All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Monday, July 31, 2006


As of today, Bubba Crosby is still a New York Yankee. Aaron Guiel was optioned to Columbus. He still has options, Bubba doesn't.

Even aside from the options considerations, Bubba is the more useful player. He's more versatile. Guiel has a better bat, but with Abreu on the team, we don't need his bat any more. We need defense, especially in CF, which Bubba can provide.

But the reprieve may be temporary. The Yankees traded Shawn Chacon for Craig Wilson today. This is widely viewed as bad news for Andy Phillips. However, Wilson also plays OF, and Cashman said he still considers Andy part of the team.

That suggests it's not Andy who'll be DFA'd tomorrow. Who will be? Some think it will be Bubba.

I'm hoping it will be Nick Green. Wilson plays IF as well as OF, so cutting Green makes sense. And I think Green still has options.

But the future looks rather grim. What happens when Cano comes back? Matsui? Sheff?

I suspect Bubba's not going to be sleeping too well tonight. :-(

posted by BubbaFan, 9:39 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Kids on Deck

Bubba was featured in the "Skillz" segment of Sunday's Kids On Deck. He demonstrated how to chase down a fly ball. Very cute!

Will try to post some screencaps and maybe a video clip later.

The show repeats several times a week on YES, so if you missed it, you can catch a rerun.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:56 PM | link | 0 comments |

Winds of Change

July 30, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 4, Tampa Bay 2

A solid day in the office for Moose. The Yanks seemed unaffected by yesterday's drubbing, bouncing back nicely to take the series.

The game was completely overshadowed by the news that the Yanks had acquired Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle from the Phillies, in exchange for Matt Smith and three other minor leaguers. As a Yankee fan, I had to be happy about the trade. It was highway robbery.

But as a Bubba fan, my feelings were decidedly mixed. With Abreu joining the team, the Yanks must cut an outfielder. The Yanks declined to say what the move would be. They don't play until Tuesday, so they have time to decide.

In all likelihood, it will be either Bubba or Guiel. I'm hoping it's Guiel. He still has options left, so he could be sent to Columbus without passing through waivers. It would be only for a few weeks, until the rosters expand September 1. And with Abreu as our full-time RFer, we'll probably need Bubba's defense more than Guiel's bat.

But who knows what the Yankees will do? Bubba is out of options, so he can't be sent to Columbus without passing through waivers. And I'm not sure he would pass through waivers without another team claiming him.

Bubba entered the game as a LIDR for Guiel in the ninth inning. I couldn't help wondering if that was the last time I'd see Bubba in pinstripes.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:34 PM | link | 0 comments |

Lit up like a Christmas Tree

July 29, 2006: Tampa Bay 19, N.Y. Yankees 6

Well, it was Christmas in July for the Devil Rays, with Randy Johnson as Santa, handing out hits. It was clear he had nothing pretty early in the game. Joe left him in far too long, but you can't really blame him. The last thing the overworked bullpen needed was to pitch seven or eight innings.

Unfortunately, Chacon did not look as sharp today as he did the other night. He was as bad as Randy. So were Myers and Beam. Finally, Villone stopped the bleeding, but it was way too late.

Despite the pitching mess and the lopsided score, Torre didn't wave the white flag until the 8th inning. Bubba took over CF then. Green came in for Jeter, Andy moved to 3B, and Guiel took over 1B.

Yes, I said Guiel at 1B. Even though he is not a first baseman. And yes, it showed.

It really was not the Yankees' night. Everything that could go wrong, did. It was downright comedic. Nick Green's bat was stuck in the bat rack, and he could not get it out. He struggled with it so long I wondered if it had grown roots. (Well, it had been a long time since he's used it.) Bubba had a hard grounder to field. The ball had a lot of spin, moving away from where he expected it to be. He recovered, and threw it in, but it bounced up and hit Cairo in the mouth. Not really his fault, but ugh, did it look bad.

Bubba got one at bat, in the 8th. He grounded out to 1B. He was swinging for the fences. Might as well, I guess, at that point in the game.

All in all, a pretty awful game. Can't blame it on anyone but Randy Johnson, though. The best thing to do is forget it. "Turn the page," as Bobby Murcer says.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:33 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tiger tosses a gem

July 28, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 6, Tampa Bay 0

Chien-Ming Wang gave the Yanks and their exhausted bullpen exactly what they needed: a complete game shutout. A very relaxing game, that never seemed in doubt. The only tension was whether Wang would pitch a no-hitter (no), and whether Torre would let him go for the complete game (yes). A much sweeter ending than Wang's last complete game, that's for sure.

Bubba came in in the top of the 8th, as a defensive replacement for Bernie in RF. He didn't get any at bats, and didn't have to field any balls, either, but it's nice to see Joe trusts him, at least on D.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:32 PM | link | 0 comments |

Roller Coaster

July 26, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 8, Texas 7

What is it about the Texas Rangers? This was one of those emotional roller coaster games. The Yanks jumped out in front in the first inning, only to lose the lead for what seemed like most of the game. Many fans gave up, even though the score was only 2-4. The New York offense just seemed hopeless.

But in the 8th inning, A-Rod hit a home run, and the bottom of the lineup rallied. A walk, a single, a double, a sacrifice, a wild pitch.

With one out, Torre put Aaron Guiel to pinch-hit for Miguel Cairo. He struck out. I can't help but think that may have been a mistake. Guiel has occasional power, but strikes out an awful lot. Cairo is awful with none on, but fantastic with RISP. He's like the anti-Cano:

Cano .371 .227
Cairo .180 .341

I don't know how he does it, but somehow, he steps it up in clutch situations.

A minor quibble, anyway. By the time Damon flied out to end the inning, the Yanks had put four runs on the board, and taken a 6-4 lead.

Alas, it was not enough. Kyle Farnsworth's balky back acted up again. He could not pitch. His options limited, Torre put in "Bat Boy," T.J. Beam. The rookie has nasty stuff, but it's not quite ready for prime time. The kid gave up a walk and double without getting a single out. Torre quickly yanked him, and, against his and everyone else's better judgment, put in "Everyday" Scotty Proctor. He'd already pitched two innings the day before, and an inning the day before that. Proctor is lights-out when used, say, every other day, but overused, he's a human batting tee. And so it proved again. Scotty gave up four singles and three runs without getting an out. Torre yanked him as well, and, in desperation, tapped Shawn Chacon. Chac, our former fifth starter, last seen being lit up on the 4th of July. He was relegated to the bullpen because of ineffectiveness and attitude issues, and hadn't been seen since.

Yankee fans were in deep despair. Even Chacon fans were worried. He is simply not very good out of the bullpen. He's a starter, not a reliever. Coming in with bases loaded and no outs would be a tough row to hoe even for Mariano Rivera, let alone Chac. The only ray of hope: maybe he could handle it, because if anyone's used to pitching with men on, it's him. :-P

But he stepped up in a big way. He did what no one else had been able to do that inning: get outs. He struck out DeRosa, then got a bizarre double-play. A hard-hit comebacker landed in his glove. He danced around the mound, looking to third, then second, then finally to first, where Andy Phillips was yelling for the ball. Chacon quickly threw it, and doubled off Hairston to end the inning. Johnny Damon later said his heart sunk when he saw Chacon looking around for somewhere to throw the ball. He said he was thankful Shawn didn't check home plate, too!

So on to the top of the ninth it was, with the Yanks now down 6-7, up against the Rangers' closer, Akinori Otsuka. Jeter led off; Giambi told him to just get on base and give him a chance. That's just what the Captain did, hitting a single to center. And Giambi came through. Though he'd been mired in a dreadful slump, he smacked it out of the park this time: a two-run homer. Just about as clutch a hit as you can get.

Mo shut the door in the bottom of the 9th. The Yankees had pulled victory from the jaws of defeat...twice.

(In the heat of the moment, some fans called this the best game of the season. I can understand why they'd say that, but no, the best game of the season was clearly a different Rangers game. The May 16 game at Yankee Stadium, where the Yanks came back from a nine-run deficit, took the lead, lost it, then won with a Posada walkoff homer.)

Bubba was stuck on the bench for this game, alas. Ordinarily, he might have been put in as a LIDR for Bernie, but Guiel, put in as a pinch-hitter, took that slot.
posted by BubbaFan, 11:32 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Brokeback Dugout?

July 25, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 7, Texas 4

Damon's back kept him from playing for the second night in a row, so Bubba started in CF again (third night in a row!). It was not a stellar night in the outfield for him. He dived for one ball but missed it. He could probably have gotten it if he'd gotten the right jump on it from the start.

I think the wind threw him off. It was blowing strongly in toward the plate, and a lot of balls were falling in shallower than expected. In any case, I seriously doubt any of the other Yankee outfielders would have gotten that one, either.

He did okay at the plate. No hits, but he moved the runner up in his first AB with a bunt in the 3rd. In the 4th, he worked a clutch, two-out walk on five pitches. He struck out on five pitches in the 6th, and flew out on a 1-0 count in the 9th. All in all, it was a decent night offensively.

Perhaps the most amusing moment of the game came when the "kiss cam" focused on A-Rod in the 6th inning. Usually, it focuses on a couple in the stands, and crowd exhorts them to kiss. A-Rod knew the drill, of course, being a former Ranger. When he noticed he was on camera, he leaned over, grabbed Andy Phillips, and kissed him on the top of the head.

When Rodriguez was shown on the giant video screen after the sixth inning, he reached over and playfully pecked teammate Andy Phillips on top of the head. The crowd, which has lustfully booed him this week, cheered after a smiling Rodriguez played along with the gag.

"That's the first kiss I've had in a long time. (The fans) loved it," said Rodriguez, whose struggles have led to plenty of boos at Yankee Stadium. He walked twice and was hit by a pitch.

"You better ask him how my hair tastes. It was funny," Phillips said. "I didn't know what he was doing, but that was fun. It's something I can tell my grandkids about."

LOL! You can see the video here. It was nice to see A-Rod relaxed and having fun.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:59 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, July 24, 2006


July 24, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 6, Texas 2

Bubba got an unexpected chance at redemption today. Johnny Damon hurt his back climbing into the car to get to the stadium. It's not serious, but they decided to give Bubba the start, just to be safe.

His first at bat, he hit it up the middle and into no-man's land in short left-center, but Young raced over and made a nice over the shoulder catch to rob Bubba of a hit. Very Jeter-esque, damn him.

Bubba came up again in the fourth, and hit a high chopper to 1B that almost went over Teixeira, but he made a high, leaping catch. Drat. Robbed again.

In the sixth inning, Bubba grounded weakly to 1B for an easy out.

He did come through in the 8th inning, though. With one out and no one on, he hit a single to SS, beating the throw to first with his blazing speed. Wow. I really wasn't expecting that. Reliever C.J. Wilson was in by then, and he's a lefty. Not only that, he's a pretty tough lefty: lefties are batting only .189 against him.

Bubba's left/right splits are now completely whacked:

VS. LEFT: .300 / .600
VS. RIGHT: .205 / .571

Bubba stole second on a wild pitch. Derek Jeter moved him to 3B on a groundout, but he ended up stranded when Andy Phillips also grounded out.

Bubba showed some great D in the 4th inning. He cut off a double by Young very quickly, keeping Kinsler, who was on 2B, from trying for home. Tex then hit a rocket to center, but Bubba ran it down.

But the play that made the highlight reels was in the 6th. The Unit was in a two-on, one-out jam. Brad Wilkerson smoked one to center. Bubba showcased his speed again, making a running, leaping grab at the warning track. The video clip at is called Crosby Saves the Day. (Unfortunately, they used the Texas feed, so you hear them talking about what a shame it was that Wilkerson was robbed. As if Bubba did something wrong by catching that ball!)

From the NY Times:
Torre named Proctor and Farnsworth among the stars of Monday’s game. He also listed Aaron Guiel, who homered in the sixth; Miguel Cairo, who doubled in two runs in the fourth; and Bubba Crosby, who hauled in a deep drive to center with two on in the sixth.

Nice win for the Yanks, and nice night for Bubba.

Bubba gets another start tonight, as Damon's back isn't any better. Damon may be until at least Friday, so Bubba could be getting a lot of playing time this week.
posted by BubbaFan, 8:03 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Turn the Page

July 23, 2006: Toronto 13, N.Y. Yankees 5

Bubba hits an RBI single

A horrible game. The kind of game where you just, in the words of Jim Kaat, "turn the page" and forget about it.

It wasn't all bad. The much-maligned bottom of the order rallied in the 6th. Bubba got an RBI single to left in the 6th inning. He got to second on Jeter's hit to SS John McDonald with his great speed. For awhile it seemed maybe a comeback was possible. But Damon and Giambi both flew out to center, ending the threat.

With the Skydome's hard turf, Torre wanted to rest Damon's broken foot, so Bubba got the start in CF. Unfortunately, he didn't do well. He's usually money on defense, but not yesterday. I don't know if he wasn't seeing the ball very well indoors, or if it was just nerves, or what. It started when a very gettable ball dropped in in front of him, prompting some rabid fans to call him lazy for not hustling. He did look rather lackadaisical, but it's hard for me to believe that Bubba would ever be lazy. I think he misread it off the bat. It was a loud hit, and he seemed about to fade back toward the wall, instead of running forward. He wasn't expecting it to drop in so shallow.

Perhaps overcompensating, he overran the next ball that came his way. He tried to make a running catch, but the ball hit the heel of his glove, and bounced away.

Then there was an attempt at a diving catch. The ball got by him, and went all the way to the wall. He's made that error a couple of times before, diving for the ball when he should have just kept it in front of him, even if it meant letting it drop in. Still, I can't really criticize him for showing that kind of hustle.

The real problem was pitching, of course. As Jeter said, it doesn't matter how well you swing the bats, if your pitchers can't keep the other guys from scoring, you'll lose. Still, some boneheaded fans were calling for Bubba to be DFA'd. Yeah, he's the reason they lost this game.

Apparently, Joe Torre was even asked about it in his postgame interview. He replied that Bubba's a valuable bench player, and he's not planning to make any roster moves at the moment.

I really think Joe needs some stability in his lineup. It's not good for players to come to work every day not knowing if they're going to play or what. They start to think that their job is hanging on every at bat, and they start pressing.

Before Bubba got injured, Joe was running a pretty consistent platoon in RF: Bernie against lefties, Bubba against righties. Bubba did pretty well in that system, on offense as well as defense. I wish Joe would do that again, but I'm afraid Bubba didn't help his case yesterday.
posted by BubbaFan, 1:38 PM | link | 0 comments |


The Yanks celebrate their victory

July 22, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 5, Toronto 4

A nice victory for the Yanks. And a performance by Bernie Williams that probably ensures we'll be seeing a lot more of him. He didn't really hurt us in the outfield (mainly because the pitching was so good), and he came through big at the plate. Two for four, with a two-run homer.

Bubba came in in the bottom of the 8th. No at bats, and really nothing to do on defense, either. Farnsy gave up a towering fly ball that just missed being a homer. Bubba ran after it, but it was several stories out of his reach (and foul).
posted by BubbaFan, 10:45 AM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, July 22, 2006


July 21, 2006: Toronto 7, N.Y. Yankees 3

Ugh. Not much to say about this one, except Bubba had absolutely nothing to do with it. He didn't start, didn't pinch-run, didn't pinch-hit, and was not a defensive replacement. Can't blame this one on him. :-P

Wright got rocked. He was driven from the game in the 3rd inning. Sigh. I really thought he'd turned around. Now not only our fifth starter, but fourth is in question. Our bullpen can't take much more of this.

On a lighter note...I was amused by this account of what was going on in the Yankees clubhouse before the game:

Not much going on before the game. The Yankees watched that truck evading police in Houston for a while on CNN. Everybody was getting on Bubba Crosby, who is from Houston.

"That your father Bubba?" Johnny Damon said. "My brother," Crosby replied. Mariano Rivera, of all people, couldn't take his eyes off the screen. Who knew the greatest closer ever loved police chases?
posted by BubbaFan, 5:50 AM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, July 21, 2006

Heartbreak Hotel

July 20, 2006: Toronto 5, N.Y. Yankees 4

Bubba at 1B

Well, it is a ballpark with hotel rooms overlooking the field...

This one was a heartbreaker. Moose seemed to be cruising. The Yanks were scratching out runs, with the whole lineup pitching in, top to bottom. They were leading 3-0 in the sixth...when it all fell apart. Yet another error by A-Rod seemed to throw Moose off his game, and before the inning was over, the Jays led, 4-3.

Bubba came in as a pinch-runner for Giambi in the top of the 8th. Bubba on 1B, two outs. A-Rod worked a walk, putting Bubba on 2B. Then Posada flared a single to LF. Bubba used his great eye, reading the ball off the bat perfectly. He took off as soon as Jorgie hit it, and made it home standing. No throw. Tie game!

Bubba didn't get a chance to bat. He took Giambi's spot at DH. I guess Joe didn't want to pull Bernie, in case the game went to extra innings. When Bubba's turn to bat came up, Joe put in Guiel as a pinch-hitter. (Guiel struck out. Gee, Bubba couldn't do that.)

That meant Bubba was out of the game, on both offense and defense. He went back to the dugout and put away his glove, then squeezed onto the bench between Randy Johnson and Johnny Damon.

Bubba gave them a chance, with his heads-up baserunning, but it didn't end well. It went to extra innings...where Mariano Rivera gave up a walkoff home run. I couldn't believe it. Mo gives up singles, even doubles, but very rarely homers. Drat. Guess it was just one of those days.
posted by BubbaFan, 10:47 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hold the brooms

July 19, 2006: Seattle 3, N.Y. Yankees 2

Tough loss. Randy Johnson pitched well enough to win, but the offense just didn't come through. You can't really blame the kids and castoffs; they did very well. It was big name veterans who failed to step up this time. Perhaps because of the late night, they seemed a little flat.

Bubba did not get into this game at all. Guiel was in RF, and his defense is solid, so a LIDR wasn't really necessary.

Joe decided he wanted to bunt in the 7th. As we've seen before, Guiel is a terrible bunter. Bubba is probably the best bunter on the team (he does bunting drills every day), but Joe went with Cairo instead. Miggy has a reputation for being a tough out.

Kaat thought maybe Bubba would be brought in to pinch run for Miguel Cairo, but he wasn't. Cairo's not particularly slow, and Joe was probably reluctant to put an outfielder in for an infielder, after the defensive strangeness of last night.

Joe's substitutions turned out to be brilliant last night. Today, they didn't work out. Putting Bernie in for the red-hot Nick Green proved to be a mistake. One that was rather predictable, given Bernie's numbers against righties. Still, Joe trusts Bernie's bat over Bubba's, which is probably why he didn't put Bubba in for Bernie on defense. With the Yanks behind, Joe wanted offense over defense.

Joe should have left Green in. Barring that, he'd have been better off putting Bubba in instead of Bernie. I know, many would think that a ridiculous idea. But Bubba's been hitting well since the break, and he's a lefty. Plus, all that was needed was a sac fly. Bubba can do that.

I don't think Joe realizes that Bernie is not the hitter he used to be. GOB is just guessing these days. His eye may still be good, but his bat speed is not, so he guesses. And he's not hitting righties well at all.

Gee, the one game Bubba stays on the bench, the Yanks lose. Take a lesson from that, Joe! ;-)

posted by BubbaFan, 9:46 PM | link | 0 comments |

Late Show

Bubba on first base, looking into the dugout for a sign

July 18, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 5, Seattle 4

This was the kind of night of which legends are made. In a game that lasted past midnight due a two-hour rain delay and extra innings, the ghosts of Yankee Stadium came through, as they so often do.

Down 2-4 in the ninth, things looked bleak for the Bombers. But Andy Phillips hit a double to left. Melky Cabrera struck out, and Joe pulled Nick Green from the lineup and substituted Aaron Guiel. Many questioned this. Despite his abysmal batting average, Nick has hit well since he became a Yankee, and was 3 for 3 for the night. But it worked out; Guiel hit a single, bringing Andy home and making it 3-4.

At this point, Bubba came in as a pinch-runner for Guiel. It was starting to rain. The ball was wet and slick; it slipped out of Putz's hand and got past the catcher. Wild pitch. Bubba took off for second base and made it easily. Then Posada hit a single to right, and Bubba went to third.

Jorgie's single was controversial. Because of the rain, second baseman Jose Lopez slipped on the grass and struggled to get a good grip on the ball. Replay showed that his throw did beat Posada to the bag, but he was called safe. The Mariner's manager Mike Hargrove was ejected for arguing the call.

When the game resumed, Johnny Damon hit a sac fly, scoring Bubba. The Yankees had tied it up!

A-Rod was up next, but it then really started pouring. The thunder and lightning was so spectacular you could hear the crowd gasping in awe. (I'm surprised they didn't suspend the game and send the spectators to shelter. Even NFL games, which play through any weather, do not play if there's lightning.)

The umpires really tried to finish the game, but the rain was so bad they called it in the middle of A-Rod's at bat. Tarp went on, and we got two hours of Yankeeography. When the game resumed, A-Rod struck out. Free baseball!

This was a problem. With Bubba in for Nick Green, there were now too many outfielders and not enough infielders. Joe told Bubba he was staying in to play CF. Surprised and concerned, Bubba went to Johnny Damon and asked him if he was okay. And that was how Johnny Damon found out he was playing 1B.

Damon had been learning 1B since his Red Sox days. Boston was worried that similar situations would arise for them, and Damon playing 1B would be the solution. Giambi, wanting to reassure Joe, told him that Damon had played 1B when they were in Oakland together. It wasn't true; Damon had last played 1B when he was 13 years old, in Little League. But when Joe asked him if he'd played 1B before, Damon said "Yes," and didn't specify when.

It worked out all right, despite a really bad pickoff attempt by Scott Proctor. Jorge Posada got hit on the finger by a foul tip, and to give him time to recover, they called for a throw to 1B. But Scott airmailed it, and Damon had to leap up and over for it. If he was an inch shorter, it would have gotten past him. He looked into the dugout and yelled, "What the hell are you doing?" prompting Jeter, Torre, etc., to laugh.

Despite that hairy moment, Damon was solid at 1B, and said he really enjoyed playing there.

The game finally ended with a walkoff homer by Melky Cabrera. Bubba was on deck, and he knew it was gone right away. He flipped his bat in celebration, and waiting by the plate applauding. (I was reminded of his walkoff homer last year, and I bet he was, too.) The Yan-KEES win! One of the sweetest victories I've ever witnessed.

And look! Mother Theresa came to the game!

Oops, no, it's just Derek Jeter with a towel over his head.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:45 PM | link | 0 comments |

A-Rod Benched?

July 17, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 4, Seattle 2

Nice win for the Yanks. Bubba came in at the top of the eighth, as a defensive replacement for Bernie. That was normal and expected. What wasn't expected was that Nick Green came in for A-Rod.

There was an immediate buzz. A-Rod made three throwing errors during the game, and people wondered if Joe was benching him for that reason. But no, Joe said that wasn't it. A-Rod fouled a ball off his toe during the 5th inning, and it was swelling, so Joe told him to go ice it. Many did not believe that excuse, though.

Bubba batted once, in the bottom of the 8th, and struck out. At least he put up a decent fight: ball, called strike, swinging strike, ball, swinging strike.

Link of the Day: A Secret No Longer

It's an article about Chien-Ming Wang, but told mostly through the eyes of his friend, Bubba Crosby.

Wang flung his glove in frustration, the ferocity of the act stunning Crosby as much as the pitcher's 96 mph fastball jolts hitters suckered into settling in due to his smooth, breezy windup.

"All of us were kind of like, '(Whoa),'" Crosby said. "We were all surprised in a good way. Obviously it showed that he cared. He was battling for us because we had a beat-up bullpen.

"It was nice to see him get a little aggressive. I can see him sitting at the end of the dugout. He keeps to himself. I know he's quiet, but he's (ticked) off inside. But that day, a walk-off homer, he couldn't keep it inside."

Earlier this season, Michael Kay told a story about Torre putting Bubba in the lineup. He sent one of his coaches - I think it was Tony Pena - to tell Bubba. But he didn't. "Why not?" Torre asked.

"Well, he's playing PlayStation and I didn't want to bother him."

"I think you can bother him," Torre said.

Many were wondering what game Bubba was playing. From the above article...perhaps a golf game. (And Wang apparently knows enough English to tell Bubba, "You suck!" LOL!)

posted by BubbaFan, 9:39 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bubba on SportsCenter

SportsCenter is running segments about Make-A-Wish this week. Today's segment is about Steven Castro, a boy with Crohn's disease whose dream was to meet Derek Jeter.

He ends up meeting a lot of the Yankees, including Bubba. The segment ends with Bubba telling him that when he gets big and strong, maybe he'll join them as a Yankee.

It will air again at 11pm tonight if you want to see it.

Bubba gives Steven a bat, warning him, "Don't swing it in the house." LOL! That sounds like the voice of experience speaking. One wonders what mayhem young Bubba got up to in his misspent youth. ;-)

Joe Torre comes over to introduce himself.

Bubba mans the camera, taking a photo of Steven with Melky Cabrera.

Young Steven with the bats given to him by Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, and Bubba Crosby.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:54 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, July 17, 2006

Breaking out the brooms

Bubba, on deck, signals to Andy to slide home

July 16, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 6, Chicago White Sox 4

The Yanks have had trouble sweeping series this season, but today, they came through. The entire team was solid. It was one of the best games of the year, with stellar defense and clutch hitting handing the Sox the loss...the first time this year that the Pale Hose have been swept.

Johnny Damon has had a stomach bug since Friday, and Joe decided to sit him. Damon said he felt fine, and was disappointed to be out of the lineup. He admitted his legs still hurt from the cramps yesterday, and Joe said he felt Damon was "heavy-legged." With a righty on the mound for Chicago and flyball-prone Wright going for the Yanks, Bubba got the start in centerfield.

Many fans were less than enthusiastic about a lineup that included Cabrera, Guiel, Phillips, Cairo, and Crosby. Some went so far as to call the bottom of the lineup a "black hole." Apprehensions rose when the bottom of the order went down in record time in the 2nd inning, with Bubba striking out swinging.

The fears were unwarranted. In the end, production was evenly spread over the entire lineup. Everyone except Guiel got a hit, and only A-Rod had two. Jeter got his first homer in what seems like forever, and A-Rod hit a two-run dinger.

But it was the 4th inning that was the most fun. Two outs, bottom of the lineup coming up. No one's expecting much. Then Andy Phillips hit a double to left. Cairo scored him with a single to right. Then, on the fifth pitch, with a 1-2 count, Bubba laced a double down the line into the right corner, scoring Miggy. Way to come through in the clutch, Bubba!

Bubba's third and last at bat was in the sixth. He came up with two outs, no one on. It was a pretty long battle - six pitches, only one a ball. Bubba kept fouling off pitches, most of them low, if not in the dirt. Finally, he grounded out to 3B. (Hey, Bubba - it's okay to take a walk. Even with two outs.)

What a great game. The entire team contributed to the win. Even Guiel, the only one who didn't get a hit, contributed on defense. He jumped on what looked to be a sure base hit and ended up turning it into a fielder's choice by throwing out Thome at 2B. Very heads-up play at a critical point in the game, and great hustle. He saw Thome hesitate before running, and knew he had a chance. Sheff wouldn't have made that play, because he would never charge the ball like Guiel did. And Bernie wouldn't have made it, either, because he doesn't have the arm to throw it in like that.

And Bubba seems to have really turned it around. Maybe he just needed a few days off. Maybe that WebGem of a catch gave him a shot of confidence. Maybe it was just inevitable that he would bounce back; he is not a .100 hitter.

(Hee. ESPN's "last seven days" for Bubba right now is .500 / .500 / 2.000. What a slugger! :-)

In any case, it's been a great series for him. Flashing the leather Friday, a homer on Saturday, then a clutch RBI double today. He just seems a lot calmer and more confident. Not as visibly anxious. Here's hoping he goes on a tear. He's due. :-)

posted by BubbaFan, 12:51 AM | link | 1 comments |

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Bubba Goes Boom

July 15, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 14, Chicago White Sox 3

An unexpected delight today, as the supposedly offense-challenged Yanks pulled ahead early and turned it into a blowout. And they did it mostly with small ball. There were four bunts...and according to Torre, none were called from the bench.

I wasn't expecting to see Bubba today with a lefty on the mound, but he came in at the top of the 7th. Johnny Damon had heat cramps in his legs, and with the Yanks already up 11-3, they sat him.

Bubba led off at the bottom of the 7th - and hit a home run! The first pitch was a ball, way high. Then a foul, and a swinging strike. The fourth pitch was a hanging curve, and Bubba smacked it to right center. No one was sure if it was going out or not, including Bubba. He didn't stop to look at the shot, hustling out of the box toward 1B. But it carried well in the hot, humid air, landing several rows back, well out of reach for rightfielder Jermaine Dye. Bubba had his fourth career home run.

And I had to laugh at the way AP wrote it up:

Even little Bubba Crosby got in on it, hitting his first home run since a game-winning shot last Sept. 19 against Baltimore.

"Little Bubba"?!

(Trivia: Three out of four of Bubba's homers happened against the White Sox, in Yankee Stadium.)

Bubba had another at bat in the 8th, and grounded out to SS on the first pitch.

The HittrackerOnline diagram of Bubba's homer is here.

So far, a very nice series for Bubba. A WebGem on defense that helped save the game yesterday, and a home run today. Great work, kid.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:52 PM | link | 0 comments |

A Sparkling WebGem

July 14, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 6, Chicago White Sox 5

Bubba bouncing off the walls and scaring small children

A lovely start to the second half, both for the Yanks and for Bubba. It turned out to be closer than expected, with Mo struggling to hold a three-run lead in the ninth.

Bubba came in at the top of the ninth as a defensive replacement. It was a pretty complicated switch, but in the end, it was Aaron Guiel he replaced. The move paid off, as Bubba made a spectacular leaping catch to get the second out and help preserve the lead. In the end, Mo gave up two runs, but got Pierzynski to fly out to Bubba for the third out. (Weirdly, Bubba looked shakier on that easy fly out than he did on the earlier circus catch. Too much time to think, perhaps. Once he had the ball in his glove, he shook it triumph before he came running in.)

Aaron Guiel gives Bubba a congratulatory pat on the back

Bubba's catch was chosen as the #2 WebGem on ESPN's Baseball Tonight - beaten out only by a diving catch by Coco Crisp. (Good thing Crisp saved that 15-3 loss for the Sox. ;-)

posted by BubbaFan, 9:06 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Grading the Yanks

Bubba at Spring Training

The time of year when everyone's writing the mid-term report cards. Here are a couple of the more interesting ones...

From the NY Daily News: Not Half Bad

Injured just when he might have gotten a chance to sub for Hideki Matsui or Gary Sheffield. He hasn't come through in sub role the way he has in past.

That's fair enough, alas. I blame that unfortunately timed injury. Hopefully the second half will be better.

Then there's this fascinating analysis from Replacement Level Yankees Weblog. They calculated the "run values" for everyone who played for the Yankees this year:

Posada 24.3
Jeter 22.6
Mussina 21.9
Giambi 20.8
Rodriguez 20.1
Damon 17.3
Rivera 15.8
Wang 10.9
Cano 9.8
Villone 8.1
Johnson 5.3
Smith 5.0
Myers 3.0
Farnsworth 2.9
Sheffield 2.9
Green 1.4
Proctor 1.2
Rasner 0.9
Thompson 0.9
Guiel 0.2
Wright 0.0
Cairo -0.2
Wilson -0.4
Bean -0.9
Reese -1.1
Matsui -1.9
Crosby -2.6
Erickson -2.7
Stinnett -3.5
Long -4.0
Phillips -4.2
Sturtze -5.6
Beam -6.5
Cabrera -7.4
Williams -12.2
Chacon -12.7
Small -13.4

They have other articles with more info; this one is also interesting.

The bad news is that Bubba has hurt the team so far this year. The worse news is that Melky Cabrera and Bernie Williams have hurt it a lot more.

That seems odd at first blush. The conventional wisdom is that Bubba has been not very good this year, while Bernie and Melky have been happy surprises. But that's an illusion, as the stats show.

Yes, I know, stats never tell the whole story. Especially with the small sample size for Bubba, given how little he's played this year. Still, it matches what I've seen watching the games. Bernie's defense is so bad his offense can't make up for it, even on a good day. Melky has struggled on offense, and his defense is uneven. Could Bubba be better than either of them if used full-time? Quite possibly.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:43 PM | link | 0 comments |

Into the break

July 9, 2006: Tampa Bay 6, N.Y. Yankees 5

Bubba at the dugout rail, hoping in vain to get in the game.

An ugly loss. The Yanks went up 5-0 in the top of the 3rd, but were unable to hold it. Young Kris Wilson collapsed in the bottom of the 3rd, meaning a long row to hoe for the bullpen.

Bubba never got to play in this game. With the Yanks down by one by the 7th inning, Joe wanted to keep his best hitters in. Not only did Bubba not get in, Kevin Thompson, in right field, ended up being pulled in favor of Johnny Damon and Bernie Williams.

Just as well. This was such a downer of a game I'm glad he wasn't part of it.

Not a good note to on which to start the All-Star break. :-P

posted by BubbaFan, 7:26 AM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A bad night for worms

July 8, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 5, Tampa Bay 1

When Wang's on his game, there's groundball after groundball. He was on his game last night; he came close to pitching a complete game, in fact.

I wasn't expecting to see Bubba at all in this game, with tough lefty Scott Kazmir on the mound. But with the Yankees up 3-0 in the bottom of the 7th, Joe decided to put his best defender in CF, pulling Bernie in favor of Bubba.

Bubba's defense was solid but not flashy. (With groundballer Wang on the mound, there's little opportunity for flashiness in the outfield.)

Bubba got one at bat in the 9th. He struck out swinging on the fifth pitch. Foul, ball, ball, then two swinging strikes. At least he showed a bit of patience.

Nice to know Joe trusts Bubba's glove, if not his bat.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:54 AM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, July 08, 2006

One is as good as a hundred

Bubba congratulates Jason Giambi after a score

July 7, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 1, Tampa Bay 0

Talk about a pitchers' duel. Defense counted, and Torre's decision to put Bubba in CF proved to be the right one, even though he didn't hit.

Wright got into a jam in the first inning. The first batter, Lugo, should have fouled out to right, but Bernie in RF was just too slow to get there. Lugo eventually got on base with a single. Crawford then hit a monster double to CF. It went way over Bubba's head, and he played it off the wall (very wisely, I think). But Lugo thought he was going to catch it, and rather than head for home, held on 3B. Bubba faked him out, running after it as if he could catch it.

That would not have happened if Bernie was in CF. They'd have run on him without even looking up. But they had to respect Bubba's speed, and his arm.

And that turned out to be the key play of the game. The D-Rays gave him credit:

ST. PETERSBURG - Bubba Crosby raised his glove over his head as if he were going to run down Carl Crawford's first-inning drive to center field. He wasn't, of course. No one was going to catch that ball as it headed toward the deepest part of Tropicana Field.

But Crosby's heads-up fake was enough to freeze Julio Lugo between first and second base.

"A great deke," Tampa Bay Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Enough to prevent Lugo from advancing past third and turning Crawford's RBI triple into a double.

And when the Rays couldn't score Lugo or either of the other two runners who reached third base later in the game, Crosby's play was enough to make the New York Yankees 1-0 winners against the Rays on Friday night in front of 25,584.

Bubba's night at the plate was not as successful, unfortunately.

3rd: One out, none on. Foul - just gets a piece of the first pitch. Hits the second one for a fly out to left. (At least he took it the other way, rather than just pulling it as he has been.)

5th: One out, none on. Bubba tries to bunt the first pitch toward third. Great idea, but the execution wasn't great. Bounced foul. Swung and missed at the next pitch (nice swing, though). Then a ball that would have hit him on the butt if he hadn't moved out of the way. He ended up almost falling over. Swung on the 4th pitch, and popped out to SS. Once again, Bubba flung his bat down in frustration as he ran it out.

8th: Another foul bunt on the first pitch. This one was pretty good, but it hit the lip of the turf, and bounced over the line. Looked at the second pitch, which was a ball, then hit a ground out to 1B.

Al Leiter said he thinks Bubba just needs more at bats to get his timing and rhythm back. He was hoping Bubba would get more playing time with Damon injured. Not likely, alas. There are two lefty starters coming up. Kevin Thompson was called up (Beam sent down), and I suspect he'll get the start in CF Saturday and Sunday.

Not a good night at the plate for Bubba, but as the box score shows, it wasn't a good night at the plate for anyone except Bernie. (Who for some reason hits really well at the Trop. Torre thinks Bernie just sees the ball better indoors.) The Yanks had only three hits all night, and Bernie had two of them.

Jae Seo pitched very well, but I can't help thinking the umpiring had something to do with it. The Yanks were all swinging like Soriano. They didn't work the count. Even super-patient hitters like Melky were hacking at the first pitch. Maybe that was their game plan for the night. Or maybe the strike zone was so inconsistent they were afraid not to swing.

There was an interesting exchange between Al Leiter and Michael Kay during the 5th inning:

Leiter: "Ooh, Jae Seo better not do that too often to Joe West, the home plate umpire."

Kay: "Now, you think he did that because he was unhappy with the call or unhappy with himself."

Leiter: "No, unhappy with the call."

Kay: "Oh. That's the wrong guy to show up."

Leiter: "Uh-huh."

Leiter: "Although this stadium, even for Joe West who can be crabby once in awhile, this is a QuesTec stadium. So the home plate umpires...they're being graded. So for as much as an umpire like Joe West might want to not call a strike a strike, here they've got to make sure their percentages are high enough."

Kay: "Crabby? How does that manifest itself? Squeeze you?"

Leiter: "Take a look."

There does seem to be a lot of bad blood between "crabby" Joe West and the Yankees. In 1983, Torre was managing the Braves. West fined a player $100 for throwing his bat when strike 3 was called. Torre followed him into the clubhouse, protesting the fine, and West shoved him. West ended up getting fined and suspended for three days. You gotta figure he still remembers that.

Seems like Joe West has been involved in more than one controversial call. Who can forget the one on Cano in Game 5 last year? He was also the guy who ejected Randy Johnson for throwing inside last month. Not plunking someone, just throwing inside.

Anyway, Jeter and some of the other Yankees seemed quite annoyed at West's strike zone last night.

And just for fun...a little video clip. Each Yankee has their own personal "handshake," and rookies like Melky have to learn them all. The clip is of Melky and Bubba "handshaking."

posted by BubbaFan, 12:30 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, July 07, 2006

Close, but no cigar

July 6, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 10, Cleveland 4

Pretty easy game. Randy Johnson cruised for the first six innings or so, then ran out of gas. But by then, the Yanks had such a solid lead it didn't matter.

Bubba came in as a defensive substitution in the bottom of the 7th, taking over CF from Bernie. He got one at-bat in the top of the ninth. Ball, swinging strike, then a looooooong out to right center. He whaled on it. But it's a big park, and it fell just short. Would have been a homerun in Yankee Stadium for sure.

Didn't do Bubba's batting stats any good, but I thought it was a positive sign. I think he's coming out of his slump, with the hit the game before and that almost-homer last night. Not only did he hit it hard, it was against Perez, a tough lefty.

Perhaps Joe was impressed, too. Bubba's starting in CF tonight, against Tampa. With Damon injured, and a huge park with slick turf, Joe decided to go with the good glove.

I just wish Bubba would relax and play his game. He had another "too much hustle" moment last night. He dived for a ball, which dropped in, then got past him. He did slow it down at least, but it would have been better if he'd played it on the hop.

Not to mention the risk of injury. Matsui broke his wrist diving like that. Bubba himself pulled his hamstring on dive like that. The Yanks had a solid lead and a shortage of OFers; there was no need for heroics.

I know he's fighting for playing time. Once Damon is healthy, it will be Bernie and Guiel platooned in right, and Bubba on the bench.

But I think it'll be okay. Torre clearly respects Bubba's glove. Bubba doesn't have to prove anything on defense. Joe never put Thompson or Reese in as LIDRs, but he always puts Bubba in. I think Bubba will get a chance to play almost every day, if only in the late innings. Plus, Damon being as old and broken down as he is, he'll likely be needed time off even when the current injury heals. If Bubba calms down and plays well, he'll get his chances to prove himself. It's what happened last year. They tried Womack and Lawton in the outfield, but ended up going to Bubba down the stretch.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:12 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What a difference a day makes

July 5, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 11, Cleveland 3

During batting practice before the game, Bubba was chasing the batted balls in the outfield. He won over at least one Cleveland fan by giving them a ball after catching it. I didn't expect to see any more of him last night, since Torre once again left him out of the lineup.

As it turned out, he got to play a lot...though not under the circumstances I would have wished. Damon didn't take BP, because he felt some pain in an abdominal muscle. He soaked in the hot tub instead, but realized after his first AB that the pain was getting worse. Before going out to play CF in the bottom of the 2nd, he told Bubba Crosby, "Get ready."

Bubba was of course the only OFer left on the bench, Reese having been sent down to make room for Kris Wilson. He really had to get ready in a hurry, because Damon was leading off in the top of the 3rd.

Perhaps that's why he didn't do very well. Ball, called strike, ground out to 1B.

He came up again in the 4th. (Yes, the 4th. The Yanks batted around in the fourth, and Melky got his first career grand slam.)

When Bubba came up, there was one out. Miguel Cairo was on 1B. Ball, foul, ball. On the 2-1 count, Torre called for a hit and run. Bubba swung and missed - out in front of a changeup. But Cairo made it anyway. (He got a good jump, and Martinez is really awful at throwing out basestealers.) But the very next pitch was looped to CF. Cairo scored from 2B. RBI single for Bubba!

Jeter came up next and hit a single, moving Bubba to 2B. Giambi hit a sac fly, and Bubba moved to 3B. Then A-Rod hit a single. Bubba scored easily.

When all was said and done, the Yanks scored eight runs in the 4th inning.

Bubba struck out his last two times at bat, alas. He came up again in the 5th. Two outs, Cairo on first. Called strike, foul, ball, called strike.

And in the 8th: No outs, Cairo on 3B. Ball, foul, foul, ball, called strike. Sigh. I was hoping he'd get at least a sac fly.

Can't complain, though. It was a great night for Yankees fans. And Bubba did get a hit, an RBI, and scored a run.

There was a scary moment on offense. Bubba dived after a ball in the center-left gap, and Melky, also pursuing the ball, crashed into him. Melky managed to jump over him (kicked Bubba's shoulder a little), and neither was hurt. Phew.

Melky and Bubba collide
Melky probably had a better shot at getting that ball. We all love Bubba's hustle, but he sometimes carries it too far. Trying too hard to make an impression and get some playing time, I think. At the time, there was no one base, the Yanks were up by 8 runs - and there were no OFers left on the bench. A little more caution and a little less hustle were in order.

After the game, they interviewed Melky, with Octavio Dotel doing the translation. They asked him what happpened on the play with Bubba. He gave a two-word answer that didn't require translation: "No comunicación."

posted by BubbaFan, 6:30 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Lit up like the 4th of July

July 4, 2006: Cleveland 19, N.Y. Yankees 1

Poor Shawn Chacon may have pitched his way out of the starting rotation last night. It was beyond ugly; it was hideous. The exhausted bullpen once again had to pitch more than six innings. Ugh.

Reese got the start in RF. Some saw that is a diss of Bubba, but I kind of wondered if that meant they were sending Reese down. I've noticed Joe likes to do that. He use his bench players when they first come up, and when he's about to send them down. I guess to get one last look at them, just in case.

Bubba did get to play eventually, but didn't help his cause much. He was brought in as a pinch-hitter for Jorge Posada in the 6th, basically because the game was over. He didn't strike out, but he didn't get any hits, either.

6th: One out, A-Rod on first. Called strike, ball, ball. Then a really weird lineout to 1B. It was hit hard, and Broussard leaped up and barely got a glove on it. He didn't catch it, though. He dropped it. But the umpire ruled it a catch, and Bubba was out. Just as well, I guess, since A-Rod was headed back to 1B.

8th: One out, A-Rod on 1B, Stinnett on 2B. Ball, then a soft ground out to 1B. A-Rod and Stinnett advance.

Not too terrible, really; he got wood on the ball both times. He was robbed the first time, and moved the runners up the second time. But his batting average is looking pretty scary now.

Bubba took over Damon's spot in CF, but didn't have to work too hard out there. Not much for the fielders to do when the pitcher's giving up monster homeruns. :-P

And the Yankees are officially in panic mode. Starting pitcher Kris Wilson was called up from Columbus today, and sure enough, Bubba's pal Kevin Reese was sent down. The Yankees also picked up outfielder Aaron Guiel off the Royals' trash pile. He's a stopgap - 33 years old, DFA'd from the pathetic Royals. He strikes out a lot, walks some, and has some pop. Not a very good player, but he hits okay against righties. Unfortunately, this probably means he'll be platooned with Bernie in RF, leaving Bubba on the bench. Unless he really stinks up the joint.

I'm reminded of last year, when the Yanks experimented with Tony Womack, Matt Lawton, and Ruben Sierra, only to end up using Bubba in the end...quite successfully, too.

Joe doesn't seem to remember that:

Bubba Crosby has had just 20 at-bats since being reinstated from the disabled list June 15, collecting only three hits in that time. Crosby remains on the bench for the Yankees, and Torre seems content to save him for pinch-running and late-inning defensive purposes.

I'm mostly a supporter of Torre, but one thing that drives me nuts is the way he treats young players. They never get a chance. He really is "Clueless Joe" when it comes to that.

Sigh. On a sweeter note, this young softball player in upstate NY names Bubba Crosby as her favorite athlete.
posted by BubbaFan, 6:35 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

"The answer is Bubba"

July 3, 2006: Cleveland 5, N.Y. Yankees 2

I guess it was to be expected after Sunday's offensive explosion. The Yanks seemed a bit flat the following night. Perhaps they were tired. The Sunday night ESPN game meant a late start, made later by a rain delay. It was well past 1am when the game ended, then they had jump on the plance to Cleveland. They didn't arrive at their hotel until 5am. And no "greenies" allowed this year.

The Yanks often struggle against young pitchers they haven't seen before. At Bronx Banter, they call it "URPs" (Unfamiliar Rookie Pitcheritis). Sowers didn't have overwhelming stuff; the Yanks just didn't get the breaks. The strike zone was constantly changing. A lot of balls were hit hard - right at a fielder. And there were some bizarre calls, like Giambi striking out when the umpire decided an inside ball had hit the knob of his bat.

The usually sharp Chien-Ming Wang struggled. His sinker wasn't working; he was getting more outs with his changeup. He really didn't do that badly, all things considered. Every pitcher has days when his stuff's not working very well. Wang adjusted, and kept the Yanks in the game. Impressive for a young guy like him, IMO.

Unfortunately, the defense struggled as well. Melky had a bad night in the outfield, looking totally out of his depth. He doesn't get the kind of read on the ball that Bubba does, alas. Not only did he take a bad route to the ball, he misplayed it off the wall. And he still hasn't learned to use cutoff men.

But he wasn't the only one. Jeter, A-Rod, Wang, and Green missed balls that they might have gotten to on another night. It just wasn't the Yankees' night. Best to just forget about this one and move on.

Bubba did not see any playing time. I wasn't expecting him to, with a southpaw on the mound for Cleveland. And with the Yanks behind 5-2, Torre didn't want to pull Bernie in the late innings like he usually does.

Bernie's defense didn't hurt us much, mostly because not much was hit his way. But his offense didn't help any, either. His hot streak seems to be over.

Today on the Newsday On the Yankees Beat blog, a spontaneous "play Bubba" campaign has broken out.

"Larry" started it:

The truth of the matter things are getting bad when we hold a team to 5 runs and do not win. The roll player at bats are starting to show their level of performance. Melky is down to .250, Andy is sliding down to .275. Bernie is hitting .100 in the last 45 at bats. Kevin Reese is chosen as a pinch hitter over Crosby which leads me to another point. Joe plays the player who is hot and disgards when the cooling period begins. This works for the most part. Bobby Murcer stated on TV that Crosby could be a guy who hits 20 homers if given the opportunity with some work with his hands through the ball. The HR total is high in my opinion. This is the same Crosby who Cashman was happy to enter the season with as the starting CF if no free agent was aquired. I believe Bernie is being over played at expense of the team. Bubba should go out there everyday for a month or rested against tough lefites and given a try. He brings defense and small ball to the table. This will help save runs and score them with one player replacement. He's not the answer long term but for now deserves the chance.

Several other people posted their agreement, including "Paul":

The Yanks have the answer to the problem and it is Bubba.

Bubba stepped up last September and was one of the keys to the division title drive.

Twenty home runs? Who cares? He can hit more than adequately in small ball, run the bases and Bubba and Melky on the corners will stop runners thinking of turning a single into a double or more.

Bernie is a Yankee icon and has been a tremendous team player over so many years. He is worthy of every accolade. However he should not play regularly in the field; his skills are not what they used to be.

Bubba should play every day. His bat will follow suit.

If only we could Torre on board.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:54 AM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

July 2, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 16, N.Y. Mets 7

One minute, everything was going good. And the next minute, their offense exploded. - David Wright

What a roller coaster ride this game was. It started out horribly. Jaret Wright, who had been looking good his last few starts, had nothing last night. His sinker wasn't sinking. By the end of the 2nd, Wright was gone, and we were down 4-0. It was early, but given the problems the Yanks have had on offense lately, it seemed unsurmountable. Many fans despaired.

But Alay Soler proved to be as hittable as Wright. Jorgie offered the first ray of hope, hitting a solo homer off him in the bottom of 2nd. Villone shut down the Mets, giving the Yanks a chance. And they took it in the bottom of the 3rd.

Soler walked Nick Green, the #9 hitter, and that opened the floodgates. Walks, hits, and errors loaded the bases, then A-Rod hit a monster grand slam. Still, Willie didn't take Soler out. He wanted to spare his bullpen, and was willing to sacrifice young Soler. By the time the inning was over, eleven batters had come to the plate, and eight runs had scored.

It was pretty much a laugher after that. The Mets had clearly given up, while the Yanks, having been burned before with big leads, did not. They scored four more in the 4th, and three more in the 5th, including another homer, a three-run shot, for A-Rod.

Nick Green also hit a homerun. A Devil Rays castoff much-maligned for his .077 batting average, he had a monster inning in the 3rd. A walk, a steal, a two-run homer, a curtain call...the kind of debut young players dream of. Nick Green now joins Marcus Thames, Todd Zeile, Andy Phillips, and, yes, Bubba Crosby, on the list of players who homered in their first ABs as Yankees.

Bubba came in as a defensive replacement for Bernie in RF at the top of the 6th (and should have been brought in much sooner, IMO). In the 7th, Reese took over RF, and Bubba took over CF. He provided his usual sterling defense, though no heroics were required.

He got one AB, lining out to right in the 7th. No one else hit Feliciano, either, but I was hoping he'd get a hit. It's been awhile now.

It ended well, but this game really exposed Bernie Williams. His defense is terrible, and even when he hits well, it doesn't make up for the runs he gives away.

The top of the 2nd inning was a case in point. Two outs, one run in. Reyes hits a fly ball to RF. The way Bernie plays it, it's a two-RBI triple.

Bubba would have caught that one. It would have been inning over, one run scored. Instead, the inning dragged on. Thanks to Bernie's "defense," four more batters come to the plate and three runs scored that would not have scored with Bubba in RF.

Something similar happened in the 5th. A "double" to RF scored one run, which Bubba would have caught for the third out. By my count, Bernie's defense put four runs on the board for the Mets. They were not only running on his arm, they were intentionally hitting toward him. There's no way his bat can make up for it.

Even if Bubba's a deadweight in the lineup, he'd be better than Bernie. And he won't be a deadweight in the lineup, given a fair chance. Torre should just tell him he's starting from now on, for his defense, and it's okay if he doesn't hit. That would take some of the pressure off, and I bet he would hit.

And it's not just runs. It's the way Bernie's poor defense lengthens innings for the pitchers. Wright and Chacon can't go deep right now, our bullpen is overworked...and we have Bernie, giving away extra outs. All those extra batters faced, all those extra pitches thrown. We can't afford it.

Derek Jeter and Bubba Crosby in the dugout

Bubba sitting next to Derek Jeter in the dugout.

posted by BubbaFan, 5:45 PM | link | 2 comments |

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Ducks on the pond, can't get home

Well, we actually lost a game yesterday, and the traditional wailing and gnashing of teeth has ensued. We need a starting pitcher! We need a slugging outfielder! We need relievers! We have too many holes and might as well give up now!

I am still not panicked. We're doing okay. We've won 7 out of our last 10, and 7 out of 9 of our last series. Last year at this time, we were at the .500 mark, and fourth in the division.

It seems like we are struggling, because Toronto and the Red Sox are on real hot streaks. But they won't stay that hot all season, and we'll likely have a hot streak or two of our own along the way.

One thing is rather troubling, though: the number of runners we are stranding. Our OBP is #5 in the AL, and the number of homers hit is #7. But in runs scored, we are #12 - third from the bottom. We're getting on base, we're getting some big hits...but not at the same time.

Not sure if this is an actual problem or just a statistical fluke. We do miss Hideki and Sheff, no doubt, but we scored plenty of runs without them last month. And we're actually winning more games without them. Fox put this graphic up yesterday:

Here's a look at the Yankees' stats with RISP:


Jeter 70 .357 .489 .486
Damon 55 .345 .394 .564
Rodriguez 88 .295 .442 .523
Cairo 31 .290 .290 .323
Posada 67 .284 .433 .463
Giambi 60 .283 .494 .750
Williams 64 .266 .316 .328
Cabrera 46 .261 .382 .326
Phillips 43 .256 .277 .419
Stinnett 17 .235 .381 .412
Cano 75 .227 .268 .320
Crosby 16 .125 .176 .125

(Ouch, Bubba! Very small sample size, but still.)

Discounting Stinnett and Crosby due to the small sample size, two things are striking. One, that Johnny Damon has great numbers with RISP, but not that many opportunities (likely because he's the leadoff hitter). Two, that the hot-hitting Cano has terrible numbers with RISP, but a lot of opportunities (second only to A-Rod).

Perhaps a lineup change would help, when Robby gets back. Either that, or some lessons in situational hitting.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:36 AM | link | 0 comments |

Randy Roughed Up...Again

July 1, 2006: N.Y. Mets 8, N.Y. Yankees 3


Bubba starting: Bubba Crosby was thankful to be in Saturday's starting lineup. It meant the outfielder could warm up his once-ailing hamstring a little bit easier.

Since being activated from the disabled list on June 15, Crosby said he's had more trouble getting ready to come in late in games.

"I used to be able to take half an inning [to get ready]," Crosby said. "If I knew I was going in in the eighth, I would start getting loose in the seventh. Now I get moving around in the fourth.

"It's a lot easier [starting]," he added. "I know what time the game starts, so I can start moving around."

Time to warm up or no, it was not a good day for Bubba or the Yankees. We got the old Randy Johnson today. His slider was flat, he struggled with his location, and I suspect his velocity wasn't that great, either. (There was a bit of a radar gun controversy.)

With Randy giving up two runs in the first and another five in fourth, the Yanks hitters felt the pressure early, and it showed. Bubba especially seemed to struggle:

2nd: Andy on first, one out. Trachsel had been throwing a lot of balls, and I was pleased that Bubba showed some patience this time. He tried to bunt the first pitch, but it went foul. Ball, pickoff attempt, called strike, ball. Down swinging. It wasn't a terrible pitch to swing at, at least. It was a breaking ball, and he ended up swinging over it.

4th: Melky on 1B, no outs. Bubba Crosby swings at the first pitch he sees, hitting a slow grounder to 2B. Melky out at second on the fielder's choice. It was very nearly a DP, but the soft hit and Bubba's speed let him beat the throw to first.

(BTW, Fox sucks. They were interviewing Willie Randolph in the dugout while Bubba's at bat played out. Grrrrr.)

Cairo up next; a wild pitch lets Bubba saunter to second. Runner in scoring position with one out. Things were looking good.

But once again, they couldn't cash in. Cairo grounded out to third, then Damon flied out. Sigh.

6th: Bases empty, two outs. Called strike, ball. On the third pitch, Bubba hits another soft groundout to 2B.

Bubba watches from the dugout as Bernie stands in the on-deck circle.

8th: Torre has Bernie PH for Bubba. Bernie Williams pops out weakly to 2B the first pitch he sees. Wow. Bubba could never have managed to do that.

I was irate that we lost Bubba's defense for that, but down 5, I guess it didn't matter. Still, I'd rather they let Bubba get the at bat. He needs the experience more than Bernie.

On defense, Bubba had a solid if unspectacular day. Not much hit to RF. (Melky had some adventures in LF, though. He really needs to learn to use cutoff men.) There was a long flyout by Reyes in the 6th that I'm not sure Bernie would have run down. It carried some, but Bubba still made it look easy. He got a good jump, chasing it down in plenty of time and setting up underneath it on the warning track. I have a feeling Bernie would have played that one off the wall.

Bubba blows a bubble as he throws the ball back in.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:46 AM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Shut Out

June 30, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 2, N.Y. Mets 0

A classic pitchers' duel between El Duque and...just about the entire Yankees pitching staff. ;-)

Luck just doesn't seem to be with the Yanks this year. Last night, at long last, the weather showed all clear for the night. It seemed we'd finally have a game with no threat of a rain delay. Hah! Out of the blue, a line of strong thunderstorms bringing heavy rain descended on the Bronx. was still saying it wasn't raining, even as buckets came down and the radar showed ominous splotches of red and yellow as well as green.

There was a rain delay of over an hour, which took Moose out of the game. Villone came in for him, and gave up a hit to Endy Chavez, ruining the no-hitter. However, I forgave him when he got it back by picking off Chavez at first. He worked really hard on it, changing his timing, using the slide step, and just keeping at it until the payoff. Great stuff.

To my amazement, Proctor and Farnsworth also pitched well. And Mo, was, well, Mo.

I can't really complain about playing Bernie this time. He went 2 for 3, stole a base (so lackadaisically that even Torre commented on it, but it worked), and scored a run. And he wasn't a liability in the OF, mainly because hardly anything got out there.

Bubba came in for Bernie at the top of the 8th. He really didn't help the Yanks yesterday, I'm sorry to say. He was brought in for defense, but nothing was hit his way.

Bubba came to bat at the bottom of the 8th. Jeter led off with a double. Giambi struck out, then A-Rod flied out. (To scattered boos. Short memories these fans have.) Posada was intentionally walked to reach Bubba. Alas, Bubba didn't make them pay. He took one ball, then popped out to 3B on the second pitch. Again, he threw his bat hard to the ground in visible frustration as he ran it out.

To be fair, Giambi and A-Rod didn't get the job done, either. Still, I'd hoped Bubba could bring Jeter home. A contact hitter can often hit pitchers a slugger can't. Bubba was over-anxious, I think. Trying too hard. He needs to be more patient at the plate. He has a good eye and quick hands. He can afford to take more than one pitch.

I can understand why he's so wired, though. Bernie is hitting well from both sides now. And Andy has taken over at 1B. That means Giambi DHs. Which means Bernie can't. So Bernie is getting the lion's share of starts in LF, when it was supposed to be Bubba. The only way Bubba is going to get more playing time is if he starts hitting better than Bernie. Or better than Andy.

Bubba gets another chance today. Torre is starting him in RF. C'mon, Bubba! Please start hitting, so the Ghost of Bernie Williams can be laid to rest on the bench, where it belongs.

On another subject...the Middletown Times Herald-Record has a nice article about Miguel Cairo.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:54 AM | link | 0 comments |