All Things Bubba

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

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Still Undefeated





March 7, 2007: Cincinnati Reds 1, New York Yankees 1

Bubba returned to Legends Field today, to face his former team for the first time. If you're torn between rooting for the Reds and the Yanks, the game had the ideal ending. It went 10 innings, and ended in a tie.

Bubba came in during the top of the eighth, subbing for Chris Denorfia. One out, none on. When his name was called, the crowd gave him a nice ovation. Many Yankees fans were cheering for him, yelling, "Bubba! C'mon, Bubba!" while he was batting.

Luis Vizcaino, acquired in the Randy Johnson trade, was on the mound for the Yanks. Though right-handed, he has a reputation for being tough on lefties - so much so, that many thought he would take Ron Villone's place in the pen. The reputation is apparently well-deserved; he struck Bubba out looking.



Bubba came to the plate again in the 10th inning. Sean Henn on the mound, one out, man on first. He hit it right back to the pitcher, grounding into a force-out. They got Hopper at 2B, but Bubba beat the DP and was safe on first. (Prompting Suzyn to comment that "He still has that speed.") The Yanks apparently remembered it, too; they held Bubba close. But Votto flew out, ending the inning.

So Bubba was 0 for 2 at the plate, but as you can tell from the score, no one else did that well, either.

He did have a spectacular catch in the 10th inning. Hot prospect Eric Duncan hit a sharp liner into left field. Bubba dived for it face-first, and made a great two-handed grab. Here's a video clip:

Bubba robs Eric Duncan (2 Mb, WMV)

He got some nice applause from what was left of the Yankee crowd.

Homecoming

This was the first time Bubba played the Yankees since he was DFA'd, and he got a lot of attention from the press and the fans.

NYYFans reports that Jeter greeted Bubba on the field before the game:

It was sweet to see Derek Jeter and Crosby share a moment in center field 10 minutes before the 7:15 first pitch.

(Dang. And no one got a photo?)

From the NY Daily News:
BUBBA'S BACK: Bubba Crosby returned to Legends Field for the first time since being designated for assignment by the Yankees in August, and received a warm ovation before striking out for the Reds as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. "I left the Yankees with my head up and quite a bit of memories," Crosby said.

MLB.com:
A spark of Bubba: Former Yankees outfielder Bubba Crosby was looking the part of an expatriate when he met with reporters in the Reds' clubhouse at Legends Field on Wednesday. Crosby, who spent three seasons with the Yanks, had grown his hair down to just above shoulder-length and he wore signs of a scruffy beard.

Crosby, who was signed with Cincinnati as a free agent after the 2006 season, talked about his experience in New York and said it felt weird being back in Tampa as a visitor.

"It was emotional leaving, but I understood the situation and how things worked," said Crosby, who became expendable after the Yankees picked up Bobby Abreu in a midseason trade with the Phillies. "It was tough, because I wasn't able to say goodbye to all the guys the way I wanted to. Obviously, I would have wanted the opportunity to compete for a spot this year, but I got my shot to play for the Yankees, which I'm proud of."

Crosby said he called Don Mattingly during the offseason to thank him for helping him during his three years with the club. Crosby also said he spent some time with Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon after the season ended.

"It was an amazing time, and I'll always cherish the chance to play in the playoffs and have the opportunity to go to the World Series," said Crosby, who went 0-for-2 in Wednesday's game. "It was an exciting time, and I'll appreciate being a part of it."

Blogging the Bombers:

Bubba Changes His Tune

Bubba Crosby, who had some mixed words for the Yankees early in the spring, had nothing but glowing things to say about the Bombers when we went over to see him before the game.

“What will stand out for me is that I got a chance to play three of those five games (in the 2005 ALDS), and getting so close in 2004, being on that team when Boston beat us and being so close to getting to the World Series," he said.

Crosby, who bolted the clubhouse in Baltimore without speaking to his teammates or reporters when he was designated for assignment last Aug. 4, said he was simply not prepared emotionally for what had happened to him.

“I was a little emotional, because I had been with these guys for three years,” Crosby said. “I understood the situation, how things worked. It’s a numbers game, but I wasn’t emotionally prepared to tell all those guys goodbye. I just needed to get out of there.”

I always liked Bubba. It was nice to see him. And, of course, he had long hair and a scruffy beard. The former Yankees just can’t resist it.

("Changes his tune"? Grrr. Still, a much nicer article than the previous one by Feinsand.)

Newsday:
Crosby reminisces

Former Yankee Bubba Crosby was back as a visitor with the Reds, and looked back fondly on his years in New York. "The fact that a guy like me got to play three years with a team like that, that's an achievement," Crosby said.


And here are some audio and video files:

Video of Bubba's first at-bat - The crowd gives Bubba a nice ovation.

Audio of Bubba's first at-bat - Sterling and Waldman talk about how devastated Bubba was to be DFA'd.

Audio of Bubba's great catch - Sterling and Waldman call the play, and talk about how much Yankee fans like Bubba.

Oh, and Trent said Bubba seemed to know every groundskeeper and security guard at Legends field.

It was good to see Bubba get so much appreciation from the Yankees fans. One of the things that made it so difficult when he was cut was that there was no chance to say goodbye. No one was expecting a roster move that day, and it was before an away game, in Baltimore. Bubba didn't give an interview. (And I don't blame him.) It just seemed so sudden, after three years. Many fans didn't even realize he'd been cut; heck, some are still asking, "Hey, where's Bubba?" This game provided fans with some sense of closure.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:58 PM

5 Comments:


I listened to the game on XM radio. John and Susan from YES spoke a good deal about Bubba. Susan spoke of how devastated Bubba was to be designated for assignment, how he was not emotionally prepared to have to say good-bye to the team. It was kind of sad. I live in Louisville and would welcome Bubba playing for AAA here, but I hope he is a regular up the river this year!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, March 08, 2007 9:25 AM  
Great photos of the television screen! I tried to do that last night, but MLB.TV is not the highest quality video feed, so they didn't turn out very well.

I'm really hoping the Reds go with 11 pitchers and 2 catchers so there is a spot on the roster for Bubba. I think Denorfia has the edge since he played well last year, but they definitely should keep them both. (And Hamilton makes the team without question.)
commented by Blogger Daedalus, March 08, 2007 10:16 AM  
The roster math is pretty brutal. Even with 11 pitchers and only 2 catchers, there may not be room for another outfielder. (With Hamilton, they already have five.) The Reds may decide to go with another infielder (namely, Bellhorn) instead of a sixth outfielder. So both Bubba and Denorfia could start in Louisville.
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, March 09, 2007 12:17 AM  
fyi re friendly w/ staff @ the field. @ rice, the players don't troop off to the showers after a game. mtg w/ coach, and then groom, water, whatever the field. the rakes come out, and the players get to work.
a friend from lsu's jaw dropped when he visited and saw 2 all americans, dirty and tired after a long game on a hot day in houston, raking the infield.
wayne(graham)used to be quoted as saying honest labor isn't menial.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, March 09, 2007 8:57 AM  
That's a really neat story. Thanks for sharing it.

And I definitely agree about honest labor.
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, March 09, 2007 9:13 PM  

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