Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
The Yankees are out of it, and I think even Joe Girardi has admitted it now. They're falling into the kind of squabbling that losing teams are prone to.
Yesterday, everyone was talking about an anonymous Yankee player who complained to a member of the media that his teammates had given up. Girardi said whoever it was should be man enough to put his name to his words. And should "get in his teammates' faces" if they've given up.
Who was it? It had to be a veteran. It's not something you'd expect a kid to say, or even one of the new rent-a-players. It has to be a veteran Yankee.
Some thought Mussina. He was hoping for 20 wins this season, but lousy defense and poor run support has probably put paid to that. Some thought Jeter, who is practically carrying the team on his back at this point. He's not the type you'd expect to complain, but he's got to be crushed at closing out the last season at Yankee Stadium this way. The Yankees have made the post-season every year since Jeter came up. This has to be a real shock to him.
Me, I'm guessing Posada. The guy who had "Grind It" T-shirts made for the entire team back in September 2005, when the Yanks rose from the dead to win the division (with help from a career month from Bubba Crosby). Jorgie has a temper, he hates to lose, and perhaps, being on the shelf, he didn't feel he could get in anyone's face. But he's probably just as frustrated as Jeter, if not more so.
Girardi said he wasn't aware of any players who had given up, but his actions today suggested otherwise. Robinson Cano, known for his rather casual play ever since he came up, was benched mid-game. Some wondered if he was injured, but no. Girardi said after the game that he was "unhappy with his level of effort."
Of course everyone's wondering why now, when the postseason is out of reach. I think that's precisely why Girardi did it. Cano may be a pain, but they don't have anyone who can replace his bat. If he'd benched Cano, and they missed the post-season because Alberto Gonzalez or Nick Green was playing 2B, everyone would be calling for Girardi's head.
Pete Abe said:
Good for Girardi. But why did it take so long? The point needed to be made to Cano in April or May, not when it was too late to matter.
Given how well Girardi handled the youthful Florida roster in 2006, its surprising that Cano didn’t flourish this season. But that likely speaks more to the attitude of the player than the skill of the manager.
The Yankees have a problem with Cano. It’s easy to say they should trade him. But his value has never been lower than it is right now.
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