All Things Bubba

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

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Yanks Cut Ralph Malph

Aaron Guiel, AKA "Ralph Malph," was non-tendered yesterday. I must say, I wasn't expecting this. I thought the Yanks were going to set up a platoon at first base, with lefty Guiel and Andy Phillips, Josh Phelps, or maybe some other right-handed first baseman. I guess not. The Yankees apparently weren't sure Guiel would even make the team, and therefore didn't want to offer him a contract. Though if he doesn't get any better offers, he could still be in the Yankee system next season.

I like Aaron Guiel. I'd rather keep him than Andy Phillips. (Honestly, I don't understand Cashman's love affair with Andy. He's a nice enough kid, and I like him personally, but he doesn't have the versatility you need for a bench player, and I can't see him ever being a starter, either. At least, not for the Yankees.) Guiel can play both first base and outfield, which might come in handy if the Yankees go with 13 pitchers, as they've suggested.

I was prepared to dislike Guiel, since he basically took Bubba's job, then took his spot on the roster. But he has a lot of the qualities I love about Bubba, so I couldn't dislike him for long. He hustles on every play, on offense and defense. Very solid on defense, with a great arm. A little more power than Bubba, but not as much speed. But now he, too, is out of options, and the Yanks have cut him loose.

Guiel has a web site run by his devoted fan Josh Murphy. It was sort of an inspiration for me. If Ralph Malph has a web site, Bubba deserves one, too, dangnabit.

Anyway, I wish Guiel the best of luck in whatever he does. (Unless he becomes a Red Sock, of course. ;-) He's worked so hard for so long.

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati...I'm not sure what's going on with Brandon Claussen. Marc Lancaster thinks the Reds have "lost confidence" in Claussen. And Claussen himself seemed to think his time with the Reds was over. But the Dayton Daily News says the Reds hope to keep him:

The Reds, however, made it clear to Claussen that they'd like to have him back, but needed room on the roster, especially because Claussen won't be ready to pitch during spring training due to shoulder surgery in August.

"We told him we would like for him to come back on a minor-league contract and we remain interested in keeping him," said General Manager Wayne Krivsky.

Claussen was a highly-rated Yankee prospect back in 2003. Fans protested vehemently when he was sent to the Reds as part of the Aaron Boone trade. (And of course, the acquisition of Boone meant Robin Ventura had to go...which led to Bubba becoming a Yankee.)

A couple of years ago, BP wrote about the young players the Yankees had traded away, in an article called The Claussen Pickle. Back then, it was looking like trading Claussen away was a bad move. Now? I dunno. Boone was a bust, but Claussen is still a question mark. Would the Yanks want him back? Maybe, but I have a feeling his nibbling would drive Torre nuts.

In other news...the Red Sox have reportedly got a deal with Daisuke Matsuzaka. It sounds like they got everything they wanted, and Boras didn't get anything he wanted. But Matsuzaka sort of painted him into a corner, by making it so clear that he did not want to go back to Japan. A cultural difference, I suspect. I think Matsuzaka would have been very uncomfortable pressing his future employers as hard as Boras is wont to do.

And the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Red Barons have been renamed. They are now the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees. The uniforms will have pinstripes, and they'll have an interlocking SWB logo.

posted by BubbaFan, 5:36 PM


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