Brett Tomko, on being designated for assignment by the Yankees:
I don't think I got a fair shot. I pitched great in spring training and didn't make the team. I pitched great in the minors, got called up and didn't get much of a chance. I understand other guys are pitching great. But it could have been different. I can't see the point in coming back.
Obviously no one likes to be fired and I'm sure that Tomko wasn't used optimally by the Yankees, but the notion of "a fair shot" sort of goes out the window when talking about a 36-year-old pitcher with nearly 1,800 career innings in the majors. Plus, who cares if someone "pitched great in spring training" and "pitched great in the minors" if they've posted a better-than-average ERA exactly once in the last dozen seasons?
Tomko has earned over $20 million despite being a mediocre back-of-the-rotation starter or long reliever for his entire career, the Yankees called him up in May and used him as a mop-up man for six weeks, he allowed 12 runs in 21 innings to make him 7-21 with a 5.76 ERA over the past three seasons, and now they're letting him go. "But it could have been different" is just about the least accurate way to describe the situation.