Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Wow. I'm surprised and delighted at the number of people who have visited the Web site, signed the guestbook, and sent me nice e-mails. Thanks! I wasn't expecting that large a response, it being the off-season, not to mention the time of year when everyone's running around like a maniac. Nice to know that Bubba has so many fans.
And special thanks to those who pointed out typos and other errors. It's a good thing I'm not a copy editor, because I'd starve to death.
Anthony might be a new fan. I came across his blog a few weeks ago, when he wrote a really funny story about playing MVP Baseball with his brother. Turns out that Anthony, though a New Yorker, is in Houston. A grad student at Rice, no less. I told him that was Bubba's alma mater, and that he'd been a big star there. He hadn't known that, and said he might buy a Bubba jersey to wear to Rice baseball games. Being a Mets fan, he despises the Yankees, and would never buy a Yankees jersey, but he might get a Reds one.
I know, I know, he's probably just humoring the Bubba groupie. But hey, small world, ain't it?
Redsfest is tomorrow. The weather was dreadful across the center of the country today, causing all kinds of airport delays, but hopefully everything will be cleared up tomorrow. It sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun. They will be doing a live radio broadcast from Redsfest on Saturday; dunno if it will available on the Web, but it might be.
And speaking of fun...check out these Posters for the Unmotivated. A couple of Reds bloggers got together and made one for every team in the league. Hilarious.
Okay, the site actually went live a few weeks ago, but it wasn't complete, so I held off announcing it. (Though some of you seem to have found it anyway.) It still isn't complete, actually, but the figurative curtains are hung, and it's ready for visitors.
Why a Web site? Well, blogs have their advantages, but they aren't a great way to organize information so you can find it again. Plus, I was borrowing bandwidth from a friend (for the video clips and such). I didn't want to impose on her generosity too much. It was time to get my own space.
This blog will continue. But now those of you who aren't interested in my off-topic blitherings about pro football, college football, the Yankees, etc., have another option. Bubba news will be posted to the Web site as well as the blog; you can visit either, or both.
And speaking of football...it was Houston vs. New York weekend. The New York Jets made short work of the NFL's newest team, the Houston Texans. The score wasn't that lopsided, but the game was. Meanwhile, the New York Giants faced the team formerly known as the Houston Oilers. It looked really lopsided, for the first three quarters. But down 0-21 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Titans stated an unlikely comeback, scoring 24 unanswered points and winning the game with a 49-yard field goal with only six seconds left on the clock. Unbelievable. The biggest fourth quarter comeback in Oilers/Titans history.
Poor Eli Manning. His two interceptions were a big reason the game ended the way it did. His coach ripped him publically, and the media is comparing him unfavorably to other young quarterbacks, such as Philip Rivers, Vince Young, and even undrafted Tony Romo.
Of course, the controversial way Eli ended up in NY gives him a harder row to hoe than most. Plus, I think the Giants rushed him. The NFL is a different game from college ball. It's very difficult for a young quarterback to just step in at the pro level. (Yes, I know Vince Young is a rookie, but it was basically just one good quarter.) Tony Romo, IMO, had the ideal introduction to the NFL. He spent two years on the sidelines, learning behind veterans Vinny Testaverde and Drew Bledsoe, before stepping into a starting role. Eli had only half a season on the sidelines...and he was tutored by Kurt Warner, not a guy known for his smart decisions.
And in baseball news...the Red Sox are rumored to be trading Manny Ramirez. I'm not sure what I think about that. On the one hand, Manny drives me nuts. His defense is terrible, and no one would ever accuse him of hustling or playing the game right. OTOH, without Manny or a similar hitter in the lineup, they are just going to pitch around Big Papi. If the Sox get rid of Manny, they may find out he was their real MVP, not David Ortiz.
The Reds have updated Bubba's player page. He is listed as a right fielder, and has been assigned #16.
He couldn't have #19, because fellow outfielder Chris Denorfia has it. The Reds have retired #18, in honor of Ted Kluszewski. And #17 is being worn by catcher Javier Valentin. So that left #16 for Bubba.
Bubba wore #19 when he first put on a Yankees uniform in 2004. In 2005, Al Leiter was given that number while Bubba was down with the Clippers. So when Bubba was called up again, he switched to #18. In 2006, newly acquired center fielder Johnny Damon wanted to keep wearing #18, the number he wore with the Red Sox, and asked Bubba what he wanted for it. Bubba gave up the number and switched back to #19 (which had been freed by Leiter's retirement) without asking anything in return. (Though Damon slipped a Rolex into Bubba's locker in thanks.) When Bubba was last in Columbus, he wore #27. And now he's #16. I have a feeling it will be a lucky number for him.
Scout.com is having a "free preview" weekend. Their usually subscriber-only content is available for all to view. For example, this Overview Of Yankees Outfield Prospects:
Crosby may be the closest player the Yankees have to the big leagues. He was acquired from the Dodgers for Robin Ventura at the 2003 trade deadline. While his age has greatly diminished his chances of making a splash in the majors, he could still be a solid reserve player or even possibly a starter. Has a good eye with a quick line-drive swing. Crosby has decent power and is able to hit the ball to all fields. A solid defender with an adequate arm. His only chance to make the Yankee outfield now is if injuries were to strike.
Crosby's best tool is his command of the strike zone. He doesn't strike out much and puts the ball into play with authority. Crosby is a line-drive hitter that uses all parts of the field and his speed to get on base. He used to be more of a threat to steal bases, but he has suffered several minor hamstring injuries that may have cost him a step. The injuries may be a result of his all-out style of play. Crosby plays hard and is always running to beat out ground balls. While still playing for Rice, he was compared to former major-leaguer Lenny Dykstra for this....
Batting and Power: A good eye, quick swing and good contact abilities are Crosby's trademarks. He doesn't have serious power and only projects to hit around 10-15 homeruns a season, if that many. He could hit around .280 in the majors, however.
Base Running and Speed: Crosby used to have 25-steal potential, but hamstring injuries and possibly a disinclination to steal bases have hindered that. He is a very good baserunner however and still has good speed. He hit nine triples this season.
Defense: In college, Crosby was a centerfielder, but he's played mainly left field as a professional. He has a good glove and an adequate arm.
Projection: Reserve outfielder. He's been compared to Mark Kotsay, but I think that might be a bit generous.
ETA: 2004. Crosby is ready for the majors right now. The problem is that he may not have a chance to play there if he stays in the Yankees' organization.
Cincinnati has a yearly event called Redsfest, where fans get a chance to meet the players and such. It's December 1-2, 2006, at the Duke Energy Center. Tickets are $10. And Bubba is on the list of scheduled guests.
The new Reds uniforms will also be unveiled at this event.
There is no way I can schlepp to Cincinnati at this crazy time of year, but hopefully someone who can make it will take pictures or something.
Q. How do you keep an Aggie from beating his meat?
A. Paint it orange. The Aggies haven't beaten anything orange in years.
Good-bye to Texas University!
So long to the Orange and White.
Good luck to the dear old Texas Aggies,
They are the boys who show the real old fight.
The eyes of Texas are upon you
That is the song they know so well (sounds like hell!)
So, good-bye to Texas University...
Just a quick post to wish Bubba fans near and far a happy Thanksgiving!
And good work on that poll on the Reds' front page. Bubba has surged ahead of Mike Stanton. Next up: A-Gon!
I am currently trying to roast a duck. I am not much of a cook, and something like a turducken is beyond me, but I agreed to try a duck. (Why do I let people talk me into these things?)
My favorite part of Thanksgiving is Dallas Cowboys football. The weatherman on CNN this morning didn't even know if the game was in Dallas or Tampa. And neither did anyone else on the set. Sheesh. It's in Dallas every year. That's why the Cowboys agreed to play every year: guaranteed homefield advantage. Anchor Carol Costello would have known that, if she were there. She's a big-time Detroit Lions fan.
Kelly Clarkson is singing the national anthem, wearing an Emmitt Smith jersey. And Dallas is wearing their "retro" jerseys. They've been wearing them every year on Thanksgiving lately. I don't like them. They're dark, except the sleeves. Dallas has a much better record if they wear their white jerseys. If they must go retro, I wish they'd wear the '90s jerseys, white with blue stars on the sleeves. I always loved how those looked.
Ah, well. As long as they win...
The Reds still have not released an official spring training schedule, but enough other teams have that this partial schedule has been pieced together. It is not complete, and dates and times are tentative.
March 2 at Twins, 7:05 p.m.
March 5 Phillies
March 6 at Devil Rays, 1:05 p.m.
March 7 at Yankees, 7:15 p.m.
March 9 Indians, 1:05 p.m.
March 10 at Indians, 1:05 p.m.
March 13 at Yankees, 7:15 p.m.
March 14 Devil Rays, 7:05 p.m.
March 17 at Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.
March 21 at Twins, 1:05 p.m
March 22 Yankees, 1:05 p.m.
March 23, at Devil Rays, 7:05 p.m.
March 24 Phillies
March 26 Red Sox, 1:05 p.m.
March 27 at Phillies, 7:05 p.m
March 29 Twins 7:05 p.m
March 30 Devil Rays, 7:05 p.m.
The baseball world is still abuzz over the Mat$uzaka bidding. Craziness. The Mets bid $38 million for the posting fee, and thought they had it all sewn up. Little did they suspect that Boston would bid $51.1 million. (Just that number cracks me up. It's like those people on eBay who bid $51.01. Did Boston really think someone else was going to bid $51 million?) The Yankees came in fourth (perhaps having learned their lesson after Irabu).
That's over $50 million, just for the posting fee. D-Mat's salary will probably be another $50 million on top of that. The Reds' entire payroll for next season is only $60 million.
I'd say the Red Sox have now forfeited their right to complain about the Yankees' payroll. I guess they found out "moneyball" has its limits. Going with the young, cheap players (Coco Crisp instead of Johnny Damon, etc.) got them third place in the AL East, eleven games back of the free-spending Yanks and a game back of the Blue Jays.
And rest in peace, Bo Schembechler. My sister is a Michigan alumna, so I'll be rooting for the Wolverines tomorrow.
The Yankees have announced their spring training schedule. All games are in Florida.
March 1 Minnesota, 1:15 p.m.
March 2 at Tampa Bay, 1:05 p.m.
March 3 Pittsburgh, 1:15 p.m.
March 4 at Philadelphia, 1:05 p.m.
March 5 Detroit, 1:15 p.m.
March 6 at Cleveland, 1:05 p.m.
March 7 Cincinnati, 7:15 p.m.
March 8 at Atlanta, 1:05 p.m.
March 9 Tampa Bay, 7:15 p.m.
March 10 at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m.
March 11 Cleveland, 1:15 p.m.
March 12 at Boston, 1:05 p.m.
March 13 Cincinnati, 7:15 p.m.
March 14 Minnesota, 7:15 p.m.
March 15 Atlanta, 7:15 p.m.
March 16 at Houston, 1:05 p.m.
March 17 at Phillies, 1:05 p.m.
March 18 Pittsburgh, 1:15 p.m.
March 19 at Toronto, 1:05 p.m.
March 20 Philadelphia, 7:15 p.m.
March 22 at Cincinnati, 1:05 p.m.
March 23 at Pittsburgh, 1:05 p.m.
March 24 Toronto, 1:15 p.m.
March 25 at Detroit, 1:05 p.m.
March 26 Philadelphia, 1:15 p.m.
March 27 at Minnesota Twins, 1:05 p.m.
March 28 Houston, 7:15 p.m.
March 29 at Toronto, 1:05 p.m.
March 30 at Detroit, 1:05 p.m.
March 31 Detroit, 1:15 p.m.
Looks like Bubba's going to have three games against his old team during spring training.
The Reds won't play the Yankees during the regular season, from what has been pieced together of the Yankees' schedule.
I meant to post this link earlier, but never got around to it. Peter Abraham wrote about minor league free agents earlier this week. He said this about Bubba:
I'm sure a few of these players will return. But based on his angry exit, we've seen the last of Bubba Crosby in pinstripes.
Crosby = Womack? Maybe. Or maybe he'll be 2007's Brandon Phillips (guy-Wayne-got-after-somebody-else-gave-up-on-him type).
They didn't just pull this guy's name out of a hat, that's for sure. For one thing, Reds' bench coach Bucky Dent was his manager at AAA Columbus in 2004 and in 2005. For another thing, he was the Dodgers' first round pick in the 1998 amateur draft. We can safely assume the Dodgers scouting department that year had something on the ball, based on our observations this year of another guy they drafted in 1998 - David Ross, who they took in the 7th round. So it really wouldn't surprise me if whoever it was (presumably on the west coast) who tipped Kriv-Dawg off about Ross just threw Wayne another bone (pun intended, Bubba's full name is Richard Crosby - if you don't get it go read the thread about the Reds' new pitching coach).
Crosby twice made the Yankees' Opening Day roster in spring training, which can't be easy to do considering the Yankees are a team with deep pockets that prefers to spend big bucks on established free agents rather than taking chances with rookies. He finished last season Red hot, hitting .321 (17-for-53) in 23 September games and .345 (20-for-58) over his final 31 games of the season. He also gained postseason experience by playing in three games in the ALCS in 2004.
Crosby has committed two errors in 182 major league games, and no errors in 245.3 innings in right field, where the Reds presumably have a hole to fill if they don't convince Griffey to move over.
I guess this move also tells us something about what the Reds think of Heartthrob, as well as of Norris Hopper.
I played with the Mets, but since this game is outdated, the 2004-2005 Mets. I let Eddie play with the Yankees, so he had a considerable advantage (which would be absent now given that the Mets are superior to the Yankees). Originally we agreed that the first to win 10 best-of-seven series would win the Championship. I was up 9-6 or something and he came back and won..... BUT NOT BEFORE HE CHEATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right! When I wasn't looking, Eddie went into the basic preferences controls of the game and changed all of the stats of his Yankee players! So now now Tony Womack goes from being steady bench player to .500 batting average first pitch homerun hitter. Just about every Yankee player did this. Except A-Rod. Eddie wouldn't change A-Rod's stats.
Now I, of course, don't pick up on this. Yep, I know, pathetic. In fact, some would say, given my hilarious ignorance, I down right deserved it. After the whole thing I'm saying to myself "Damn whoever created this game was a huge Yankee fan who hated A-Rod." But in my defense, I never imagined that my brother would cope with the agony of defeat and inferiority by EGREGIOUSLY CHEATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So while Bubba Crosby's 10/10 with 7 homeruns and 28 RBIs in one game seemed odd, I just figured Eddie was seeing the ball really well.
Who'd have thunk it? Bubba is the first Yankee free agent to find a new home.
The deal is reportedly a "split contract," where Bubba gets $400,000 if he makes the 25-man roster, but only $75,000 if he ends up in the minors.
The Cincinnati Post has some quotes from the Reds' GM about Bubba:
"We're going to look for him to try to make the team out of spring training," said Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "He's got the ability to play all three outfield positions. He's a left-handed batter and really knows how to play."
"He brings versatility, a left-handed bat and outfield depth," Krivsky said.
"He's a guy that there was a lot of interest in and we're glad to have him," Krivsky said.
In 182 games in the field, he's only made two errors - neither of them in either of the last two seasons.
...and no, it's not with the Clippers.
The MLB.com story has been posted, and has more details:
Reds sign former Yankee Crosby
Veteran outfielder's one-year contract worth $400,000
CINCINNATI -- The Reds made their first acquisition of the offseason on Friday, signing outfielder Bubba Crosby to a one-year contract worth $400,000.
By signing him to a Major League deal, Cincinnati protected Crosby on its 40-man roster. But he's not assured a 25-man roster spot for Opening Day 2007. The 30-year-old will go to Spring Training and compete for a job as a reserve outfielder.
"We're getting a guy that's been on winning teams, that plays the game the right way, that always plays it hard and can play all three outfield positions," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "We're happy to have him."
Crosby, a left-handed hitter, has split the past three seasons shuttling between the Yankees and Triple-A Columbus. He batted .207 with one home run and six RBIs in 2006 for New York and .238 in 22 games for Columbus.
Originally part of the Dodgers organization, Crosby broke into the Majors in 2003 and has posted a career .216 batting average and a .255 on-base percentage in 205 big-league games. He was designated for assignment on Aug. 5 and became a six-year Minor League free agent after the season.
"He knows what kind of hitter he is and what he needs to work on," Krivsky said. "It's somebody we've had interest in, and he got our attention when he came over on the wire. We wanted to sign him."
Bubba has signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds!
The Cincinnati Reds and free agent OF Bubba Crosby have agreed to terms on a 1-year Major League contract for the 2007 season, general manager Wayne Krivsky announced today. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Crosby, 30, last season appeared in 65 games for the New York Yankees and 22 games at Class AAA Columbus. In June he also made 3 rehabilitation appearances at Class A Tampa while recovering from a right hamstring injury.
Originally selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers with the 23rd pick of the first round of the June 1998 first-year player draft, in his career Crosby has appeared in 205 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Yankees. He was traded from the Dodgers to New York on July 31, 2003, along with RHP Scott Proctor, in exchange for 3B Robin Ventura
Two and a half years ago, Bronx Banter marked Bubba's first start by declaring "A folk hero is born in the Bronx." Yesterday, they marked the end of his career in pinstripes with an article called 2006 Post Mortem: Outfielders:
Bubba Crosby .207/.258/.299 (.206) 87 AB
For the third year in a row, Bubba made the team as the fifth outfielder out of spring training. But whereas he earned the spot the previous two years, this spring he was outplayed in Tampa by Kevin Thompson, Kevin Reese and even Mitch Jones, all of whom are younger than Crosby. The emergence of the Kevins should have pushed the 29-year-old Crosby out of the picture in the spring. Instead, it was a poorly timed hamstring injury, one that came just one week after Hideki Matsui's injury, that did the job. Crosby hit .290/.333/.387 while starting half of the Yankees' games in the stretch between Sheffield's injury and his own, but by the time he returned to action in mid-June, Melky Cabrera had claimed the left field job and Bernie Williams was in the middle of a brief hot streak as the Yankee right fielder.
Bubba made just nine starts in his final 34 games with the team and was designated for assignment in the wake of the deadline deals for Abreu and Craig Wilson. Though he hung on with Columbus for the remainder of the season, he hit just .238/.347/.393 there. A six-year minor league free agent, Crosby, now 30, has likely played his last game in a Yankee uniform.
As for trading for top-of-rotation starters, it's not going to be easy since nobody is inclined to deal other than the White Sox, whose starters are all tainted by last year's declines in efficiency. One of the reasons the Yankees have backed off from entertaining ideas of trading Alex Rodriguez is word out of Anaheim that the Angels are no longer willing to trade No. 2 starter Ervin Santana.
But Cashman has at his disposal a prime trading chip in Gary Sheffield, for whom he'd ideally like to get back a young pitcher - such as he did a couple of years ago when he sent Robin Ventura back home to the Dodgers in return for two prospects considered marginal by L.A. that turned out to be Scott Proctor and Bubba Crosby.
The Elias 2005-2006 Player Rankings came out yesterday. Bubba's not on the list, since he wasn't on the roster by the end of the season. But if you're curious about how he ranked the last two years...he was ranked #119 on the 2003-2004 list, with a score of 7.000. On the 2004-2005 list, he was ranked #108, with a score of 8.310.
And here's FoxSports Hot Zone diagram for Bubba:
In the category of nicest smile while sitting on the bench, the winner is..... Bubba Crosby!