Forgotten Player of the Moment – DAN PASQUA
by Ed Agner and Phil Rippa
Request by Joel Martin
ED: OK. Joel Martin is still riding high on the ChiSox love train and since he won a week of the Higway to…Make Us Loathe Our Stupid Ideas, he requested Dan Pasqua – after we had no-sold Bill Cartwright and Harold Baines. God, if Ron Kittle hadn’t wizzed all over Barry Bonds, you know that would have been the bane of our existence.
PHIL: Since none of us are ever going to read Kittle’s book, are we sure there isn’t a section that reads along the lines of “IF I HAD TAKEN STERIODS, I WOULDN’T HAVE HAD TO WEAR THESE BLEEPING GOGGLES MY ENTIRE CAREER!!! BUT THAT WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN RIGHT!!! I HAVE INTEGRITY!!! I AM WHITE!!! AND AMERICAN!!! TRUTH!!! JUSTICE!!! WHITE POWER!!!!” Okay, maybe not.
ED: Anyway, I’ll lead off because the Dan Pasqua story is part and partial of the story about the Yankee craziness of the mid-to-late 1980’s – and because he was a CLIPPER!!! he gets my love. See, everyone assumes that that Yankees just fell off the cliff after they lost the World Series in ’81 and wandered aimlessly until ’96. That is how the story is told, anyway. The Yanks…blah-blah-blah…couldn’t develop talent…blah-blah-blah…SCOUTS! Yada-yada-yada. Art Monk isn’t a Hall of Famer. Blah-blah-blah. White guys are scrappy. Yipee-skippy. She was ASKING for it. Whatever. Fill in whatever frat-boy idiocy that you like.
PHIL: Barry Sanders is the greatest running back of all time? Uma Thurman is attractive? OJ was innocent?
ED: I’m becoming partial to the Jerome Bettis is a great RB one, myself. But none of that has anything to do with Dan Pasqua.
ED: The truth is that Yankees actually produced some major league talent during that time. It was just that the Yankees…this may sound vaguely familiar, Phil…didn’t trust the rookies. So while their minor league teams were constantly competitive throughout the 80’s with home grown talent that could have helped the Yankees, the Yankees would peddle these guys off for PROVEN VETERANS!!! Willie McGee? Who needs ya? Fred McGriff? Fah! Bob Tewksberry? Jay Buhner? Dan Pasqua? BAH! They were not proven! PROVEN!!
PHIL: Don’t forget Doug Drabek and Hal Morris and Jim Deshaies and Otis Nixon and Jose Rijo… though Jose Rijo was flipped for Rickey Henderson so maybe I will be quiet now. RICKEY~!
ED: I like the fact that Phil throws Hal Morris in the mix. Phil apparently never ended up seeing Hal Morris play. Shoot, why not throw Russ Davis and Mike Blowers and JT Snow in the mix too? It’s not like they didn’t suck too.
PHIL: Aww…. Ed is so very very bitter and refuses to remember that despite being a Red, Morris was pretty decent. Of course, he will always be the man who brought the Yankees Tim Leary. THAT is an entirely different FPOTM. Oh yeah – the bile is building. Oh and I almost included Mike Blowers just because he had those couple of season where he played just marginally well enough to make me go “Oh yeah – the team I love hates me.” But none of this has anything to do with Dan Pasqua.
PHIL: Now, if you are new to Veteran Presence (Perhaps a friend linked you to the site or you are a member of the Pasqua family or Dan himself. And if you are Dan Pasqua – yeah, sorry about not including you on my drooling fanboy Yankee shirt. Hopefully, you have a proper sense of your place in Yankee lore.) you know that both Ed and I are old. Not consider ourselves old. We are old. In this internet world where anyone who can legally drink is in our demo, we realize that some things that don’t seem that far in the past actually are and that Bill really didn’t know the name Clark Griswald.
ED: Phil so overestimates us. Our target audience is actually 8 year old retarded monkeys. They find us when doing Brett Favre searches. Which again, has nothing to do with Dan Pasqua…probably.
PHIL: Anyway, this point was really driven home to me this year when I watched the footage of the Yankees Old Timers Game this summer. I attended a bunch of these in the late 80s/early 90s and they were good for a lark. Mainly, because my sister would lament how old she was when I would identify like Ed Figueroa. Cruel cruel karma. So yeah, Joe Pepitone, Paul Blair, Clete Boyer, Bob Turley and Cliff Johnson wander out and then wait around for someone to direct them to the buffet. This year though, some of the “old-timers” were: Don Mattingly, Steve Sax, Wade Boggs, Mike Pagliarulo, Joe Girardi, David Justice, Kevin Maas, Steve Balboni and Pasqua. I WANT TO RECLAIM MY YOUTH! THEN GET OFF OF MY LAWN!!! AND QUIT MAKING THAT RACKET!!!
ED: Now, I start this off, pass it to Phil to write up his bits and I read through it and I tell Phil that I can’t possibly add anything to this. To which he replies, well you can actually write something about his career. Right. I always miss the obvious. Which brings this all full-circle to the Old-Timers Game bit above since – even though I did not see the Old Timers game (I actually think I was working that day, which means I was probably dressed like Kriss Kross or at least as badly as someone dressed Phil Rizzuto as) – I imagine Dan Pasqua in the field in July of ’05 could not have been any worse than Dan Pasqua was in the field in 1985. Well, it’s not like Pasqua could have been any slower in July of ’05.
PHIL: Now, honestly, if I was just writing this myself, I would have directed you all to view the back of that Pasqua Score card that accompanies this piece as I pretty much top out at telling you that he was named both MVP and Rookie of the Year in 85 of the International League and you aren’t really going to trump “delightful, short, quick batting stroke that generates loads of power”. And, of course, brought up the guy who went around New Jersey claiming to be Dan Pasqua so he could get free meals.
ED: Clearly Phil wants me to beef up this piece by waxing poetic about the 80’s Clippers here. But I won’t. At least not until Andre Robertson drops that restraining order. (How is that stalking, Andre? HOW?) But of what I recall from Pasqua’s CLIPPER!!! days, the man was a hitting machine who drew his share of walks and sure looked like the lefty sort of hitter then Yanks would want for that short right field porch. Of course, Pasqua was…not…great with the glove and the Yanks were set in the OF and at 1B to begin with and with Billy Martin as manager, Rick Rhoden was an answer at DH so we all basically knew that – if Balboni was screwed over by the Yanks – Pasqua had no shot at all. So, much like any quasi-prospect that donned a CLIPPER!!! uni, the fun game to play was to guess for what VETERAN!!! scrub he would be dealt. I’m pretty certain I guessed Jim Rice. Ohhhh, pooping on Jim Rice! YAY!
PHIL: Sadly, I don’t think either Ed or I saved our AIM log of when we first started discussing writing this piece as two things definitely stood out. The ugly, ugly trade that sent Pasqua to the White Sox.
November 12, 1987: Traded by the New York Yankees with Steve Rosenberg and Mark Salas to the Chicago White Sox for Richard Dotson and Scott Nielsen.
I definitely said to Ed “Yeah, I betcha never thought you were going to be thinking about Richard Dotson again in your life”
ED: Now Phil is just giving people bad ideas.
PHIL: The second thing that stood out to me was that at the end of the 1991 season, Pasqua was a free agent. The White Sox resigned him and in 1992, he made 2.5 MILLION DOLLARS!!!! (With, another 1.75 for the two years after that.) That’s right, Chicago gave him a 3-year, $6 million deal. Which… isn’t horrifically outrageous. Pasqua certainly knew when to turn it on as his OPS+ for 90 and 91 was 136 and 129 respectively. And he bounced around from the OF and 1B and DH. Yeah – Nick Esasky being his most comparable player doesn’t seem so weird now.
ED: So you’re saying Dan Pasqua is dizzy too?
PHIL: David Duval what?
Pasqua talks about Old-Timers Day (link is dead now)