By Dan McCourt
I'm already sorry for typing this, but I really do think most people are basically insane and that the real motivations behind what we do are far from the honorable and reasonable ones we tell ourselves. Here goes:
Javy hit three guys in a row, or at least threw pitches where that outcome was possible if not likely, on purpose. But the purpose was not to hurt guys on the opposition.
Javy watched Joe hand a key one-run game over to Dustin Moseley and Chad Gaudin on Wednesday. Then he responded when told to warm and then to pitch the night after. He was brought into this game down 8-3. The guy knows he has talent. Sure, he's not throwing as hard as he and the Yanks would have liked, but he put together a three-month string of quality starts this year.
Who's to say he's not standing on the mound fuming, "THOSE guys get handed the ball with the game on the line, while I sit there and finally get the chance when the game is in mopup mode." He's gripping the ball tighter and tighter as the thought just pounds through his head.
I know. He pitched an inning Tuesday. Sorry, I don't believe that rules him out for Wednesday, and I don't think he thinks it either.
I'll never forget hearing young Australian righty Mark Hutton being interviewed after being traded away during the 1996 season. He was depressed about going away sure. He was a Yankee. And now he'd be a Marlin. But the thing is, in the interview he wasn't talking about going from first to worst. He looked across the diamond at the guy he was being traded for, David Weathers, and said, "They couldn't get more for me than THAT!"
Injuries had Hutton out of the game in a year (though he bounced around the Independents for a while). And Weathers actually had a nice postseason for us that magical year, before reverting to form and being shipped out in '97. That doesn't change Mark's perception.
Last point: It would be a horrible to accuse a ballplayer of what I'm saying may have been in the back of the mind of Vazquez. BUt I'll give him this. He is 1,000 times a better pitcher than Moseley and Gaudin. I hope he was just a little off. But I also hope he knows that.