Vazquez joins plunkers' club
Posted on: September 23, 2010 11:03 pm
It's not a club you'd really want to be a part of, but hey, at least it's exclusive.
Yankees right-hander Javier Vazquez tied a major-league record Thursday by hitting three consecutive batters, plunking Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings, Willy Aybar and Kelly Shoppach in order in the seventh inning.
It made him the seventh member (and just the fifth since 1900) of the Nuke LaLoosh Society, and one was quick to welcome him with punch and cookies. Journeyman C.J. Nitkowski, now playing in Korea, wrote "Wecome aboard Javy!" on his Twitter page.
Vazquez does meet one of the apparent modern-day requirements of membership in the club, which is having played with Nitkowski. The two were teammates on the Yankees in 2004. Nitkowski also played with Steve Sparks and Jeff Weaver. Dock Ellis, Pink Hawley, Wilbur Wood and Walter Thornton all were before Nitkowski's time.
Of course, it would be tough to find someone from his era who did not share a clubhouse at some point with Nitkowski. He played at the major-league level with eight organizations and was in three others.
Vazquez's struggles could land him another historic footnote: making $11.5 million this season, he might well go down as the highest-salaried healthy player ever to be left off his team's playoff roster.
-- David Andriesen
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