All Things Bubba

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

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Adventures in outfielding

The Reds and the Yankees have both been on a roll lately. But they both hit minor potholes recently.

The Reds' winning streak is intact, but they've likely lost center fielder Josh Hamilton for the rest of the season. It's pretty ironic. Many fans were irate with manager Pete Mackanin, because he benched Hamilton for a couple of days with a tight hamstring. Hamilton said he was fine and could play. (Like any player, especially a rookie, would say anything else.) Well, Mack started Hamilton yesterday, and the kid ended up pulling his hamstring running out a grounder. He couldn't even walk. He had to hop to the dugout. Today he had an MRI, and they announced that he won't be traveling with the team. That likely means his season is over. (Not that there's much left of it.)

Some fans are joking about "the curse of Norris Hopper." Seems like any players who stand between Hopper and center field get hurt. Ryan Freel...Josh Hamilton...Chris Denorfia...and Bubba Crosby? Hmmm....

The Yankees' winning streak ended tonight. Ian Kennedy pitched a gem, but AJ Burnett matched him. Kennedy might have had a no-hitter, except Melky Cabrera just missed a ball at the wall. Melky tends to play shallow, and doesn't read the ball hit over his head well. (Though he is improving.) He did well just to get there, but appeared to be distracted by the wall. The ball missed his glove by an inch or so.

Melky also had a role in the walkoff single that ended the game. He had to throw home, and he did...but it was offline, and the runner scored. Game over. Melky has a strong arm, but it's not always accurate. I was really impressed with some of his throws when he first came up last year, but eventually I came to realize it was sort of a fluke. He can throw the ball all the way in, but sometimes it rockets right into the catcher's glove, sometimes it sails into the stands or halfway down the 3B line. His throw wasn't too bad tonight; it would have been a tough play for anyone.

Nevertheless, the natives are getting restless when it comes to Melky. Mainly because he's been in a slump, and went 0 for 4 tonight. He's also been kind of klutzy in center field lately. I think, like many players, he tends to take his struggles at the plate into the field with him.

I'm still not sure if Melky is going to end up sticking with the Yankees. When he's hot, he's great. When he's not, he's terrible. He's still young yet, but I wonder if the Yankees will have the patience to stick with him.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:21 PM


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