All Things Bubba

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

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

John Fay on What the Reds need for Christmas:

Paul Janish: A fair chance. Janish deserves to be the everyday shortstop. If he's hitting .200 on April 30, he still should be in the starting lineup on May 1. He can flat pick it at short.

Also, I notice that Redleg Nation has changed their motto to "Home of the Paul Janish Fan Club." Okay, probably not entirely serious, but still...


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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

"Dream come true" for Andy Phillips

Phillips ‘back home' with Crimson Tide

So faced with the proposition of another run at making the roster of a Major League Baseball club or returning home to coach at his alma mater, Phillips chose home.

“For me, being back at a place I love, to come back as a coach at the University of Alabama, it's a dream come true,” Phillips said.

Sounds like this really is Andy's dream job.

“It's kind of crazy,” Phillips said. “I've always enjoyed the teaching aspect of baseball, so I soaked in as much as I could. It always intrigued me. But I always said I didn't want to get in coaching just to be coaching. I wanted to be at Alabama. Now it looks like I called my shot. I always said that, knowing the possibility was slim.”

Sounds like Andy was the coach's dream assistant coach, too. He's the one who recruited Andy as a player, and he was afraid that as an active player, Andy wouldn't be interested in coaching.

Hope it works out for him.

Also interesting...Andy worked out for the Red Sox last week. Boy, that would have been weird, seeing him a Red Sock. Though I suppose he would have played mostly in Pawtucket, if they signed him.


posted by BubbaFan, 9:13 PM | link | 2 comments |

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

51 years

The drunk driver who killed Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart got 51 years in prison. He won't be eligible for parole until he's served 49 years. He's a kid, the same age as Adenhart. Now he's going to grow old in jail.

I can't help comparing this to the Leyritz case. They aren't identical, and they occurred in different states, but still... Both involved a drunk driver going through a red light, with fatal results. In both cases, the other driver was intoxicated as well. But one driver gets 50 years of jail time, while the other gets one year probation and a $500 fine.

I guess we really do have the best legal system money can buy.


posted by BubbaFan, 9:46 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Roll Tide

Looks like Andy Phillips is calling it a career. At least as far as his playing days are concerned.

He's been hired by his alma mater, Alabama, as an assistant coach. He'll be their hitting coach.

Andy rattled around in the minors awhile after being nontendered by the Yankees. He got brief calllups by the Reds and Mets, then opted out of a minor league contract to play in Japan. He had half a good season with the Hiroshima Carp last year. This year, he spent an injury-ridden season on the Japanese equivalent of the DL and the minor leagues.

Best of luck to you, Andy, and thanks for the memories.


posted by BubbaFan, 7:56 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Phil Humber DFA'd

Former Rice standout and first round draft pick Philip Humber has been designated for assignment by the Royals. To make space on the roster for Jeff Francoeur, no less.

Humber, like Paul Janish, was on Rice's College World Series championship team. He was one of the reasons Janish was moved from pitcher to shortstop.

Humber was drafted #3 overall by the Mets, and fans expected him to be a star. Hasn't worked out that way. Rice had a bunch of players drafted that year:

Philip Humber (#3) - Mets
Jeff Niemann (#4) - Rays
Wade Townsend (#8) - Orioles
Josh Baker (#106) - Brewers
Paul Janish (#138) - Reds
Chris Kolkhorst (#282) - Padres

Jeff Niemann has turned out to be the cream of the crop from Rice that year. In second place is Paul Janish, drafted in the fifth round and (for now) the Reds' starting shortstop. Wade Townsend couldn't come to terms with the Orioles and went back to Rice. He was taken by the Rays the next year, again 8th overall. He's been plagued by injuries, and played in an independent league last season. Josh Baker last played in 2007, and never made it above A-ball. Chris Kolkhorst last played in 2005, and also never made it above A-ball.

Some have suggested that Rice has a history of disappointing the teams that draft their players. Aside from Lance Berkman, none of the first round players selected from Rice have become big stars. But I suspect they're no worse on that account than any other school. For all the scouting and stats, drafting players is still a crapshoot. Sure things don't pan out, and the guy no one wants can turn into a star.

UPDATE: Phil Humber has been claimed off waivers by Oakland.


posted by BubbaFan, 6:33 AM | link | 4 comments |

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Negro League Stamps

I went to the post office today to mail a gift to my grandmother and buy some holiday stamps. The line was soooooo long. I ended up standing in front of the stamp display case for half an hour, waiting. (Seems they had new software, and the clerks weren't sure how to use it.) I saw the Negro League stamps and knew I had to get them. They were in stock, so I bought a sheet. They apparently came out during the summer, but this was the first I heard about them. Very nice.

posted by BubbaFan, 4:56 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Janish ready to be Reds' everyday shortstop

But whether the Reds will let him is another story. From Mark Sheldon:

CINCINNATI -- Being viewed as the Reds' regular shortstop over the winter is something Paul Janish has lived once already. And now he's experiencing it all over again.

"Déjà vu," Janish said with a shrug.

Will the sequel turn out anything like the original? Janish certainly hopes not.

He thinks he has a better chance this year than last:

"I will handle it the same in terms of how I answer questions or what I say," Janish said. "The truth of the matter is there is a little offseason left. But it's different this time. Going into this year [2011], I made a better case for myself than the past year."

The quality of Janish's range and his glovework have never been in question. In that area, he excelled beyond Cabrera. But the need for offense won out when the Reds put together last season's team. Janish batted only .211 in 90 games in 2009, and Cabrera had a better track record.

In 82 games last season, the 28-year-old Janish batted a much more respectable .260 with five home runs, 25 RBIs, 10 doubles and a .338 on-base percentage. He also showed better skill driving the ball and hitting line drives.

I sure would like to see Janish get a shot at starting SS, not least because good free agent shortstops aren't exactly thick on the ground this year. But I would guess the Reds see it as risky.

If Janish is the starting SS, who is the backup?

Janish got most of his playing time when he started 27 consecutive games at shortstop for Cabrera, who was on the disabled list with an oblique injury from Aug. 3-Sept. 3. Janish batted .263 over the stretch, but most importantly, the Reds played some of their best baseball while going 19-8 in August and took over first place for good in the National League Central.

Before that opportunity, Janish only had 15 starts during the season. He did show some signs of fatigue that included his committing an error in three straight games in late August. But overall, he was praised for his performance.

Reds beat writer John Fay also mentioned that Janish tends to wear down and will need a backup. Zack Cozart should be serviceable. However...if it turns out Janish can't cut it as an everyday player, or if he's injured...will the Reds be willing to go with Cozart as their starting SS?

Personally, I would risk it. If Cozart doesn't work out, there's Kris Negron, who lit up the Arizona Fall League and will probably be the starting SS in Louisville this year (assuming Cozart makes the big league roster as Janish's backup).

But the Reds may want a veteran with a track record. They made the playoffs for the first time in 15 years this year, and likely want to strike while the iron is hot next year.

Perhaps the best solution would be to sign a veteran shortstop who is willing to be a backup. Not sure if there's anyone out there like that, though.


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

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hot Stove

The hot stove is heating up. The Red Sox have made the biggest splash, signing Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. I guess they didn't like fighting the Jays for third place.

The Yankees are still courting Cliff Lee. Supposedly, they've offered him 7 years, even though they said they wouldn't.

Former Yankee Melky Cabrera signed a 1-year, 1.25 million contract with the Royals. The Cincinnati Reds gave Miguel Cairo a 2-year, $2 million contract. It's his first mutli-year contract. It's also his most lucrative. The most he's ever made in a year was $1 million (with the Yanks, of course). And it looks like Nick Green will sign a minor league deal with the Orioles.

Eric Duncan signed a minor league deal with the Rockies. He left the Yanks as a 6-year minor league free agent last year, having spent three years in Scranton, never getting so much as a sniff of the big leagues. He spent last year in AA, in the Atlanta organization.

Geez, I remember when Eric Duncan was an untouchable. First round draft pick, top-ranked prospect in the Yankees system. He's still fairly young - just turned 26 five days ago - but his top prospect days are long behind him. Maybe the hitter-friendly PCL will do him some good.

The Rule 5 draft was yesterday. The Pirates took Josh Rodriguez from the Indians. He was a star at Rice, a couple of years behind Paul Janish. He had a great year this year, and the Bucs think he can stick in their lineup.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:38 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, December 06, 2010

Leyritz gets a slap on the wrist

Former Yankee Jim Leyritz got away with murder. He got one year probation and a $500 fine.

The jury acquitted him of manslaughter, apparently because the victim was also drunk and not wearing her seatbelt. Leyritz also settled with the victim's family before the trial.

This just seems grossly unfair to me. Leyritz complained that his celebrity hurt him in this case, but to me it seems the opposite. An ordinary person would not have been able to pay off his victim's family before the trial. (I believe it was a six-figure settlement - pocket change for Leyritz, but a lot of money for most people.) Whatever the other driver was doing, Leyritz was driving drunk and refused a Breathylizer. He says this was a wakeup call for him and he's changed his life. But...after his arrest, he drove drunk several times. He argued that he didn't know he wasn't supposed to drink, and then blamed Listerine and chicken wings for the positive readings. Not to mention was arrested for beating up his wife. If he's changed his life, it was apparently for the worse.

The judge has warned Leyritz that he must stay out of trouble for the full year of his probation; if he doesn't, he'll get the maximum. We'll see if he's able to do that. I would also guess (or at least hope) that his dreams of being a Yankees coach are over.


posted by BubbaFan, 7:56 PM | link | 0 comments |