OK, Javier Vazquez didn't come close to saying that after today's game but he did say he thought the boos directed his way were somewhat unwarranted.
“It was a little disappointing for my first game back,” Vazquez said. “I don’t think they’re forgetting ’04 but hopefully I’ll get some W’s in the Stadium and hopefully they’ll forget that.”
An indication of how long a road he has to travel came in the pregame introductions when he received tepid applause while warming up in the bullpen.
“I feel like it’s unfair because that was so long ago,” he said. “But I’m trying, like I said plenty of times [during spring training], I’m trying to concentrate on this year.”
Asked how he can put 2004 permanently behind him, Vazquez smiled.
“Just win games,” he said.
Derek Jeter, booed in April of 2004 during that famous 0-for-32 slump, defended his teammate and fans, a balancing act perhaps only he can accomplish and I mean that admiringly.
“I don’t get caught up in the fans too much,” said Jeter, who went 2-for-4 today. “The bottom line is they’re Yankee fans, they want to cheer for you. They come here to cheer for you. Everyone has been booed at some point but you can’t let it affect you. Like I said, if Javy gives up three runs [four today because Alfredo Aceves allowed the one inherited runner to score] every time he pitches, I think he’s going to have a pretty good year.”
Vazquez’s next start will come on the road, which manager Joe Girardi said isn't a bad thing, though his first start of the season was in Tampa where he was shelled for eight runs.
“As soon as he can get a win here I think it will be best for all of us,” Girardi said. “Fans, they remember. His next start will be on the road and it would be nice to get him a win and on a roll. You know, today, we didn’t score a lot of runs. He could have won that game as well if we could have scored some runs today but we didn’t score a lot of runs. But Javy is an accomplished guy. He’ll get going.”