Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
The Reds had a makeup game against the Marlins today. Andy didn't start. Edwin Encarnacion was back at 3B, and Dusty started young Danny Richar at 2B. However, Andy came in to pinch-hit in the 7th, and stayed in to play 2B.
The Reds scored six runs in that inning, climbing out of a 0-4 hole. Andy Phillips scored the Reds' last two runs, with a 2-RBI single. Cincinnati ended up winning 7-5, so Andy plated the winning runs.
Labels: Andy Phillips
Tonight was the last game ever played in Yankee Stadium. They made quite a production out of it, even hiring actors to portray the first Yankees lineup for the pregame show. They got the relatives of some players who have passed away to represent them. And those who are still alive were there in person, wearing their old uniforms and taking their old spots on the field.
Of course, the high point was at the end, when Bernie Williams' name was called, and he took his place in center field.
The way Torre used Bernie the last few years of his career drove me nuts. I think the Yankees did the right thing letting Bernie go, since Torre just could not be trusted to use him as a pinch-hitter rather than as the starting center fielder (or right fielder). But...it sure was nice to see Bernie in pinstripes again. To see the "Bern, Baby Bern" sign flash in the stadium again. And to see the appreciation he got from the fans. He seemed happy, too, which was good to see. A really nice moment.
ESPN ran Yankee Stadium "factoids" on the crawl at the bottom of the screen. One of them was that Rice University used to own Yankee Stadium, and the city of New York took it from them via eminent domain. I'd never heard that. I thought I might have misread, but it's true:
Rice alumnus John Cox ’27 gave his alma mater his ownership of Yankee Stadium, including all leasing rights, in 1962. Rice made several million dollars off the gift, leasing the House that Ruth Built to the Yankees for almost a decade. In winter 1966, the stadium was painted blue and white. Coincidence? We think not. The city of New York eventually forced Rice to sell Yankee Stadium in 1971 for the meager price of $2.5 million.
No hits for Andy yesterday, but he did get a walk and a run.
It was good enough to earn him a spot in the starting lineup again today. Once again, he's playing 3B and batting cleanup. I guess he must have impressed Dusty with those home runs he hit earlier this week. I wasn't expecting to see him starting with a right-hander on the mound. (He hits righties better than lefties, but I'm not sure Dusty's noticed.)
UPDATE: Andy went 1 for 3 with a walk and run scored. The Reds lost, however. In fact, Andy scored the Reds' only run.
The Reds face CC Sabathia today, and Dusty Baker is playing his right-handed bats. Andy Phillips is starting at 3B.
And it's on Fox, so you might be able to watch the game. It's airing in NY.
Just like three years ago, the Yankees played the Orioles in Yankee Stadium. And once again, the Yanks won 3-2. No walkoff homer this time. But we did have young Brett Gardner making an amazing Bubba-like play in center field. He didn't hit any home runs, but he did hit a RBI double. He was chosen Player of the Game.
And just as with Bubba three years ago, people are talking about whether he can be the everyday center fielder. If he can just hit .250, his speed and defense can make up for the lack offense. The batting coach is working with him, and he's a different hitter. He's just so much fun to watch. All things that were said about Bubba, three years ago.
I like Gardner. He really does remind me of Bubba. Speedy little lefty, with rather prominent ears. I'm not sure he can be the Yanks' starting CFer, though. He's hitting below the Mendoza line, and so far has less power than Bubba. Not the Yankees' type.
Though it would probably be for only one season, if that. Austin Jackson is almost ready, and it sounds like the Yanks love him. Great player, and a great guy off the field, too. They want him to start next year in Scranton, but he could be called up fairly soon if he does well.
Meanwhile, in Cincinnati...the Reds beat up the Brewers. Andy Phillips pinch-hit for the pitcher in the 6th inning, and hit a home run. It was one of seven - yes, seven - the Reds hit tonight. Final score: Reds 11, Brewers 2.
Three years ago today was "The Bubba Crosby Game." The pinnacle of Bubba's career, if he stays retired.
Just like three years ago, the Yankees are hosting Balitmore tonight. But the situation could not be more different. Rather than the post-season hanging on every game, the Yankees are just playing out the string. How very strange, to have nothing to play for in September.
Andy Phillips wasn't in the starting lineup today. He did pinch-hit later on. He grounded out, but successfully moved the runner from 2B to 3B.
Meanwhile, in the Bronx, another Phillips came into the game as the White Sox catcher: Paul. He's Andy's cousin. I didn't know Andy had a cousin who was a pro ball player.
Paul Phillips is a catcher. There's a certain family resemblance:
(That's him in the middle.)
And speaking of the Phillips family...Andy's wife must be due any day now. (What Andy was thinking, getting his wife pregnant in December? Not only does that mean the baby is born in September - he’ll miss the kid’s birthdays as long as he’s in Major League Baseball - it means poor Bethany had to be 8-9 months preggers in August. In Alabama. Surely that counts as spousal abuse? ;-)
Andy hasn't gotten as much playing time as I thought he would after his "brother" Brandon broke his finger. Dusty Baker started him the first night, but since then has started a different player at second every night. And he's got a lot of infielders on hand, what with the expanded roster.
However, Andy is starting at 3B tonight. Edwin Encarnacion was a late scratch. He injured his wrist on a check swing yesterday, and found during BP today that he just couldn't finish his stroke. The Reds have nothing to play for at this point, so I imagine they'll be careful with him. Could be more playing time for Andy.
Though he's not off to a good start. Already has a throwing error.
And MLB has released the 2009 schedule. The Yanks' schedule is here. And the Reds are opening against the Mets. (The Reds always open at home.)
UPDATE: Andy Phillips hit a home run tonight! Jay Bruce hit one right after Andy for back to back homers, and Paul Janish homered in the same inning. The Reds scored all their runs in that inning, all on solo homers. They won, 3-0.
HOUSTON (AP) - Houston Texans owner Bob McNair has discussed the possibility of his team playing at Rice Stadium if repairs to Reliant Stadium from Hurricane Ike can't be made in time for its first home game on Oct. 5.
The stadium's retractable roof lost five pieces in the storm and officials said large pieces of debris had fallen into the stadium.
...Rice Stadium holds 47,000 in its current configuration, but the tarps could be moved off the end zone seating to expand the capacity to 70,000. It was opened in 1950 and hosted the Super Bowl in 1974.
I'm more convinced than ever that it was Jorge Posada who complained that his teammates had given up. Jorgie was interviewed for CenterStage today, and was pretty blunt.
Posada, who will attend Sunday's closing ceremony for Yankee Stadium, also acknowledged he has had trouble watching the bumbling Bombers fall from playoff contention in his absence, saying he watches "two, three innings, and can't watch any more.
"I haven't been watching the whole games. I really can't take it," Posada said.
"Leave him in the bullpen," Posada replied flatly, before being asked to expand on his answer. "If you start him and he pitches 200 innings, he won't be able to (last).
"You're going to lose him. He's going to get hurt ... I don't see him as a starter. I'd leave him in the bullpen."
..."I said in the spring, seeing him as a reliever, I think his body is made to be a reliever," Posada said. "This year tells you a sign, a little sign. A little tendinitis tells you a lot. ... I don't see it."
Or should that be "rest in pieces"?
Lehman Brothers, a 158-year-old financial services firm, and one of the pillars of Wall St., went bankrupt today. It started as a cotton trading company in Alabama, and survived the Civil War, World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II...but could not survive the mortgage crisis.
It's hard to describe the mood here in New York. Even people who don't work in the financial field know people who do. There's a feeling of fear, disruption, shock. This wasn't supposed to happen.
The really scary thing is that this might be just the beginning. Everyone thought it was over with Bear Stearns back in March. Lehman is proof that it's not over...that it might be far from over. Everyone was hoping the mortgage crisis was in the bottom of the 9th. Now it's looking like it's more like top of the 2nd, or maybe even the singing of the national anthem.
The words "worse than the Great Depression" were spoken repeatedly on the news today. Hyperbole? Maybe. But there's also the possibility that it's accurate, or even an understatement. The financial system is in serious trouble. Teetering on the brink of the abyss, even. Everyone is doing all they can to keep it from toppling, but I fear there is no way to fix it without serious pain.
This is a slow-motion train wreck, and it's only just beginning. Mostly, it has not affected ordinary people. Yet. Eventually, it will. I think there is a real possibility that we actually are headed into an economic crisis worse than the Great Depression.
So what do to? Save your money. Try to have an "emergency fund" of one year's expenses. If that's not possible, save as much as you can. Anything is better than nothing. Avoid debt - even "good debt" like a mortgage or a student loan. Think about what you would do if you lost your job, or had to take a severe pay cut.
I know this is way off-topic from what I usually write about in this blog. But hey, I'm interested in current events the way other people are interested in movies or music. This blog reflects my interests, just as others' personal blogs do.
I also feel a need to warn people. I don't know if anyone will listen, but I still feel obligated to say something.
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.
The Astros tried desperately to play this weekend's series against the Cubs at home in Houston. The post-season is on the line, and they did not want to give up home field advantage. But the Cubs didn't want to get stuck in Houston during a hurricane, and there was also concern about the fans, who should be preparing for the storm, not attending a baseball game. The teams' schedules don't permit the games to be postponed.
Though Ike was not as bad as feared, it left Houston in no shape to host sports events. Many buildings are damaged, millions of people have no electricity, and the water supply is suspect. So the Astros will play the Cubs in Milwaukee instead. The Houston Texans game is being postponed to November.
It's early yet, but it looks like Hurricane Ike wasn't as bad as feared. It was bad enough, though. Many of the people who ignored evacuation orders later called 911 begging to be rescued. One guy explained he had wanted to stick around because he expected the surfing to be really good the next day. (Now there's a candidate for a Darwin Award.)
Governor Bob Riley on Friday afternoon declared a state of emergency for Alabama after he received new information from the U.S. Department of Energy that energy shortages will likely occur in the state due to Hurricane Ike.
The Governor’s declaration notes that “disruption of essential utility services, systems and severe energy shortages will likely occur.”
Well, Hurricane Ike heading right for Bubba Crosby's house. Ike is projected to pass just west of Galveston (which is where Bellaire, Texas is). It's also the worst possible track for Houston/Galveston. (It means the city gets the "dirty" side of the storm - the stronger side.) Though the NHC is predicting it will make landfall as a Category 3, some forecasters are predicting it will be a Category 4.
There's also an interesting new measure of hurricanes. (Call it hurricane sabermetrics.) Jeff Masters describes a new scale coincidentally called IKE (Integrated Kinetic Energy), that is supposed to be a better measure of a hurricane's power than the Saffir-Simpson scale. By that measure, Ike is the powerful Atlantic hurricane in 40 years.
The good news is that it's avoiding the major oil infrastructure. The bad news is that there are many refineries in the Houston area. They are being shut down and evacuated. The Gulf area is not fully recovered from Gustav, and now they're having to shut down again.
Not surprisingly, wholesale gasoline had a record-setting price spike today. Actual shortages are a possibility, since so many refineries are shut down. (It takes a couple of weeks for refinery products from the Gulf to reach the northeast, so if there are problems, they won't be immediate.)
This looks like it's going to be a bad storm, and it's probably not possible to evacuate Houston at this point. They are concentrating on evacuating only the lowest-lying areas, and asking everyone else to "shelter in place" in order to keep the roads clear for those who must evacuate. Reports from Houston are that the highways are bumper-to-bumper, and many gas stations are out of gas.
The warnings from the National Hurricane Center are very stark:
LIFE THREATENING INUNDATION LIKELY!
All neighborhoods...and possibly entire coastal communities...will be inundated during high tide. Persons not heeding evacuation orders in single family one or two story homes will face certain death. Many residences of average construction directly on the coast will be destroyed. Widespread and devastating personal property damage is likely elsewhere. Vehicles left behind will likely be swept away. Numerous roads will be wwamped...some may be washed away by the water. Entire flood prone coastal communities will be cutoff. Water levels may exceed 9 feet for more than a mile inland. Coastal residents in multi-story facilities risk being cutoff. Conditions will be worsened by battering waves. Such waves will exacerbate property damage...with massive destruction of homes...including those of block construction. Damage from beach erosion could take years to repair.
The Reds' starting second baseman, Brandon Phillips, broke his finger trying to bunt last night. He is likely out for the rest of the season. Starting in his place today was Andy Phillips. I don't know if Andy will be playing 2B every day, but Dusty has indicated that he'd rather play veterans than kids, so I suspect Andy will be getting a lot more playing time.
Meanwhile, Texas is preparing for Hurricane Ike. (Uh, boy. A lot of oil production is still offline from Gustav, and we have another hurricane headed for oil country.) Ike's track has swung around quite a bit, from New Orleans to the Texas/Mexico border. Today, it's looking like it might hit Galveston/Houston. Possibly as a Cat. 4 (though maybe only a high 2/low 3). The nightmare scenario would be a sudden shift in path and increase in intensity (as happened with Katrina and Charley). Evacuating a large city like Houston on short notice would extremely difficult.
Well, Andy is still a Red. The ax fell on three pitchers. Josh Fogg was put on the 60-day DL. Matt Belisle was called up from Louisville and immediately put on the 60-day DL. And Todd Coffey was DFA'd.
I wonder if Bubba is glad he no longer has to worry about roster moves.
Who'd have imagined that Dontrelle Willis would spend the season in A-ball? He's endeared himself to his minor league teammates by picking up the bill for dinner each night, and buying them soap, deodorant, and other toiletries. I guess it's the least he can do, given the money he makes.
I'm kind of surprised to hear Detroit feeds their minor leaguers Popsicles and peanut butter and jelly. All that sugar can't be good for them. Even college women's sports teams try to feed their athletes healthy food. (The Zone, etc.)
The Louisville Bats lost yesterday, ending their playoff run and their season. (I'm disappointed. I was hoping they'd come to Scranton this week to play the SWB Yanks.)
As expected, with the Bats' season over, the Reds announced a bunch of callups. Paul Janish is one of those who got the call. Perhaps surprisingly, Homer Bailey, Matt Belisle, and Daryl Thompson did not get called up. Even though they're on the 40-man and have started for the Reds before.
The Reds are going to have to clear three roster spots for guys they called up who weren't on the 40-man. Jerry Hairston, Jr., on the 15-day DL, could be put on the 60-day, but I'm not sure what they'll do about the other two spots. A bunch of infielders (and no outfielders) were called up, which may not bode well for Andy Phillips.
Then again, maybe he’d welcome his release. His wife Bethany due to give birth to their first child this month. I’m sure he wants to be with her, especially after all they've been through.
ESPN had an interesting article today about how high gas prices are affecting sports. Everyone from kids' soccer teams to pro football players are feeling it. The bad economy is making itself felt in the sports world. The only ones happy are the marlin. No, not the Marlins. The fish. People can't afford to charter fishing boats any more, which is good news for fish.
It reminded me of this article, from last year. It's about which sports are worst for the environment.
When people think about energy used and carbon dioxide emitted for spectator sports, they tend to think of the stadium lights, or the Jumbotron, or maybe the planes flying teams across the country. But the real problem is the fans, who drive from miles away to attend the game. That makes baseball one of the worst sports for the environment.
Baseball? Why baseball? Simply because there are so many games. Football games may be big spectacles, but each stadium hosts just eight games a year. In comparison, a MLB stadium hosts over 80 games. Even though all the games may not be sold out, that's heck of a lot more driving.
Of course, with the Yankees, many fans use public transportation to attend their games. And not just the fans. Some of the players do, too.
No, really. MiLB.TV is free for the playoffs. No SWB Yankees tonight, because they're playing Pawtucket, which doesn't have TV coverage. But you should be able to see them tomorrow, when they return to Scranton to finish the series.
If they beat Pawtucket, they will host the Louisville Bats or Durham Bulls (depending on who wins that series). I may go see one of those games in person.
Hurricane Gustav was (thankfully) not as bad as feared. It weakened unexpectedly after crossing Cuba. Still did a lot of damage to the Gulf Coast, and New Orleans' levees barely held. Gasoline might be a little tight in the coming days. A lot was used by people evacuating the coast, and the refineries and pipelines were down for awhile due to the massive power outages down there. (Some refineries are still down.)
The scary thing is there's plenty more where Gustav came from. A whole slew of storms is lined up in the Atlantic, with more likely to form behind them. Ike looks like it's going to be a killer if it makes landfall in the US. (Way too early to tell if it will or not.)