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Old 10-06-2004, 11:54 PM   #1
Crash Course
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Thumbs up Tanyon Sturtze - Go Figure

On May 15, 2004, the Yankees acquired Sturtze from the L.A. Dodgers off their AAA (Las Vegas 51s) roster - in exchange for Brian Myrow, IIRC.

At the time of the trade, in the NetShrine Discussion Forum, I wrote: "For guys his age or older, over the last three years, he's been one of the worst pitchers in the AL (his league). He's Jeff Juden like." The next day, I wrote: "You know, I keep looking and looking for a reason why maybe Sturtze could provide something positive to the Yankees this year. I cannot find anything close to a positive sign. Nada."

I was not alone. Others were more harsh. One night, on the Wally and The Keeg show on 1050 AM in NYC (ESPN Radio), the drive time jocks were ripping his name - - - - "It's bad enough that your last name is Sturtze; but, then, your parents have to go out and name you Tanyon?"

Various message boards on the 'net in some parts referred to his "deer in the headlights" look while pitching - and, his stat lines were not much prettier.

But, then, something happened. Reportedly, Mariano Rivera taught him the cutter. Down the stretch of the last month of the season, Sturtze began to dominate batters. Yankees manager Joe Torre began to trust him in pressure spots.

And, in Game 2 of the 2004 ALDS versus the Twins, he came into the game after Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera failed and kept the Yankees in the game - a must win game for NY, which, the Yanks eventually won in 12 innings in comeback fashion.

Tanyon Sturtze. Go Figure. Baseball is great that way.
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