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Tomko proves his point to Yankees

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Aug 18, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

TomkoBrett Tomko was pretty upset the day the Yankees designated him for assignment. Maybe with good reason.

He felt he had done enough to make the team out of spring training, posting an ERA of 1.17 in 15 appearances. The Yankees disagreed and sent him to Scranton to work as a short reliever.

Tomko did what he was told and did it well. He had an 0.64 ERA in 14 innings and struck out 18. But when the Yankees called him up in May, it was just as fodder. Tomko was on the roster for 73 days and appeared in 15 games, getting only 20.2 innings.

Tomko was designated for assignment on July 21 and released July 29. The Yankees offered him the opportunity to go back to Scranton and start but he refused.

He instead signed with Oakland and as fate would have it, he was called up to face the Yankees tonight.

You know what happened next. Tomko threw five scoreless innings and the Athletics won 3-0.

Put yourself in Tomko’s shoes for a second. What would you have said when four Yankees beat writers and a radio reporter came over to ask a few questions?

Brett took the high road.

“When I got the call that I would be facing the Yankees, it was kind of emotional,” he said. “But I had no bad feelings against the Yankees. It worked out for the best. I wanted to start again and Oakland had a game plan.”

Oakland made sense for Tomko. He makes his home in San Diego and his wife is a month away from having twins. The Athletics, who are well out of contention, will want to protect their young arms down the stretch and Tomko will get a chance to pitch and audition for a contract in 2010.

It’s embarrassing to the Yankees to lose to a guy with a 5.23 ERA making his first start since May of 2008. But Tomko made pitches when he had to make them. When A-Rod came up with the bases loaded in the third inning, Tomko located a cutter and Alex tapped it feebly back to the mound. The rare 1-2-3 double play ended the inning.

Tomko hopes the Yankees lose the next two games then go on to the World Series.

“I have a lot of good relationships there,” he said. “As much as I wanted to show them what I could have done, I tried to take that could of it. I just wanted to make pitches and I felt like I did that.”





26 Responses to “Tomko proves his point to Yankees”

  1. you gotta have faith (aceves, you da man!) August 18th, 2009 at 2:01 am


  2. pat August 18th, 2009 at 2:03 am

    I would have taken the high road too. The low road usually has burnt out bridges.

  3. hal August 18th, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Class act.

  4. JFK August 18th, 2009 at 2:09 am

    Tomko pitched like garbage for the yankees. He deserved to be DFA by the yankees. Yankees have lost to other bum pitchers this year it is not that big of a deal.

  5. rizal from malaysia August 18th, 2009 at 2:26 am

    Hoping for a much better results game 2 …..

  6. dtv August 18th, 2009 at 2:29 am

    maybe cashman can sign him in the off season.

  7. dtv August 18th, 2009 at 2:29 am


    I love the way you describe ARod’s effort as “feeble”

    hehehehehehehhehehehehhe :)

  8. Johnny D. August 18th, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Hey Tomko, here’s something for you to paint….


  9. CK in LA August 18th, 2009 at 3:17 am

    Good for Tomko taking the high road ……

    Now, how about swapping Tex & Arod in the order. There’s a real problem if teams are pitching around Tex to get to Arod. They might not be “intentional”, but it’s certainly happening.

  10. M August 18th, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Bad loss that started with a horrible AB by ARod w/ bases loaded and then made worse by Girardi’s decision to bring the IF in w/ 1 out in the 4th. Instead of 1-0 which was still enough it became 3-0.

  11. Mike RI August 18th, 2009 at 6:22 am

    Not an Arod basher . But i’m still kind of ticked about his at bat with the bases loaded.

  12. brent August 18th, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Pete I was with you when you said Tomko took the high road,at first.

    The fact that he wishes the Yankees lose in games he won’t pitch in,that’s not taking the high road.

    That shows bitterness,and If he had never said the latter part,He’d already proven his point,the Yankees might have made a mistake,by not further exploring his ability,if he could shut down this line up.

    Of course he was motivated,HATE WILL DO THAT TO YOU!!

  13. Bob August 18th, 2009 at 8:21 am


    He wants them to lose the next 2 games because that would mean his team wins those games. Did you notice the next part where he wants them to win the WS?

  14. Damon August 18th, 2009 at 8:22 am

    Joe doesn’t have the balls to switch Arod and Tex.

    This is something I wanted all season.

    As of late Posada isn’t a threat behind Arod either.

    Forget Cano hitting with RISP,it’s an automatic out too.

    Ever since Melky hit the wall,he’s not the same clutch threat he was too.

  15. brent August 18th, 2009 at 8:24 am

    Bob I see it different,is that ok with you?

  16. trisha - OPPC lifetime member and true believer in the Ortiz karma effect August 18th, 2009 at 8:46 am

    I was with Tomko all the way, from understanding his upset when he didn’t go north with the team, to his frustration with the way he was used after he was called up. I understand that the Yankees need to make decisions that work for them, but I certainly understand the frustration of a guy who has done everything and produced and still gets set aside.

    Therefore I am nothing but pleased for Tomko, not upset at all that he beat the Yankees – karma is an itch, and would actually think a little less of him if he was totally kumbaya about the situation. Should we be expecting him to say “Now I want the Yankees to take it all!” Oakland is his team, and he wants his team to win. As it should be.

    I am a huge supporter of the Yankee organization but I don’t think that they are totally perfect in all of their moves. This is one case where I think they totally misused a player. But it lead to him being in a position where he can start, so it turned out okay.

  17. GiantsCauseway August 18th, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Tomko is a journeyman major leaguer at best. The Yankees could lose to the bat boy on any given night. I’d still rather have Mitre then Tomko, not that either one is a bargin.

  18. OldYanksFan August 18th, 2009 at 9:08 am

    August 18th, 2009 at 8:24 am
    Bob I SEE it different,is that ok with you?
    Really? Well Dude… have your eyes checked.

  19. BEN August 18th, 2009 at 9:09 am

    When Mitre gives the Yankees 5 or more scoreless innings,maybe I’d feel good about him in the rotation.Yankees are keeping him,so hope he improves.
    He’s essentially getting training during a pennant race.He’s Joe’s pet project,look how long it takes Joe to replace him,when he’s bad.

    I agree Tex and Arod should switch.Scouting report have to note he’s an easier out,like Yesterday.

    The reason Tony La Russa wins is because unlike Joe,his line up isn’t etched in stone.He confuses the scouting reports and the opposing pitchers.

    Tony is Anal for sure,but he dominates the NL Central,by winning games they are suppose to win.

    I’m an AL person all the way but he is an enigma to watch!

  20. Doit ! August 18th, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Tomko !? Really? Unbelievable. let me guess, I’m sure Tomko (like all former Yankees who play against them) had a goatee or some facial hair he would not have been allowed to sport as a Yankee. It seems like all former Yanks have facial hair when they pitch or play against the Yankees, its sort of a (expletive) message. Pavano sport a goatee when he pitched for Cleveage at the Stadium earlier this year. Its been going on for years. I remember Wells had a huge goatee when he came back with the Jays vs Yankees.

  21. Pasqua August 18th, 2009 at 10:15 am

    “As much as I wanted to show them what I could have done…”

    Easy there, tiger. One good performance does not a career make. This is what we call an outlier.

  22. Pinstriped Assassin August 18th, 2009 at 10:38 am

    On A-Rod:

    That at-bat infuriated me. Not because he grounded into a DP, but because he threw up the white flag of surrender. All this talk about the Yankees working counts is bogus. They don’t, or they don’t nearly enough. Take some pitches for crying out loud. For every home run A-Rod hits seemingly in a big spot, which is breaking news in and of itself, he kills more rallies than he prolongs with this “I have absolutely no approach at the plate” routine.

    On Tomko:

    Was there any doubt he would pitch well Monday? It sure didn’t help that his strike zone was 5 feet wide. Damon got called out looking on a pitch that had to be 18 inches outside.

    On the loss:

    A-Rod’s cluelessness aside, I’m willing to chalk this one up to the Earth not quite spinning on its axis properly for a night. CC will be in lockdown mode tonight and don’t be surprised if we jump all over Mazzaro early. We saw him in the Bronx and it took a few innings. I expect the bats to be on fire early in Game 2.

  23. Terry #1 August 18th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    One of the reasons that Tomko got upset was that the Yankees replaced him with Sergio Mitre.

    If seniority and/or performance were how they made their decisions, I think it would sit better with him.

    But the Yankees chose Mitre instead; the guy who got suspended for 50 games. And they chose Mitre based on PROJECTED performance NOT actual performance. They never considered Tomko for the job; they refused to stretch him out before Mitre was ready – and Tomko became their 3rd option behind a guy who’d just joined their club – Gaudin.

    To make it easier to understand: imagine if there was a job opening in your company or division: you’ve been a good soldier, have plenty of experience, and have worked hard during an important stretch of the business schedule.

    You’re clearly in line for a promotion.

    Then you find out that the guy that was promoted ahead of you didn’t contribute at all the past few months and was actually jailed for drugs. Your work history doesn’t mean squat to the brass because the guy is a higher up’s “favorite”; their “baby”, the excuse being “he deserves a second chance”.

    I think everybody would be a little demoralized, including your co-workers.

    And there is NO question that Mitre is someone’s “baby”. I wonder what the bullpen guys like Hughes and Mariano think about Mitre…

    After all, there’s always some resentment towards a guy like Mitre. Even if you think it’s not Mitre’s fault, the fact is that he ingratiated himself with SOMEONE to get the job to the point that he pitch this poorly and still retain his job.

  24. Terry #1 August 18th, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    I should note that another reason that Mitre is in the lineup is because someone’s reputation is on the line. It’s not just Mitre who’s out on a limb.

    Someone made an organizational decision to promote Mitre hard.

    It’s not surprising, then, that Mitre would be given this much rope despite the lack of results. If he doesn’t do well (and Tomko succeeds) then there is going to be an extreme loss of face and a slight shift in power between those that promoted Tomko and those that promoted Mitre.

    I see it all the time.

  25. Number 23 August 18th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Nice story, now let’s beat their asses the next two games.

  26. Number 23 August 18th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Mitre pitched for Girardi in 2006 with the Marlins. He recommended him to Cashman.

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