All Things Bubba

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

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Top Ten HSB Plays of 2006

You know what I mean. The kind of play that makes everyone in the room (or in the game thread) go, "Holy (bleep)!!!! BUBBA!!!!!"

So here they are...

#10   September 3, 2006 - Bubba Robs Rabelo, Part 1. Bubba makes a beautiful play in CF.

#9   September 4, 2006 - Bubba Robs Rabelo, Part 2. The very next day, Bubba gets a great jump and robs him again.

#8   March 26, 2006 - Bubba homers off Zumaya. The funny thing was the Detroit announcers. They were so busy gushing about what a stud Joel Zumaya is that they barely mentioned what was happening on the field. Until Bubba hit a two-run homerun off him. It was the go-ahead and game-winning hit, pinning Zumaya with the loss.

#7   August 23, 2006 - Bubba hits a two-run homer for the Clippers, a "screaming liner" over the right field fence. He had a great game overall: 2 for 5, 2 runs scored, 1 home run, 2 RBI. He also made a nice play in RF, getting a great jump, holding the runners on and preserving the Clippers' lead. He finally won the game in extra innings, hitting a line drive to right, moving to 2B on a T-Long single, then using his great speed to score the winning run from 2B on a Bronson Sardinha hit. (Bubba kept Louisville Bats right fielder Chris Denorfia busy all night. His homerun went over Denorfia's head, his single was to RF, and his game-winning run was scored just ahead of Denorfia's throw home. Yes, the same Denorfia who is now his teammate!)

#6   May 13, 2006 - Bubba comes in as a LIDR for Melky Cabrera at the top of the 8th, and makes Torre look brilliant when he makes this nice catch. Not as flashy as some he's made, but it turned out to be key. It was the second out, and Scott Proctor would later give up a walk and a single before the end of the inning, so Bubba likely saved at least one run with his glove. The Yankees ended up winning 4-3, so this play may have been the game. And Melky wouldn't have made it.

#5   May 11, 2006 - Grand theft Bubba! Bubba robs Mike Lowell of a two-run homer. It's always sweeter when it's against the Red Sox.

#4   May 15, 2006 - A classic Bubba circus catch. In the words of Mike Mussina: "You can't make a better play than that. It turns a double and guys running all over the place into a sac fly."

#3 & #2   April 26, 2006 - Bubba made two great plays in this game, one a diving grab, the other one of his crashing-off-the-wall specials. He also had a pretty good night at the plate, going 1 for 2 with a walk, a stolen base, and a sacrifice bunt. Though the Yanks ended up losing 2-4, Bubba was chosen Player of the Game.

#1   July 14, 2006 - Mariano Rivera took the mound with a three-run lead in the 9th...and promptly gave up three singles, loading the bases with no outs. It looked like the game was slipping away. It was Bubba to the rescue, with this great play. Bubba's catch was chosen as the #2 WebGem on ESPN's Baseball Tonight - beaten out only by a diving catch by Coco Crisp. (While Bubba's play may have won the game for the Yanks, Crisp's only kept a 15-3 loss for the Sox from being even worse.)

Happy New Year, all! Here's to lots more HSB moments in the coming year.


posted by BubbaFan, 4:05 PM | link | 2 comments |

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Year's Turning

I posted A Bubba Crosby Retrospective over at Red Hot Mama. Basically, hitting the highlights of Bubba's Yankees career, as both as a fond goodbye to his time in pinstripes, and a way to introduce him to Reds fans who don't know anything about him.

Red Hot Mama is quickly becoming my favorite Reds blog. Which is odd, because it's nothing like Bronx Banter, my favorite Yankees blog. Maybe it's just nice to read something different. Or perhaps it's the different teams they follow; I suspect crunching stats is a lot more fun when you've got a whole lineup of full of all-stars.

Nothing much going on on the Reds front these days. Former Red and Yankee Aaron Boone was signed by the Marlins. The Reds were interested in him, but perhaps not enough to make him an offer. Boone had a pretty bad year, and many were surprised he got a major league deal.

Or maybe Boone just preferred Miami to Cincinnati. I hear he likes Joe's Stone Crab.

Reds spring training tickets go on sale Tuesday. Though they aren't selling tickets to the Yankees game yet, except as part of a multigame pack. Single-game tickets for that one will go on sale January 13.

Meanwhile, in New rumors are sprouting like mushrooms after a rain. Many thought that with Zito off the market, the Yanks would be reluctant to trade the Big Unit, but they still seem keen to move him. The Star-Ledger is reporting that "Randy Johnson's brief stay in New York could end as soon as today."

The Yankees are also still interested in Doug Mientkiewicz for first base. They still want a lefty reliever. And obviously, they'll need someone to replace the Big Unit. Expect the wheeling and dealing to continue well into the new year.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:42 AM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bobby Murcer

The New York Daily News is reporting that Bobby Murcer has a brain tumor. Murcer, a former Yankees center fielder and current YES broadcaster, had been suffering headaches and fatigue. An MRI on Christmas Eve revealed the tumor. Murcer, 60, is scheduled for surgery today at the MD Anderson Hospital in Houston. It's described as "one of the top cancer facilities in the nation."

I never saw Murcer play, but he's always been one of my favorite broadcasters. A little old-fashioned, but that's part of his charm. And he's always been one of Bubba's biggest supporters. He thought Bubba should be the Yankees' starting center fielder, and was against the Damon signing. He's always said hitting is mostly a matter of confidence, and he felt the Yankees had undermined Bubba by repeatedly telling him he couldn't hit. He wanted them to give Bubba a chance, and predicted if they did, he'd hit 20 home runs a year. Even after Bubba was DFA'd, Murcer was still saying he wanted Bubba over Damon in center field.

Get well soon, Bobby.

UPDATE: If you want to send Bobby a card, here's the address:

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd.
Houston, TX 77030

UPDATE #2: The surgery was a success. Bobby's wife, Kay, says he awoke in good spirits. She expects him to be at spring training.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:26 AM | link | 3 comments |

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Something Big?

Are the Yankees secretly working on a huge, blockbuster trade? Maybe. There's a guy who posts occasionally at the YES message boards. He claims he has a friend who's a scout for the Yankees. Is that true? I dunno. YES recently installed new message board software, so nobody has a very long history there (even though they've had their message board and most of their regular posters for years).

Anyway, tonight this person said said his scout friend told him the Yanks are working on a monster trade. If it goes through (big if), it will be the second biggest trade in MLB history. As many as five teams are involved (Yankees, Rangers, Angels, Braves, White Sox). Two Yankees who have no-trades may be traded. (Presumably Randy Johnson and Alex Rodriguez.) When the dust settles, the Yankees will have a new lefty reliever (not necessarily Gonzalez), a new third baseman, a new first baseman, and maybe a new, almost-ready catching prospect.

Quite a shakeup, if it actually happens.

And in other news...100 MLB players tested positive for steroids in 2003:

A federal appeals court revealed today that more than 100 major league baseball players tested positive for steroids in 2003, and ruled that the government could use their tests in its investigation of illegal drug distribution to athletes.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco also said federal investigators had obtained Major league Baseball's 2003 testing samples and results for 10 players linked to the investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, and that eight of them had tested positive for steroids.

Oy. That spattering sound you heard was the spit hitting the fan...

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posted by BubbaFan, 9:35 PM | link | 0 comments |

Player Reporting Dates

The Reds have finally gotten around to announcing spring training reporting dates:

Feb. 17: Pitchers and catchers report

Feb. 21: Position players report

Feb. 23: Photo day

Wouldn't surprise me if Bubba shows up early, though.

Meanwhile, the Hot Stove rumors continue. The Padres supposedly want the Big Unit, too, and are offering Scott Linebrink. The Mariners might be interested as well.

If the Yankees do trade RJ, they may jump in on the Zito sweepstakes. Zito clearly wants to play for the Yanks, and perhaps would make some concessions to do so.


posted by BubbaFan, 8:35 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, December 25, 2006

The shirt off his back

Look what Santa brought me:

It's one of Bubba's jerseys from his stint with the Columbus Clippers this year. "Santa" was actually my best friend, D. I always said he's the kind of guy who'll give you the shirt off his back. But this time, it was the shirt off Bubba's back. A very cool souvenir, especially since it's from the last year the Clippers were part of the Yankees organization.

In other news... The Star-Ledger is reporting that the Yankees are talking about trading Randy Johnson back to Arizona. The Big Unit has a no-trade clause, but he hates NY and still lives in Arizona. He would happily agree to this trade.

I must say, I wasn't expecting anything like this. But it could make sense. Arizona desperately needs starting pitchers and a marquee name. The Big Unit may not be the pitcher he was a few years ago, but he's still a decent starter, and he'll be better in the NL. He doubtless still has plenty of fans in the Arizona area, who will turn out hoping to see him earn his 300th win.

Meanwhile, the Yankees would love to be rid of RJ. He's been a disappointment. An overpaid disappointment. I don't know who they'd start in his place (Pavano?), but getting Johnson's $16 million a year off the books would free up a lot of cash to pursue other talent.

It's all still just rumor, but supposedly, the Yankees won't pay any of RJ's salary. That being the case, they can't expect much in return: one major leaguer, two minor leaguers. ESPN radio reported that the major leaguer is outfielder Eric Byrnes. If they get him, they'll pull the trigger on the Melky for Gonzo deal.

And the Japanese media are reporting that Aaron Guiel is about to sign with a Japanese team, the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. He will play right field for them, and bat fifth in their lineup. Best of luck, Ralph Malph. I'll miss you.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:32 PM | link | 1 comments |

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A-Rod Got Run Over By a Reindeer

A-Rod got run over by a reindeer
Heading down the parkway Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
But as for me and Jeter, we believe.

He'd been out late playing poker
It was going pretty well
Till he saw the paparazzi
And took off like a bat right out of hell.

When they found him Christmas morning,
His Mercedes was all trashed.
There were hoof prints on his forehead,
And suspicious piles of deer poop on the dash.

A-Rod got run over by a reindeer
Heading down the parkway Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
But as for me and Jeter, we believe.

Now we're all so grieved for Torre,
His old heart is sad and blue
See him talking to the press corps,
Reponding to reporters, "Alex who?"

It's not Christmas without A-Rod.
He was taken far too soon.
And we just can't help but wonder:
Is there still a chance to re-sign Aaron Boone?

A-Rod got run over by a reindeer
Heading down the parkway Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
But as for me and Jeter, we believe.

Now the beer is on the table
And the bowls of dips and chips.
And the grape and Cool Blue Gatorade,
That remind us all of A-Rod's purple lips.

I've warned all my friends and neighbors.
Don't be fooled by that old man
He's no friend of our Bronx Bombers
Santa's suit is red 'cause he's a Red Sox fan.

A-Rod got run over by a reindeer
Heading down the parkway Christmas eve.
You can say there's no such thing as Santa,
But as for me and Jeter, we believe.

Merry Christmas! On a more serious note...happy holidays, all! Peace on earth, good will toward men, and all that...even you Red Sox fans out there.

posted by BubbaFan, 8:30 AM | link | 5 comments |

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Gonzo under the tree for the Yanks?

Bucco Blog is reporting that the three-way trade is a done deal. Supposedly, Mike Gonzalez had to cancel a personal appearance in Texas yesterday in order to come to NY to be examined by a doctor of the Yankees' choosing.

If he passed the physical and the deal goes through, the Yankees will send Melky to Atlanta. Atlanta will send LaRoche to Pittsburgh. The Pirates will send another player to Atlanta (perhaps Castillo or McLouth). And the Yankees' Christmas present will be Gonzalez wrapped in pinstripes.

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, there's still no official information about Griffey's injury. The Cincinnati Enquirer thinks Griffey will be healed by spring training, but the Reds would not confirm it.

Someone said Griffey incurred the injury playing with his kids, but who knows if it's true.


posted by BubbaFan, 6:30 PM | link | 3 comments |

Friday, December 22, 2006

Griffey Comes to Grief

The big news today is that Reds starting center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr. broke his left hand in a "household accident." No details were released, and apparently, they aren't going to be released. Which is leading to wild speculation.

Whatever it was, it can't be more ridiculous than these true baseball injuries. At least he's never tried to iron his shirt while he was in it.

Griffey is left-handed, so it was his throwing hand he broke. But he may still be ready to play by spring training. If not...I'm not sure if that would improve Bubba's chances or not. The Reds may decide to trade for yet another OFer if Griffey is going to miss significant time. If they decide to stand pat, well, Bubba is probably their best center fielder. Freel can play CF, but they seem to like using him as a utility guy. And there's a feeling that he plays better if he doesn't play too much. Chris Denorfia is the other name mentioned for CF, but he's terrible there, at least judging from his stats. He's a very good right fielder. Center field...not so much.

I'm not sure how Norris Hopper would be in CF. His stats look okay, but he's played very little at the major league level, so the sample size is extremely small.

In other news...Dontrelle Willis was arrested for DUI, after a cop spotted him urinating in the street. Oy. And here I thought he was such an upstanding guy. Up standing and peeing in the street, it would seem.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:02 PM | link | 1 comments |

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Reds make their move

Today, the Reds announced that they acquired first baseman/corner outfielder Jeff Conine from the Phillies. They traded two low-level prospects for him, and DFA'd infielder Brendan Harris to clear space on the roster.

Jeff Conine?! I hope he plays mostly first base, because his fielding stats in the outfield have fallen off a cliff that past couple of years. As you might expect of a guy his age. The Reds did want a right-handed bat. And his ability to play both infield and outfield will doubtless come in handy in the NL. He probably won't play every day, given his age.

Still, I'm reminded of when Bubba was with the Dodgers. He was leading the PCL, hitting .361 with 24 doubles and 12 homers at Triple-A Las Vegas. He thought he was finally going to get his shot. But the Dodgers decided to sign Rickey Henderson instead. The 44-year-old Rickey Henderson. Who ended up hitting .208.

In other news...the Reds have added an extra game to their spring training schedule. It's Saturday, 2:00pm, March 31, against the Marlins at Fifth Third Field in Dayton, Ohio.

It will be a split-squad game, since the Reds are also scheduled to play in Florida that afternoon.

And gee, the Reds sent me a Christmas card. The Yankees didn't send me one.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:45 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Cooking up trade rumors on the hot stove

The Yankees have been awfully quiet this Hot Stove season so far. That may be changing. Suddenly, there's a swirl of rumors.

Randy Johnson reportedly wants to be traded to a team closer to his Arizona home. Like anyone would take him. He'll be 44 next year, is coming off back surgery, has knee problems, and is way overpaid for what he delivers.

The Yankees are rumored to be trying to sign Doug Mientkiewicz to play 1B. I like this idea. He's got a great glove, at least. The only drawback is that he's yet another lefty. The Yanks are really southpaw-heavy these days. Only Jeter and A-Rod are right-handed hitters.

But the hottest rumor is that Melky Cabrera will be traded to Pittsburgh for their closer, Mike Gonzalez. Earlier this week it was rumored to be Kevin Thompson, or a three-way trade with Atlanta. Now it's rumored to be Melky for Gonzalez, straight up. Or maybe Melky and a low-level prospect. The Pirates originally asked for Melky and Scott Proctor, but the Yankees refuse to trade Proctor. He's really become a golden boy this season.

I think this deal makes sense for both sides. The Pirates need a young (read: cheap) outfielder. The Yankees need bullpen depth, especially left-handed. Gonzalez is arbitration-eligible, and is likely to command more money than the Pirates want to pay. Plus, what's the point of having a closer when your team rarely has a lead to protect? The left-handed Gonzalez is only 28, in his prime. He did have elbow tendinitis this season, but presumably the Yankees will insist on a physical.

This will also be in Melky's best interests. He is not going to get any serious playing time as fourth outfielder behind Matsui, Damon, and Abreu. Not with Giambi clogging up the DH spot. And Tabata will be ready in a year or two. The Yankees could also send Melky to Scranton so he gets regular playing time, but that's not ideal, either. With Pittsburgh, he'll get a chance to be a starter.

I don't know if Melky has the tools to be a starter, let alone a star. But he has a better chance in the NL. At least they'll give him more of a chance in Pittsburgh than he'll get in the Bronx.

And the Boston Globe reports that Pavano has a new agent and a new attitude, and is working really hard in Arizona...for the first time in his career. The Cardinals are reportedly interested. And why not? If they can make Jeff Weaver into an ace, why not Pavano?

I hear the Yankees have added new luxury seating at Legends Field. It costs $190 a seat. For spring training games!?

Meanwhile, the Reds have been pretty quiet. They are probably waiting for things to calm down, since they can't afford to outbid the big-market teams. They still don't have a first baseman or starting right fielder. has a report on how Reds players are doing in winterball. How are the other outfield candidates doing?

Norris Hopper is doing pretty well:

Hopper went 3-for-20, dropping batting average to .312. He has two home runs and 18 RBIs in 125 at-bats.

Hopper is something of a dark horse. He's 27, and this year was his first in the majors. That's pretty old, considering that he's not a college guy. He turned pro at age 19, so it's taken him nine years to reach the majors. But he's at his physical peak now, and has been hitting pretty well.

Chris Denorfia is not doing so well:
Denorfia is hitting .258 with 12 RBIs in 93 at-bats. He has struck out 21 times.

No word on how Josh Hamilton is doing. The Reds say they are going to get him into instructional league or winterball or whatever it takes to get him as many at-bats as possible, but I haven't seen any stats for him. I guess they are hoping he can catch up because of his sheer talent, but I think it's a long shot. He'll probably be returned to the Rays during spring training.

(Amazingly, they already have a photo of Hamilton in a Reds uniform on his player page. The magic of Photoshop? Bubba's still in his Yankees uniform in his photo.)

I wonder if the Reds would consider a Norris Hopper-Bubba Crosby platoon in right field?

posted by BubbaFan, 7:03 PM | link | 2 comments |

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Claussen's replacement?

The Reds acquired a new pitcher today, in unusually controversial fashion. On Tuesday, the Mariners DFA'd lefty starting pitcher Bobby Livingston. The Devil Rays claimed him...then immediately traded him to the Phillies for cash. Today, MLB stepped in, nullifying the deal. Apparently, you're not allowed to claim players off waivers in order to trade them. The 24-year-old Livingston was awarded to the Reds, who were the next on the waiver claims list after the Rays.

Can you imagine what it must have been like for him? Cut from Seattle, claimed by Tampa, traded to Philadelphia, then assigned to Cincinnati...all in three days. His head must be spinning.

Livingston is a finesse guy, not a power pitcher. He's a pretty big guy. Not Colter Bean big, but big. (Which is good for a pitcher. Someone crunched the numbers once, and found the heavier the pitcher, the better the ERA.) The ever-crabby Rotoworld is not impressed. They don't think he has a future in the majors.

No roster move was necessary, because the Reds non-tendered catcher Miguel Perez on Tuesday. (Unlike Claussen, the Reds signed Perez to a minor league deal the very next day.) However, the roster is now full. If the Reds acquire anyone else off the waiver wire, they'll have to cut someone.

And now, a completely off-topic and utterly silly link: Simon Sez Santa. It's kind of like that Subservient Chicken site, only it's Santa. Type in commands, and he obeys. Here are some fun ones:

Air guitar
Kick tree
Burn tree
Burn couch
Ride Rudolph
Burn Rudolph
Kiss Rudolph
Kill Rudolph

(Note: There are some things Santa won't do to Rudolph... ;-)

posted by BubbaFan, 10:18 PM | link | 4 comments |

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Yanks Cut Ralph Malph

Aaron Guiel, AKA "Ralph Malph," was non-tendered yesterday. I must say, I wasn't expecting this. I thought the Yanks were going to set up a platoon at first base, with lefty Guiel and Andy Phillips, Josh Phelps, or maybe some other right-handed first baseman. I guess not. The Yankees apparently weren't sure Guiel would even make the team, and therefore didn't want to offer him a contract. Though if he doesn't get any better offers, he could still be in the Yankee system next season.

I like Aaron Guiel. I'd rather keep him than Andy Phillips. (Honestly, I don't understand Cashman's love affair with Andy. He's a nice enough kid, and I like him personally, but he doesn't have the versatility you need for a bench player, and I can't see him ever being a starter, either. At least, not for the Yankees.) Guiel can play both first base and outfield, which might come in handy if the Yankees go with 13 pitchers, as they've suggested.

I was prepared to dislike Guiel, since he basically took Bubba's job, then took his spot on the roster. But he has a lot of the qualities I love about Bubba, so I couldn't dislike him for long. He hustles on every play, on offense and defense. Very solid on defense, with a great arm. A little more power than Bubba, but not as much speed. But now he, too, is out of options, and the Yanks have cut him loose.

Guiel has a web site run by his devoted fan Josh Murphy. It was sort of an inspiration for me. If Ralph Malph has a web site, Bubba deserves one, too, dangnabit.

Anyway, I wish Guiel the best of luck in whatever he does. (Unless he becomes a Red Sock, of course. ;-) He's worked so hard for so long.

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati...I'm not sure what's going on with Brandon Claussen. Marc Lancaster thinks the Reds have "lost confidence" in Claussen. And Claussen himself seemed to think his time with the Reds was over. But the Dayton Daily News says the Reds hope to keep him:

The Reds, however, made it clear to Claussen that they'd like to have him back, but needed room on the roster, especially because Claussen won't be ready to pitch during spring training due to shoulder surgery in August.

"We told him we would like for him to come back on a minor-league contract and we remain interested in keeping him," said General Manager Wayne Krivsky.

Claussen was a highly-rated Yankee prospect back in 2003. Fans protested vehemently when he was sent to the Reds as part of the Aaron Boone trade. (And of course, the acquisition of Boone meant Robin Ventura had to go...which led to Bubba becoming a Yankee.)

A couple of years ago, BP wrote about the young players the Yankees had traded away, in an article called The Claussen Pickle. Back then, it was looking like trading Claussen away was a bad move. Now? I dunno. Boone was a bust, but Claussen is still a question mark. Would the Yanks want him back? Maybe, but I have a feeling his nibbling would drive Torre nuts.

In other news...the Red Sox have reportedly got a deal with Daisuke Matsuzaka. It sounds like they got everything they wanted, and Boras didn't get anything he wanted. But Matsuzaka sort of painted him into a corner, by making it so clear that he did not want to go back to Japan. A cultural difference, I suspect. I think Matsuzaka would have been very uncomfortable pressing his future employers as hard as Boras is wont to do.

And the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Red Barons have been renamed. They are now the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees. The uniforms will have pinstripes, and they'll have an interlocking SWB logo.

posted by BubbaFan, 5:36 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Roster Move

The Reds finalized the contract of relief pitcher David "Stormy" Weathers today. Since the roster was full, a move had to be made.

Of course, I worried it would be Bubba, even though none of the rumors mentioned his name. I can't help it. After three years of holding my breath every time the Yanks made a roster move, it's just habit.

Well, it wasn't Bubba who was cut. It wasn't any of the players who were rumored to be in danger, either. Instead, pitcher Brandon Claussen was DFA'd. I'm guessing they expect him to clear waivers and be assigned to the minors. The Yankees did that with long-suffering Colter Bean earlier this year. He still had options left, but they DFA'd him to get him off the roster. As expected, no one claimed him off waivers, and he was pitching in Columbus three days later.

Ever wonder what happened to Lenny Dykstra? He's now a stock guru. He lost most of his savings when the stock market tanked a few years ago, and decided to take charge of his own money. He ended up teaching his neighbor's daughter how to play softball in exchange for investment tips. He thinks investing is a lot like baseball:

The link between his career in pro baseball and his new one as an investor and day trader is an ability to spot patterns. "You know the most important count in baseball?" he asks rhetorically as we stroll back to his hotel. "One-and-one. If it goes to two-one, a hitter hits .300. If it goes to one-and-two, he hits .100."

To Nails, bad traders and bad batters are alike in that they swing for the fences when they should stay focused on merely getting on base. His trading philosophy is not that different from how he hit Hall of Famer Steve Carlton. "The game, whether it's baseball or stocks, is about getting into a predictable situation, a 2-0 count, when the odds are in your favor. At 2-0, the guy's gonna throw a fastball into my love zone, where I can turn and burn. I got one rule in stocks. When I make a $1,000 gain, I sell. GTC, dude. Good-till-cancel order. Buy it at $10, sell it at $11."

Now he is trying to start an investment fund for baseball players.

"Guys are done playing at 35," he says, "and there's nothing worse than to make a man change his lifestyle. When that money's flying in, they don't think about paying the bills when they get older, 'cause they never been 35 and outta work. If you don't have cash coming in, you either gotta change your lifestyle drastically or go broke. You can't pay for the big house with the big lawn and the big driveway. The wife says, 'What happened, honey?' What're you gonna tell her? Get a job? She's gotta take care of the kids."

He calls his fund "The Player's Club." The minimum investment is $250,000. So far, no one has signed up.

UPDATE: I was wrong about Claussen. He's arbitration-eligible. The Reds are non-tendering him, apparently with no intention of re-signing him. I must say, that's a bit of a surprise.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:52 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, December 11, 2006

Random Miscellany

I'm giving up sports. I really mean it this time!

Okay, no, I don't. But I swear, the Cowboys are going to kill me. Sometimes they look so good...sometimes they look like they did last night. A Saints fan in the stands had a sign that said, "The Fall of the Romo Empire." That about summed it up. Sigh. At least it'll keep young Tony from getting a big head.

So I get home from work today and find a package on my doorstep, left by the mailman. It's from my mom. Ah, a Christmas present, I think. And I'm right. But it's not for me. No, it's addressed to my cat.

I think that's her way of chiding me for not providing her with grandchildren: "If you have kids, I won't have to send Christmas presents to your cat."

Speaking of Christmas presents...the Yankees are offering holiday ticket packs, with several different game and seat choices. The perfect gift for the Yankee fan on your list. Though a lot of people seem to be buying it for themselves.

This story is sweet. It's about Jon Lester, the young Red Sox pitcher who was diagnosed with cancer last summer. He was overwhelmed by the support he received. The article mentions that the Yankees sent a large bouquet of flowers. They were the only baseball team to send him flowers, except for his own team, the Sox. Guess the "Evil Empire" is not so evil, eh?

Random Bubba link: this one from Alarming News, wherein various fans drool over Bubba and lament the fact that he's married. My favorite is the comment by "Chad":

He's seriously making me reconsider my once-immovable position that I would never date someone named Bubba.

And I came across this odd link today: the Campus Squirrel Listings. It's a web site that rates colleges by their squirrel populations. Of course I immediately had to see if my school was listed. I scrolled down to the R's...nope, it's not there. But Bubba's alma mater, Rice University, is listed:

The Campus Squirrel Listings is sometimes contacted by actual officials from colleges and universities. This is the case with Rice. Terry Shepard, who is Vice President for Public Affairs, reports:

"Hey, any institution can claim to be squirrel heaven. But what evidence do they provide? Some claim devotion to their squirrels? They probably have a photo of an old building on the cover of their campus phone directories. On its, Rice features the noble squirrel! Some schools named squirrels the college mascot? Rice named squirrels the national bird. (See Rice Thresher, April 19, 2002.) Forget the skinny bodies and sparse tails of California squirrels. Pass on the Midwest and Northeast squirrels, which spend much of the school year in hibernation and the rest of it frantically storing up acorns. If you want BIG squirrels year-round, come to Texas, and especially to Houston. Rice squirrels dine at leisure through our warm winters, and spend the summer growing large and lush, like other tropical life. Visit Rice and we are confident that you, an objective expert, will conclude that there is no campus squirrellier than Rice's!"

Now that's what I call being a booster for your school! All in all, Rice deserves a major squirrel ranking!

They gave Rice a rating of five squirrels, the highest ranking. Wow. I am impressed. In addition to all Bubba's other accomplishments, he can claim to hail from the squirreliest campus in the country!

posted by BubbaFan, 7:41 PM | link | 2 comments |

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rule 5

Well, well. The Rule 5 draft today was surprisingly exciting. The Yanks haven't claimed anyone via Rule 5 for over a decade...but today, they grabbed Josh Phelps from the Orioles. I gather the Orioles weren't thrilled. They were planning to use him, but didn't protect him, I guess because they didn't think anyone would want him.

If the Yankees thinks Phelps can be their first baseman, Andy Phillips may be in trouble. And maybe it means the Yanks are no longer interested in Craig Wilson?

The odd thing is that Phelps isn't that great on defense. The Yankees really don't need another all-bat, no-glove first baseman; they have Jason Giambi for that. Maybe the scouts think Phelps can improve his defense. Or maybe he'll meet the fate of the last player the Yanks acquired via Rule 5: cut during spring training.

Meanwhile, the Reds grabbed two players today, basically paying the Cubs for their pick - Josh Hamilton. Hamilton is a former #1 draft pick who was out of baseball for years due to injury and substance abuse problems. He's gotten a fair amount of press coverage around here, since his story is so dramatic and he was playing for the Hudson Valley Renegades this past summer.

Hamilton is a left-handed outfielder, once known for his power bat. He is only 25 years old, so it's not too late for him to have a major league career.

I suppose this not good news for Bubba. Another lefty OFer. There are now nine guys competing for what will probably be at most five spots on the roster. And Hamilton, being Rule 5, must be carried on the 25-man roster all season, or be offered back to Tampa.

But I'm not too worried. The more I think about it, the more I think Hamilton is an odd choice for Rule 5, unless they can work out a deal with the Rays that lets them send him to the minors. He was playing for the Renegades this summer - a short-season Class A team. And batting .260. I don't see how he makes the jump to the majors from there. Can the Reds seriously be considering carrying him on the roster all season?

The other player the Reds got was pitcher Jared Burton, from the A's.

The Reds didn't lose anyone to Rule 5, but the Yankees did: centerfielder Victor Hall. Hall is 26 years old and still in Class A, so I doubt the Yanks are too upset over the loss.

In other news...Steve Lombardi of WasWatching names Cashman's best and worst trades. On the "best" list:

Traded Robin Ventura to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Received Bubba Crosby and Scott Proctor.

I have to agree on that one. The Yanks more than got their money's worth out of that deal. And Cashman deserves a lot of credit. The Dodgers scouts were reportedly quite surprised that the Yanks got both Proctor and Crosby. They thought one of them for Ventura would have been a fair deal.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:21 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Red Hot Mama interviews Bubba

Reds blogger Red Hot Mama came through in the clutch and scored a short interview with Bubba at Redsfest. She's put it up as a podcast/downloadable MP3 here. (Nice photo, too - the first I've seen of him in a Reds jersey.)

(But hey, what does he mean, "New York fans are crazy"? I'll have you know I resemble that remark...)

posted by BubbaFan, 5:01 PM | link | 4 comments |

Redsfest Photos!

Here are some photos from Redsfest, courtesy of the kind and generous Jim S.

The schedule board, with Bubba's name on it:

Jim's daughter, eleven-year-old Olivia, shows off her Bubba Crosby jersey. She's a big fan of Bubba's. Obviously a young lady of taste and discernment!

Bubba sitting at the autograph table.

Looks like he's signing Olivia's jersey:

Note the item at the bottom left. It's this photo:

Isn't that great?

Signing something else:

Bubba with Olivia:

(Wow, his eyes are really blue.)

Thanks, Jim! The next best thing to being there.

posted by BubbaFan, 12:19 AM | link | 6 comments |

Friday, December 01, 2006

Catwalk Report

The new Reds uniforms have been unveiled!

The lovely and talented shortstop, Brandon Phillips, models the spring training uniform. Apparently, the Reds don't just wear theirs for spring training. They also wear them on holidays, and for Sunday night games.

Right-handed reliever Todd Coffey models the road grays:

And outfielder Chris Denorfia, AKA "Heartthrob," models the home uniform:

(Yes, he's the reason Bubba can't wear #19 for the Reds.)

At the end, a bunch of players and coaches came out wearing the new jerseys. I couldn't tell if Bubba was among them. My guess would be no.

I like them. No more sleeveless jerseys, and piping instead of pinstripes. Those white pants look nice...but I'm glad I don't have to wash them. Especially Bubba's.

The Reds are having a sweepstakes where you can win three personalized jerseys, one in each style.

UPDATE: You can now see some better pictures of the new uniforms at Look for the "Photo Gallery" link.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:19 PM | link | 0 comments |

Redsfest Live

You can watch Redsfest live. has a live video link. Click on the link that says "Watch the Reds FanFest live."

Dunno if they'll show Bubba. Or if he even made it. (The weather has been really atrocious the past two days, and there are widespread airport delays.)

Right now, they are having a Reds fashion show. A bunch of cheerleaders dancing around. (The Reds have cheerleaders?) Ugh. The music is Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll, Part 2" - you know, the song the NFL banned because Glitter is a convicted child molester.

posted by BubbaFan, 5:30 PM | link | 0 comments |