All Things Bubba

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

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Victory at last

Bubba Crosby and Alex Rodriguez
Bubba in the dugout next to A-Rod. (A-Rod's eating sunflower seeds; that's why his expression is so odd.)

June 20, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 9, Philadelphia 7

Last night's game was enough to give any fan an ulcer. In the first inning, Moose threw an obvious strike across the plate, and the umpire blew the call. Ball four, walk. It should have been strike 3, you're out, end of inning. Moose was furious; I was afraid he was going to get ejected for a moment there. Perhaps he let it get to him, because the very next pitch was hit out of the park - a three-run homer.

It was like a knife in the heart. The way the Yanks had been (not) scoring lately, three runs, even in the first inning, seemed almost insurmountable. And the way it happened, with that bad call, was incredibly aggravating. I wanted to put Bubba in so he could hit one to the umpire's nuts like he did the day before. :-P

But the Yanks came back, run by run. They finally managed to tie it in the top of the 7th, only to have the Phillies pull ahead again in the bottom. Finally, a triple by Damon put them up in the 8th, for good this time.

It was a tense, gritty game, and a great win. Bubba, alas, didn't have a part in it. He was just a dugout decoration, not even brought in as a defensive replacement. Perhaps because Joe was afraid it would go into OT, and he wanted Bernie in there.

I can understand that. Bernie is really hitting well, from both sides. He had a slow start, but he's looking like the Bernie of old now.

But I wish Joe would just DH him. Once we get the DH back, anyway. He's a liability on defense. Last night, if he caught Burrell's hit, there would have been no one on base when Howard hit his second homer. One less run scored. Howard's triple would have been a double with someone other than Bernie in RF. Utley's single in the 9th should have been an out. Etc. Bernie gives up about as much on defense as he scores on offense.

And at his age, he can't take the wear and tear he took when he was younger. Heck, the wear and tear he took when he was younger is what's causing his problems now. He should be used sparingly in the OF, not just because his defense is lacking, but to keep him fresh for a long season, and hopefully, the postseason.

Joe knows this intellectually, but Bernie is special to him, and he's so used to playing him every day. He does it without even realizing it, I think.

After the game, Torre talked about the outfield:

Torre stressed that Cabrera was still the Yankees' everyday left fielder, and that he would be in the lineup on Wednesday against lefty Cole Hamels. Right field will continue to be a rotating position between Bernie Williams, Bubba Crosby and possibly Reese.

"We have to mix and match somewhere," Torre said. "That seems to be the most comfortable position for Bernie right now, and he's not going to play every day."

He said Reese had been hitting well in Columbus, so they wanted to see what he could do.

Reese did get a hit last night. So did Melky. And Joe said he wanted to give Andy more playing time once they were back to AL rules - which means Giambi DHing, not Bernie. I don't know if Bubba's going to get much playing time in the near future.

To end on a lighter note...check out this video of Mariano Rivera's first regular season at-bat. It's a RealMedia file, about 14 Mb.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:53 PM


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