All Things Bubba

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

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


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