All Things Bubba

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

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gas up your cars

Hurricane Gustav has grown bigger and stronger than they expected. It is now a Category 4, and is expected to become a Category 5 soon. It is also moving faster than expected, forcing people to scramble to evacuate.

The track is currently about the worst possible for New Orleans. This could be worse than Katrina. It could be a powerful storm than Katrina, and it looks like New Orleans will be on the "strong side." The storm surge is expected to be huge. The flooding could be worse than it was after Katrina.

This could be catastrophic, and not just for those on the Gulf Coast. There's a lot of oil infrastructure there, and some are predicting it could be knocked off line for months. The SPR (Strategic Petroleum Reserve) is also in the Gulf Coast area, so we might not have access to our emergency reserves, either.

What does it mean for you? High gas prices, and possibly shortages. Gas up your car.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:08 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, August 29, 2008


A monster is bearing down on the Gulf Coast, the Yankees' season is probably over, and Carl Pavano is on the mound in the Bronx, but hey, it's Friday. How bad can it be?

Only a couple of hours left on this item. It's another pair of Bubba Crosby game-used pants:

What's interesting is that, judging from the photo, they appear to be short pants. All the others I've seen have been long pants. (Strangely, they are listed as being from the 2006 season. I don't remember Bubba wearing high socks in 2006. He'd switched over to the long pants by then, I thought.)

Would be better if they were home pinstripes rather than road grays, but still pretty cool. There are already a couple of bids.

Gustav has strengthened and gotten a lot bigger. It's getting to look like the classic hurricane:

The track is still flipping around a lot, east one day, west the next. But it seems the chance of Houston getting hit is increasing.

The Mets' Triple-A team, the New Orleans Zephyrs, have cancelled their last two games because of Gustav. New Orleans is evacuating already, and the ones who aren't are probably preparing to, so I suspect the stands would be pretty empty anyway.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:06 PM | link | 0 comments |

Gloomy Gus

This is Hurricane Gustav. I've been keeping my eye on this storm for awhile. It's still several days out, but it's looking more and more like it's going to impact US energy infrastructure. Oil platforms, ports, refineries, pipelines, etc. The forecast track of the storm has been pretty consistent, aiming roughly at Louisiana:

However, the Florida Panhandle and Houston/Galveston are still within the "cone of uncertainty." It's still too early to accurately predict where it will make landfall or what intensity it will reach, but it looks like it's going to hit the US, and the National Hurricane Center is now predicting it could be a Category 5.

This looks like the worst case scenario for New Orleans. It shows both Gustav and the next storm, Hanna, making landfall just west of New Orleans within a week of each other. (West is worse than east, because the upper right quadrant of a hurricane is the strongest.)

Of course it's way too early to accurately predict where Hanna Montana will wind up, or if it will be strong enough to be a threat. But there are at least two more storms lined up behind Hanna:

We're headed into an interesting stretch, weather-wise.

And it may not be just Gulf Coast residents who have to worry. Katrina caused gasoline price spikes and even shortages throughout the US, because it took out so much energy infrastructure. It's possible Gus will be worse. And if there's a follow-up punch by Hanna...Katy, bar the door.

Like I said, it's way too early to make accurate predictions. But it might be a good idea to fill up your gas tank. It's an outside chance, but it's possible that a lot of Gulf Coast electrical infrastructure will go down, and if it does, it could cut off the supply of oil and gas from the Gulf. Possibly for weeks. I know, prices are rising because of the impending three-day weekend - but better safe than sorry.

And as an aside...if Gustav does turn out to be Katrina redux, what a bummer for the GOP. They are holding their convention next week. Nobody will be interested if there's a disaster going on down on the Third Coast. And they'll have to be very careful not to appear insensitive, partying during a crisis. (Especially in light of Bush's "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie" moment.)


posted by BubbaFan, 2:12 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beware the Pinstripe Taliban

This story makes my blood boil:

So, Yankee Stadium Takes This No Moving During "God Bless America"- Thing Rather Seriously

Good grief. It shouldn't happen to a Red Sox fan. (Which the guy actually was.) And what a way to honor our country. Dishonor is more like it.

For shame!

posted by BubbaFan, 6:04 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Put a fork in 'em

They're done

Call me a bad fan, but I've given up on the 2008 Yankees. I just don't think they have what it takes to reach the post-season. Nobody's getting it done. No pitching, no hitting, no defense. Veterans and kids alike just don't seem to care.

Two blog posts by two different beat writers illustrate the Yankees' season. Chad Jennings, who covers the SWB Yankees, had this to say about Melky Cabrera:

I understand that Melky Cabrera wants to prove to the Yankees that he's willing to play hard -- and you can't deny he's run out every ball and play good, hustle defense -- but he was just caught stealing second. Last night he was caught stealing third in tie game in the bottom of the ninth. Sunday he was thrown out foolishly trying to stretch a single into a double. Cabrera needs to show he's willing to hustle, but right now the greater concern might be whether or not he's a bonehead.

I think it's pretty clear he is a bonehead. The guy seems remarkably immune to coaching. And Cano's not much better.

And Pete Abe said this tonight:

A-Rod said last week that the Yankees had to treat every game like it was the playoffs. That would explain his one RBI in the last seven games.

And that was before A-Rod grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. And before he struck out to end the game.

This team just isn't very good.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:00 PM | link | 3 comments |

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The Yankees have been doing a lot of roster-shuffling lately. Godzilla was activated today, which means Justin Christian was sent down to Scranton. To make room for him, Jason Lane was released. Chad Jennings says he probably asked for his release, and will sign with the Red Sox. (Uh, boy. Isn't that what happened with Carlos Pena?) Jennings also suggests that this might mean Austin Jackson gets called up to Triple-A for the playoffs, because after September callups, Scranton will be short of outfielders.

Brett Gardner was benched with Matsui's return. Girardi said he wants to DH Godzilla every day, with Damon back in DF.

I wonder if he might change his mind on that. Damon screwed up two catches in CF tonight, the second of which allowed the winning run to score.

At this point, though...I don't think it matters. The Yankees appear to be done for this season. I don't see them making the post-season. Peter Abraham put it bluntly:

If there were some easy answer, it would be a good story to write. But there’s not. Mix in a few underachievers (Cano, Cabrera, Jeter), the fact that nobody is having a career year (like A-Rod and Posada last season), the injuries and vastly different personality as manager and you have a bad mix.

Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse. The Yankees are largely a team of well-paid, under-contract players. Once it becomes obvious to even the true believers that they’re not going to the postseason - and that could be by the end of the week - it could get ugly.

Keep in mind that 21 of the remaining 37 games are on the road and 19 are against teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.

I can't say I'm surprised. I've been saying all along that the Yanks didn't have the pitching to get past Boston this year. (Though I have to say, I never expected the Rays to do what they've done.) I predicted during spring training that the Yanks might not make the post-season this year.

But it's still kind of a shock. The Yanks have been an October fixture since I became a baseball fan.

posted by BubbaFan, 1:36 AM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Another Redsfest item

Once again, I've been wasting time looking at things on eBay I can't afford to buy.

Someone is selling one of Bubba's Reds spring training jerseys. It was probably bought at Redsfest, where the Reds apparently sell everything short of used bubblegum.

It's size 48. The seller notes that this jersey in particular has some wear. (I'll bet.)

It's a nice item. I really like those red spring training jerseys, and the price is decent. But I have no money right now. And probably won't until sometime after Christmas, alas.

The washing instructions crack me up:

"Line dry"? You gotta be kidding me. Who's going to line-dry a whole team's jerseys? (Picture clotheslines strung across the diamond after the game...)

The ESPN announcers, Joe Morgan and Jon Miller, talked about the Reds tonight on Sunday night baseball. They quoted what Dusty Baker said about the losing Reds team being Wayne Krivsky's team, not his.

"I have never wanted to win more than I do right here, and I will, but this is Wayne Krivsky's team, not Walt Jocketty's and not mine. I just hope there is enough out there after the season that we can get to help us."

It is a pretty obnoxious thing to say. Miller and Morgan wondered if anyone had asked Krivsky what he thought about that.

Then Miller said he ran into Krivsky last week, in Houston. Kriv-dawg was there scouting for the Mets. Trying to lure Bubba out of retirement, maybe? (Hey, I can dream, can't I?)

posted by BubbaFan, 9:51 PM | link | 2 comments |

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Off the Interstate!

Andy Phillips got off the interstate in style today. Pinch-hitting for the pitcher in the fifth inning, he smacked the second pitch he saw over the left field fence. Home run Andy!

It brought his batting average up to an even .200. He's been hitting better lately, though he's still not getting much playing time. While Joey Votto was on bereavement leave, Dusty was starting Javy Valentin at 1B against righties, and Andy against lefties. But Votto has returned, so Andy will probably be back to the occasional appearance as a pinch-hitter.

The Reds are just terrible now, and even worse, they've given up. I'd rather see the new kids and the bench guys like Andy play at this point, because the stars just don't care any more.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:11 PM | link | 1 comments |

Melky Who?

The Yankees' new center fielder had a fine day at ballpark today. Brett Gardner was 3 for 5 with a walk and a double. His last hit was a walkoff single in the bottom of the 13th. His second walkoff single this year.

He's a speedy little guy. Reminds me a bit of Bubba, hitting from the left side of the plate with the high socks. He's got more patience than Bubba, but less power (at least so far).

But I don't think either Gardner or Melky will be starting in center field next year in the new Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will probably try to sign a free agent or something.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:28 PM | link | 0 comments |

Nightmare Ninth

Last night's game was pretty emblematic of this entire season. A long grind, with lucky escapes, flashes of hope - then crushing defeat.

Andy Pettitte lived rather dangerously, loading up the bases more than once, but getting out of it. The Yanks fell behind 3-0...then started to chip their way back. They tied it up in 7th, and Yankees fans started to think that maybe this game could be won after all.

It was still tied in the top of the ninth. The Yanks were at home, so it was Mo on the mound. Alas, his struggles in tie situations continued. He gave up a double and a single...and then the go-ahead run, on a wild pitch.

So it was 3-4 in the bottom of the ninth. Girardi pinch-hit for Molina, putting in Betemit. Betemit singled, and Girardi then put in the speedy Justin Christian as a pinch-runner. But it was for nought: Christian was picked off.

Damon struck out, but Jeter singled, and Abreu walked. With two out, two on, A-Rod came to the plate. Fans were hoping for a home run, and fearing a game-ending strikeout. They got an infield single on a dribbler that was almost like a bunt.

It all came down to Jason Giambi. With the bases loaded, the game on the line...he flew out to center. The Yankees lose. To the Kansas City Royals.

The one that felt most sorry for was Justin Christian. They put him in so he could steal 2B, and instead he was picked off. If he hadn't been, the Yanks might have tied it up at least, maybe won. Bet he had a hard time getting to sleep last night.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:34 AM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, August 15, 2008

Welcome to Scranton, Melky

Well, this has been coming for a long time. I think it would have happened sooner, except Brett Gardner just didn't hit when he was called up.

They've decided to go with Gardner anyway. Melky Cabrera has been sent down to Scranton. Brett Gardner is now the Yankees' center fielder.

Poor Melky apparently didn't see it coming. He was totally blindsided when they told him. It must have been a real shock. He's been the Yankees' CFer for three years.

Melky will probably be back when rosters expand in September.

Richie Sexson has been released. They called up Cody Ransom to take his place. I think they realized that Betemit's glove cannot be trusted in any position, let alone SS.

posted by BubbaFan, 8:44 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Andy vs. the Pirates

Andy Phillips is benefiting from the trades the Reds have made, and Joey Votto's absence. He gets another start tonight, against the Pirates. He's playing 1B and batting sixth, against lefty Paul Maholm.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:20 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dunn and Gone

The Reds traded Adam Dunn yesterday. Many Reds fans are bummed and bereft. He's being sent to the Diamondbacks, and is happy to be going to a contender.

Dunn has spent his ten-year pro career with the Reds. He was drafted in 1998 (the same year as Bubba, in the second round). Dunn was only 18, so he's just 28 now. He has an option for next year, but Arizona is not expected to pick it up. Dunn will likely be a free agent next year.

Would the Yankees be interested? Maybe, but I hope they don't sign him. I like Dunn fine. Lots of power, great eye, and a good base runner despite his hulking size. But his defense is not very good. The Yankees already have too many players like Dunn: left-handed power hitters with suspect gloves. I think they need to sign some different kinds of players - increase their versatility. In particular, they need to shore up the defense. Speed doesn't slump, and defense slumps a lot less often than offense.

Melky Cabrera got to start on his birthday yesterday, and he was 0 for 3 with a crushing GIDP. He swung at the first pitch, and wiped out the Yanks' best chance for scoring. In the end, the Yanks were blanked by the twins, and Girardi got a ton of criticism for not starting Damon.

I think the Yankees will be in the market for a center fielder this winter.

And yesterday morning, Dave Miley's 17-year-old son, Cody, died in a car crash. Dave Miley is the manager of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. He was also the Reds' manager for a couple of years. He played for the Reds organization as well, but never made it out of the minors. He is on indefinite leave from the SWB Yankees.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:30 AM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dear Bubba

Well, this isn't quite how I imagined Bubba's 32nd birthday would be. At least he can spend it with his family. Maybe for the first time in years.

In any case, happy birthday, Bubba, and many happy returns of the day. Hope the coming year is as wonderful as you deserve.

posted by BubbaFan, 8:52 AM | link | 1 comments |

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Andy Phillips did all right in one of his rare appearances in the starting lineup, but the Reds were thoroughly humiliated. I really think they've given up.

Andy was 1 for 4, but almost had a nice 2-RBI double. He smoked it, but Erstad robbed him, making a diving catch at the warning track.

The Yankees lost again today, meaning the Halos swept them. Not terribly surprising. Even when the Yanks were good, the Angels were their nemesis.

Mo threw only one pitch. Betemit let the walkoff seeing-eye single go by. To be fair, Betemit isn't really used to playing 1B.

Justin Christian started in CF today, and Melky Cabrera didn't even get in the game. Maybe Girardi's decided to go with a platoon in center.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:36 PM | link | 0 comments |

Andy vs. the Astros

Reds first baseman Joey Votto was put on the bereavement list yesterday. He asked that the team not reveal the reason.

Whatever it is, it's opened up a spot for Andy Phillips. With a lefty on the mound today, Andy gets to brush the cobwebs off his glove and start at first base. (Dusty still hasn't noticed Andy hits righties better than lefties.) He's batting seventh against Wandy Rodriguez as the Reds take on the Houston Astros.

It looks like the Reds are basically blowing up their team. They traded Griffey at the deadline, and today DFA'd their starting catcher, David Ross. And it sounds like that's just the beginning.

Don't know what this means for Andy. He probably won't be a Red next year.

posted by BubbaFan, 1:34 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Hit and Run

Andy Phillips got on base tonight. A pinch-hit single! Alas, he was out at 3B trying to go from first to third on a single. He's no Bubba Crosby on the basepaths (though it was a hit and run, or he probably wouldn't have tried).

The Reds are really, really awful. I think they've given up. They're just going through the motions. Even the manager doesn't seem to care any more.

Came across this blog tonight, with the amusing name of You Suck, Coco Crisp. Its author, Melanie Greenberg, doesn't seem to be a big fan of A-Rod.

Let me digress for a moment. In 2005, when Bubba Crosby hit a walk off home run to bring the Yanks within a half a game of first in the AL East, A-Rod had this to say about it: “The last thing you're thinking is home run. Nothing against Bubba, but you're hoping for a walk, hit by pitch, base hit, bunt single—then he hits the ball like Darryl Strawberry." A-Rod. That guy’s all class. I know it would have been too much to expect the same kind of response we got out of Joe Torre, who said, “I was so elated, not only for the team, but for this kid who we've shuttled back and forth to Columbus I don't know how many times over the last two years…I have a lot of confidence in him.” But I guess for Frost Tip even something like, “The kid did good,” was just too much to muster.

Well, nothing against A-Rod, but when he comes up to bat these days, you’re hoping for a walk, hit by pitch, base hit, bunt single, strike out, fielder’s choice, pop fly, pinch hitter, rain out, whatever—you’re just praying he doesn’t ground into a double play. Oh, well. He did make that pretty amazing diving catch in the fifth, which almost compensates for the fact that he went 0-14 in the series. Um, no, actually, nothing against A-Rod, but it really doesn't.

LOL. I don't think that's quite fair, but it made me laugh.

A-Rod did hit a home run tonight...but it wasn't enough. Ian Kennedy didn't make it out of the third inning, prompting fans to consider the previously unthinkable: starting Kei Igawa and/or Carl Pavano.

It's not looking good for the Yankees this season.

posted by BubbaFan, 1:00 AM | link | 1 comments |

Thursday, August 07, 2008

On notice

I think Melky Cabrera has been put on notice. He's been pretty bad this year, and now he's been out of the starting lineup for four games straight. Justin Christian and Johnny Damon have been playing center field instead. Melky's being used like Bubba used to be: pinch-runner and LIDR.

The official story is that Melky is "banged up," but no one believes it. If he hasn't lost his job, he's been put on notice.

What bothers me most about Melky is that he hasn't improved. Well, his defense is better. But at the plate, he's gotten worse each year since 2006. That's the opposite of what you expect of a young player. Average, OBP, power...all going in the wrong direction.

I'm starting to wonder if Melky is one of those players who is difficult to coach. The way he repeatedly slides into 1B head-first drives me crazy. He should know better by now, and if he doesn't, surely the Yankees have told him. Yet he keeps doing it. Is he dense, or what?

Supposedly, the Yankees brass called him into the office during spring training 2006. They basically read him the riot act, telling him he wasn't progressing as fast as other players and he needed to try harder. It worked; Melky was on fire after that.

Maybe it's time to read him the riot act again.

posted by BubbaFan, 11:04 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Who is Karim Garcia?

The Korean All-Star game was today. (Or maybe yesterday, given the international date line.) The top vote-getter was former Yankee Karim Garcia - the first time a foreign player has achieved that honor.

Dunno how the All-Star game went, but Korean baseball sounds like a lot of fun.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Andy Phillips got one pinch-hit plate appearance today. He hit one hard up the middle, but was robbed by former Yankee Alberto Gonzalez. The Attorney General is hitting extremely well as a National: .400 / .500 / .600 / 1.100. It's only three games, but still.

posted by BubbaFan, 9:42 PM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Old-Timer's Day

Today is Old-Timer's Day. Because it's the last one in the old stadium, the Yankees invited a ton of former players. Among them is Aaron Small, who is not that old for an old-timer. I think it's cool, though. It'll be good to see him again. (The game airs at 1:30pm on YES. Assuming there is a game. The weather's looking pretty bad. Last year the game was rained out, and it looks like a possibility today, too.)

And who knows, maybe one day Bubba will come back on Old-Timer's Day.

posted by BubbaFan, 12:54 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, August 01, 2008

Baseball in an alternate universe

The Reds had a pretty miserable night, but Andy did okay. Could have been better, but okay.

He was the first Red to reach base, breaking up the perfect game with a walk in the third inning. Dusty had starting pitcher Homer Bailey bunt him over to 2B...then pulled Bailey for a relief pitcher. That was just plain bizarre. I mean, if you're going to yank the pitcher, why let him hit? And it was all for naught; Andy was stranded.

He singled his next time up. Again, Dusty didn't put in a pinch-hitter. I guess because he wanted to leave the pitcher in. In any case, Andy was once again stranded.

His third time up, he grounded into an inning-ending double play. And that was his last plate appearance of the night. In the ninth inning, with the score 2-5, two outs, Dunn on first, Dusty decided to pinch-hit for Andy. Probably at least partly because the pitcher was right-handed. (Dusty hasn't noticed Andy's splits are reversed.) He put lefty Joey Votto in. Who lined out to 2B on the second pitch. Yeah, Andy couldn't do that.

That had to be one of the weirdest games I've ever seen. I have no idea what Dusty was thinking. Maybe he wasn't thinking. I think he's given up.

Though the Yankees game was also very weird. Sidney Ponson took a no-hitter to the 5th inning, and pitched seven shutout innings. This facing the same team that lit up Andy Pettitte yesterday. The Yankees offense was flummoxed by Ervin Santana, and it was 0-0 in the ninth. When Mariano Rivera gave up what would prove to be the winning run.

Good grief. Ponson giving up two hits and no runs in seven innings...while Mo gave up two hits and a run in one inning? I feel like I'm in an alternate universe.

posted by BubbaFan, 10:37 PM | link | 0 comments |

Andy Phillips Lives

I was starting to wonder, but it appears Andy Phillips is in fact alive and well...and in the Reds' starting lineup tonight. He's playing 1B and batting seventh. Usual first baseman Joey Votto is getting the night off, I guess. Dusty probably decided to rest him against a lefty starter. (Dusty apparently hasn't noticed that Andy actually hits righties better than lefties, but hey, at least Andy gets some playing time.)

Meanwhile, on eBay, someone is selling another pair of Bubba Crosby's game-used pants. They're from the 2005 season, but apparently after Bubba switched to long pants:

I'm not really a collector, but I were, I'd want the high pants. Pinstriped, not road grey.

Funny, I don't think I've ever seen Bubba Crosby game-used pants on eBay before. And suddenly, two different sellers are offering them in the space of couple of weeks.

posted by BubbaFan, 5:37 PM | link | 0 comments |