All Things Bubba

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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Welcome Back, Chad Moeller

Well, Chad Moeller cleared waivers and was promptly called up again. Chris Stewart was sent back to Scranton. They also had to make room on the 40-man roster for Moeller. Sean Henn, who has been in Scranton on a rehab assignment, was activated off the disabled list, and DFA'd.

Lots of other roster moves for the Yanks today. Chris Britton was called up. (A-Rod's going on the DL clears a roster space for him.) And perhaps the biggest news of the day: Phil Hughes was put on the DL, with a supposed oblique strain.

A lot of people doubt Hughes is really injured. Yesterday, everyone was talking about what the Yankees should do with Hughes. The YES announcers seemed to think he should be sent to Scranton to get his head straight. I found that interesting, because the YES crew is rumored to be a mouthpiece for the Yankees front office. So I was kind of expecting to hear that Hughes was headed to Scranton today. But there was also some worry that it could screw up his head to be sent back to the minors at this point. (Melky Cabrera crashed all the way back down to AA when he got sent down after failing in his first try at the big leagues.)

But I saw Hughes' post-game interview on YES last night, and it was really painful to watch. He didn't make excuses, and he didn't blame the catcher (who he crossed up repeatedly). But he seemed lost. Totally out of his depth. He was on the verge of tears, and looking at him, it just seemed cruel to send him out there again.

I guess the Yankees saw the same thing. A phantom injury lets them take Hughes out of the rotation, and perhaps send him to Tampa or Scranton for a "rehab assignment." And it avoids the trauma of sending him down to the minors in defeat.

As I recall, Andy Phillips suffered an "oblique strain" towards the end of the 2006 season that was widely viewed as a phantom injury. The Yanks were facing a roster crunch, and many were expecting Andy to be DFA'd. But the "injury" allowed the Yankees to keep him until rosters expanded.

There's still no word on whether Posada will need surgery. His injury is apparently a torn rotator cuff. He will be getting another opinion from the Mets' team doctor, in addition to the doctors he's already consulted.

That sounds like bad news to me. You don't get that many second opinions if the news is you?

I like Chad Moeller, and he's played extremely well for the Yankees so far. But it's not realistic to expect him to continue to hit the way he has been. He wouldn't be a backup catcher if he could hit like that regularly. Pete Abe put it this way:

How has it come to this for the Yankees? People are thrilled Chad Moeller is back. This is a guy who was cut in spring training by the Nationals because they liked Wil Nieves better. A team with a $209 million payroll praying that nobody claims Chad Moeller. Amazing.

Molina is the best backup catcher the Yanks have had in years. But there's some question about whether he's durable enough to play every day. If Jorgie ends up needing season-ending surgery, the Yankees will probably try to acquire another catcher. But there's a serious catching crunch now in baseball. They're going to have to offer up some serious talent to get a decent starting catcher.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:40 PM | link | 2 comments |

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Minor League Transactions

Couple of interesting transactions this week...

Bronson Sardinha has been released by the Mariners. They said that they just felt he could get more playing time elsewhere, but he was put on the suspended list before he was released. I'm not sure what the suspended list is. (And how is it different from the restricted list?) Does that mean he did something wrong? I've seen players who failed drug tests get put on the suspended list, but there many be other, perfectly innocent reasons to be put on that list.

Mike Myers has been released by the Dodgers. He had been playing for the Las Vegas 51s. The release was his choice. I guess he had an option that allowed him to become a free agent if he was not called up by a certain date.

Still no word on whether Chad Moeller has cleared waivers. They won't know until tomorrow.

Posada has seen Dr. Andrews in Alabama. They did some scans of Jorgie's shoulder, and will be sending them to the Cincinnati Reds team doctor, Timothy Kremchek. He is a shoulder specialist, so they want his opinion.

Dr. Kremchek is the guy who did Bubba's shoulder surgery. I guess Bubba had the best, if the Yankees are trusting him with Posada.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:57 PM | link | 0 comments |

Let's Play Two (in one)

Crazy game last night for the Louisville Bats. It went 17 innings. Yes, 17. The game started late due to rain and went almost five hours, so it ended really, really late.

Andy Phillips started at 3B and played there the whole game. He was 1 for 6 with 2 walks and a run scored. He also reached on an error and had one stolen base. He's been playing very well since coming back from his hamstring injury.

Paul Janish was 2 for 8. He's also hitting well (though no one hit really well in this particular game).

Starting for the Clippers was a familiar face: Tyler Clippard. His line:

6.0 2 1 0 4 4 0 5.61

I was kind of surprised he didn't make the Nats' big league team. But that ERA isn't exactly making the case for him.

Pettyjohn started for the Bats, but the interesting thing wasn't who started but who ended the game. The Bats ran out of pitchers. They played a 13-inning game on Saturday, and lost a reliever (Bill Bray) to the big club. So they got their first baseman, Kevin Barker, to pitch the 17th inning. Reminded me of that game a couple of years ago where Caonabo Cosme pitched the last inning.

Cosme gave up a grand slam. Barker only gave up three runs, but it was enough. I don't think the Bats really wanted to win at that point. They just wanted to go home. In the bottom of the inning, Andy swung at the first pitch and flew out. Janish also swung at the first pitch (though he got a single).

Final score: Bats 2, Clippers 5.

posted by BubbaFan, 8:42 PM | link | 0 comments |

Guys Do It All the Time

I've never been a big fan of Roger Clemens. Ever since he threw that broken bat at Mike Piazza, I've kind of figured he was a jerk. But, well, this Mindy McCready thing may be new levels of jerkitude.

No, I'm not shocked that he cheated on his wife. I'd be shocked if he didn't. I kinda figure that it goes with the territory if you marry a baseball player. You know you'll be "sharing" him with the groupies. (Like in Jeter's SNL "Baseball Wives" skit!) But, um, Ms. McCready was only 15 years old when the affair started. Eyewwww.

Mike Celizic says the Clemens train wreck could end up matching the fall of Pete Rose. I think he might be right. And in both cases, they brought it on themselves. If they'd just fessed up right away, the fans would have forgiven them. It's not the crime, it's the cover-up.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:23 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jorge Posada

Bad news about Jorgie today. He's going on the DL for the first time in his major league career. He seemed close to tears talking about it. Not because he's upset at breaking that personal streak, but because he feels he's let the Yankees down after signing that fat contract.

The problem is his right shoulder, which was so painful today that he couldn't throw at all. Uh, boy. As we Bubba Crosby fans sadly know, shoulder injuries are trouble for a baseball player. They're hoping Posada just needs a couple of weeks' rest, but that's probably not realistic. He had surgery for a torn labrum after the 2001 season, and was back in time for spring training. Sounds like this might be a recurrence of that problem. He is going back to the doctor who performed that surgery, Dr. James Andrews of Birmingham, Alabama, to try and find out what's wrong. Season-ending surgery is a possibility.

The Yankees DFA'd Chad Moeller on Friday. They must be kicking themselves for doing it so quickly. Sounds like they are trying to see if they can pull him back off waivers. If not, they have to hope he clears waivers. Then they can call him up again, assuming he accepts the assignment. (I assume he will.)

But if Posada is out for the rest of the season, they will probably try to trade for a better catcher than Moeller or Molina. Expect the price to be very, very steep.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:17 PM | link | 1 comments |

A Salami for Janish

Heck, it wasn't just a salami. It was a whole freakin' picnic. Paul Janish was 4 for 4, with two doubles and a grand slam. Four runs scored, 6 RBI.

I think he's going to be the guest on the WKRD pre-game show tomorrow. Usually the pre-game show is part of the Gameday Audio they broadcast over the Internet (and archive later), so if you want to listen, you'll probably be able to.

Andy Phillips started at 2B, and was 2 for 4 with a walk. He hit the ball well even when it didn't drop in, and played well on defense.

Final score: Louisville 13, Columbus 4.

posted by BubbaFan, 3:57 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It's a Saturday afternoon

I think Saturday afternoons are my favorite time of the week. I have chores to do and errands to run Saturday morning, but once those are out of the way, the weekend stretches ahead of me, full of promise. Sunday's not as much fun. Work looms the next day, which kinda puts a damper on things, but Saturday afternoons are great.

Unfortunately, the Yankees put a bit of a damper on this Saturday afternoon, losing a heartbreaker to the Indians. Ian Kennedy wasn't great, but he only gave up three runs. The Yankees managed to tie it up on a base-clearing Posada triple. Might have been an inside-the-park home run if someone faster than Posada had hit it. Alas, it was all for naught. Joe sent Ross Ohlendorf in to pitch the ninth, instead of Mariano Rivera. And Ohlendorf promptly loaded up the bases and gave up the winning run on a Victor Martinez single. Maddening.

The Yankees aren't very good this year. Their young pitchers have a ton of upside, but they're struggling right now. As perhaps should be expected. But the Yankees aren't a team to be patient with young players.

The Yankees have made a lot of moves over the last couple of days. Former Red Chad Moeller was DFA'd, despite hitting .350 / .435 /.600 / 1.035 in his stint with the Yanks. Wonder if he'll clear waivers? Brian Bruney was put on the DL, and Chris Britton and Jonathan Albaladejo called up. Shelley Duncan was recalled, and Billy Traber sent back down.

Now Joba Chamberlain has some kind of hamstring problem. Don't know if he'll go on the DL, but he probably should. Hamstrings always take longer to heal than they predict.

Meanwhile, Andy Phillips is in the starting lineup tonight for the Bats. He's batting cleanup and playing 1B. And sometime while he was out nursing his sore hamstring, they updated his photo. They now have one of him in Bats gear, instead of the SWB one they were using. (I think it's a real photo, not a Photoshop job.)

I like this year's Bats photos better than last year's. Last year's looked like mug shots. At least if you got a mug shot taken while you were wearing a baseball uniform. This year, the players are at least smiling.

And hallelujah, my banner is back up at Bubba Crosby's Baseball Cube page. No, I did not cancel my sponsorship of Bubba's page. For some reason they took it down, and I had a heck of a time contacting them about it. The "contact us" forms at their site weren't working (perhaps because they're doing a major re-design), and I didn't get any reply to messages sent via e-mail or posted to their blog. I was starting to wonder if they were losing interest in the site or something. But I e-mailed them again yesterday, with the bill they sent me last time as well as receipt for my payment. (Which I probably should have done earlier.) And Gary replied promptly this time, and was very nice. He apologized, put my link back up, and said he'd give me some extra time on my sponsorship. Very cool. I really like The Baseball Cube, so I'm glad they're still maintaining it. And glad that Bubba's page is no longer unsponsored. Wouldn't want people to think I'd lost interest or anything.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:17 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, April 25, 2008

Double Doubles for Andy

Andy Phillips had a pretty good night last night: 2 for 3 with a walk and two doubles. Craig Wilson was 0 for 1 with a walk (subbed in late), and Kevin Thompson was 1 for 5. The Bats bullpen imploded, giving up four runs in the 9th inning and leaving the bases loaded. But Louisville won, 6-4.

Andy Phillips is not in the lineup tonight. Craig Wilson is starting at 1B for the Indians, though, and Kevin Thompson is starting in LF.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:17 PM | link | 2 comments |

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Red Reporter Disaster Meeting Place

The Red Cross recommends having an established "disaster meeting place" away from your home in case you are evacuated.

Well, it appears we've been evacuated. :-P

Today's game is over, so there's no need for a game thread. Would be nice to get together to commiserate over the game somewhere, though.

Any suggestions?

UPDATE: If you're looking for something to do tonight with RR down and no Reds game, there's the Bats game. Gameday Audio is free for minor league games. Andy Phillips and Jay Bruce just pulled off a double steal. And they score...

UPDATE #2: RR looks to be back up. Cross your fingers...

posted by BubbaFan, 5:04 PM | link | 3 comments |

Wacky Wednesday

Yesterday was...eventful. The Reds' GM, Wayne Krivsky, was fired. It was a bit of a shock. Not least to him; he says he fought for an hour, trying to keep his job.

It's not so much that he was fired that's surprising, but the timing. Seems odd to fire the GM 20 games into the season. Fire him before spring training, or a few of months in...but in April?

The Reds have had four GMs in six years. That doesn't seem like a recipe for success. I wasn't a huge fan of Krivsky, but I really felt sorry for him, getting the ax like this.

My favorite Reds site,, crashed hard yesterday, so I didn't get a chance to see what the fans thought of this development. (It's down again today. There may be a few Red Reporters wandering through tonight.)

Anyways...dunno what the Krivsky firing means for Andy Phillips. Probably nothing good. Andy said the Reds really gave him the full court press as soon as the Yankees released him. They really wanted him. Whoever it was who wanted him will probably be gone with Krivsky.

Yesterday the Bats had a day game. Andy was not in the starting lineup, but he did have one pinch-hit at-bat. He grounded into a double play. The Bats won anyway.

Paul Janish is definitely heating up. He was 2 for 4. Craig Wilson started in LF and was 2 for 4. Kevin Thompson had one plate appearance as a pinch-hitter; he got a sac bunt. TJ Beam gave up two hits and two walks in two innings.

Tonight, Andy is starting at 2B for the first time. Apparently because Rick Sweet wants to rest Andy Green, the usual second baseman.

posted by BubbaFan, 4:50 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nearly a No-Hitter

The Louisville Bats escaped being no-hit by the skin of their teeth. With two outs in the ninth, Chris Dickerson hit a line drive to center. It went all the way to the wall, and Dickerson ended up on 3B. Yup, a triple ended the no-no.

Andy Phillips started at 1B - back in the lineup for the first time since April 11. He hit one hard to deep center, but Andrew McCutcheon, the Pirates’ top prospect, went against the fence and robbed him. Andy did have some nice plays on defense, including one of those wide-receiver style over the shoulder catches in foul territory.

McCutcheon stole 3B…twice.

Kevin Thompson hit the only homer of the game, a two-run shot. He’s hitting well. I always felt kind of sorry for KT. Bubba was always kind of blocked in the Yankees system, but it was even worse for KT. He was stuck behind Bubba. Thompson has good speed, but doesn’t seem to have Bubba’s instincts on the basepaths or in the outfield. He does hit well. One of his problems might be his height. He’s listed at 5’-10”, but I suspect he’s a lot shorter than that. He is really short for an outfielder.

Reds reject Craig Wilson came in as a pinch-hitter for the Indians, and singled to left. He’s still shaking off the rust, but his shoulder seems to be holding up.

Bats starting pitcher Matt Maloney had a bad day at the office. He hit three batters in the first inning. His pitch count was up to 40 with no outs in the 2nd inning.

The Bats had their chances. Indianapolis starting pitcher John Van Benschoten walked two batters on eight pitches in the first inning, but they couldn’t cash them in.

The final score: Indianapolis 7, Louisville 0. A shutout, but not a no-hitter.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:58 PM | link | 3 comments |

Monday, April 21, 2008

Reds make a move

The Reds finally made the move everyone has been waiting for. They called up Jerry Hairston, Jr. - and DFA'd Juan Castro.

It's the right thing to do, but I'm surprised they did it. Castro had a relatively big contract. And he has a reputation for having a good glove at SS, which they might need with Alex Gonzalez in the DL. (His glove is not longer very good, but he still has the reputation.)

They're also sending David Weathers to the DL, calling up Matt Belisle, and sending Josh Fogg to the pen.

The Reds face Joe Torre's Dodgers tonight. The Louisville Bats are off today. Maybe Andy will be back in the lineup tomorrow. They play the Pirates' Triple-A team, the Indianapolis Indians.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:40 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Exciting game for Cincinnati today. It was a tight pitchers' duel, tied 1-1 after nine innings. Jared Burton (helped by an Encarnacion error) gave up two runs in the 10th, and things were not looking good for the Reds. But Encarnacion hit a lead off home run. Then the much-maligned backup catcher, Paul Bako, hit another home run. Yup, back-to-back homers tied the game in the bottom of the 10th. Griffey eventually hit a walkoff single to win the game for the Reds.

The big story was Edwin Encarnacion. He's struggled, at the plate and in the field. He had a roller coaster of a day. His home run in the 5th took the game to extra innings. Then his error in the top of the 10th seemingly gave the game away. He was booed by the Cincinnati fans when he came to bat in the bottom of the 10th...then redeemed himself with another home run.

But it's Paul Bako I'm happiest for. I know he'll never be a star. This is his age 36 year, which is pretty old for a catcher. He was originally drafted by the Reds back in 1993, and has ended up back with them this year. He's been playing very well, but this was his first home run of the year. And what a time to hit it.

Speaking of backup catchers...Chad Moeller started for the Yankees today. He had another good day, going 2 for 4 with a double. I thought the double was going to be a home run; instead, it bounced off the top of the wall. Moeller is batting .350 now. He's another guy I'm happy to see succeed. Trent calls him "The Nicest Guy In The World."

The Yankees won today, but it was closer than the final score would indicate. Anything can happen in a short series, but it's troubling that Baltimore gave the Yanks so much trouble. Baltimore? Weren't they going to blow up their team and start over this year?

Worse, A-Rod had to leave the game with a strained quad. The Yanks are really being decimated by injuries. Just bad luck...or what you have to expect with an aging roster?

In Louisville...despite what Rick Sweet said, Andy Phillips was not in the lineup today. Paul Janish is heating up. He was 2 for 5 today and now has a respectable .273 average.

Jerry Hairston is en fuego. He was 3 for 5 today, with a home run, a double, and five RBIs. I suspect he will be called up soon.

Hairston apparently played the last two seasons with a broken rib. He didn't realize it; just thought it was one of the aches and pains that come with growing older. Finally it got so bad he had a doctor look at it. He was shut down for a couple of months to heal, and has been a new man since.

I've been keeping an eye on the Indianapolis Indians (the Pirates' Triple-A team), to see how Craig Wilson is doing. He started at 1B and was 0 for 3 with a walk today. Former Yankee T.J. Beam is a relief pitcher for Indianapolis; his ERA is 3.60. Kevin Thompson is doing quite well. He started in LF today and was 2 for 4 with a home run. He's hitting .357.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:25 PM | link | 0 comments |

Dark Days

Darks days in both Cincinnati and the Bronx. Both teams are second to last in their divisions, and seem a bit lost about what to do about it.

I think part of the problem is that both teams made some big changes in the off-season, and are still trying to adjust. New managers, new coaches, new players. It's going to take awhile for it all to jell.

Cincinnati's new young guns are pitching well, but they aren't getting much run support. And the veteran pitchers are struggling. There has been muttering about roster moves for days now, and by Monday, at least one will be made. Josh Fogg is moving to the pen, and Matt Belisle will be called up from Louisville to take his spot in the rotation. No word on what the roster move will be. They may be hoping to trade somebody.

The Reds also need a right-handed power bat off the bench. They had trouble against lefties last year, too, and this year, it's even worse. They've lost Conine and Cantu, and did not replace them. They have too many lefty pinch-hitters: Hatteberg, Votto, Valentin (who is a switch-hitter but so much better from the left side that everyone considers him a lefty). There's been talk of signing Mike Piazza. Or they could just call up Jerry Hairston, who has been en fuego down in Louisville.

For the Yankees, it's their young guns who have been struggling. Phil Hughes had a rough outing Friday; he's now the proud owner of an ERA pushing 9. Ian Kennedy was worse yesterday, failing to get out of the third inning. He seems to be afraid to throw strikes, which drives managers crazy.

Girardi is far more blunt and emotional than Torre, that's for sure. He was visibly angry at losing, and gave a pretty detailed criticism of his team's performance. But he also stood by his young players. Kim Jones asked him if he was losing patience with them, and he replied that he will never lose patience. He said the game is hard. He remembers how hard it was for him, and so he will never lose patience with his young players.

He may not lose patience, but the fans and the rest of the Yankee organization might. I think the bats will be all right. It was even worse last year, and they recovered. That's how it is with hitting. Sometimes batters go into slumps. Sometimes they all go into slumps at once. Nothing much you can do, really, except ride it out. In a long season, it will even out. (The short post-season is another story, as the Yankees sadly know.)

But the Cincinnati, they might be willing to go through a rebuilding year while their young arms adjust to the big league. In New York, they're expected to win now...every year. Yesterday, Michael Kay suggested calling up Kei Igawa. Uh, boy.

On the bright side, Joba Chamberlain is back with the team. His father is doing much better. Edwar Ramirez, recently called up to replace Jonathan Albaladejo, was sent down again.

Melky Cabrera is playing much better defense than he used to, but he still doesn't handle balls hit over his head very well. He made one flashy catch yesterday...and misplayed two others. He can't seem to tell when to go against the wall, and when to play it off the wall. Twice, he went halfway, and the ball bounced off the wall and over his head.

Meanwhile, in Louisville...Paul Janish hit another two-run homer last night, his second of the season. And manager Rick Sweet said Andy Phillips might return to the lineup today.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:46 AM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, April 18, 2008

Freaky Friday

The pride of Rice University, Paul Janish

Just a weird night all around. The Yanks lost to the Orioles. Chad Moeller, Reds reject and backup to the backup catcher, drove in the only Yankee runs with a two-run homer. Daniel Cabrera improbably turned into Cy Cabrera, while Phil Hughes kinda stunk.

The Reds were widely expected to make some roster moves today. Call up Hairston or Cabrera, get Josh Fogg out of the rotation, call up Bray or Belisle, maybe call up catcher David Ross. But nothing. The Bats radio guys expressed astonishment that no moves were announced today. Maybe yesterday's win lulled them into thinking they could stay the course. Well, the Reds lost again tonight, behind their supposed #2 guy, Arroyo, which will increase the pressure on Krivsky to Do Something.

Meanwhile, in Louisville...Marcus McBeth loaded up the bases and gave up a grand slam. It was unbelievable. He got the first two outs easily. Then single, single, single, single, wild pitch, walk, walk, grand slam. He gave up seven runs trying to get that last out. Went from a 3-3 tie to 10-3 blowout in 1/3 of an inning. Less, really; he never did get the last out. Rick Sweet finally brought in Adkins to get the third out.

Janish hit a monster homer last night, but didn't have quite as good a night tonight. He was 1 for 3...with an error. I didn't see it, but it sounds like he didn't deserve to get an error to me. The announcers seemed astonished that he even got the ball. He ended up throwing it into the stands though - a really wild throw that went over the head of the first baseman. If he didn't have that kind of range and didn't get to the ball, it probably wouldn't have been an error.

Andy Phillips is still out of the lineup. I'm not really surprised. Like Pete Abe said, hamstrings always take twice as long to heal as the team predicts.

Craig Wilson is playing for the Indianapolis Indians, the Pirates' Triple-A team. He hit a three-run homer tonight.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:35 PM | link | 0 comments |


The Reds ended their five-game losing streak yesterday, but it sounds like some kind of shakeup is imminent, anyway. Josh Fogg may be moving to the pen, or released, and a pitcher from Louisville called up. It's also likely that either Jerry Hairston or Jolbert Cabrera will be called up - a right-handed power bat. Both are hitting very well. Hairston is hitting better, and he's got an option that allows him to sign with another team if he's not called up, so my money's on him. (Too bad Andy hasn't had a chance to make a case for himself. He's not on the DL, but he's not playing, either, due to hamstring soreness.)

But that's not the earthquake I'm talking about. CNN is reporting that there was an actual earthquake in the midwest this morning. The epicenter appears to be somewhere in Illinois, but it was felt as far away as Michigan and Georgia.

CNN is showing video of broken bricks all over a road, supposedly from a college building in downtown Louisville. I assume Louisville Slugger Field is all right; it's a new stadium. Seems to be the older buildings that suffered damage.

Reminds me of an article I read a long time ago. I thought it was in Discover magazine, but I couldn't find it in their archives. There's an article that touches on many of the same points here.

Basically, it argues that while earthquakes may be rarer in the eastern part of the country than in the west, when they do happen, they can be far more devastating. The rock is different in the east. It's harder, and so the vibrations from the earthquakes travel farther. So the earthquakes in New Madrid, Missouri in 1811 and 1812 caused damage as far away as Boston. Some scientists also think the New Madrid seismic zone is overdue for another big one...and unlike in California, building codes in the eastern US are not designed with earthquakes in mind.

In other news...Paul Janish hit his first home run of the season last night. Judging from the radio broadcast, it was a monster shot. It wasn't enough, though; the Bats fell to the Tides in eleven innings.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:18 AM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

30,000 Pounds of Bananas

PNC Field

April 8, 2008: Before Scrantonicity, before Scrantonicity II, Scranton, Pennsylvania's musical claim to fame was Harry Chapin's 30,000 Pounds of Bananas. That song, which was a favorite of a grade school teacher of mine, is probably the only reason I've ever heard of Scranton, PA.

The Yankees moved their Triple-A club to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre only last year. It's more than two hours away, so I'd never gotten down there before. I was still pretty frazzled from my spring training trip, and hadn't expected the Bats to come to Scranton so early - the first road trip of the year. But I wanted to see the Louisville Bats play, and Scranton is the closest, so off I went.

The lower level was sold out, but hardly anybody showed up. I got a seat in the upper deck. I was the only one in my section. It was nice that it wasn't crowded...but also kind of creepy.

Andy Phillips in the pre-game warmups:

I think this is the first time Andy returned to PNC Field since he left the Yankees. Must be strange to come to your home park as a visitor. (Bubba was never with the SWB Yankees, though he probably played at PNC Field as a Clipper.)

Andy signed a lot of autographs for the fans, who clearly remembered him from his Yankees days.

Even after he went into the dugout, little kids were leaning over the railing, peering into the dugout, and yelling, "Andy! Andy!"

I have to say, that made me feel old. When I was that age, I would never have called a grownup by his first name. It would have been "Mr. Phillips." Heck, even now, it probably be "Mr. Phillips," "Mr. Crosby," "Mr. Jeter," etc., unless they told me otherwise. Blogging about them on the Internet, sure, I use first names, but in person, I probably wouldn't.

(FWIW, I once heard that Roger Maris would never give an autograph to a kid who called him "Roger." It had to be "Mr. Maris." Of course, he's from a different era.)

Anyways...Homer Bailey was starting for the Bats. He's the Reds' Phil Hughes. He didn't make the starting rotation this year, but that's more because Volquez and Cueto have been so good than because he's been bad. I expect he'll end up in Cincinnati before too long.

Taking the mound for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees was Kei Igawa.

The problem with Kei Igawa is consistency. Always has been, and I suspect it always will be. When he's good, he's very good, so the temptation to try and fix him is irresistible. Rumor is several teams have expressed interest in trading for him. The Yankees refused, probably at least partly because Igawa is a lefty. The Yanks love lefties, and don't have any, except for Pettitte. All their good pitching prospects are right-handed.

The SWB catcher, Chad Moeller. Moeller was the Reds' third catcher last season. He would be called up a few days after this game, when Molina pulled his hamstring.

Louisville did all their scoring in the first inning. With one out, none on, Jerry Hairston singled to left. Bruce followed with a double to center that scored Hairston.

Andy Phillips, batting cleanup, singled, moving Bruce to 3B. (The stadium sound guys played Rod Stewart's "Some Guys Have All the Luck.")

But Jolbert Cabrera grounded out and Adam Rosales struck out. Bruce would end up stranded 90 feet from home.

Jay Bruce was chosen the best prospect in baseball by Baseball America last year. My guess is he'll be called up in June. I think the only reason he's not starting now is the Reds are playing the arb clock game.

I thought we might be getting the bad Igawa, but he buckled down after that and had a pretty good game.

He got tagged with the loss, though; that one run in the first would prove to be the game.

Paul Janish had a pretty good night. He was 2 for 3 with a double.

Paul Janish and Andy Phillips:

Andy was playing first base, almost directly beneath me. Here he is with Jason Lane.

Andy hit another single in the third inning, a line drive through the gap into left field. (The sound guys played Shania Twain's "That Don't Impress Me Much.")

His line for the night: 2 for 4, no strikeouts.

"The Attorney General," Alberto Gonzalez:

He came to the Yankees as part of the trade that sent Randy Johnson back to Arizona. The day after this game, he was called up to the big club, to play SS while Jeter's quad heals.

Eric Duncan was 0 for 3.

Popping out to Janish in the bottom of the 4th.

Eric Duncan, now 24, is the guy Bubba robbed in the Reds' first game at Legends Field last spring. Trent mocked him for being a no-name, but at one time, Duncan was considered one of the Yankees' best prospects. He was their 2003 first round pick, mentioned in the same breath as Phil Hughes. His star has dimmed considerably, however. The Yankees even left him unprotected for the Rule 5 draft last December...and no one took him.

(However, Trent would no doubt approve of Duncan's genuine baseball stirrups.)

Moonrise over the stadium:

Homer Bailey was pulled after two outs in the 6th. He got a nice ovation from the crowd as he left. Bill Bray took over for him.

Jim Brower took over for Bray in the bottom of the 8th. He played a little for the Yankees last year, but the crowd didn't seem to remember him.

Igawa was pulled after four innings. Chris Britton came in and pitched the fifth and sixth.

Jonathan Albaladejo came in for the Yankees in the 7th. Albaladejo came to the Yankees from the Nats, in the Tyler Clippard trade. He had just been sent down to Scranton three days earlier, when Pettitte came off the DL, and would be called up a few days later, when Joba Chamberlain was put on bereavement leave.

Also in the 7th, Nick Green took over for Gonzalez at SS. (I suspect the call came from the Bronx, telling them that Gonzalez was getting called up.) Green played with the big club in 2006, and some of the fans remembered that.

Nick has an identical twin brother, Kevin, who used to be a minor leaguer in the Braves system. Kevin is now working as a model. Hopefully he wear clothes better than Nick. Nick always looks like he's wearing his daddy's uniform.

Edwar Ramirez pitched the 9th for the Yankees.

It was three up, three down for Edwar. Brower had a bit more trouble, giving up a walk and a single in the bottom of the ninth. But he held on, getting the save.

The final score: Louisville 1, ScrantonWB 0.

Andy celebrates the victory:

Labels: ,

posted by BubbaFan, 7:39 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Tax Day

I was a real last-minute Louie. Even more than usual. Did my taxes last night, while watching the Yankees game. I owe about $500, state and federal. I always try to owe money. Not enough to trigger a fine, of course. But I hate letting Uncle Sam use my money interest-free, so I never get a refund.

Well, I will get some money back this year: the "stimulus rebate." I will probably put it into my very depleted travel savings account. I saved all year for my spring training trip, and now have to start saving for next year. It would be nice to have some travel money stashed away right now. If Bubba gets a job somewhere, I want to be able to go see him play. (But if it's in Japan, forget it. I'll never save that much, at least not this year.)

The Bats baseball guys finally answered my question about Andy Phillips. No, he wasn't kidnapped by aliens. He's injured, but it's not serious. They said he has "left hamstring soreness." Bats trainer Chris LaPole says Andy will probably be back in the lineup later in this series.

There's a lot of talk in Cincinnati about how the Reds need a right-handed power bat. If they do call someone up, though, it will probably be Jolbert Cabrera or Jerry Hairston. They were the last cut from the roster in spring training, and they are playing extremely well now for the Bats. Another rumor is that the Reds might sign Mike Piazza.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:39 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, April 14, 2008

Where's Andy?

Not too much in this week's minor league transaction report. Most of the interesting stuff has already been reported. There are a couple of tidbits. Sal Fasano signed with the Braves. And the Braves activated Matt DeSalvo from the DL (still don't know why he was on it in the first place).

The Yankees put Alan Horne on the DL. I was at the game where he was injured. I didn't realize it was an injury, though. Here's what Baseball America says about the Yankees' transactions this week:

Gonzalez is off to a great start filling in for an injured Derek Jeter, as he’s 4-for-his-first-11 with a pair of doubles. No team could carry both Duncan and Morgan Ensberg, a pair of righthanded-hitting first baseman types, but it was perhaps a bit surprising that the Yankees went with the latter. Duncan has smacked four doubles and three homers in 18 at-bats (1.167 slugging) since heading back to Scranton. Horne left his Thursday start after two innings and 38 pitches with what may be a tendon issue or nerve problem in his right arm. MRI results were pending.

Doesn't sound like good news about Horne. I suspect Duncan got sent down because he has options left. Ensberg probably doesn't.

The Yanks did several major league transactions today. Chad Moeller (the Reds' backup catcher last year) was called up, because Molina pulled a hamstring. Joba Chamberlain was put on the bereavement list to be with his ailing father. Jonathan Albaladejo, who was just sent down April 5 when Andy Pettitte came off the DL, was called up again. Betemit was put on the 15-day DL with pinkeye.

What I'm really wondering about is what's going on with Andy Phillips. He DH'ed Wednesday, was out of the lineup Thursday, started at 1B Friday, and was out of the lineup Saturday and Sunday. (Sunday's game was rained out, but they posted the lineup before the game was called, and Andy wasn't in it.)

Tonight, they played a doubleheader to make up for the rainout...and still no Andy. He was not in the lineup for either game, which seems really strange, since he was playing every day before last Thursday.

I e-mailed the Bats radio guys and asked if Andy's injured. So far, they haven't answered me (though they did mention my e-mail). They may not know.

I suppose it's also possible that the Reds are considering calling him up or trading him. That's the other reason they sit players. Andy apparently played well on Friday (8 innings at 1B, 2 for 4 at the plate), which you wouldn't expect if he were injured. Krivsky and other Reds brass were reportedly in Louisville yesterday and today, fueling rumors that a roster move is coming. There was bad news about A-Gon announced today, and some think the Reds may call up a right-handed infielder, preferably one with some power.

Personally, I don't buy it. This weekend was the home opener for the Bats; that's probably why Krivsky is there. Or maybe he wanted to see Homer Bailey pitch. (Bailey was supposed to start yesterday, and ended up pitching the first game of the doubleheader today.)

Maybe there will be some news tomorrow night, if not later tonight. So far, Andy is not on the DL.


posted by BubbaFan, 8:26 PM | link | 1 comments |

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New York, New York...

...the town so nice, they named it twice.

I did a day trip to NYC today. This was planned long before I decided to go to Florida for spring training or knew that Louisville would be playing in Scranton this week. I'm usually pretty much a homebody, so I feel like a traveling fool right now. And I'm kind of looking forward to some peaceful time at home.

But I had a lot of fun today. My friend from Pittsburgh met me at Grand Central, and we went to see Monty Python’s Spamalot. (She has a crush on Clay Aiken, who is currently playing Sir Robin.) The play was terrific. So funny we practically wet ourselves laughing.

There was a big poster of Clay Aiken outside the theater, and a lot of people were taking pictures of it, and getting their pictures taken in front of it. Almost all of the picture-seekers were women in their 50s and 60s (like my friend). Clay has his fans, but they aren't the teenagers American Idol originally envisioned...

Before the play, we went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. Very beautiful. All the trees were in bloom, and a lot of flowers were, too.

After the play, we went to the New York Public Library. My friend wanted to see it because she'd just seen The Day After Tomorrow, which was filmed there.

In the library gift shop, they had New York Yankees Monopoly. I had never seen it before (though I knew it existed). It's a bit outdated. Torre and Mattingly are on it, as are Randy Johnson and Miguel Cairo.

And Bubba Crosby. His "property" had a price of $140, I think. Not too bad, really; Jeter was $250. The photo they used of him was this one, or a very similar one.

After the library, we took a bus to Greenwich Village and walked around until we hit Houston St. (The end of the Village. My friend betrayed her out-of-towner status by pronouncing it like the city in Texas.) She had fond memories of the Village in the '60s. She went to the city as a high school student, and as teens did at the time, sneaked out of the hotel when the nuns weren't looking, and went to the Village. It was all bohemian then, with cafes and beat poets and all. It's nothing like that now; she was quite disappointed.

We did come across this touching display of tiles on a chain link fence in the Village. In the days after 9/11, flyers were posted all over the city by people seeking their loved ones. As the days and weeks passed, walls of "missing" flyers morphed into shrines, where people left messages of love, remembrance, and condolence, along with flowers, candles, etc. I would guess that this tile display is a more permanent version of those shrines. The tiles come from all over the country, even all over the world. It's quite an amazing display.

Oh, and my friend had some interesting news. She had just heard via her local media that Craig Wilson signed a minor league deal with the Pirates.

Wilson, of course, was released by the Reds after failing his spring training physical. He says his shoulder is fine.

The Reds felt Wilson wasn’t healthy enough to play but the Pirates say they have no worries about the condition of the shoulder, which was operated on by team orthopedist Patrick DeMeo.

“It was all the opinion of one person, the Cincinnati Reds’ team doctor (Tim Kremchek),” Wilson said. “I’m fine. I wouldn’t be playing if I was hurt. I wouldn’t sign a contract if I didn’t think I could help a team. I’m just looking forward to getting an opportunity to prove it.”

Interesting. I didn’t realize he’d had his surgery done by the Pirates’ orthopedist. I wonder if team doctors are more likely to give a clean bill of health to the players they operated on? Since they are basically approving their own work that way.

Wilson had his shoulder surgery a month before Bubba had his. Maybe this means Bubba has a chance to play this year, too.

Meanwhile, on the Louisville front... I was a little worried that Andy Phillips DH'ed and then was out of the lineup in the final two Scranton games. Then I thought maybe Thursday was a "getaway day" lineup. The Bats had already won 3 out of 4, and Hairston also had the day off. Maybe Rick Sweet was just taking the opportunity to rest his veteran players. After all, they probably aren't going to learn too much more in the minors. And they need to be kept fresh in case the big club needs them.

But Andy was out of the lineup again today. (Though he did play Friday.) That seems a bit odd. He played every day until Thursday. Hope he's all right.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:44 PM | link | 2 comments |

Friday, April 11, 2008

Coach Andy

The four-game Scranton-Louisville series is done, and I went to three out of four of the games. Driving two hours each way, each day. I left directly from my office after work, and didn't get back until after midnight. (Well after midnight tonight. The game ran late.) I'm exhausted. And I'm going to NYC this weekend to see Monty Python's Spamalot! with a friend. And I have to do my taxes sometime before Tuesday, too.

But it was fun. PNC Field is a very nice ballpark.

I was disappointed Andy was out of the lineup tonight. I'm wondering if he's injured or something. He DH'ed yesterday, and was out of the lineup entirely today. That seemed a little strange, especially so early in the season.

He did spend a lot of time on the field tonight, the first base coach. Minor league games are kind of laid back, and they often use players who aren't playing as first base coaches. (Scranton likes to use the starting pitcher from the previous day's game.) Andy's duties as first base coach seemed to consist of congratulating any Bats who made it to first base, and holding their batting gloves and any other gear they wanted to unload. (I thought it was weird that he had his batting gloves in his pocket when he wasn't going to be doing any batting. Then I realized they weren't his gloves.)

posted by BubbaFan, 2:00 AM | link | 3 comments |

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Scranton again

I went to Scranton again tonight for the Bats-Yankees game. It's over two hours away, but I had so much fun I will probably go to the last game in the series tomorrow night, too.

The Bats blanked the Yanks again...and this time, it was 11-0. Yikes.

Not a great night for Andy. He was DHing tonight, still batting cleanup. He was 1 for 6...though the one was a double. And he did score.

The photo is of him going back into the dugout after crossing home plate.

posted by BubbaFan, 2:04 AM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Bats 1, Yankees 0

Went to Scranton tonight. Left right after work, got home after midnight. Might go to tomorrow's game too, so I don't really have time to blog it in detail now. I will later. For now, here's a photo of Andy Phillips at 1B.

He's reclaimed his #12.

There weren't many fans in the stands, but those who were there remembered Andy. They cheered him and called his name when he came to bat.


posted by BubbaFan, 1:23 AM | link | 2 comments |

Monday, April 07, 2008


A ton of transactions this week in Baseball America's minor league transaction log. Among the familiar names:

The Blue Jays released Sal Fasano. (Wow, what happened? I thought they really liked him.) He's signed with the Braves, and is now playing for Triple-A Richmond.

The Pirates released Jaret Wright. They also optioned Kevin Thompson to Triple-A. (Nyjer Morgan made two very Bubba-like plays in CF in the spring training game I saw. Can't really blame the Bucs for choosing him over KT.)

Randy Johnson is still trying to recover from back surgery. He's on rehab assignment with Triple-A Tucson - and not pitching very well.

The Yankees sent Chase Wright to Trenton. Wow. From the Big League club to AA?

Ron Villone made the Cardinals roster.

The Braves released Colter Bean. They also put Matt DeSalvo (who's with their Triple-A team) on the DL. Not sure what the problem is.

And Mike Myers has been signed by the Dodgers. He's playing for Bubba's old team, the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s.

Meanwhile, the Louisville Bats are in Scranton tonight. They are beating the SWB Yankees like a red-headed stepchild. Andy is once again batting cleanup and playing 1B. He is 1 for 4 with two runs scored so far. (He reached 1B on an error.)

Cheez Whiz. I wasn't expecting the Bats to make their northeast swing so early. I was kind of thinking of going to the Scranton games when the Bats were in town, but I feel like I just got back from Florida. I don't know if I'm up for driving all the way to Scranton for more baseball already.

Hmmm. Obviously, I'm not at tonight's game. But there are three more, all night games. I could go after work, though it's a 2+ hour drive each way.

I already missed the Syracuse series. (For some reason, I thought the Bats were opening at home. Didn't even notice they were in Syracuse.) Oddly, they don't play Pawtucket until early June. But that's a bad time for me, too. I have another vacation scheduled about then.

I could go to the Lehigh Valley games. They are farther away than Scranton, though. And of course, I'd rather see the Yankees minor leaguers than the Phillies minor leaguers. I think I'm talking myself into it. Wonder if tickets are still available?

posted by BubbaFan, 8:23 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Finally updated

I finally updated the blog template. (Anything to avoid working on my tax returns.) Removed the Mariners links (sigh) and changed the photo. I went with a Yankees photo. I thought about using this one instead, which is less blatantly Yankee:

But I decided to go with one that looked more "baseball." At least for now. is still getting higher than usual levels of traffic. The search engine terms leading visitors to the site suggest people are trying to figure out what happened to Bubba and what he's doing. Bubba Crosby 2008, Bubba Crosby Mariners, Bubba Crosby fails physical, Bubba Crosby free agent, etc. (Though one person was apparently looking for Bubba's sister, searching for Charmin Crosby.)

And I'm getting a lot of e-mails from people asking about Bubba. Where is he, what is he doing, is he still in baseball? I assume he's at home in Houston, but other than that, I haven't a clue. If I find out anything, I'll post it.

"Matthew from NJ" posted this message in the Guestbook:


Short but to the point. Warms my heart to know Bubba's fans are still rooting for him.

This article looks back on Opening Day 2007 for the IL, and has this to say about the Bats' opener last year:

Last year, Louisville defeated Toledo 5-4 in 10 innings. RHP Brad Salmon picked up the win while LHP Bobby Livingston started for the Bats and allowed four runs in 5.1 innings pitched. OF Tyrell Godwin started the 10th inning with a double to right field, reached third base on a sacrifice bunt by INF Mark Bellhorn and scored the winning run on OF Bubba Crosby's fielder's choice.

I remember that game. Bubba only played two weeks for the Bats last year, but he made a splash in that brief time. He had the play of the game three times in those two weeks.

Speaking of the Bats, Andy Phillips was 0 for 2 with an intentional walk and 1 RBI in the Bats game today. He seems to be settling in as the Bats' starting first baseman and cleanup hitter.

And I came across this article today:

And it remains to be seen if Jason Giambi can hold up at first base or Andy Phillips turns him into an expensive pinch-hitter.

Now there's a reporter who's on top of things. Apparently he hasn't noticed that Andy hasn't been a Yankee for months.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:56 PM | link | 1 comments |

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Louisville Bats

In case anyone's wondering...the Louisville Bats started their season Thursday. Andy Phillips is playing 1B now. So far, he's 1 for 2 with a walk.

Thursday Andy also played 1B. He was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Yesterday's game was rained out, so they played a doubleheader today. In the earlier game, Andy DH'd and was 2 for 6 with a run scored. (The game went 11 innings.)

Love Andy's Bats photo, BTW. Gotta say this about him: no matter what, he almost always has the sweetest smile on his face.

UPDATE: The game's over. (Minor league doubleheaders go only 7 innings.) Andy's line: 1 for 2 with 2 walks and a run scored. Louisville won, 4-1. Ricky Stone blew the no-hitter in the last inning by giving up a home run to the first batter he faced.

Labels: ,

posted by BubbaFan, 8:04 PM | link | 1 comments |