Why Eduardo Nunez prevented the Yankees from Winning the 2010 World Series
Before I get into the blog I just want to say you do not know how much it hurts me to be writing this.
The year was 2010. The Yankees are coming fresh off of a 2009 World Series victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Yankees, for the most part, were returning that 2009 roster. They had the same core of guys and everyone was still in their prime or just passing their prime. The looked to be destined for another deep postseason run. The only issue was, the pitching was not quite as good as 2009. They still had some big dogs such as CC, Burnett, and Hughes who was having a career year, but it was not all that consistent. Either way, you can never have too much pitching right?
Well here's the thing, a man by the name of Cliff Lee was on the market come July 2010. He had just signed a big deal with the Mariners that past offseason as the Mariners looked to take a major step forward , but they did not. Lee became expendable and there were only a few teams who could afford that contract and had enough prospects to get it done too. "YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES!" said Yankee fans across the country. This was their man, add this guy and it was a sure-fire, 100% guarantee of another World Series appearance. Not to mention oh I don't know maybe the fact that Lee was the Yankees biological Daddy in terms of pitching. We all remember the 2009 WS, the only times the Yankees lost it was to Lee. Whether was catching pop-ups while not looking, field grounders behind his back, he kept that stupid smirk on his dumb face. Well, Mr. Steinbrenner here is your chance, capitalize!
Me? I thought it was a done deal. The Yankees were very publically in on Lee and seemed determined to do whatever it takes. They had a little prospect by the name of, (here's a blast from the past), Jesus Montero who was essentially hyped to be the next coming of Babe Ruth and Yogi Berra combined according to Yankee scouts. I must warn you before I go on this part is gonna be tough to read if you're a real fan:
The Yankees offered the Mariners Montero, David Adams a 2B prospect, and a third player not to be named. Jon Heyman tweets, "#yanks have offered montero, Adams and 3rd prospect. now it's up to Seattle. I do think they'll agree, eventually." ITS A DONE DEAL, JON HEYMAN WOULD NOT LIE! Right? Wrong! Screw you Jon you ripped my soul from my body seeing that one. Even Buster Olney said, "Executive involved in Cliff Lee talks: The Yankees-Mariners deal "is just about done." You too Buster, I hate you.
The deal that would have sent the Yanks to their 28th rings was nearly done but then it turns out David Adams had broken his leg a year back. The Mariners were not comfortable taking him. Okay, that's fine! The Mariners simply requested for Eduardo Nunez as a replacement. The Yankees did not budge. They could not live with parting ways with Eduardo Nunez. Eduardo freaking Nunez. The man who could not run with his helmet on. The man who has never successfully thrown a ball from shortstop to first base without it going 85 rows back into the stands. The deal did not get done. The Texas Rangers swooped in at the last minute offering massive prospect Justin Smoak and others. Don't worry though the story ends right there, the Rangers finished last in the division and never played the Yankees that whole year.
JUST KIDDING, let's fast forward 3 months now. October 2010, the Yankees have just swept the Minnesota Twins in the division series because that's just the way the world works. The Yanks are now scheduled to have a hot date with, you guessed it, the Texas Rangers. Lee pitched one game that series and shut the Yankees down. I know what you are going to say, "But he only pitched one game that series." Yes. But without Lee number one, the Rangers do not reach the ALCS and get by the Rays in the ALDS. Number two, with Lee as a Yankee not only is that a one-game swing but a 3 game swing. One win for the game he doesn't pitch against them and two for the two games he would pitch for the Yankees. The bottom line was postseason Cliff Lee did not lose games. The Yanks lost in 6 as the Rangers went onto have one of the biggest choke jobs in the history of the MLB in the World Series. .
Do not worry though Eduardo Nunez turned out to be the Yankees SS of the future right? Wrong. He was a mediocre bat, he sort of fast, and was a liability in the infield. I know, I know he went to the All Star game in 2016 for the Twins, but its be honest here. If that dumb rule where every team gets a player in the ASG just like every kid gets a participation medal he would never had made it. Anyways, the Yankees went onto trade him to the Twins 4 years later for.... drumroll, please........ Miguel Sulbaran. Who!? Exactly. I went to go look up his MLB stats and oh wait, he does not have ANY. Not only that, but he hasn't even pitched in the minors since 2015!
To recap: The Yankees did not want to give up Eduardo Nunez. So instead of getting Cliff Lee and a 2010, back to back World Series title, they were gifted Miguel Sulbaran, a man who never pitched past AA for the Yanks. Do not worry though the Mariners did finally get Jesus Montero, he was dealt for Michael Pineda. The man who went on to have his most famous Yankee moment be when he tried to hide shiny, very sensitive to flashing light, pine tar on his neck. On top of all of that, while he pitched in the Yankees number one rivals own ballpark, the Boston Red Sox. They figured it out in .045 seconds and Pineda never lived it down. Nice.
Cliff Lee, I hate you with all my heart. But God do I wish you got to wear the pinstripes in 2010.
- The Commish