Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Amazingly, the Reds have not made any more trades. I guess Hatteberg and Conine didn't draw the offers the Reds were hoping for.
They did make some internal moves. Elizardo Ramirez and Mark Bellhorn were called up from Louisville, and Chad Moeller was sent back down. The Bellhorn move seems rather odd, since they don't really need an infielder (A-Gon was activated today). Perhaps they are hoping Bellhorn plays well for a few weeks and becomes trade bait.
Meanwhile, the Yankees traded Scott Proctor back to the Dodgers, for infielder Wilson Betemit. This could be bad news for Andy Phillips. Though Andy's hitting so well it's hard to imagine they'll cut him. Still, Betemit has a solid glove, a great bat, and is only 25 years old. I suppose he might take Miguel Cairo's role as utility infielder, but with his talent, it would be a waste.
This would be the second time Scott Proctor was involved in a deadline deal. The first time, of course, he was sent with Bubba from the Dodgers to NY, for Robin Ventura.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox made a killer deal, landing Eric Gagne, whom the Yankees also wanted. Some are speculating that the only reason they traded for Gagne was to keep him out of the Yankees' hands. Why would the Sox want Gagne when they have Papelbon? Talk about overkill....
There's a problem with the timing
There's a problem with the groove
There's an overwhelming lethargy
Nothing can improve
You can sense defeat get closer
Every time they add a move...
A lot of things are going right for the Yankees. They acquired a Molina brother (how many of them are there, anyway?) to replace Wil Nieves, who is now back in Scranton. Andy Phillips is proving himself an upgrade, offensively and defensively, over Minky and Phelps. Melky Cabrera, who was hitting below the Mendoza line for awhile this year, is en fuego this month (though he's still not as good on defense as Bubba). A-Rod is about to hit his 500th home run. The Bombers are winning more games than they were. The division is probably out of reach, but the wild card is not.
And yet...there's just a sense of impending doom over this team. Last year, and the year before, I never thought the Yankees were out of it, ever. This year...I'm finding it hard to believe they can make the post-season.
Thus, I wasn't exactly astonished that they lost the series to the very bad Baltimore Orioles. (Bubba's onetime roommate, Brian Roberts, was a real thorn in the Yankees' side. The kind of speedy, scrappy little guy that gives them fits.) They really can't afford to lose to teams like Baltimore...but they did.
The trade deadline is tomorrow at 4pm. A lot of fans love trades, but I'm always a little apprehensive. I guess I'm leery of change, even change that's supposedly for the better.
I remember when Bubba was traded to the Yankees minutes before the deadline. I wasn't happy. I liked Robin Ventura. Of course, it turned out to be a great trade for the Yanks.
Then there was last year, when Cashman made what looked like two great deadline trades. But they sealed Bubba's fate, since with Abreu and Wilson joining the roster, they didn't have room for him any more. Though they seemed like terrific trades at the time, they didn't really help the Yanks. They didn't win any more games than they already were. And it didn't really set them up for this year, either. Lidle died in a plane crash shortly after the Yankees' season ended. Craig Wilson never played well in NY. He struggled to find a new team, was signed by the Braves at the last minute, then was released. He landed with the Charlotte Knights. (But he's not playing for them tonight. Like Bubba, he ended up getting shoulder surgery, and will likely be out for the season. The bad shoulder might explain why his batting fell off so precipitously this year.)
Bobby Abreu is the only player from those trades still with the Yankees, and he hasn't been all that great. He hasn't hit all that well, and even his on base percentage has fallen off. And his defense is pretty awful. He won't dive for balls, he still shies away from the walls, and he has four errors so far this year. That's really astonishing, since outfielders don't get many errors. (Bubba has two errors in his entire big league career.) IMO, we'd have been much better off with Sheff, bad attitude and all.
So, will the Yanks make any moves before the deadline? Maybe, but already a couple of the players they were likely coveting have been traded elsewhere. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Braves' young stud catcher, has been traded to Texas for Mark Texeira, probably the only first baseman the Yanks were seriously interested in. My guess is that if Cashman does make a move, it will be for relief pitching. It's what most needs improvement, and it's really the only area where they have any kind of flexibility.
The Reds have already done some dealing, and may not be done. Relief pitchers Brian Shackelford and Calvin Medlock were traded to the Rays for Jorge Cantu. The Bats were playing the Bulls the other night, so the three players just switched dugouts. Cantu was in the lineup for the Bulls, but ended up playing for the Bats.
Today, they announced that starting pitcher Kyle Lohse has been traded to the Phillies, for an AA lefty pitching prospect. There are rumors of all kinds of other trades - Arroyo, Hatteberg, Conine, Freel, even Griffey - but nothing solid yet. Stay tuned.
Jim Kelch, the Bats radio announcer, reported tonight that Bubba's shoulder surgery went very well. He's expected to return to Sarasota in the next day or two to continue rehabbing there. Bats trainer Chris Lapole says Bubba will be "100% ready to go" by spring training next year.
Sorry no update in so long. I've been out of town. I had my laptop with me, but wasn't online all that much. You're not supposed to spend your vacation in your hotel room typing on a computer, darn it!
And to make things worse, MiLB.com has been screwing up the Bats game audio feeds. The past couple of days they've had no audio feed, or only the Scranton audio feed. It's of course the Louisville feed that has the Bubba Crosby updates.
However, I did manage to get Monday's game from the archives. Bubba is currently in Cincinnati. That's where he had the surgery done. The Reds orthopedic specialist, Dr. Timothy Kremchek, was the surgeon. Eventually, they are expecting Bubba to be sent back to Sarasota to continue his recovery.
Several people have asked me for Bubba's e-mail address. Sorry, I don't know his e-mail address (if he even has one). And I wouldn't tell if I did know. You can write to him care of the Bats.
If you want to send Bubba get well wishes or birthday greetings (his birthday is August 11), and you're too lazy to use snail mail, you can e-mail me your message, or post it to the Bubba-Crosby.com Guestbook. I'll print it out and snail-mail it to Bubba. Get them to me by August 3.
Bubba's surgery is today. Probably at this very moment, or very soon. (Doctors traditionally schedule surgery for early in the morning, because they get too many emergencies and other disruptions later in the day.)
I don't know what kind of shoulder surgery Bubba's having, but rotator cuff surgery is the most common, and not unusual for a baseball player. (Throwing is hard on the shoulder.) Also, the timing sounds like rotator cuff surgery. Typically, they give you 12 weeks to see if drugs and exercise work. If not, they do the surgery, because the chance of success is much less if you wait longer than three months.
If it is rotator cuff surgery, Bubba will be out for awhile. You can't even drive for more than a month. He probably won't be allowed to throw for at least six months.
Best of luck to him. I'm sure he'd appreciate your thoughts or prayers, if you're so inclined.
According to the Bats radio guys, Bubba's shoulder surgery is scheduled for this Friday.
Finally got the medical update on Bubba tonight, and it's not good news. He's having surgery on his left shoulder later this week. His season is over.
I kind of saw this coming. He was on the DL for three months, and didn't seem to be improving. And since it's Bubba, you know he's doing everything he can to get better. It just wasn't working.
I don't know where he's having the surgery. Sarasota? Cincinnati? Houston? But if you want to send him a card or something, you can send it care of the Bats:
c/o The Louisville Bats
Louisville Slugger Field
401 East Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202
Poor Bubba. He played only two weeks this entire season (not counting spring training). He's had really rotten luck with injuries the past couple of years.
No Bubba update tonight after all. Bats trainer Chris Lapole didn't talk to the press today as expected. Sigh. Maybe tomorrow.
The Yankees pulled out a win against the Jays, despite a rocky start by Igawa. Cano was the player of the game, Matsui got the play of the game, but Andy Phillips was the one Kim Jones interviewed on the field. Again. He hit a two-run, go-ahead single that proved to be the game-winner. And played some great defense at 1B.
In the rookie league, the Yanks' young stud catcher, 17-year-old Jesus Montero, homered in his first professional at-bat. Don't ask me why he didn't play until today. There were rumors that he was out for the season with an injury. Maybe he was injured, but he's obviously not out for the season.
Meanwhile, the Reds beat up the Braves. Their pitcher, Bobby Livingston, went 4 for 4. The Reds are definitely playing better since Narron was fired. But the Braves were pretty pathetic. They had the bases loaded a couple of times, and came away empty-handed. Hard to believe they're a contender and the Reds aren't.
One you gave away
Will be the only one you're wishing for...
The Yanks won a roller coaster of a game today, thanks to Andy Phillips. He had a great day, at the plate and in the field. Kim Jones interviewed him after the game, and a slick diving play of his was chosen play of the game. He's been very solid on offense and defense for a guy nobody wanted at the beginning of the season.
Another Yankees discard, Carlos Pena, was a big reason the game was such a roller coaster. He hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the 7th. He's having a great year - a guy the Yanks threw away last year.
Also having a good year is Reds discard Brendan Harris, the Rays' shortstop. Well, they didn't exactly throw him away. They traded him, but it wasn't for much. "A PTBNL or cash," I think it was. I never heard a player named, so maybe it was just cash. Man, I just don't get it. Why would the Reds practically give away a player like that?
Boston lost today, so the Yanks are only 9 games back. Single digits!
Bats radio announcer Jim Kelch says he's going to try to get a Bubba Crosby update from trainer Chris Lapole tomorrow. I will of course be listening, and will pass on any info.
March 11, 2006: New York Yankees 7, Atlanta Braves 3
Not much going on, what with the All-Star break. So I decided to watch a spring training game from 2006. I picked this one, more or less at random. Boy, did it bring back memories. It was only a year ago, but it seems like another lifetime.
March 11 was fairly early in spring training, but Andy Phillips was already guaranteed a spot on the team. Michael Kay said Andy had nothing more to prove in AAA, and he was out of options, so the Yanks had decided to make him their backup first baseman. Kay then started on the "Andy Phillips can't hit breaking balls" thing. Eh. I've never bought that. Breaking stuff is hard for anyone to hit. I think Andy hit breaking balls well enough. It was the high outside pitch from lefties he struggled with last season.
Aaron Small came in in relief in this game. His Cinderella story hadn't ended yet, and everyone assumed he would be on the team, either as a starter or out of the pen. He of course ended up on the DL, then outrighted to Columbus. (He signed a minor league contract with the Mariners early this year, and announced his retirement when they released him in May.)
They also had high hopes for Carl Pavano. He was on the DL (of course), but they were expecting him to be ready to play by April 15. Hah.
Then there were the interviews with the players talking about Torre. They all said how happy they were that he had been re-signed, and how he was a real player's manager. Even A-Rod. (Little did he know how the season would end.) Jeter said he expected Torre to still be managing the Yankees in 2016.
There was also an interview with Jorgie. He was talking about how he prefered Moose to Randy Johnson, because he's known Moose so much longer, and Moose had proven that he wants to win. Oh, the irony: Wil Nieves is Mussina's personal catcher this season. Moose and Jorgie apparently aren't getting along.
Bubba missed a lot of spring training that year. He smushed a finger taking bunting practice off a batting machine. He missed about a week; I think this was his first game after he got back. The finger seemed to be bothering him a little; he kept looking at it during the game.
He didn't start, but took over right field during the sixth inning.
He got one at-bat in the game. Cano was on 1B via a single. Kevin Barry was on the mound.
Bubba let the first strike go by, a fastball. Barry tried another fastball, and Bubba smacked it the other way. He laced it down the left field line - an RBI double.
He ended up stranded, alas.
When they were talking about Aaron Small, they said they were surprised Small agreed to sign with the Yankees, since the Yanks have a reputation for not giving their farmhands a chance. They quoted Cashman as saying that wasn't true: the Yankees will give their players a chance.
I guess that was certainly true with Small...but the Yanks were desperate for starting pitching at the time. And it's true for Andy now. But then there's players like Carlos Pena. He was in Columbus last year, playing very well. But they didn't even think about calling him up. He exercised his option, and signed with Boston. This year, he's a Devil Ray, and is the top-ranked first baseman in the league. And the Yanks basically gave him away for free.
Homer Bailey has been sent down to Louisville, and infielder Pedro Lopez called up. Teams will often do this before the All-Star break if a starting pitcher has options. It lets them use the roster spot for someone else (since the pitcher won't play anyway in that time). And with Castro and Hamilton out, they needed an infielder.
In NY, Andy Phillips is starting at 1B today. They have him batting ninth. Even though he's hitting better than most of the rest of the lineup.
Today wasn't lucky for the Yanks. They lost a heartbreaker in the 13 innings to the dreaded Halos. Both Jeter and A-rod were O-fer in the game. Cano and Damon were also O-fer, and Melky had five strikeouts.
Andy Phillips was still out with a stiff neck. Cairo played 1B. He was 2 for 5, with three (3!) errors. (Though some thought that Cairo got an error on a bad throw, when the ball would have gotten past Andy altogether.)
The Yanks certainly had a chance to win. In the bottom of the 13th, Cano lead off with a groundout. Miggy singled, stole 2B, then took 3rd on defensive indifference. Damon walked. Then Melky struck out (again), and Jeter hit into a fielder's choice. Inning over.
Things went better for the Reds. They gave up a three-run lead in the dreaded 8th inning, but scored a run in the bottom of the frame and hung on (barely) for the win. Bailey looked okay, Stanton looked good, Weathers...well, he got the job done. (Don't ask about Coffey. Let's just say he'll probably be back in scenic Louisville soon.)
Freel got ejected, apparently for arguing a call with the 1B umpire. And Hamilton left the game with a sprained right wrist. He injured himself swinging the bat in the on-deck circle. (Dangerous, those on-deck circles.)
It's a fortunately timed injury. Freel is back, and can take over center field. And the All-Star break will give Hamilton extra time to recover.
Still, wrist injuries are tricky. (Remember Sheff's wrist injury last year?) Sprains can be worse than breaks. And they're putting his wrist in a cast, which kind of suggests it's a serious sprain. Someone in Louisville may be getting a callup.
Yesterday, Torre said Andy Phillips is the starting first baseman. Today, he's out of the lineup.
Turns out Andy has a stiff neck, so Miggy's playing 1B.
Well, it's not exactly cookout weather around here. Just as well, I guess. With the 4th falling precisely in the middle of the week, it's not really convenient to go anywhere or plan anything major. I've got to be at work bright and early tomorrow, so I'm staying home and watching baseball today.
Someone is selling a pair of Bubba's game-used batting gloves on eBay. It says they're from his rookie year. Judging from the color, they're from his first rookie year, when he was a Dodger. (Due to the way MLB defines rookies, Bubba was rookie for about three years, I think. :-)
Happy Fourth of July, everyone. Especially Bubba, wherever you are. (Sarasota, last I heard.) It must be strange, not playing baseball on the 4th of July. Even though you're not playing today, I'm still rooting for you.
Edwar Ramirez finally got a chance to show his stuff. Holy guacamole! The kid is amazing. He's so skinny it's hard to believe he can throw the ball like that. He's got a "bugs bunny" changeup that looks just like his fastball until it's too late. He mowed down the heart of the Twins' order, sending them down swinging at that changeup.
Even Torre seemed impressed. Which means maybe Edwar will get a chance to pitch, and not be buried on the bench like young players so often are under Torre.
I know, it's early. It may be harder once they start scouting him. But both the stat-heads and the scouts love this kid. I hope to see a lot more of him.
And the Yanks picked him up from an independent league. He played in the Angels minor league system for awhile, but they cut him a few years ago. He apparently learned that changeup after that. Credit the Yankees scouts. They seem to have found a diamond in the rough.
Fun night all around tonight. The Bats beat up Indianapolis. Harang kind of struggled for the Reds, but Brandon Phillips bailed him out with a grand slam. Chien-Ming Wang struggled for the Yanks, but somehow the game ended up a shutout.
Peter Abraham wrote tonight in his blog:
Andy Phillips is 6 of his last 17 with three RBI. The Yankees are begging for him to claim first base.
Trent reports that Dent was fired, he didn't quit. Ed Napolean quit. They wanted him to stay, but he declined. Pat Kelly is the new bench coach.
Trent also had this article today:
Hamilton: Better keep Narron's brother here - Center fielder says he's 'package deal'
"He's a package deal with me. If I'm going to be here, he's going to be here. And that's not just for this year. That's for a lot of years," Hamilton said. "If they're really serious about having me as a player and want me to do well, they'll keep things like they are."
Or maybe he quit. In any case, he's out.
Dent was the Reds' bench coach. Yankee and Red Sox fans of course remember him for the home run that sent the Red Sox to defeat in 1978, and earned him a new middle name.
Dent was the manager of the Columbus Clippers in 2004 and 2005 - the years Bubba Crosby spent the most time with the Clippers. I suspect Dent was a big reason the Reds went after Bubba last fall.
Best of luck to you, Bucky. I'm sure you'll have a job in baseball somewhere, as long as you want one.
The Bats won 1-0 tonight, giving them back-to-back shutouts. Ryan Freel played CF and went 1 for 4 with a walk. They seem to be expecting him to rejoin the Reds soon.
Bubba Crosby is now the only player left on the Bats disabled list. He's still in Florida, but the radio announcers said again that they thought he might be rejoining the Bats soon. Not as an active player, but to continue rehabbing. Maybe he's getting lonely down there in Sarasota.
The Yankees beat the Twinkies tonight. Andy Phillips seems to have earned himself the starting 1B job. He was 1 for 4 with a walk and a double tonight.
Poor Chris Basak was finally sent down. The long-awaited Edwar Ramirez was called up. I guess if they wanted an infielder they could send back and forth to Scranton as needed, Basak was the one to keep, and Phelps was the one to release.
Edwar still hasn't pitched for the Yanks. I wish Torre would use him. He's put up some amazing numbers in the minors. I want to see what he can do.
Reds catfight! Brandon Phillips had some blunt things to say about the state of the Reds, and he named some names. Josh Hamilton wasted no time firing back.
Ugh. I can't help remembering that Phillips was considered a clubhouse cancer when he was with Cleveland. That's why they got rid of him. Is he reverting?
And jeez, Hamilton's a rookie who wouldn't even be on the team if he wasn't Rule 5. And he's taking public potshots at a teammate? Even if said teammate is a clubhouse cancer, it seems out of line.
Maybe we should just chalk it up to emotions running high. Narron was apparently popular with the players; maybe they're just upset that he was sacked.
I feel kind of sorry for Narron. He apparently didn't see it coming. He said all he was thinking about was the Giants game tomorrow.
Paul Daugherty thinks Narron's problem was that he was too nice.
The Reds have no leadership, partly because Narron couldn’t provide it. To survive, managers like Narron need a couple clubhouse lieutenants with forceful personalities. The Reds don’t have any of those. Their best players and biggest clubhouse forces are laid-back, why-are-you-working-so-hard? types.
Trent, going above and beyond the call of duty by blogging on his day off, has confirmed the earlier rumor. Jerry Narron was fired after the game today. Reds advance scout Pete Mackanin will be the interim manager.
Some Reds fans are worried about how this will affect Josh Hamilton. Jerry's brother, Johnny, has kind of been babysitting Hamilton. But I guess they could keep Johnny even though they've fired Jerry.
I don't know that this will really help the team much. I'm not a huge fan of Narron, but I get the feeling they are firing him just to do something, and that sometimes makes things worse rather than better.
Dunno how reliable this info is, but someone at Red Reporter says Reds manager Jerry Narron was fired after today's game.
FWIW, John Fay thought this was coming. The timing is right, with an off day tomorrow.
The Yankees and Reds games had some uncanny parallels today. Both had their starting pitchers lit up. (Homer Bailey for the Reds, Andy Pettitte for the Yanks.) And both the Reds and the Yanks scored enough runs that it might have been enough to win if their starters hadn't been rocked.
Andy Phillips had a great day. He was 3 for 3 at one point, and ended up 3 for 4. Hopefully that will keep him in the lineup awhile longer.
The All-Star rosters were announced. A-Rod and Jeter are in the starting lineup. Jorgie is a backup. No Yankees pitchers made the All-Star team. I guess that says it all.
Ken Griffey, Jr. is the Reds' sole representative.
I'm starting to think they should send Homer Bailey back to the minors. He's not helping the team. Getting pulled in the 2nd or 3rd inning is brutal on a bullpen that's already struggling. Plus there's the whole clock thing.
The Bats won today, at least. They beat the Clippers 6-0. Freel started at 3B and went 0 for 3 with a walk. The Bats radio guys speculated that he might get one more start as an infielder, then rejoin the Reds.