Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
The news about A-Rod isn't good. He needs surgery on his hip - his other hip, not the one that was repaired a few years ago. He really hasn't been the same since, and you have to be concerned that surgery on his other hip will make things even worse. He still has five years left on his monster contract.
He'll be out 3-6 months, and in pain for about a year. But he's not getting a lot of sympathy. Reporters, trainers, anonymous team doctors, are all blaming A-Rod's steroid use. Supposedly, his injuries are typical of the type suffered by 'roiders as they age.
The Yankees are in a bind. They still have not figured out how to develop young players. Maybe it's incompetence. Maybe it's the short-sightedness created by the "win now" mentality in the Bronx.
I really thought the Yankees were turning the corner a few years back. They seemed to realize that a good farm system was valuable. They were keeping their prospects, and giving them a chance. Bubba Crosby never got a fair shot, but Robinson Cano did, and became an All-Star. Melky Cabera got a shot, and Brett Gardner did, too. Not to mention a cadre of young, promising pitchers.
But now it's all looking like a mirage. Cano made good, but he got a shot mainly because the Yanks had no alternative. He wasn't traded as a minor leaguer because no one would take him, and when the Yankees were desperate for a second baseman, Robby got his chance. He had a horrific slump that first season, but because there was no alternative, the Yanks stuck with him.
Melky Cabrera never amounted to anything with the Yankees. He didn't succeed until he left. Ditto the formerly untouchable Tyler Clippard. Eric Duncan, once the Yankees' top prospect, the one they refused to trade, never learned to hit AAA pitching. Ten years in the minors, still no callup. He's spent the past three years in AA.
The pitchers that once seemed so promising have been underwhelming. Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain have struggled, and Ian Kennedy was traded. The Killer B's, Banuelos and Betances, won't be ready for the big leagues any time soon.
The most promising position players have been traded, just like in the bad old days. Adios, Austin Jackson and Jesus Montero.
The Yankees had an advantage for awhile because of their international recruiting. Robby Cano and Chien-Ming Wang were among the results. But other teams have caught up with them in that area. Heck, other teams have caught up in general. The AL East is no longer just the Sox and the Yanks. The Rays have been a power lately, and this year, it was the Orioles. Gotta figure the Jays will be next.
The Yankees' previous tactics of big spending on free agents might no longer be viable. The new CBA has onerous penalties for exceeding the luxury tax threshold, and the Yankees seem serious about reducing payroll. The Steinbrenners in charge now seem much more business-oriented - more like other owners - than their father was.
I have no idea what the Yanks are going to do, but they better do something.
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