All Things Bubba

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

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The SI Curse in Reverse?

Derek Jeter was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated: in comic form, being beat up the Rays. Maybe the "SI Curse" is working in reverse. Since Jeter is not on the cover because he's doing well. The Rays are still atop the division, but the Yankees are no longer in last place. That may change, though, depending on how tonight's games go.

I'm not watching, I confess. I'm watching hockey tonight instead. I'm not a big hockey fan, but hey, it's the Stanley Cup.

And I'm really finding this year's Yankees hard to watch. It's not that they're losing. I've followed many a team with a losing record, and less chance of turning it around than the Yankees have. I think it's just that the team is so changed this year. A lot of the players I knew and loved are gone, or on the DL, or otherwise not playing. And of course, there's a new manager.

I guess I see big changes looming, and I don't like it. Even though I know it's necessary. Case in point...the face of the Yankees, Derek Jeter. He's not hitting very well this year. Still making contact, but his OBP and SLG have dropped like a rock.

His defense has been troubling as well. It was never all that great, but it improved greatly after A-Rod joined the team. (Leading some to speculate that A-Rod's presence allowed Jeter to cheat to his left. Dunno if I buy that. It's not like Robin Ventura or Aaron Boone were butchers. It's A-Rod's hitting that makes him an outstanding player, not his glove. His glove is very good, but not, IMO, spectacularly better than other third basemen Jeter has played beside.)

In any case, Jeter's defense has fallen off a cliff this year. Perhaps he's injured, but his range, never great, appears to be smaller than ever.

Earlier in his career, it would be dismissed as just a slump. But this is his age 34 season...the point in a player's career where every slump is viewed as a possible sign of terminal decline.

Whether it is or not, it's a reminder to Yankees fans that Jeter won't be around forever. He's had a very long career at a difficult position. Probably any other team, any other player, he'd have been moved to 3B or the outfield by now. I can't help thinking of Bernie Williams, another homegown Yankee who played a difficult position. Bernie played center field for years longer than he should have, and basically left under duress. I hope it doesn't go that way with Jeter. I don't want the Ghost of Derek Jeter at SS the way we had the Ghost of Bernie Williams haunting center field.

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati...Andy Phillips had one plate appearance, as a pinch hitter. He worked a walk. Dusty hasn't been using him much.

The Reds have been winning since phenom Jay Bruce was called up. Bruce has put up astonishing numbers, including a walkoff homer tonight. Dunno how long it will last, but Reds fans are positively giddy, and I can't blame them.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:50 PM


Bernie Williams was a travesty. Torre and him should have had a civil ceremony already. Bernie was washed up, and Bubba should have been starting; the 2005 playoffs wouldn't have ended the way they did if the Yankees did right by Bubba.

Proof he was sleeping with Bernie


Williams felt his injury in the first inning after doubling in the Yankees' fourth run. Torre and team trainer Gene Monahan visited Williams on the field to check his status, but he remained in the game.

"He feels a little tight muscle in the rump," Torre said. "I hope he doesn't get mad at me for telling you that."

NY Post 4/3/07

"It was very nice. It certainly put a smile on my face. He was the same guy. He's a caring individual, and that's what makes him so special," Torre said of Williams, according to the New York Daily News. "He sounded like Bernie; God love him. I told him I wished he had come to spring training, but I certainly respect what he decided to do, which was not come."
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, June 03, 2008 9:03 PM  

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