All Things Bubba

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

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Arrrgh, mateys

Five years ago today, Bubba Crosby hit the only walkoff homer of his career. I always remember the date, because it's International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrgh, mateys!

Just as on that day five years ago, the Yankees faced the Orioles while locked in a pennant race. Only today, in a development that would have seemed incredible in 2005, the Yanks' main rivals are the Tampa Rays, not the Boston Red Sox. And unlike that giddy night five years ago, the Yankees went down to defeat in extra innings today, rather than celebrating a walkoff victory.

That game five years ago is one of my favorites, and not just because Bubba had a great night and the game-winning homer. Chien-Ming Wang was on the mound, and pitched a gem. He tied the record for assists, fielding his position beautifully while holding the Orioles to 2 runs in eight innings.

I never imagined then that Wang would no longer be a Yankee now. He's signed with the Nationals, but hasn't played a single game this season. He's still trying to recover from shoulder surgery.

As for today's game...I was watching the Cowboys game (ugh), and was surprised that the Yankees game was still going on when the football game was over. Apparently, Mo gave up the game-tying home run in the 9th. He must have really had a bad day, because he also gave up a hit to Corey Patterson (AKA "Two-pitch At-Batterson"). The game ended up going 11 innings.

I have to say...Buck Showalter has been really impressive as Baltimore's new manager. With a man in third, one out in the 11th, he walked both Teixeira and Jeter to load the bases and set up the DP. My first thought was that was nuts. But he wanted to reach Bubba's former Rice teammate, Lance Berkman, for a reason. Berkman has been terrible batting righty lately. And Girardi had already burned all his good batters. That left Girardi with the choice of letting Berkman hit from his bad side, or pinch-hitting the likes of Chad Moeller or Kevin Russo. Girardi elected to let Berkman hit, and he promptly grounded into a DP, ending the threat.

In the bottom of the frame, it was the Orioles with the walkoff victory - a single, not a home run, but good enough to get the job done.

They haven't been the same team since Showalter took over. Looks like life in the AL East is going to be getting much tougher. Not just the Yanks and Sox, but the Rays, the Orioles, even the Jays may all be in the hunt next year.


posted by BubbaFan, 8:21 PM


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