All Things Bubba

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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


A local paper, the Albany Times-Union, printed a big steroids exposé today. A year-long New York state and federal investigation has busted a huge steroids ring, and their customer list included some famous names. Among them: Gary Matthews, Jr., Jose Canseco, Jason Grimsley, Evander Holyfield, and the Pittsburgh Steelers team doctor.

Then there's this article, about how Barry Bonds has grown in recent years. You wouldn't ordinarily expect a man in his thirties to be outgrowing his shoes and hats.

"The changes in his foot and head size," says the book, "were of special interest: medical experts said overuse of human growth hormone could cause an adult's extremities to begin growing, aping the symptoms of the glandular disorder acromegaly."

Holy crap.


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

Team Nappy 1, Team Bucky 0

I'm still not entirely sure what happened in this game; hopefully there will be some articles about it tonight or tomorrow. But I gather it was not a great day for our hero. Bubba's team lost - and he had a hand it.

In the third inning, he misplayed a line drive to right, letting it get past him. It was originally reported as a three-base error, but it looks like they ruled it a double and an error. The speedy Dickerson, a cousin of running back Eric Dickerson, would later score from third - the only run of the game. But it came at a cost; Dickerson turned his ankle as he hit home plate, and had to leave the game.

The run was unearned, because of Bubba's error. Not sure how our boy did at the plate, but he didn't get a hit. There weren't many hits, which is pretty much to be expected in early spring training.

Hey, it's only an intrasquad scrimmage. Tomorrow is another day.


posted by BubbaFan, 5:20 PM | link | 0 comments |

The Lineups

John Fay has posted the lineups for today's intrasquad game:

Team Nappy (Ed Napoliean)

Brandon Phillips 2B
Alex Gonzalez SS
Adam Dunn DH
Jeff Conine 1B
Josh Hamilton CF
David Ross C
Juan Castro 3B
Dewayne Wise RF
Chris Dickerson LF
Bronson Arroyo P

Team Bucky (Bucky Dent)

Ryan Freel CF
Chris Denorfia LF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Scott Hatteberg DH
Javier Valentin C
Mark Bellhorn 2B
Joey Votto 1B
Bubba Crosby RF
Paul Janish SS
Homer Bailey P

Bubba is starting in RF for "Team Bucky," batting eighth. But they said they want to give everyone a chance to play, so he might not play for the whole game (which is only five innings).

Bucky Dent - fondly known as "Bucky (Bleepin') Dent" in Boston - was the manager of the Columbus Clippers in 2004 and 2005, so he and Bubba have worked together before. Some have even speculated that Bucky was the one who encouraged Krivsky to sign Bubba.

Looks like there won't be live coverage of this game at or MLB.TV. Sigh. But John Fay and C. Trent Rosecrans have promised to post updates in their blogs.

Let's go, Bubba!

posted by BubbaFan, 10:03 AM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fun with Photoshop

On Sunday, Trent wrote about "baseball card day" - when boxes of baseball cards from Topps arrive. He said the prize was "a Derek Jeter card that had President Bush and Mickey Mantle Photoshopped into the background"; it set off a scavenger hunt for more.

I didn't think much of it. Sounded a bit odd, but baseball cards have some funky stuff these days. I figured it was a portrait-style card. It wasn't until I saw this article that I realized it was a gag card - apparently perpetrated by a prankster in the Topps company. Bush Photoshopped (not very well) into the crowd, and Mantle into the dugout. LOL!

The card had been going for about $2 on eBay, but since the story hit the press, it's been going for a lot more. Some people are paying hundreds of dollars.

I think the funniest thing is the Reds immediately noticed, but Jeter apparently did not. He knew nothing about it. I guess he's long past the days when he gets excited about baseball cards.

And speaking of baseball cards...many moons ago, Bubba Crosby and Josh Hamilton were consecutive 2001 Bowman Chrome cards.

Bubba was #255, Josh was #256. The Topps site somehow got the backs of the cards out of synch with the fronts (on their web page, not the actual cards). So card #256 appears to have Josh on the front, Bubba on the back.

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

Center field

Trent reports:

In early outfield drills, Ryan Freel was in center, Dunn and Griffey were in left and Crosby and Hamilton were in right. Not that I think it means a whole lot, but it did happen.

He also says he'll try to keep us updated on the 5-inning intrasquad game tomorrow. Homer Bailey is supposed to pitch, as well as Arroyo, so everyone's all excited.

Looks like MLB.TV isn't covering it. (Boo!) Maybe will come through, at least with audio. Sigh. If not, we'll have to depend on the newspaper bloggers.

From Lonnie Wheeler's blog:

What we do know, pretty much, is that Ken Griffey Jr. will not be the Reds' starting center fielder. In March.

He has the wrist thing from wrestling with his kids, and it has left Jerry Narron, the Reds manager, wrestling with his kids. Guys like Ryan Freel, Josh Hamilton, Bubba Crosby, Norris Hopper and Chris Denorfia will be rolling around in the grass of Ed Smith Stadium this spring.

Interesting. I had thought it looked like Griffey was staying in center. But Mr. Wheeler sees signs of a big change in the offing:

Unlike last year, the manager did not say that center field is a done deal because the Reds already have the greatest center fielder of the generation playing it. He did not even say that those other guys will be playing center field in spring training just in case Griffey is not ready by Opening Day.

Griffey himself has gradually become less resistant to the suggestion of moving over where his legs can perhaps better stand the strain. Not that he's surrendering center field. Not that he's dancing to the trendy music when it comes on. But he's no longer covering his ears, at least, or snarling at the speakers.

But he doesn't think Freel will start in CF. At least, not every day:

Even Freel, who put the wreck in reckless, understands that a position of his very own is probably not the best idea.

"I like to think of myself as a utility guy," said the man who never put on a uniform he couldn't soil by the second inning. "I just like being able to be that versatile. It's fun doing stuff that not everybody can do.

"I want to play 162 games, but it would be really tough for me. Just the way I play. I'm going to get some bruises here and there."

The pattern has been proven out in recent years, quieting the clamor for Freel to be at the top of every Cincinnati lineup card. His bruises and bumps lead to little batting slumps, "which then turn to mental," he acknowledged, and lead to bigger batting slumps. The upshot is that center field remains unresolved in Redsland.

Hmmm. This may be the reason for the "six outfielders" talk. If Freel can't play CF every day, they're going to need someone besides Conine, and, barring a miracle, someone besides Hamilton.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:35 PM | link | 0 comments |

More on the Reds outfield

This article, about Ryan Freel, has more about the comments Narron made about the outfield yesterday.

Narron said Monday the Reds might consider keeping as many as six outfielders - including players like Freel and Jeff Conine, who can play the infield and outfield - on the Opening Day roster.

And the Dayton Daily News has this story: Final Reds outfield spots up for grabs

The candidates are many and the available spots are few in the Cincinnati Reds outfield.

Manager Jerry Narron says there are four for-sures, "And it is going to be interesting for the fifth spot."

The anointed four are Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Ryan Freel and Jeff Conine. The fifth spot is to be determined among Josh Hamilton, Chris Denorfia, Norris Hopper, Bubba Crosby and anybody who walks in off the street swinging a potent bat and carrying a magnetized glove.

He also had this to say, about Freel:

Narron's answer to a question about Ryan Freel being a part-time starter and a plug-in player: "Ryan Freel is a starter. He just doesn't always start at the same spot. But this year he'll mostly start in center and right and won't be seen much in the infield."

The article also had a funny story about Adam Dunn being carded when he tried to buy two tickets for 23. The other ticket was for Griffey, but the cashier apparently thought it was for a child. Griffey thought it was hilarious.

And someone sent me this photo:

From someone who made it down to Sarasota for spring training, I guess. No, I don't know what kind of car that is. It reminds me of my old Ford Taurus, though, so I'd guess it's a Ford. My friend L. would probably know. She's a major car geek. One of those people who remembers movies by what cars were used in the car chases. And who'll rush off to the window in mid-conversation when she hears an unfamiliar engine passing by. Anyway, don't get too het up; it's probably just a rental anyway.

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posted by BubbaFan, 6:20 AM | link | 1 comments |

Monday, February 26, 2007

Manic Monday

Bubba actually is in this photo: #16, on the right.

Bubba worked with hitting coach Brook Jacoby yesterday.

Today, Narron talked a bit about the outfield situation:

Narron plans on carrying five outfielders and at the moment, already has four of those spots locked up for Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Ryan Freel and Jeff Conine. Hamilton is vying against Chris Denorfia, Norris Hopper and Bubba Crosby for consideration at the fifth spot. Narron also didn't rule out carrying a sixth outfielder if Freel was moved to the infield.

Because of his layoff and his past, Hamilton can be considered a long shot to break camp with the Reds. A lot will depend on if the Reds carry 11 or 12 pitchers, two or three catchers and injuries. Not wanting to risk losing someone with Hamilton's ability, Cincinnati will likely give him every opportunity to make the team.

Six outfielders sounds ridiculous, but Conine and Freel are infielders as well as outfielders, so I guess you could count them as 1/2 an outfielder each.

I still think it's a mistake to carry only Conine and Hamilton as reserve outfielders. With Dunn, Freel, and Griffey as the starters, you're going to need a solid backup - someone who is a defensive upgrade, and who can step in in case of injury.

Interesting that Narron is considering moving Freel back to the infield, though. Who would be the starter in RF then? Conine?

I still think the Reds should try to work a trade with Tampa so they can send Hamilton to the minors. Even if they can carry him all season on the 25-man roster, it wouldn't be good for him. He wouldn't get much playing time, and what he needs most is lots of at-bats. Warming the bench for a whole year would stunt his development. Yes, I know they did something similar with Wily Mo, but that was different. Hamilton has already missed four years. He'll be 26 years old in a couple of months. He really can't afford another year without playing.

Speaking of which...Joe Torre won't commit to giving Melky Cabrera three games a week. Last year, he said he'd rest one outfielder a day so Melky could play every day. Now he won't even commit to three games a week. Why am I not surprised?

Bobby Abreu will be out a couple of weeks with an oblique strain. And of course, the first question is whether this means an opening for Bernie. (Answer: no.)

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posted by BubbaFan, 5:50 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Reds Rally

Arroyo at Reds Rally

Not much news yesterday because everyone left early for a fan event called Reds Rally. The image above, of Bronson Arroyo, is the only photo I've found. I think that's Chris Denorfia next to Arroyo; looks like a DE on the jersey, and first number looks like a 2. (He's wearing 27 now.) The next guy over might be Bubba; looks like it might be a CR on the jersey. But it's so low-res, you can't really tell.

The Reds have announced the starting rotation for the first four exhibition games: LHP Eric Milton on Thursday at Pittsburgh, RHP Kyle Lohse on Friday at Minnesota, RHP Aaron Harang on Saturday vs. Minnesota and RHP Bronson Arroyo on Sunday at Pittsburgh.

Meanwhile, the Yankees soap opera continues. Bernie's mom says she's praying her son accepts that his Yankee career is over. Oy. I hope when the time comes for Jeter, Jorgie, and Mo to hang up their pinstripes, that they just make a clean break. Sign with another team, or retire in glory. Don't hang around like Bernie. The last couple of years, fans have been calling him GOB (for "Ghost of Bernie," referring to his faded skills). It seems even more appropriate this year.

Meanwhile, Ted Robinson wonders why the Yanks didn't trade A-Rod during the off-season:

...Rodriguez should have known the end began on that day last October in Detroit when Joe Torre batted him eighth. It may have been the prudent move on that day for the Yankees' playoff hopes, but it left Rodriguez marooned on an island of embarrassment from which there is no return.

I'm kind of surprised the Yankees didn't trade A-Rod. Lots of teams would have been interested, and A-Rod would probably have agreed to almost any team that could afford him. Now the opt-out clause looms - a further distraction to a man who doesn't handle distraction well.

Then there's Carl "Glass-@$$" Pavano. He got hit on the foot by a line drive, and had to go for an MRI. Unbelievable.

I dunno, for some reason I am more pessimistic about the Yankees' chances this season than I have ever been. The starting rotation seems shaky, especially compared to Boston's. The A-Rod/Jeter thing seems to be getting worse, not better. An already old team is a year older; in particular, Giambi as an everyday DH seems like a bad idea on a team where there so many aging veterans who might need a half day off now and then. (Though Giambi playing 1B is an even worse idea.)

Ah, well. I'm not giving up, by any means. If Jeff Weaver can pitch the Cards to a World Series championship, anything's possible.

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posted by BubbaFan, 4:27 PM | link | 2 comments |

Friday, February 23, 2007

Bubba's job to lose? has updated their depth chart. (Hat tip to smartelf.) Check it out. Bubba is listed as the #2 center fielder, behind only Griffey. Ahead of Denorfia and Freel. He's also the third backup in right field (behind Freel and Conine) and the fourth backup in left field (behind Dunn, Conine, and Freel). Hopper and Hamilton are listed as the fifth and sixth backups for corner OF.

Not that I think is any kind of a guarantee or anything, but it suggests that the Reds will be giving him a fair shot. It's up to Bubba. If he plays well in spring training, he'll make the roster.


posted by BubbaFan, 9:58 PM | link | 0 comments |

Go Fish

Bubba watches Freel bait his hook

Ryan Freel went fishing after practice today, and apparently took Bubba with him. LOL! Bubba looks like he's never been fishing before.

(And it looks like Bubba did shave for picture day.)

The Reds are considering going with only 11 pitchers, in order to carry Josh Hamilton. I guess that's good news for Bubba (and other position players trying for a spot on the roster). Not such good news for pitchers trying to crack the roster, though.

Redleg Nation has updated their organizational depth chart. They think Bubba will start in LF...for the Louisville Bats. Not sure why they have Bubba in LF and not CF. They have Hopper in CF. I haven't seen him play, but from what I've heard, he struggles to cover CF. I would think Bubba would be a better choice for center, if he does start out in Louisville.

Red Hot Mama got an e-mail from a Reds staffer, which mentioned Bubba briefly. It said he was a nice guy. (Dang. If I were a red hot mama, would I get e-mail updates from Reds staffers?)

Today was picture day. Which apparently means all the Reds put their uniforms on and run a gamut of photographers, including the baseball card photographers. So far, none of Bubba's have hit the web. But the ones of other players I've seen (not many) are kind of weird. Underlit, making the players look a bit diabolical. Maybe it's an attempt to make them look tough.

Oh, and Freel was successful:

Freel reeled one in

Nice catch. It's not as big as it looks, though. I fish myself, so I know this trick. You hold the fish out in front of you, closer to the camera, and it looks a lot bigger than it is.
posted by BubbaFan, 5:40 PM | link | 3 comments |

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Bubba Hubbub...

...appears to be dying down. Trent's clarification helped a lot. Bubba still has fans in NY, and many of them came out of the woodwork to support him, given a little cover.

And the ruckus appears to have been confined to the blogosphere. At least, I didn't see it in any of the dead-tree papers. Maybe they won't boo Bubba at Legends Field after all. We bloggers tend to forget that most of America probably doesn't give a rat's rear about blogs.

On the bright side, being reviled by Yankees fans appears to be a very endearing trait outside New York. I suspect Bubba could have rescued a kitten from a burning building, jumped into the Ohio River to save a drowning baby, and single-handedly foiled a terrorist attack on GABP, and it wouldn't have raised his stock among Reds fans as much as whipping Yankees fans into a frenzy of indignation did (inadvertent as it was).

In other news...the Reds currently have eight former first round draft picks on the roster. One of them being Bubba, of course.

Joe Torre's brother, Frank, needs a kidney transplant. His own kidneys have been damaged by years of medication taken because of the heart transplant he had ten years ago. I don't know if Joe is one of the candidates to donate.

The New York Times explores the Japanese Gyroball Mystery. Darn, I wish the Yanks had gotten Matsuzaka. Whether he throws a gyroball or not, I have a feeling he's going to be very good.

Kenny Rogers talks about "Smudgegate." He kind of admits he was using something, without actually admitting it. He justifies it by saying it's good for the batters, since they won't be HBP as often, and by claiming that changes MLB have made to the balls has made it necessary for pitchers to do something to swing the odds more in their favor. Kind of makes me believe that the rumors are true: all pitchers cheat a little.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:19 PM | link | 2 comments |

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Trent posts a clarification

Update on the current Bubba brouhaha...

C. Trent Rosecrans, author of the article that's caused such a ruckus, has posted at Blogging the Bombers, in defense of Bubba Crosby:

in no way did bubba 'rip' torre and the yankees. he just said it was different.

he was saying in the national league a fifth outfielder -- especially one on jerry narron's squad -- is going to get a lot more at-bats than a fifth outfielder on an american league team.

this was unused, but better sums up the tone of the interview

"It was an honor that Joe had enough faith and trust in me to throw me out there. In '05 I started three of the five games of the postseason. But if an offensive situation came up and it was me or Bernie Williams, Bernie was going to hit. I understood that role."

i didn't even see it as being an anti-yankee rant, which some people are taking it as here. bubba said he knew his place in new york and he enjoyed his time there and his time as a yankee, but thought his skills were better suited to the national league

Thanks, Trent!

UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: Trent has also posted a clarification at his blog.

posted by BubbaFan, 8:48 PM | link | 0 comments |

Bubba, what hath thou wrought?

Bubba Crosby, looking very un-Yankee-like

Well, I was thrilled this morning to see this article at the Cincinnati Post:

Yankees refugee Crosby likes camaraderie on Reds

I thought it was a great interview, and an interesting glimpse into the Yankees clubhouse. I should have known.

I didn't have time to blog about it this morning; had to head for the salt mines. By the time I got home this evening, the spit had hit the fan. Peter Abraham wrote it up as Hall of Famer Bubba Crosby rips Yankees. (What is it with Peter Abraham, anyway? I mostly enjoy his blog, but he really seems to have it in for Bubba. When Bubba was DFA'd by the Yankees, Peter's story was easily the most negative.)

Anyway, Yankees blogs and message boards are now buzzing with this story. And not in a good way. There are a few rational voices, pointing out that Bubba really didn't say anything all that bad, but they're being drowned out.

Other ex-Yankees have been far more critical than Bubba was, and I don't remember the reaction being this vitriolic. He may have hit a nerve, what with the big story in Tampa being A-Rod and Jeter's friendship (or lack thereof). Either that, or it's just a slow news day. (At least WasWatching is still in Bubba's corner.)

Poor Bubba. He probably didn't realize this article would be of such interest in NY. I hope it proves to be a tempest in a teacup, or he'll be booed by Yankees fans when the Reds come to Legends Field.

Anyway, I liked the article. It sounds very much like the Yankees I know. They're an older team, known for their corporate culture. I think that's all Bubba meant. He wasn't necessarily referring to the A-Rod/Jeter thing, or anything along those lines.

As for what he said about not getting a chance to was 100% true. He's gotten 250 at-bats in the last four seasons. Anyone's average would suffer in that situation.

The part about base stealing was interesting, too. He was 7 for 7 in stolen in bases in the couple of weeks he was with the Clippers last season; I wondered why he didn't steal more often with the Yanks.

The photo is very nice. The first pic I've seen of him in Reds gear (aside from the Redsfest photo at Red Hot Mama).

Looks like Bubba is growing some facial fuzz, as in his Dodger days. Eh. The longer hair is okay, but I hope he shaves before picture day.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:42 PM | link | 3 comments |

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bubba the Boxer

Acting on a tip posted by Lisa in the Meet Bubba Crosby comments, I dug up this article from the Houston Chronicle archives:

Crosby punching up his career

(Free registration required. Or, use BugMeNot.)

It's from Christmas Day 2005, and is about Bubba working out during the off-season by boxing, and how he thinks it helps his baseball game.

Speaking of working out...Bubba apparently knows Reds teammate and fellow Houstonian Adam Dunn, and sometimes works out with him.

Reds outfielder Bubba Crosby lives about 30 minutes from Dunn and has seen Dunn play since his high school days. The two Texans got together a couple of times during the winter, including a hitting session with Jacoby.

"He's not a guy satisfied with hitting 40 home runs and hitting .230, .240," said Crosby. "When Brook came down to hit with us, (Dunn) seemed very responsive to what he was saying. There wasn't any arrogance or cockiness at all. He was very receptive to Brook's ideas. I think that's the first sign of a guy who isn't satisfied with the year he had last year."

Crosby also points out that even though Dunn is two homers shy of 200 for his career, he is just 27 years old, a fact that Narron noted as well.

A ton of stories about Josh Hamilton came out today. That's because he had a press conference yesterday. Reporters came from all over the country to hear about his off-the-field issues.

So will he make the 25-man roster? Some think the Reds will basically play with a 24-man team if that's what it takes to keep Hamilton. Others think he'll probably be returned to Tampa. Trent was very impressed with the way Hamilton hit the ball, and thinks he'll make the team. But he says he's in the minority; most of the other reporters don't think he'll stick.

Meanwhile, in Yankeeland, A-Rod admits his friendship with Jeter has cooled. (Now there's a late-breaking news bulletin.)

“The reality is there’s been a change in the relationship over 14 years and, hopefully, we can just put it behind us,” Rodriguez said. “You go from sleeping over at somebody’s house five days a week, and now you don’t sleep over. It’s just not that big of a deal.”

Reporters are of course having a field day, making fun of A-Rod using the term "sleep over." Which admittedly does sound like something an eight-year-old would do.

I think Celizic is right. Nobody cares about A-Rod's personal life. They just want him to hit the ball when it counts. A-Rod desperately wants people to like him. They will - his teammates, the fans, everyone - when he wins a championship for them.

And Bernie has turned down the Yanks' offer of a minor league contract. He is apparently not interested in playing for another team, either. He's going to wait and see if a guaranteed job with the Yankees opens up.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:15 PM | link | 2 comments |

Monday, February 19, 2007

Bubba posts?

As I posted this morning, the Cincinnati Enquirer has an article about Bubba today, called Meet Bubba Crosby. Check out the comments. There's a reply from someone named "bubba." Dunno if it's really him or not, but even if it isn't, he probably is reading the comments. So if you want to send him a message, that's probably the place.

Someone named "Bobby" left this comment:

This guy is a class act. Great work ethic, focused, and has talent. Incredible work out regimen during the offseason. Thrilled to have him as part of the Reds Organization.

Dunno who "Bobby" is, but it sounds like he's with the Reds.

Reds blogger Red Hot Mama is running a poll about who will be the Reds' surprise star of the Grapefruit League. Bubba is currently in the lead.

KC2HMZ, who posts regularly at Red Hot Mama, is hoping the Reds will be this year's version of the 1986 Mets, with Bubba playing the role of Lenny Dykstra. Now that would be cool. Especially the beating the Red Sox in 7 for the World Series part.

Just posted this photo because I like it...

posted by BubbaFan, 3:42 PM | link | 3 comments |

Meet Bubba Crosby

The Cincinnati Enquirer has a brief Bubba Crosby profile today. Nothing earth-shattering, but it's nice to see him get some ink.

I didn't know his favorite movie was Braveheart. (I guess any flick that features Mel Gibson's bare bum can't be all bad. ;-)

I'm not much into movies myself. I prefer more interactive entertainment. (Yes, I'm one of those people who watches TV shows and baseball games with a computer in my I can discuss it online while it's happening.) My favorite movie of 1995 was not Braveheart but Babe. (No, it's not about Babe Ruth. It's about a pig that wants to be a sheepdog.) A lot of fun, and surprisingly unsentimental for a kid's movie. More, well, I haven't really watched many movies recently. I did like Remember the Titans.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:40 AM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Lunar New Year

It's now the Year of the Pig. (FWIW, Bubba was born in the Year of the Dragon. Fire Dragon, specifically. The only reason I know this is my sister was born in the Year of the Dragon. The Dragon is by far the coolest sign of the Chinese zodiac. Or so she told me. Repeatedly. :-)

Spring training is gearing up. In Sarasota, Griffey has been cleared to play. But Gary Majewski's shoulder is still hurting.

Yahoo has some new spring training photos from Sarasota. None of Bubba yet, alas, but position players don't officially report until Wednesday. Most of the coverage is on pitchers and catchers, not surprisingly.

The Yankees soap opera continues. Bernie has not turned up in Tampa, though Torre, Jeter, and others are begging him to give it a shot. Position players report today for the Yanks, and he has not reported. If he's not there tomorrow for a physical, I guess that's the end of his Yankees career.

The Rockies are interested in Pavano. Though the Yanks just might be keeping him. Supposedly, his workouts have been impressive. And it's not like the Yanks have a lot of spare starting pitching, especially if Clemens really does retire, as he says he will.

The Red Sox are drooling at the idea of signing Mariano Rivera. I think Mo will remain in pinstripes, despite the tough talk on both sides, but jeez. If there's one player I don't want to see in a Boston uniform, it's Mo.

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posted by BubbaFan, 7:18 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Reds' spring training officially underway

Pitchers and catchers report today. Not much going on yet, and no photos of Bubba so far, so I posted one from last year's spring training.

Griffey has finally revealed how he broke his hand: it happened when he was wrestling with his kids. (Dunno why it took him so long. It was his reticence that made it such a big deal.) He says the dirtbike story is untrue; he hasn't ridden since he blew out his hammy three years ago.

And oh, boy. The Yankees are really putting the fun in dysfunctional these days. Bob Klapisch says the Yankees' top need is Dr. Phil, and I see what he means. Even though I really hate Dr. Phil...

Let's see...we have Steinbrenner's son-in-law and heir apparent, Steve Swindal, arrested for DWI. (Cutting off a patrol car is generally a really bad idea, Steve.) Moose made a splash on the back pages, publically dissing Pavano (they kissed and made up yesterday). Torre is involved in a power struggle with Cashman over Bernie Williams' fate. Cashman doesn't want Bernie back, except for Bernie Williams Day. Torre does. He is begging Bernie to come to camp and try out for first baseman.

Gawd. It's probably lucky for Bubba that he's out of there. IMVHO, Torre's infatuation with Bernie has really hurt the Yankees. I love Bernie as much as anyone, but even the best career comes to an end eventually. Torre seems utterly unable to face this. It was clear three years ago that Bernie was dropping off rapidly. If they didn't think Bubba could do it, they should have gotten someone else. Either a free agent, or a trade, perhaps for a high-level prospect. Some have wondered if the Yankees didn't go after Vlad because Torre was so hell-bent on sticking with Bernie.

Last year, I read an article arguing in favor of signing Johnny Damon (this was before the deal was done). The writer liked the idea of Bubba as starting CFer...if Torre weren't manager. With Torre the manager, the Yanks needed to get a superstar CFer. Because, he argued, if Bubba went into a three-game slump (which happens to the best of them), Torre would bench him and put Bernie in. That certainly proved prophetic, as Torre's stated plans to platoon Bubba, Guiel, etc., quickly turned into "all Bernie, all the time."

And now Torre wants Bernie at first base (presumably at Andy Phillips' or Josh Phelps' expense). But if he's on the roster at all, Torre won't be able to resist using him in the outfield (sorry, Melky). I hope Cashman just says no.

Meanwhile...the Red Sox signed Wily Mo Peña, avoiding arbitration by the skin of their teeth. (Peña was originally drafted by the Yankees. He was traded to the Reds...for Drew Henson.)

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

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Groundhog Lied

Let me just say...I am a complete idiot for going to work yesterday. Hardly anyone was there. The roads weren't too awful in the morning, but by afternoon - oy. I'm lucky I didn't crash into anything.

I even had trouble walking in the snow. It was a very fine, powdery snow. The kind that won't pack into snowballs, no matter what you do. There was a huge plowdrift in front of my walkway. I tried to climb over it, but the snow was so fine I sank through it up to my waist. It was like being trapped in quicksand. I had to sort of crawl over/through it. Like swimming through snow. Sheesh. I hope no one saw me, because I must have looked ridiculous.

The Washington Post ran a nice Josh Hamilton profile on Monday. Nothing I hadn't heard before, but there's a lot more detail than I've seen in other stories.

Perhaps the most interesting bit is that the article claims the Rays weren't too upset to see Hamilton go. It says they were mildly surprised, but had little remorse. Maybe the Reds will be able to work out a trade after all.

Also, Josh's nickname is apparently "Hammer." (Wasn't that Tom DeLay's nickname?) In Josh's case, I assume it's from his last name. (There's a city in Ontario, Canada called Hamilton. A group devoted to revitalizing this city calls itself Raise the Hammer. Everyone always thinks they are communists or something, but no, it's a reference to the city's nickname: The Hammer.)

And Mr. Hamilton must be quite the physical specimen. The WaPo reporter writes an awful lot about what a hottie Josh is. Heck, even Trent comments on Hamilton's looks. If the men are this impressed, I suspect he's going to be quite popular with the female fans, if he makes the roster.

Ken Rosenthal thinks Griffey needs to move to right field. Whether he will or not is another story.

I can only conclude that the Reds outfield is wide open. With spring training starting this week, there are a ton of previews, predictions, etc. And very little agreement. Griffey in center, or in right...or on the DL. Freel in center, or kept as all-around utility guy, or traded for pitching. Hamilton kept on the roster no matter what, or returned to sender due to extreme rust. Denorfia, Hopper, and/or Crosby starting in center, kept as bench players, or sent to Louisville. I think it's all going to depend on how they do in spring training.

Lots of articles on Cashman's new power, and his coldly logical way of wielding it. But this one stands out, because it suggests that maybe Cash is going too far, treating Mo like he would any ordinary player.

Mo is clearly unhappy about it. I can understand Cashman's logic. Relievers tend to fall off a cliff unexpectedly, especially at Mo's age. It makes sense to wait until the last possible minute. But jeez, this is Mo. There is such a thing as being too cold-hearted, even for a GM.

The Yankees, who are basically wearing the same uniform Babe Ruth wore, have changed their spring training uniforms. There's now a white stripe on the sides of the jerseys, and white piping on the caps.

Here's new Yankee Kei Igawa in the new uni:

The hat is okay, but I'm not wild about the stripe on the jersey.

I guess this is how the Cubs are paying Sori's salary:

Not even Wrigley's ivy outfield safe from ads

And Mike Celizic writes a valentine to sports:

You wouldn’t trade in your true love; there are things you do with lovers that you probably don’t want to do with the home team’s left fielder.

Hey, speak for yourself, Hat-man!

posted by BubbaFan, 6:52 PM | link | 3 comments |

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Holy guacamole. CNN says Albany, NY may get as much as 50" of snow. Valentine's Day is pretty much a bust around here today. The roads are terrible, and just about everything is shut down.

I will probably go to work, unless they close the roads. Big project, overtime, etc. And if I don't go to work, I'll be plowed into my parking space. Besides, I want to save my time off for days when there's afternoon baseball.

Since Bubba is now in Florida...if you want to send him a note of support, a baseball card to be signed, a pair of your underwear, etc. here's the address:

Bubba Crosby
c/o Cincinnati Reds
Ed Smith Stadium
12th St. and Tuttle Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34237

Remember to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you send something to be autographed.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:38 PM | link | 1 comments |

Monday, February 12, 2007


According to, Bubba is already in Sarasota, working out on his own.

The Reds will have 56 players at camp this year: 28 pitchers, 7 catchers, 12 infielders, and nine outfielders.

Ted Brown of Yahoo!Sports doesn't see Josh Hamilton making the cut:

In a "The Natural" scenario, Hamilton reclaims his unattended baseball tools, takes center field, and the Reds move the 37-year-old Griffey to right. More likely, Hamilton has his moments, isn't nearly ready for the big leagues, and he returns to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for another year or two in the minors.

The Dayton Daily News says Narron really wants to move Griffey out of center field. It sounds like Griffey is not convinced that Freel, Denorfia, etc., can play CF better than he can.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:42 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Spring is (almost) here

And I'm not talking about Punxsutawney Phil's prediction. Pitchers and catchers report for the Yanks on Tuesday, for the Reds on Saturday.

In honor of spring training, I've re-edited my Bubba highlight video:

The Best of Bubba Crosby [9 Mb, RealMedia]

Here's hoping for many more highlights this season.

One of our anonymous commenters reported yesterday that Bubba has been working out in Arizona the past few weeks. He returned to Houston this weekend for his brother's wedding (congratulations, Tommy!), and will be heading for Sarasota this week.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has posted their projected 25-man roster. They don't see Bubba making the roster. Of course, they were only 20 for 25 last year, and it's usually the bench that's the biggest question mark.

They predict the Reds will carry twelve pitchers and three catchers, with one and a half reserve outfielders (Josh Hamilton and infielder/outfielder Jeff Conine). They think the Reds will keep Hamilton on the roster no matter how bad he is. If that's true, it's bad news for Bubba.

But I find it hard to believe they can afford to do that. Unless they're prepared to write off this season - and I don't believe that. Krivsky reportedly has a "win now" mandate. I know Narron has taken a personal interest in Hamilton, but they're an NL team. They need every roster spot. Most Rule 5 selections end up returned to their teams, and I still think that's Hamilton's likely fate. Unless they can work out a trade with Tampa - which may be the reason for the "we're keeping him on the roster" talk.

I really think they'll need more outfield depth than that roster has. Griffey is often injured, Freel tends to wear down when he has to play every day, and Hamilton is also very injury-prone. Conine is on the wrong side of 40, and I can't see them using him regularly in the outfield - not if the plan is to improve the defense, as Krivsky often proclaims.

If not Bubba, I would think Denorfia or Hopper would make the team as a reserve outfielder...but who knows? Bubba has a split contract, and Denorfia and Hopper still have options left. So I guess they could start them in the minors and call them up when needed.

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posted by BubbaFan, 7:02 PM | link | 6 comments |

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bernie to retire?

Bernie Williams did a charity concert last night, with Chynna Wilson of Wilson Phillips. He talked to the press beforehand, and said he was going to turn down the Yankees' offer of a minor league contract and spring training invite. He doesn't think he has a legitimate chance to make the team that way, so he's not interested.

So what is he going to do? He didn't seem to know. He talked about how he's got a lot of other interests besides baseball, but added that he didn't mean he was going to retire. When asked if he was considering playing for another team, he said, "Not yet."

My impression is that Bernie is in denial. He's not ready to face the prospect of retirement or of playing for another team yet. Intellectually, he knows his career in pinstripes is likely over. Emotionally, he's struggling to accept it. He understands why the Yankees are doing what they're doing, but he feels hurt and betrayed anyway.

And he's hoping against hope that they change their minds. Maybe the injury bug will bite again. Maybe Melky Cabrera will be traded during spring training. Maybe the entire outfield will be abducted by aliens. If the Yankees call, Bernie will be ready.

Meanwhile...this guy thinks the Yankees will never win another championship with A-Rod on the team. Of course, he's got an ulterior motive. He wants A-Rod to play for the Giants. He claims that San Francisco won't mind that A-Rod is as phony as a $3 dollar bill. New York hates phonies, he says, but SF doesn't care if you're a phony, as long as you put up good numbers.

And in Redsland, Krivsky shocked everyone by signing Arroyo to a two-year extension. Arroyo still had two years left on his deal, and the rumor was he didn't like Cincy and wanted to go back to Boston. But Boston was not a factor. He said he loves Cincinnati, and the fans have "embraced" him. He just wishes more of them would come to the games.

This is good news for Reds fans. Signing Harang and Arroyo to long-term deals is a declaration of serious intentions.

Elsewhere...Kenny Rogers didn't have pine tar on his hand:

According to someone who would know, that substance on Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers' glove in the World Series was the tacky adhesive used by trainers in wrapping ankles.

Then there's this. NESN is planning a reality dating series called Sox Appeal. Each episode will be shot in Fenway Park, at a Red Sox game. An eligible single will spend two innings with each of three different dates, then pick one of them to watch the rest of the game with.

What a dopey idea. I mean, who'd want to date a Red Sox fan? (Just kidding, Lisa, if you're reading this. ;-)

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posted by BubbaFan, 12:21 PM | link | 4 comments |

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Reds 2007 Media Guide Released

The Reds have posted their 2007 media guide to their Web site. It's on the Fan Forum page (scroll down to the bottom right). It's in PDF format, in multiple parts. There are photos of each player, with detailed stats and career histories. Bubba is on page 77 of the Player A-K section.

(I don't think the Yankees do this. Their media guide is sold in dead-tree form at games, but I don't think they offer it for free download.)

In other Reds news, the Reds have locked up Harang in a multi-year contract. Seems like a good deal for both sides. They've also signed possible closer Eddie Guardado. (He got a minor league deal, so no roster move was needed.) Krivsky seems to be hoping he can help the team by mid-season, but I have my doubts. He had Tommy John surgery in September, and I suspect he'll miss the whole 2007 season. Or at least, not pitch very well this year if he does come back. Krivsky says relievers recover faster than starting pitchers. Yeah, that's what the Yankees thought when they signed Octavio Dotel.


posted by BubbaFan, 10:50 PM | link | 2 comments |

This and that

Well, Da Bears went down in flames. So much for my prognosticating. I thought Chicago would have the advantage in the wet, sloppy conditions, seeing as Indy plays in a dome. But aside from that early runback for a TD, the Bears didn't put up much of a fight.

It was a dud as Super Bowls go. Vinatieri actually missed a chip shot (shocking, but true), but it didn't matter. The weather was a downer; part of the fun of the Super Bowl is usually the warm, sunny climate. This time, we got drenching rain. Even the commercials were a disappointment; I think this year was the worst showing for Super Bowl ads that I can remember. (And why is trying to sell me Super Bowl stuff?)

At least Manning did finally win the big one and get the jewelry. He doesn't have to move to A-Rod's neighborhood after all.

Speaking of A-Rod...he's at the center of a media ruckus again. Apparently, what was supposed to be a nice children's book signing turned into a circus.

ESPN lays out the possible futures for A-Rod. Me, I wonder if he'll still be playing in 2013. He did once say he might retire at age 35, and I could see him doing it. He doesn't seem to enjoy playing baseball, nor does he have the kind of tight friendships with teammates that keep Bernie hanging around.

Bernie is still considering the Yanks' spring training invite. Sounds like Boras is still trying to get Bernie a Major League deal. He's also hinting that Bernie might sign elsewhere if the Yanks don't come through.

The article also quotes Jeter as saying he thinks Clemens will pitch this year, maybe for NY. (Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Miguel Cairo are already working out in Tampa.)

The final report on the Cory Lidle crash was released earlier this week. Looks like Lidle's legacy will be permanent flight restrictions over the East River.

The Post ran this interview with Joe Girardi a few days ago. They think he might step in when Torre retires.

And there's this article (scroll down to the bottom):

The Yankees are not seeking to enter discussions about extending Mariano Rivera's contract during spring training, according to a person familiar with the situation. In November, Rivera, 37, expressed hope "the Yankees will do the right thing," and extend his contract, which runs out after this season.

Ye gods and little fishies. The Yanks wouldn't let Mo go, would they?

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posted by BubbaFan, 8:56 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Ready for some football

A couple of weeks ago, when the Colts were losing big at halftime, one of the studio guys dissed Peyton Manning by saying, "If he loses this game, he'll have to move to A-Rod's neighborhood, because that's where he'll belong." Ouch. Gratuitous A-Rod bashing, even in the off-season.

Well, Manning doesn't have to move, at least not yet. He led his Colts to a stunning come-from-behind victory. The biggest comeback in conference championship history. Chicago may be too much for him, though. I think Da Bears will be doing the Super Bowl Shuffle again.

I have overtime at work tomorrow, but should be out in time for the big game. (My boss runs the office football pool, so he understands. ;-)

The NY papers are reporting that Bernie Williams is leaning toward accepting the Yankees' spring training invite. He's not expected to make the team, but it would give him a chance to say goodbye to the fans. He will probably retire after spring training.

And the much-maligned Carl Pavano is hoping to shut up his detractors with his pitching. He may be the Yankees' fifth starter. Or they may trade him, if he does well. (Otherwise, it would be buying high and selling low.)

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati...Krivsky talks a little about his plan for the Reds here. Cincinnati had trouble scoring runs last year. Plus GABP is supposed to be a hitter's park. So many expected Krivsky to get some sluggers. But he hasn't. He says he's concentrating on improving pitching and defense, because it's the fastest way to improve a team.

Torre often says that pitching and defense is what wins championships. Of course, he says that, but keeps playing the likes of Jason Giambi.

On paper, the Reds' chances would appear to be slim. They did well last season until they faded down the stretch, but the other teams in their division have opened up their wallets, while the Reds have not. But if money bought championships, the Yankees would win every year. No one thought the Cards would win last year. Anything can happen.

Me, I'm expecting the Reds to beat the Yankees in the World Series this year. Bubba will be MVP.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:53 PM | link | 0 comments |