White Sox starter Javier Vazquez has a chance to put a critical dent in Minnesota’s NL Central hopes tomorrow night, but as skipper Ozzie Guillen is quick to remind us, “he hasn’t been [a big-game pitcher], that’s the bottom line.” If Vazquez is offended by his manager’s summation, he’s not telling the Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley :
”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,” Vazquez told the Sun-Times on Saturday, concerning his reputation. ”I’m not looking to have to change minds if people feel that way. I won’t be paying attention to that. If I do well or if I don’t, I’ll still go home at the end of my career and be the same person.”
Vazquez has pitched in the postseason only once, in 2004 with the New York Yankees. He made three appearances but only one start, allowing five runs in five innings in a no-decision against the Twins.
When he left New York after one year, he did so with a reputation he hasn’t been able to shake. And while Tuesday’s start would seem to be a good time to sway opinion, neither Vazquez nor Guillen is overly concerned with that.
”What you see is what you get,” Guillen said. ”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.”