tonight.
2007-05-03 12:07:39
94.   Sliced Bread
90 No audio on my set. But Kim Jones looks great.
2007-05-03 12:08:38
95.   Sliced Bread
Ah, audio's back on YES
2007-05-03 12:10:51
96.   JL25and3
92 So if Pavano came back in a week or two and went 15-6 for the rest of the year, he'd be OK with you?
2007-05-03 12:12:20
97.   rbj
91 Let's hope not -- Nieves will probably be the catcher, with Giambi DHing. I'd rather see Phelps than Minky at first. Matsui in LF, Melky waiting on the bench (or in CF, resting Damon). I would push for a sweep here today -- need to start making up for a bad April and Moose is on the mound.
2007-05-03 12:14:40
98.   Mattpat11
96 Yes. And then I'd say to strike when the iron is hot and trade him because he'd be pitching way over his head.
2007-05-03 12:15:16
99.   rbj
Psst, new game thread.
2007-05-03 12:19:44
100.   Bama Yankee
I can't believe no one asked the burning question: What does Bernie Carbo think about Carl Pavano?
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-05-03 12:29:12
101.   Shaun P
100 You see, I saw this thread and thought, "Wow, almost 100 comments on Bernie Carbo, must be everyone talking about the '75 World Serious! This should be cool."

And then I found the horror of a Carl Pavano thread.


2007-05-03 12:43:08
102.   JL25and3
98 And that's the part I'll never, ever understand. That boggles my mind.
2007-05-03 12:47:07
103.   JL25and3
101 Who is Bernie Carbo?
2007-05-03 12:50:28
104.   OldYanksFan
Oh MattPat... Matt
Holy Shit Dude!
Please Dude... I'm already 53 and you ARE AGING ME!

I wish to put forth an innitiative to move the:
"Pavano Is Barely Human and It's Questionable If He Even deserves to Live"
discussion... in it's entirety, including all and any words the begin with "Pav" or any initials that start with "C" and end witn "P"

any seconds?

2007-05-03 13:03:20
105.   rbj
New game thread above.

104 Seconded.

2007-05-03 13:11:34
106.   Raf
101 Well, it's all 8's fault!

The funny thing about Carbo's HR in '75 was the previous swing he took from Easwick. Quite ugly. I think Bill Lee mentioned it looked like he was trying to swat a fly.
2:45 is where Carbo's AB begins

2007-05-03 22:23:51
107.   zgveritas
I guarantee that Carbo was using the gorilla to smuggle his drugs from city to city.

Thanks for the interesting story. Don't know how I overlooked this character during the 70s.

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