For the first two months of this season Javier Vazquez was being treated by Yankees fans with the same antipathy that Mets fans were showing Ollie Perez. Vazquez started the year with a 1-4 record and was getting shelled by opposing hitters, but happily, things appear to be turning around for him. After tossing seven quality innings to beat the Astros last Saturday, Vazquez improved to 6-5.
Following the game I asked Vazquez if he was aware of the parallels with his Mets counterpart. “To be honest, I wasn’t following Oliver’s situation because I was worrying my own problems,” he said. “Your confidence takes a big hit when you are struggling. Fortunately my teammates, coaches and Yankees executives kept giving me encouragement.”
It is regrettable that Perez does not appear to be getting the same kind of support from his organization.
Madonna’s heir apparent, Stephanie “Lady Gaga” Germanotta, caused a stir at Citi Field last Thursday. Apparently upset that “paparazzi” were taking pictures when she took her seat near the Mets dugout, she relocated to a luxury suite and decided to get “revenge” by putting on a lingerie show and making an obscene gesture to photographers.
The irony is that most of the photographers who snapped her photo were not Ron Galella wannabes (check out HBO’s “Smash That Camera,” which debuted last week, about Galella’s career) but were instead sports photojournalists who were probably unaware of who she was and were merely reacting to the noise made by fans who recognized her.
Ironically, Lady Gaga’s shameless and offensive self-promotion could wind up benefitting the Mets if many of her countless fans who have little interest in baseball now decide that an outing to Citi Field is cool.
Given his streaky season so far, Jeff Francouer should request that “Hot ’N’ Cold,” a big hit for Lady Gaga’s key rival, Katy Perry, be played every time he steps up to the plate.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive Father’s Day gift, I suggest Dan Schlossberg’s latest book,“The 300 Club” (Ascend Books). Schlossberg, who has written several good tomes on the national pastime, dedicates his latest effort to pitchers who won 300 or more games in their careers, hence the title — a bit of a spoof on Pat Robertson’s “The 700 Club.”
Dan chatted with practically every living pitcher who has achieved that incredible mark, including Mets legend Tom Seaver. Most were giving of their time, with the notable exception of Steve Carlton, who refused to talk with the media when he was an active player. In a nice touch, the final chapter of the book is dedicated to those who came close but did not make it to 300, including Ferguson Jenkins, Jim Kaat, Bert Blyleven and Tommy John.
Former Mets outfielder Cory Sullivan, who as a Wake Forest University graduate is one of the few college grads in the big leagues, was back in town last weekend with the Astros. “I hope to go to law school after my playing career is done as I would love to work in the front office one day,” Sullivan said. “I am currently the Astros’ union rep and I see that role as great preparation for the future.”