All Things Bubba

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

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Tale of Two Seasons

Last year, the Yankees were locked in what amounted to a month-long playoff. Every game was counted, as they battled to catch the Red Sox.

This year couldn't be more different. The Yanks have not clinched yet, but it could happen as soon as this weekend. With a double-digit lead over the Sox, most of the drama is gone, at least until the post-season. Only homefield advantage for the playoffs remains in question.

Last year, the Devil Rays were the Yankees' nemesis. The Bombers didn't win a series against Tampa until the last month of the season, when it was a matter of life or death. Indeed, it was the Yanks' terrible record against bad teams that made the division race so close last year.

This year, order is restored. The Yanks have reasserted their dominance over the Rays, winning all series (so far), including sweeping this one.

September 13, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 8, Tampa Bay 4

Lidle did not do very well, but the offense and the bullpen picked him up. Today, the Yankees announced that Lidle has tendonitis in his finger, and will miss his next start. At this point, I'm hoping Joe leaves him off the postseason roster in favor of Kastens or Rasner.

A-Rod had a great night at the plate, but suffered yet another throwing error. He now has 23 errors - almost twice his yearly average since switching to 3B. Still, he didn't let it affect him, like he might have earlier this season. I confess, I thought A-Rod might be done for the year, but he's straightened out his game and is peaking at just the right time.

September 14, N.Y. Yankees 7, Tampa Bay 4

The weather forecast was so bad that I fully expected the game to be rained out. But it was played (though it the rain was so heavy at times you could hardly see what was happening).

Joe decided to start Karstens instead of Wang; he didn't want to waste a Wang start if there was a rain delay. He also benched his entire starting outfield. While the infield was dry, the outfield was wet and slippery. So it was Kevin Thompson in LF, Bernie Williams in CF, and Aaron Guiel in RF.

Of course, I missed Bubba. If he were on the roster, he'd have been in CF. And the game started out with a "Bernie triple" by Baldelli. What would have been a single or maybe a double with someone else in CF became a triple on Bernie's slow footspeed and weak arm. Baldelli eventually scored, so it did cost us.

Not that it mattered. Though Karstens wasn't at his best, the Yanks had enough offense to win the game. And Rasner came in to pitch the last four innings and was terrific. I really hope he's on the post-season roster. From the bullpen or as a starter, he's been solid gold this year.

Tonight's game against Boston has been rained out. Which means back-to-back doubleheaders for the weekend. Last year, this would have been cause for great consternation. This year - it's inconvenient, but nothing to get worked up over. Still, it does make me wish the new Yankee Stadium had a retractable roof. Some global warming models predict the northeast will become a lot rainier (while the southwest gets a lot drier). If that's the case, we could be seeing a lot more home games rained out. That would be a definite competitive disadvantage. All these doubleheaders are rough on the players, especially the pitchers.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:30 PM


Add a comment