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