All Things Bubba

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

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Long December

They showed a music video during the Cowboys game - Tony Romo's travails set to the Counting Crows song "A Long December." The Cowboys have not played well in December in recent years. In fact, they were starting to remind me of the old Jets.

But this year, it's different. The Cowboys are playing well...sort of. Some of the talking heads are saying the 'Boys are peaking at the right time. I'm not so sure. They're playing better than I expected, but they're also making some bonehead blunders. I'm still not sure this is a playoff team.

I do think Romo is playing smarter, though. I can understand making mistakes, but players who don't learn from their mistakes drive me batty. Looks like Romo is not one of those.

Came across this link today. It's about an auction by Lenny Dysktra's pawnbroker. Dykstra had been having financial problems, and had to declare bankruptcy. Apparently, he pawned a lot of his baseball memorabilia, and when he couldn't repay the loan, it was sold at auction. There are photos here: his World Series ring and trophy, his Game 3 game-winning home run ball, his All-Star rings, and more. Wow, that's really sad.


posted by BubbaFan, 10:48 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Warm holiday wishes, peace on earth, and all that.

Rice University has announced that their alumni baseball game will be held on Saturday, February 6, 2010, at Reckling Park (the Rice baseball field). Looks like they do it every two years.

Dunno if Bubba will participate. I seem to recall reading that he did back in 2004 or thereabouts. He's not listed in the 2006 or 2008 recaps, though Paul Janish is.

I'm considering going. I probably won't make it to spring training this year, alas. Southwest is offering roundtrip tickets to Houston for about $100, so it could be a quick, affordable getaway. Not to mention welcome. February is brutal around here.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:21 AM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hasta luego, Leche

Melky Cabrera has been the subject of trade rumors every year since he came up. This year, they turned out to be true.

I was expecting it. With Granderson as their new CFer, they don't need Melky any more. He doesn't have the bat to play left field; the Yanks will probably sign Damon, Dye, or someone like that. Maybe even Bay or Holliday. Melky is a serviceable fourth outfielder, but with Brett Gardner on the roster, they don't need him.

I'm not too sad to see him go, I confess. Melky was never one of my favorites. Yes, he had a cute name and cute dimples, but, well, he was something of a bonehead. (One fan commented that the team IQ will go up six points with Melky gone.) I got the impression that he didn't work as hard as should have. And he and best friend Robby Cano didn't seem good for each other.

Melky will be a Brave now, and Javier Vasquez gets another chance in the Bronx. Braves fans are pretty upset at the trade, but Melky is not the centerpiece of the deal. The real prize for Atlanta is young Arodys Vizcaino, one of the Yankees' top prospects. But "there's no such thing as a pitching prospect." He's only 19, and a long way from the big leagues. And perhaps the experience with Joba, Hughes, and Kennedy has made Cashman realize that developing pitchers is not easy, and requires time and patience - which tend to be in short supply in the Bronx.

And the guy the Yanks traded for Javier Vazquez the first time, Nick Johnson, is officially back in pinstripes. He will DH and bat second.

I was so bummed when they traded away Johnson. I wanted to see him play 1B for the Yankees. As it turned out, with his injury history, it probably wouldn't have worked out. But I'm kind of glad to see him back. Though he's now 31 - not the young up and comer he was when he left.

In other transaction news, Matt DeSalvo signed with the Marlins, and Chris Stewart signed with the Padres.

And Phil Humber has signed a minor league deal with the Royals. Humber was drafted by the Yankees, but didn't sign. Instead, he went to Rice University, where he was part of the wealth of pitching talent that forced Paul Janish to move to SS. Humber was drafted out of Rice in the first round, third overall, by the Mets. But he didn't develop as they hoped. He was traded to the Twins, then DFA'd. Like they say...there's no such thing as a pitching prospect.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:37 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sayonara to Godzilla and other transactions

As you've no doubt heard, the Yankees' World Series MVP is a Halo now. I always liked Godzilla, but I think it was pretty clear he didn't fit into the Yankees' future. They need to get younger, and Matsui, whose bad knees have made him a full-time DH, was the obvious one to let go.

And some tidbits from Baseball America's minor league transaction report:

The Pirates outrighted Jeff Karstens to AAA. TJ Beam signed with Diamondbacks. Chad Moeller re-signed with the Orioles. Josh Towers signed with the Dodgers. Eric Duncan signed with the Braves.

They have this to say about Eric Duncan:

The Yankees’ first-round pick in ’03, Duncan has regressed in each of his three seasons with Scranton as he counted down the days until free agency. The 25-year-old New Jersey native never has shown much feel for hitting (.242 career average) or for the finer points of playing third base. But if you go back far enough you can see the trappings of power that made him a premium draft pick in the first place. Duncan smacked 19 homers with Double-A Trenton in ’05.

Then there's this:

Voluntarily retired: 1B Blake Crosby

Bobby Crosby’s younger brother, Blake (a 42nd-round pick this year) retired to take an amateur scouting position with the Blue Jays.

I didn't know Blake Crosby was Bobby Crosby's brother. Bobby Crosby and Bubba Crosby were reported to be brothers when they first came up. (They're not related.) Bubba said in one interview that he frequently got autograph requests, cards, and baseballs meant for Bobby, and vice-versa. Even the media confuse them. I was afraid things would get even more confusing, with Blake Crosby and Bryan Crosby lurking in the minors (I've already seen a Bryan Crosby card being sold as a Bubba Crosby on eBay).

Blake Crosby hopes to be a GM one day; I guess he's on his way.

And the Japan Times expresses surprise that the Carp let Andy Phillips go:

Surprisingly, the Hiroshima Carp released infielder/outfielder Andy Phillips, who put up great half-season numbers of 15 homers and 50 RBIs with a .265 batting average.

Maybe they didn't like his beard:

(That's a Carp uniform, not a Reds one.)

Perhaps another Japanese team will sign him.


posted by BubbaFan, 6:55 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Wang Non-tendered

Well, it looks like Wang's career with the Yankees is over. They cut him loose today.

I'm not really surprised. He hasn't pitched very well lately, and the Yanks now have other options. Still...who would have imagined this four years ago?

It's possible the Yankees will sign him to a minor league deal. He'll probably get offers from other teams, though. His ineffectiveness is no doubt related to injury. He's had surgery, may not be able to play much next season. But when he's healthy, he's very good. And he's only 29. I imagine some team will give him a shot.

I've always liked Chien-Ming Wang, and wish him the best.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:25 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Adios, Ajax

Yankee fandom is abuzz over today's three-way, blockbuster trade. Bottom line, Yankees give up Phil Coke, Ian Kennedy, and Austin Jackson for Curtis Granderson.

Coke is definitely expendable. I'm sorry to see Kennedy go, though. And really bummed to see Austin Jackson traded before he even got a cup of coffee.

I know, a prospect is only a prospect, and the Yankees can't keep them all. But I liked Ajax. Good speed, good glove, and seemed like a really nice guy.

Peter Gammon said on the radio that Melky would stay in CF, and Granderson move to left, but that seems ridiculous to me. If the Yanks really said that, it was meant as a negotiating ploy for Johnny Damon. (Kinda like "Bubba Crosby will be our opening day center fielder. ) You don't trade for a player like Curtis Granderson, then put him in left field. Moving Melky to left field makes no sense, either. He doesn't have the stick to be a corner outfielder.

The only way it makes sense for the Yankees to give up three players like Coke, Kennedy, and Austin is if Granderson replaces Melky. Otherwise, the team is not improved.

So what's to become of Leche? He might become the 4th outfielder. Or he could be traded; the Cubs are among the teams interested.

In any case, think this trade means the Yankees have given up on both Melky and Gardner as starting center fielders.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:44 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, December 07, 2009

Bye-bye, Bruney

Brian Bruney is no longer a Yankee. He's been traded to the Nationals, in exchange for their Rule 5 draft pick.

Hmmm. If that's true, it suggests the Yankees have someone in mind to draft. This means trading Bruney doesn't really free up a roster spot, since they'll need to add their Rule 5 draftee.

Interesting weekend for college football. It's going to be Alabama vs. Texas for the national championship. Bama won decisively. (Andy Phillips must be happy.) TU got in by the grace of the zebras. Anything can happen....but my guess is Alabama is going to kick Longhorn butt next month.

And alas, my poor Cowboys. Humiliated by the Giants. I'm glad today was my day off. The resident Giants fans would never let me hear the end of it.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:13 PM | link | 0 comments |