Schilling stands by criticism of Vazquez

Updated: April 27, 2010, 10:36 PM ET
By Andrew Marchand | ESPNNewYork.com

On Day 2 of Curt Schilling's analysis of Javier Vazquez, Schilling said that Vazquez's second stay with the New York Yankees will be no different than his first, but he still might win a lot of games.

"It is easier to pitch and be successful in the National League than it is the American League," Schilling said on 1050's ESPNewYork.com show with Seth Everett. "If anyone thinks that Javier Vazquez is going to be different the second time around than he was the first time I think they are fooling themselves."

Schilling added it might not matter that much on the mound because the Yankees can overcome Vazquez's average pitching.

"On that team with that offense, he can win a lot of games," Schilling said. "You are not asking him to lead your rotation."

Schilling reiterated that there are "no Pittsburgh Pirates" in the AL and there is the New York factor.

"Here's the thing about Javy and I tried to preface this, but the negative always drowns out the positive," Schilling said. "I love the kid. He has phenomenal stuff. I thought he was a superstar when he was in Montreal, but I think you are kidding yourself if you think the second time in New York will be different than the first time. I'm not sure why that would be."

Vazquez responded to Schilling's remarks in the clubhouse prior to Tuesday's Yankees-Orioles game at Camden Yards.

"If you listen to what everyone has to say you are going to go crazy," Vazquez said.

Vazquez said he has never met Schilling.

"It looks terrible, but it is just the first four starts," Vazquez said of his performance in April.

On what he expects from fans on Saturday when he returns to Yankee Stadium: "I know they are not going to be pretty," Vazquez said. "As a player, you know it is going to happen. They booed me before."

Vazquez is 1-3 with a 9.00 ERA after losing to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

On Monday, Schilling, a former major league pitcher and current analyst for ESPN and contributor to ESPNBoston.com, appeared on ESPN Radio's "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" on Monday, and said he doesn't expect Vazquez to be successful in New York.

"I never ever thought the move to New York the first time was a good one [for Vazquez]. And I didn't think this [move] was good as well," Schilling said. "I don't think he suddenly learned how to pitch when he went back to Atlanta and dealt last year. He's a phenomenal National League pitcher. It's hard to say this without sounding disrespectful and I don't mean it that way -- the National League is an easier league to pitch in, period. And some guys aren't equipped to get those same outs in the American League, and he's one of those guys."

Vazquez, 33, was acquired by the Yankees from the Atlanta Braves this past offseason. He had a wonderful season for Atlanta a year ago, going 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA, striking out 238 batters and walking only 44. But he was underwhelming in his first stint with the Yankees in 2004, and the same is true so far in 2010.

Schilling also indicated he doesn't think Vazquez is comfortable with the media glare that comes with playing in New York.

"[Vazquez] thrived in Montreal and he thrived in Atlanta, and those are both second-tier cities from a baseball passion perspective. He's not a guy that I've ever felt was comfortable in the glow," Schilling said. "You're seeing what you're gonna get from him consistently all year. Having said that, he could turn around next week and throw a one-hitter with his stuff. I just don't see him being a consistent winner in the American League."

Andrew Marchand covers baseball for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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