Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
Strange as it may seem, the Yankees may be short of outfielders. Matsui has a bad knee (and is possibly out for the year). Damon ran into a wall in today's game, and injured his shoulder. Melky Cabrera has been pretty terrible. Shelley Duncan, down in Scranton, dislocated his shoulder diving for a ball and is likely out for the year. He wasn't hitting very well, anyway. Justin Christian got a cup of coffee, but was sent down in favor of Brett Gardner.
Gardner reminds me a bit of Bubba. He's left-handed, and a little guy...even smaller than Bubba. Wears his socks high. He's got a nice glove and crazy speed. Good eye, but not much power. Like Bubba, he's "all ears and enthusiasm." ;-)
Gardner is a player many fans wanted to see get the call. In particular, many have been clamoring for him to take over center field - and for Melky Cabrera to be benched, traded, or sent down.
The other day, Melky got the day off while Gardner started in CF. Gardner had a great game, and Melky looked pretty bummed. He's usually smiling and joking around, but he looked very down that day.
Perhaps it lit a fire under him. Melky was on an 0-for-19 skid until then. The next day, he got two hits. He got another hit today.
Still...I don't think he's the center fielder of the future. At least for the Yankees. He's still young (age 24 next month), but he doesn't seem to be improving:
YEAR AVG OBP SLG OPS
2006 .280 .360 .391 .751
2007 .273 .327 .391 .718
2008 .244 .310 .351 .661
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