Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
March 22, 2007: Cincinnati Reds 8, New York Yankees 7
The Yanks jumped out to an early and commanding lead, but the Reds rallied late, and won it on an Encarnacion walkoff RBI double.
So the Reds beat the Yanks two games out of three (and the remaining game was a tie). Indeed, the Reds have the best spring training record in MLB. Not that spring training means that all much. In particular, the Reds seem to be rallying late in many games. In other words...their bench and minor league players are better than the other teams' bench and minor league players.
Bubba played in a minor league game yesterday. According to the Reds announcers, it was because he hasn't been getting many at-bats. They let him start in a minor league game to give him more playing time.
He probably won't be getting a lot of playing time with the major league team from here on out. There are only nine days left of spring training, and they are starting to use players as they would during the regular season. Pitchers are going deeper into the games, the starting lineups are starting, and bench players like Bubba will come in late as pinch-hitters and LIDRs. Instead of getting three at-bats in a game, he'll probably get only one.
Bubba did make an appearance in this game. He came in the 8th inning, as a pinch-hitter. Two outs, man on 2B, Brian Bruney on the mound. Bubba got ahead in the count, but Bruney came back and struck him out swinging. Bubba's now hitting .276 / .364 / .483.
The game was a sellout, with many Yankee fans in attendance. They were thrilled when Bubba entered the game, and gave him a warm greeting. Reds fans seem a little puzzled over how beloved Bubba is among Yankee fans. Hopefully, they'll get a chance to experience the Crosby magic for themselves!
The Reds are expected to make more cuts this weekend, or early next week.
Some Bubba screen shots, since we haven't seen him in awhile:
Hmmm. Maybe Bubba should go back to shaving. Seems like he was hitting better without the beard. Facial hair didn't work for the Yankees last season. Giambi actually shaved in mid-game, because he was slumping. Facial hair didn't work for the Red Sox, either...
Meanwhile, in Yankeeland...Pavano pitched pretty well. A-Rod got his first home run of spring training today, off Lohse. El Comedulce hit a three-run homer. Melky, who has struggled this spring training, got a single and a walk. (He's still barely over the Mendoza line, and he's not showing much patience at the plate, either. It's only spring training, of course. But he never showed the kind of patience he showed last year in his minor league career, so you can't help but wonder if last year was a fluke, and he'll fall back a bit this year.)
Among the other outfielders...Sardinha is hitting well, and is getting a lot of attention. KT is hitting, too. Too bad there probably won't be room for them on the big league roster.
Andy Phillips hasn't gotten much playing time, since he only recently rejoined the team. But he's not hitting much, while Rule 5 draftee Josh Phelps is raking. And Minky's average is a Nick Green-like .074. Should be interesting to see what the Yanks do about 1B.
Tomorrow, the Reds go to St. Petersburg to face the Devil Rays. John Fay says Narron plans to rest a lot of the starters, so maybe Bubba will get some playing time.
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