All Things Bubba

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Yankees' New Backup CFer

September 25, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 16, Tampa Bay 1

I think this was the biggest blowout of the year. At least, that the Yanks were on the right side of. Tampa starter Jae Seo had nothing, and they left him out there way too long. The manager, rather than getting a reliever up, got himself ejected for arguing balls and strikes. A coach was ejected, too. I couldn't believe how worked up they got, considering that the game was meaningless to them.

The reason they were so frustrated was a terrific at-bat by Hideki Matsui. He was amazing. He saw fourteen pitches, eventually homering on the last one. Unreal.

Perhaps the most interesting development was that Joe put Melky Cabrera in centerfield in the 6th inning. It was already 12-0, and a lot of scrubs were in. But Joe has never used Melky in CF this season. He tried him in RF for awhile at the beginning of the season, then put him in LF and kept him there. He felt that moving him around would confuse him too much. Even when we could have really used Melky in CF, Joe never moved him there. Until last night.

I suspect this signals the end of Melky's tenure as starting leftfielder. Matsui is scheduled to start in LF tonight, and unless he's really awful, the job will be his again. Melky will take over what used to be Bubba's role: backup outfielder, LIDR, and pinch-runner. This was likely the plan all along, the reason they were willing to let Bubba go.

In other developments...Andy Canizarro hit his first big league home run last night. The game was already a blowout (which is why Cannizaro was playing), so it didn't make a difference in the game. Of course, it was a big deal to young Andy. He did his best to play it cool, but once he got into the dugout, his smile would have powered a small city. And he was carrying the retrieved ball and the lineup card after the game.

It reminded me of Bubba's first homer. That game, too, was a blowout, only the Yanks were down 1-9, rather than being on the winning side. Bubba's hit made it 3-9, but with only two outs left in the game, it really didn't make a difference. Still, Joe said it made his day to see Bubba floating around the bases.

The reaction of the YES announcers was kind of interesting. For Cannizaro, they were talking like his homer was the pinnacle of his career. "Even if he never gets another at-bat, he'll always remember this." While when Bubba hit his home run, they seemed more inclined to think it was just the beginning of his major league career.

Miguel Cairo had a good game as well. He almost hit a home run with bases loaded in the 9th. It stayed in, but was still a bases-clearing double. It's amazing how much better he hits when there are men on.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:09 AM


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