Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Curse of Cervelli? Really?!?!

I don't know how many interrobangs I can get away with in a blog title, but I think that deserves it.

Look, I am an honest man.  My screen-name on here may sound cocky to some, but I'm just trying to stay cool, rational, and logical.  When people don't do that in regards to baseball, I get angry.  And articles like this can get me angry.

It's called: "Did the Yankees suffer the Curse of Cervelli in Games 1 and 2?" and is written by Jon Heyman.  I like Jon Heyman, I think he provides some decent discussion on MLB Network and I do like reading him on twitter.  But come on, a curse?  Made by a backup catcher?

Lets just get this over with.

There is one obvious, logical explanation for why the Yankees started 0-2, and that is that they played an excellent team in the Tampa Bay Rays, and they were outplayed by the Rays. The other explanation is a bit more fanciful: Could it be the Curse of Cervelli?
Why didn't you stop writing after the first sentence?  That would have been easier on the both of us.
For those that don't know (by those I mean the less than 10 people who are reading this several day old blog), Francisco Cervelli is a backup catcher for the Yankees that they felt so highly of that they traded upcoming prospect Jesus Montero for Miguel Pineda (see Foment's post below) to make room on the roster.  I'm sure that at some point Heyman will explain how a backup catcher in the first two games of the year will have an effect on the outcome of a game.

The Yankees were only doing what they felt was prudent when they acquired backup catcher Chris Stewart in a trade from the Giants on the cusp of the season. The move definitely gave them peace of mind. With prospect Austin Romine out indefinitely with a back injury, the Yankees restored their depth by obtaining Stewart to replace him.

So they made a move based on an injury that occurred towards the end of spring training and added depth to their system after they lost some.  Sounds pretty sane so far.

But Stewart didn't exactly replace Romine. Stewart was placed on the major-league roster, forcing Francisco Cervelli, the primary backup the last three seasons, to the minors. The reason the Yankees demoted Cervelli and not Stewart was no fault of Cervelli. Everyone understands Cervelli is the better player, and should starter Russell Martin suffer an injury, presumably Cervelli would become the starter. Stewart would remain the backup.

Again, I'm still waiting to see how there is a curse.  Because they demoted their backup catcher, a move they did solely because he was the only one of the two with options remaining to be demoted?  And now he can get regular playing time in the minors (which he probably doesn't need, but gets it anyway) while the Yankees don't lose anyone important?  How would it have gone if the Yankees made this trade, then trying to demote Stewart lose him to waivers?  Then you'd be writing about the "Curse of Chris Stewart", wouldn't you?

I'm skipping his next two paragraphs.  This is how he ends:

This move will actually hurt the Yankees in the short term because Stewart, a career .200 hitter and defensive specialist, is not the all-around player Cervelli is. So to quell their concern about minor-league depth, they have taken a step backward on the major-league roster and needlessly punished Cervelli.

So, where's the evidence for the curse?  Just because Cervelli was demoted and they lost the first two games?  I figured I'd find something here about, ya know, the actual game being played.  And I checked the box score for the first two games.  Stewart, the backup catcher that ruined Cervelli, had a total of 0 PA and 0 chances in the field, meaning he effected a total of 0 plays and had 0 effect on the games.
St. Louis sent down Eduardo Sanchez before the season began.  After that, Scott Linebrink got hurt.  Maybe they're cursed too!


  1. And that sir, is exactly the type of journalism I don't appreciate.

    There are a ton of valid topics to write about concerning the MLB, and we get a piece on how Demoting Cervelli contributed to the Yankees slow start, as though there were some implied bad karma from demoting a good backup with options over a survivable one without. Nevermind that the Yankees tend to be a slow starting team.

    I understand needing to keep to an obligation to post a certain amount of articles in a given timeframe, but this was most certainly a phoned in effort for Mr. Heyman

  2. Again, I'd understand it more if Stewart had some AB's or let a passed ball go that led to a big rally. But nothing happened w/r/t Stewart in a game. So this, as they say in my hometown, is "Bunk!"