All Things Bubba

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

Monday, October 02, 2006

And you can put it in the books...

October 1, 2006: Toronto 7, N.Y. Yankees 5

The regular season, that is. I can hardly believe it. Seems like only yesterday I was all excited because pitchers and catchers were reporting for spring training.

Bernie Williams was manager for the last game of the season. Though Torre took over some decisions at the end. Notably, he pinch-hit Bernie for Cairo with two outs in the 9th - to give the fans a chance to say good-bye, just in case Bernie doesn't return next year. Bernie hit a double, and fans went crazy. Unfortunately, Joe didn't pinch-hit A-Rod for Andy Phillips; Andy struck out to end the game.

Jeter didn't cut Bernie any breaks, teasing him: "He lost! He lost! It was kind of selfish pinch-hitting himself there."

But that wasn't the worst ribbing Bernie took. He said after the game, George Steinbrenner called him up and said, "You're fired!"

Mike Mussina won a coin toss and beat out Mariano Rivera to be the pitching coach for the day. He seemed to be taking it very seriously, but also having fun. I don't think I've ever seen him smile as happily as he was before the game.

Jaret Wright had a fairly typical outing, for him. Five innings, four earned runs. It should have been enough to win, except the Yankees offense struggled. They drove Jays starter McGowan from the game in the 3rd inning. Accardo was terrible in relief, giving up three earned runs in 1.1 innings. But then Josh "Control" Towers came in, and pretty much shut the Yankees down for four innings.

The game was tied 5-5 going into the 9th inning. Farnsworth got the first two outs easily, but gave up a two-run homer before getting out of the inning. Probably just as well. The game was meaningless, so the last thing Torre wanted was extra innings.

Still, Farnsworth's performance didn't exactly inspire confidence.

Jeter was batting second, and Cano was batting 9th. Some fans suspected Bernie of helping his old pal Jeter while sabotaging Cano by batting him last. If that was the plan, it didn't work.

No Yankee except Robinson Cano (2 for 4) got more than one hit. Jeter went 1 for 5, with only one RBI. He ended up with 97 RBIs this year. Mauer went 2 for 4, so he won the batting title easily. (Congrats to young Joe. A catcher winning the batting title is pretty special, even if he's not a Yankee. And he's only 23 - younger than Cano. His best years are still ahead of him.)

Hopefully, Jeter will win the MVP. He deserves it this year. I think he wants another World Series ring more than any individual award, though. And this year, the Yanks have a good chance to win. Their pitching is not that great, but no one else's is, either. This year, a lineup of big bats could win it all.

And if they do, I hope they remember the contributions Bubba made, and vote him a check and a ring. He deserves it.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:23 PM


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