All Things Bubba

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

Monday, November 23, 2009

Things you find on eBay...

Someone is selling an empty cardboard Coke box on eBay. It commemorates the 2003 Rice Owls College World Series championship. I think that's Paul Janish on the far right - #11.

It's looking more and more like Janish will be the Reds' starting SS next year. Cincinnati has been hard-hit by the recession, and they are looking to cut their already tight budget. Jocketty said on Saturday that they were hoping to keep Jonny Gomes, which would pretty much mean there's no money for a free agent SS. I suppose it's possible the Reds could shed salary, trading one of their highly paid players, or that Cozart or some other farm kid could win the starting role in spring training, but right now, it's looking like it's Janish's job to lose.

Also on eBay, a Bubba Crosby game-used bat.

It is pretty seriously cracked.

I wonder where they got it? It might be from Bubba's Columbus Clippers days. The auction benefits the Domestic Violence Project, which appears to be based in Ohio.

Labels: ,

posted by BubbaFan, 9:26 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Rule 5 Deadline

Today was the roster deadline for the Rule 5 draft. Any player a team wants to protect from the Rule 5 draft has to be on their roster today, so a lot of moves were made.

The Pirates DFA'd Jeff Karstens. They claimed Chris Jakubauskas off waivers from the Seattle Mariners, and needed the roster spot.

Catcher Paul Phillips signed a minor league contract with the Rockies. He got a spring training invite and has a chance to win the backup catcher job. (Paul is Andy Phillips' cousin.)

The Yankees were pretty active. Hector Noesi, Ivan Nova, Romulo Sanchez, Reegie Corona, Eduardo Nunez, Kevin Russo, and Austin Jackson were added to the roster. To make room, Shelley Duncan was outrighted to the minors. This probably means he's moving on.

A player can only be outrighted to the minors once in his career without his consent. Duncan has already been outrighted once before, so this time he has the right to refuse the assignment. He's said that if he clears waivers, he'll choose free agency. If another team claims him off waivers, he can't be a free agent, but he won't be a Yankee, either.

Adios, Shelley. Best of luck to you.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:14 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Center Field

Interesting comment posted at LoHud yesterday. They were discussing Brett Gardner, and his defensive skills.

What he has in speed he unfortunately seems to make up for in not reading bats well. He can be dazzling east-west, showing off great range, but has chronic problems judging balls hit over his head. That is kind of important for a CF.

We got a tremendous catch in Game 5 from him, but we see catchable balls to the wall for Melky turn into high adventure and misplays from Gardner.

Gardner’s speed just does not, at this point, translate often enough into plus defense, and sometimes even above average defense.

He improved from the beginning of the season going back on balls, but this is still an issue for him, so I have to assume he just does not have the instinct for getting good jumps.

Those who compare him with Bubba Crosby do Bubba a disservice. While Gardner is much faster, Bubba was a way better instinctive OF.

Dunno if Brett is "much faster." I saw minor league scouting reports for both of them, and their speed from the batting box to first base was identical. However, it's possible Bubba slowed down a bit since then, while Gardner improved. Players may reach their offensive peaks at around age 27-28, but the defensive peak, including range, is earlier - around age 24. This is Gardner's age 25 season, so he's about at his peak defensively, while Bubba didn't make it to the Bronx until his age 27 season.

But I definitely agree about Bubba's instincts in the outfield. Man, I miss that. Perhaps Brett will improve on balls hit over his head - Melky did - but reading the ball off the bat is generally considered something that can't be taught.

My guess is that the Yankees are not happy with either Melky or Gardner in CF. They're not going to trade the farm, but they probably will try to get someone like Mike Cameron - someone to keep center field warm until Austin Jackson is ready.


posted by BubbaFan, 4:34 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Minor League Free Agents

Baseball America has posted their minor league free agent list. After seven years in the minors, teams have to either put a player on their big league roster, or grant him free agency.

The Yankees are losing 17 players to free agency:

RHP: Paul Bush (AA), Michael Gardner++ (AA), Justin Pope++ (AA), Humberto Sanchez (AAA), Jay Stephens (AA), Jose Valdez (AAA)

C: Brian Peterson (AAA), Chris Stewart (AAA)

3B: Eric Duncan (AAA), Carlos Mendoza+ (AA), Cody Ransom (AAA), Marcos Vechionacci (AA)

SS: Doug Bernier (AAA)

OF: Edwar Gonzalez (AA), Freddy Guzman (AAA), Richie Robnett (AA), John Rodriguez (AAA)

Lots of former Yankees on the list, too, including Justin Christian, Casey Fossum, Sal Fasano, Mark Bellhorn, Matt DeSalvo, Heath Phillips, Chase Wright, Shawn Chacon, Josh Phelps, Kevin Thompson, T.J. Beam, and Jason Lane.

Yes, Kevin Thompson is on the list. When last I heard of him, he had been released from the independent league Newark Bears. Apparently, he was signed to a minor league contract in early September by the Texas Rangers. He played only 5 games with the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks. Before that, he played 14 games for the independent league Fort Worth Cats. (Thompson is from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.)

Strange that the Rangers signed him when there was less than a week left in the season. A "break glass in case of emergency" insurance player, maybe? He seems like an odd choice, since he'd played so little this year. Perhaps they needed him to replace someone who was called up. Usually teams plan for that before September, but perhaps there was an unexpected injury or something.

Or maybe he was going to be their Freddy Guzman. A speedy pinch runner they could call up if they made the post-season. Thompson was supposed to be as fast as Bubba, maybe faster.

posted by BubbaFan, 5:31 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Andy No Longer a Carp

Someone posted some news from Japan in the comments of the previous post. Andy Phillips won't be playing for the Hiroshima Carp next year. They decided not to renew his contract, and signed Justin Huber instead.

Marty Brown, the manager of the Carp for the past four years, has moved to a new team, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. No word on whether he'd be interested in having Andy play for him there.

Someone in Japan told me that Andy's said he likes it in Japan and wants to return. You'd think someone over there would be interested in signing him. He hit decently for the Carp: .265 / .500 / .339, with 15 home runs - not bad for half a season. Plus, he's a foreign player studmuffin!

If Andy doesn't get a contract in Japan, he could probably get at least a minor league contract here in the States. It wouldn't pay as well, but on the bright side, I'd get to see him least if he ends up in the IL.


posted by BubbaFan, 10:51 AM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hot Stove Heating Up

Lots of deals being done already.

"Everyday" Scott Proctor signed a minor league deal with the Braves. He spent last season on the DL (Tommy John surgery). (And judging from the photo, he's adopted the "fell chin first into a mud puddle" type of facial hair.)

Remember...was it three or four years ago? When Scott Proctor learned that new breaking ball from Al Leiter, and everyone thought he was going to be an elite closer. Cashman's phone was ringing off the hook.

Wilson Betemit will sign a minor league deal with the Royals.

The Tuscaloosa News has a blurb about that Baseball Country baseball camp.

Baseball Country will hold a series of Professional Advanced Camps on Jan. 1-3 for ages 7-10) and Jan. 8-10 for ages 11-14. Professional instructors will include Andy Phillips ( Hiroshima Carps), Lance Cormier (Tampa Bay Rays), Brett Taft (former Kansas City Royal) and Lee Evans (Former Atlanta Brave). Campers will receive instruction on hitting mechanics, catching techniques, proper infield play and pitching mechanics. Camps are limited to the first 20 that register. Cost is $345. You may register by going on line at or call Kenny Burns at 205-454-3641.

Interesting that Andy Phillips is described as playing for the "Hiroshima Carps." Does that mean he's going back to Japan next season?


posted by BubbaFan, 7:58 PM | link | 2 comments |

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Yesterday's unemployment report was ugly. The fundamentals are just so bad. As ShadowStats argues, "real" income has been declining in the US since the early '70s. Households adjusted to this by sending women into the work force, so there were two incomes instead of just one, and then by increasing debt - credit cards, HELOCs, etc. Now we've hit the wall, and the hangover could last for years. Even if people want to keep spending, they don't have the income, and their access to credit is being cut off.

Should be interesting to see how this affects baseball. Last year, a lot of players had to accept less money than they expected - to the point that accusations of collusion were made. My feeling is that teams are more willing to spend this year, but who knows.

And speaking of jobs...for those of you wondering what Bubba's family business is...someone left a comment saying that his dad has a large lawn maintenance company. That seems like something Bubba would be good at. After all, an outfielder should be an expert on grass!

Seriously, he's said in interviews he likes working with his hands, and it seems like he would have the opportunity to do that in a lawn maintenance business, if he wanted to.

A Pew survey came out last month, about which occupations produce the most happiness and well-being. The key to happiness, it seems, does not necessarily involve big bucks or an Ivy League degree. The business news media glommed onto the fact that people who own their own businesses are the happiest, but what I found most interesting is that farmers, ranchers, foresters and fisherman are among the happiest workers, despite low pay, hard work, and long hours.

Perhaps that's a reflection of the kind of person who is attracted to those jobs. But I wonder if part of it is simply being outdoors. There's all kinds of research that suggests that people need contact with nature. Being outdoors in natural surroundings makes people less stressed, and eases depression. A gift of flowers improves people's moods more than a non-natural gift of similar value. Looking at nature even makes you nicer.

I, of course, have a job where I spend most of the day at a desk. I could do more field work, but engineering field work usually involves unappealing surroundings such as construction sites. Maybe I shoulda majored in landscape architecture or something.

Labels: ,

posted by BubbaFan, 9:17 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Microsoft's search site,, has the Yankees as its background image today. (They have a different photo every day. It's sort of their version of Google's special occasion logos, only they do it every day.)

Has it really been nine years since the Yankees won a World Series? I can hardly believe it. The last time the Yankees won a World Series, Derek Jeter was 26 years old, a young player just reaching his prime. Now he is 35, his career winding down.

Where did the time go?

posted by BubbaFan, 5:16 PM | link | 0 comments |