Do certain New York Yankees fans just love the doldrums? The negativity? The misery? It sure seems like it! Because with all of the reasons to be infuriated with this team, there always seems to be a group of folks deviating from what's actually reasonable to be mad about.
Aaron Boone's decision making? Have at it. Brian Cashman's countless misses followed by his low-energy press conference that gave fans zero answers to all of their most burning questions? Tee off. Aaron Hicks' 3 OPS+ and Isiah Kiner-Falefa's .193 average with zero extra-base hits? All yours.
But Carlos Rodón's injury issues? Can we give somebody a break here? Because Rodón's situation can't be characterized as anybody's fault. It's legitimately sad and depressing, and we'd rather not even talk about it.
On Friday when it was revealed Rodón was dealing with a chronic back issue that will require a cortisone injection, very few fans on Twitter felt actual empathy. They just dove right into the Carl Pavano analogy, which, at this point, isn't even fair given how different both circumstances were.
The Yankees legitimately signed Pavano out of anger because he owned them in the 2003 World Series. Additionally, it was objectively bad business because Pavano only had one good season before he arrived in New York, which was a sixth-place Cy Young finish in 2004.
Yankees fans comparing Carlos Rodón situation to Carl Pavano is disgraceful
Pavano's injury situation was also much, much more problematic. The right-hander arrived in New York having hid back issues from the organization. That eventually resulted in a shoulder injury/misdiagnosis that sidelined him early into his Yankees tenure, which began the spiral.
Then, in 2006, Pavano was involved in a car accident after which he suffered two fractured ribs. He didn't tell the team about it until two weeks later. It came to the point where general manager Brian Cashman suggested Pavano was "sabotaging" the medical staff's efforts.
Rodón's situation is quite the opposite. He's been open and honest with his injury issues from the jump, likely understanding it's imperative given his lengthy history. Would you rather him withhold such information, return prematurely, perform poorly, and then have to go back on the IL or worsen whatever condition he's suffering from? That'd make you happier, right?
Mentioning Rodón in the same breath as Pavano is also insutling. Rodón is a power pitcher and strikeout machine, having been regarded as one of the most feared pitchers in the league over his last two seasons. He led the NL in FIP and K/9 in 2022. Pavano never led the league in anything and came to New York with everybody knowing he had a propensity to allow a decent amount of contact (9.1 H/9) for the amount of money he was earning.
The Rodón signing was intended to put the Yankees over the edge with guys like Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge and Nestor Cortes in their primes (and Giancarlo Stanton not too far removed from his MVP-caliber play). It wasn't a move of desperation after an historic postseason collapse in 2004.
Drawing the parallel because it's the easiest form of low-hanging fruit is a disservice to Rodón, the Yankees' intentions, and an attempt at meaningful discourse among the fans. It's toxic and only serves to exacerbate the self-deprecating fandom that has poisoned just about every sport.
There's nobody at fault here. It's a state of affairs that's impossible to navigate. Let's leave this one on the sidelines and yell into the megaphone about the others that are detrimentally affecting the team right now.