Groom before trade: I wasn't one of 'Joe's boys'

Updated: July 31, 2005, 6:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Buddy Groom's career with the New York Yankees was short, but his exit could be memorable.

Buddy Groom
Relief Pitcher
New York Yankees
Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA
24 1 0 7 13 4.91

Groom was designated for assignment Saturday when the pitching-starved team signed left-hander Alan Embree, hoping to bolster their bullpen as they chase Embree's former team, the Boston Red Sox, in the AL East.

The New York Post reported in Sunday's editions Groom lashed out at Yankees manager Joe Torre after he slammed Torre's office door on the way out of a meeting with GM Brian Cashman and the manager.

"I wouldn't encourage anybody else to come here thinking you are going to get an opportunity because unless you are one of Joe's boys you are not going to get much of a shot; unless you are one of his three guys," Groom told the Post. "The same thing happened to me in Baltimore [last year]. I went 15 days [without pitching] and [Torre] is where [Oriole manager Lee] Mazzilli learned it."

Continued Groom; "I didn't get a fair shake here. Every time I pitched in key situations here I did the job," Groom told the Post. "Then I became a mop-up guy and didn't get into any games. Guys come here and they don't get a chance unless they are one of the boys."

The Post fingered Tanyon Sturtze, Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera as being "the boys."

Torre refused to get invloved in a war of words with Groom, but did give a reason Saturday for the move.

"Obviously, I have no comment," Torre told the Post. "I am sorry he feels that way. I know he isn't happy."

Torre did give his reasoning Saturday for Groom's demotion.

"We just feel that Embree may have a little more velocity," Torre said.

Groom told the Post he wasn't given a reason.

"No, other than they got Embree. I was the guy to pick," Groom said. "They didn't give me a reason other than I wasn't getting to pitch. That's not a good reason for me. I became the odd man out I guess."

The Yankees had 10 days to trade, release or send Groom outright to the minors, ad it didn't take long to find a buyer.

The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired Groom from the New York Yankees on Sunday for a player to be named or cash. The 40-year-old Groom was 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA in 24 appearances with New York.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE