By Bryan Jeon
All the latest talk in regards to the New York Yankees and its injury-filled pitching staff has been about their opening day starter, Carl Pavano. The oft-injured right-hander has some fans on the edge of their seat, who fear he might incur an injury as he walks onto the field to take the mound for the first time. It is only with the injuries to Chien-Ming Wang and Andy Pettitte and a mandatory five days rest Mike Mussina needs in between starts that has only the fourth pitcher in major league history take the mound on opening day who hadn’t thrown a single pitch the year before.
Pavano has had a very tumultuous past two years, battling various injuries and even breaking two ribs during last season in a car accident (which he has just recently been sued for injuries sustained to the other driver). What I find to be the biggest loss in a huge disappointment after the first two years of Pavano’s 4-year, $39.95 million contract came on the same day that manager Joe Torre named Pavano the opening day starter – the split with his signifcant other.
For those of you that don’t know, the 31-year old pitcher had been dating 23-year old model Gia Allemand for a rocky one-year, ending any fantasy as the next Anna Benson.
All eyes will be on the career losing pitcher Monday afternoon, as he takes on Scott Kazmir, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and very possibly some boos in the Yankee stands, as Pavano has been criticized for his desire to pitch. But as excited as he says he is and as hyped and overrated as being the Opening Day starter is, he’ll get roughed up by Rocco Baldelli, Delmon Young and Carl Crawford early with his inability to focus away from his private life.
And I don’t blame him. Hell, I’d be the fifth starter in the rotation, break two more ribs and give my entire year’s salary to the truck driver who broke my previous two ribs to keep Allemand, but maybe I’m just a sucker for models – or anything hot, for that matter.
Well, unlike Mussina who would have just three days of rest were he to start on opening day, Pavano has 643 days of rest. But then again, there’s an entire weekend between now and Monday that Pavano needs to overcome.
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