All Things Bubba

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

Friday, April 30, 2010

Brandon Claussen

There's an interesting article in the Cincinnati Enquirer about Brandon Claussen. Claussen was once a top prospect in the Yankees organization. Many fans were angry when he was traded to the Reds for Aaron Boone.

He had one good year with Cincinnati, but never got a big payday. His career ended when he was 28, probably due to injury. He's only 30 now, but has left baseball behind him. He's working for a tire company. He says, "That’s baseball, man. Great life, while it lasts. What most people don’t understand is, for most of us it doesn’t last very long."

Ain't that the truth.

posted by BubbaFan, 1:59 PM | link | 0 comments |

Where's Janish?

Paul Janish didn't get a start in the Houston series. He didn't even get into the game as a pinch-hitter or LIDR. Dusty Baker has said in the past that he tries to give players starts in their home towns, but Janish was frozen out this time. His family and friends must be disappointed.

Redleg Nation wonders "Where's Janish?"

Red Reporter did it earlier and better. Not least because they actually included Janish in their image.

I'm not really surprised, but I'm pretty annoyed that once again, Janish is buried on the bench. I understand that he's not the starter, but come on. Even the last man on the bench should get more playing time than he's getting.


posted by BubbaFan, 1:50 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Almost gone

The old Yankee Stadium is almost gone. Just one section remains, and tower by the big bat that contained the escalators.

It's really shocking how fast the old stadium was demolished. They aren't allowed to work when the Yankees have home games, so they've been working like crazy while the Yanks are on their road trip. It will probably all down by the time the road trips ends on Friday.

posted by BubbaFan, 4:46 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Baseball Codes

There's an interesting post on the Dallas Braden affair by Jason Turbow, who wrote a book called The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America's Pastime. He thinks Braden had a right to be mad. It’s a matter of respect. And A-Rod has a reputation for dissing other players by taking that kind of liberty, so he doesn't get any slack when he does stuff like that. The post has some interesting quotes from players who support Braden's position.

The brouhaha was apparently a lucky break for Mr. Turbow, creating a lot of interest in his book.

posted by BubbaFan, 8:52 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, April 23, 2010

Paul Janish is a witch

The Reds went down to ignominious defeat tonight. Paul Janish had a good night, though. He was subbed in at the beginning of the 7th inning - Dusty Baker waving the white flag, with the Reds down by 8 runs. He ended up going 2 for 2 with a double and a RBI. He's now hitting a ridiculous .462 / .533 / .923 / 1.456. I know it's a small sample size, but jeez. Clearly, he is a witch.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:17 PM | link | 0 comments |

A mountain out of a mound-hill

Alex Rodriguez and A's pitcher Dallas Braden got into a bit of a brouhaha yesterday. Pretty silly that grown men are arguing about whether it's okay to cross the pitcher's mound while he's on it. Some people I've asked have said yes, it's bush league to cross the mound like A-Rod did. OTOH, the press doesn't seem to have heard of such a thing.

What struck me, though, wasn't so much what A-Rod did, but what he said afterwards. He mocked Braden, for being a guy with only a few wins in his career, and implied anything Braden said didn't matter because he's just a scrub. I found that unseemly, and very sad.

A-Rod is a sure first-ballot hall of famer. He's now achieved every milestone a player can hope for: number one draft pick, rookie of the year, MVP, biggest contract ever, and now, even the long-elusive World Series ring. But apparently, all that is not enough. He still has take shots at other players...even players like Braden, who are no challenge to him.

A-Rod should be on top of the world, but instead, it seems he's still so insecure he has to insult guys like Dallas Braden.

posted by BubbaFan, 6:12 PM | link | 1 comments |

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

C. Trent interviews Janish

C. Trent Rosecrans has an article about the pride of Rice University today. Interesting stuff about what it's like to be a backup player in the big leagues.


posted by BubbaFan, 3:17 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Paul answers the call

I confess, I swiped that title from Mark Sheldon, who has since changed it to something more conventional. It needs to be saved for posterity!

Crazy game for the Reds tonight, and Paul Janish ended up the hero. Everyone expected the Trolleydodgers to beat the Reds like a red-headed stepchild. And it looked like it was going according to script, when Homer Bailey struggled in the first inning, giving up 3 runs. The way the Reds offense has been hitting, that seemed insurmountable.

But then, in the 2nd inning, the Reds batted around, putting 6 runs on the board. They added three more in the next two innings, and leading 9-3, seemed destined for a win.

But the Dodgers clawed back, including four runs off Nick Massett in the 8th. It was tied 9-9 in the bottom of the eighth. Janish had been double-switched in, and was batting in the pitcher's spot. He came to bat with two runners on, two outs.

Both the runners (Jay Bruce and Ramon Hernandez) had been walked by Ramon Trancoso, so fans were irate when Janish swung at the first pitch and fouled it off. They were still complaining about it when he lined the second pitch into left field for a single. Manny Ramirez made a pretty good play on the ball, and tried to throw it home to stop the go-ahead run from scoring. It wasn't close. Bruce scored easily. Janish tried to take second on the throw, and got caught in a rundown. He did a good job trying to stall long enough for Hernandez to score the insurance run. Then Ronnie Belliard, trying to throw it home to get Hernandez then changing his mind, dropped the ball, and Janish made it safely to 2B.

Those runs stood, and the Reds won, 11-9.

It was great that Janish got to be the hero. They interviewed him on TV afterwards and everything.

But the Reds are still a pretty bad team. No Reds starter has yet gotten a win this season, which kind of points to a bullpen problem. And Dusty Baker's managing was just bizarre tonight. The Reds' starters have not been going very deep, so the pen is rather tired. Yet he pulled Danny Ray Herrera after only six pitches - not because he was ineffective, but because he wanted to start a new inning with a new pitcher. He could have left Arthur Rhodes in longer, too; he threw only 15 pitches. It was Nick Masset who gave up the lead and four runs in the 8th - Masset, who's been terrible, and has a 14.14 ERA to prove it. Why was he even in the game?

Janish, at least, is doing well. He's hitting .364 / .462 / .818 / 1.280 - the best hitter on the team, if OPS means anything. The Reds announcers, talking after the game, said Janish just might be the Reds' SS of the future. They think if he can just hit .260, his defense is enough to make him a starting SS.

I hope he gets that chance. I think the Reds are counting on Zach Cozart, but his minor league numbers are not much different from Janish's. Janish deserves a shot as much as Cozart does.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:45 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Train Wreck

Paul Janish has gotten a couple of starts over the past three days. A reward for his amazing performance on Wednesday? No. Just a shortage of infielders. Starters Scott Rolen and Joey Votto had the flu, which has been going around the Reds clubhouse, and the injury-prone Rolen has a sore back as well.

Janish started at 3B on Friday, and went 0 for 3 with a walk. He seemed rather impatient. Two of his at-bats lasted only one pitch.

Today, he started at 3B again and was 1 for 3 with a double. Is that good enough to get him another start? I hope so. Frankly, I'm kind of annoyed that Miguel Cairo started at 3B on Saturday. Walt Jocketty said he wanted Janish to get lots of playing time so he could continue to develop, but it appears that was just talk. If they really wanted him to get playing time, it wouldn't have been over a week before he got an at-bat, and they wouldn't be starting 35-year-old Cairo instead of Janish.

It's really frustrating, because Janish has the best glove on the team, maybe the best glove in Major League Baseball. He's hitting better than Orlando Cabrera or Miguel Cairo. But he's behind them on the depth chart.

Cabrera is pretty gawd-awful on defense. The Reds starters have been having trouble going deep into games, and I can't help wondering if the black hole at SS is part of the problem.

The Reds have been a train wreck lately. They were swept by the lowly Pirates over the weekend. I wonder if Dusty will keep his job. I'm guessing no. I have no idea who would replace him, but I'm hoping it's someone that will give Janish a fair shot.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:16 PM | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Holy Heck

Silly me, worrying that Janish wouldn't hit tonight. No power? Can't hit righties? HAH!

Janish had an amazing night. Despite being on the bench for over a week, he walked, hit a double, then homered. He's now hitting .667 / .750 / 2.000 / 2.750. And it wasn't that the pitcher was serving up batting practice; none of the other Reds got more than one single. He's now the top slugger on the team. :-D

Dunno if Dusty gave Janish the lineup card, but boy, did he deserve it tonight.


posted by BubbaFan, 10:34 PM | link | 0 comments |

Janish gets his first start

Despite Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker's promises to get Paul Janish lots of playing time, so he can continue to develop...he's been sighted about as often as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster. He's pinch-run and got a stint as a LIDR, but hasn't had a single at-bat so far. That will change tonight; Dusty's put him in the starting lineup.

Nice to see Dusty knows Janish is alive, but honestly, Dusty drives me crazy, the way he uses his players. Not having a single at bat in over a week is not a recipe for success. Also, Janish is much better against lefties than against righties, but Dusty puts him in against a righty...for his first at-bat in over a week.

Hopefully he'll play well tonight. If he doesn't, we may not see him again for weeks. :-P


posted by BubbaFan, 6:23 PM | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Six years ago today...


On April 11, 2004, the Bubba Crosby Fan Club in the Bronx opened with thousands of members as the speedy center fielder (Bernie Williams DH’d and batted second) blasted a three-run bomb against the upper deck facade in right field in the Stadium against Chisox righty Dan Wright to bring the home team from behind in a 5-4 Yankee win. Carlos Lee drilled a two-run first-inning triple off Mike Mussina, who aside from that allowed just a Jose Valentin homer to record the win over 6.3. Earlier in the game, Crosby appeared to have “caught” the right center field wall in an outstanding play on Magglio Ordonez’s no-outs blast in the top of the third.

What a game that was. Hard to believe it was six years ago.


posted by BubbaFan, 8:11 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, April 09, 2010

Paul Janish, still among the living

I was beginning to wonder if Dusty Baker had killed Paul Janish and buried in him a shallow grave or something, since the pride of Rice University hadn't been seen since the season began. But Janish is still among the living. He actually got in the game tonight, as a pinch-runner and LIDR. Turned out he wasn't really needed as a pinch-runner, since the pride of Texas University, Drew Stubbs, hit a grand slam after Janish was subbed in. (Holy cow, did Stubbs have a great night. He was responsible for all the Reds' scoring, with a triple and a run scored in the first and the go-ahead, game-winning salami in the eighth.)

I was afraid Dusty wouldn't keep Janish in at SS. Even though Orlando Cabrera has been terrible on defense, he does have two Gold Gloves. And I haven't really seen Dusty use LIDRs much (perhaps because the Reds are so rarely ahead late in the game). But amazingly, Dusty did the right thing, and substituted his young gloves in after the grand slam. They had one inning left to play, and a 2-run lead to protect.

The last inning was ugly. Closer Francisco Cordero gave up a home run to Derrek Lee, cutting the lead to one run. With two outs, he gave up a single to Kosuke Fukudome. An error by Scott Rolen let Alfonso Soriano reach. (The ball was Janish's but Rolen tried to field it.) Then Mike Fontenot hit a hard grounder to SS; Janish made a sliding stop, but fumbled the transition and didn't get the throw over in time. It was initially ruled an error on Janish. My heart sank; I figured between the miscommunication with Rolen earlier, and then the error, Janish would be buried on the bench again. It seemed unfair; it was a tough play, and he probably saved a run from scoring, because he kept the ball in the infield (which Cabrera wouldn't have done). It appears the scorer agreed, because the error was changed to an infield single after the game. The Cubs put in Chad Tracy to pinch-hit for Koyie Hill; Cordero got him to ground out, and the game was over. An ugly win, but a win nonetheless. (I hope Dusty noticed that Janish kept the tying run from scoring! If Slo-Cab was kept in the game, it might still be going on.)

As for the Yankees game tonight...the less aid, the better. Except "Home Run Javy" lived up to the name, and Marcus Thames is gawd-awful in the outfield.


posted by BubbaFan, 10:34 PM | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


It's only one game into the season...but I fear the Reds made a big mistake when they signed Orlando Cabrera. It's not that he went 0 for 5 at the plate. It's that he looked terrible on defense. He may have two Gold Gloves, but he's clearly not the player he was then. He has a range of about three feet, and looks like he's running in wet concrete.

To make it worse...third baseman Scott Rolen also missed some balls he would have gotten to a couple of years ago. He hit well and isn't terrible at 3B, but I have a feeling that other teams are going to catch on pretty quick. The left side of the infield is 16 years older than the right side, and it shows.

It wouldn't be so bad if Dusty Baker could be relied on to use Paul Janish as LIDR. But judging from previous seasons...he won't. Probably because you don't put a LIDR in for a Gold Glove SS. Even if that SS is well past his sell-by date.

I really wish the Reds had gone with Janish. With their young pitching staff and questionable pen, they need strong defense up the middle, not a defensive black hole.


posted by BubbaFan, 11:21 PM | link | 0 comments |

Monday, April 05, 2010

Opening Night

A rather maddening game tonight. I wasn't expecting Sabathia to be at the top of his game; as we discovered last year, he's a slow starter. But the Yanks went out to an early lead. At 5-1 in the 4th, it started to look like the Yanks would win.

No dice. The Sox came back and tied the game. The Yanks took the lead again. The Sox finally took the lead for the first time in the bottom of the 7th, tacked on an insurance run in the 8th, and held on for the win.

It's only one game, of course, but a few things stuck out. One, the bullpen was pretty disappointing. I'm really wondering if the Yankees rushed Joba too much. He went from A-ball to AA to AAA to the big leagues in just one season. I think that's hurting him now. (I also think the Reds are probably making a mistake, starting Mike Leake in the big leagues right after drafting him.) Two, three balls got past Jorge Posada tonight. Only one was ruled a passed ball, but still...when your catcher is turning 39 this year, you have to wonder if he's slipping a bit when things like that happen. Three, Brett Gardner did okay at the plate tonight, but I fear he's overrated on defense. Yes, he's got nice speed, but his instincts in the outfield aren't very good. He always seems to jump the wrong way and take poor routes. And his arm is not very good. I'm sure he'll get better with more practice in left field, but watching him really makes me appreciate what a good defender Bubba Crosby was.

Curtis Granderson was a bright spot. He played nice defense, and hit a home run in his first at-bat. After the game, YES put up a graphic listing the players who hit home runs in their first at-bats. Bubba Crosby was on the list. Andy Phillips should have been on the list, but I don't think he was. (I'm not 100% sure; the TV was just on in the background, and I looked up when I heard Bubba's name and caught a brief glimpse of the list.)

This game sure dragged on. It was almost four hours long. Not sure if it was all the hits, or a lot of commercial time built in, or what, but it seemed to go on forever.

Despite the unhappy ending to this game, it's sweet to have baseball back again.

posted by BubbaFan, 12:50 AM | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Dawson Award

The James P. Dawson award is given each spring to the best rookie in Yankees spring training camp. Dom Amore, the Hartford Courant Yankees beat writer back when they had a beat writer, has this story, about when Bubba Crosby won it.

The voting for the Dawson award is always a highlight of spring training for those who cover it. It's named for a great New York baseball writer who passed away during spring training in 1953. During my time as vice chairman of the New York chapter, I got the chance to present it on the field to Bubba Crosby. A lot of fun to be on the field just as a game is about to start. The winner gets a nice watch, but that year the watch hadn't been delivered yet, so I presented Bubba with an empty box!

He also has a complete list of winners. (Andy Phillips won it the year after Bubba.)


posted by BubbaFan, 12:20 PM | link | 0 comments |

Friday, April 02, 2010

It's official

Paul Janish made the team, to no one's surprise. And so did Miguel Cairo, to the surprise of many.

The Reds will be carrying 11 pitchers and 14 hitters on opening day:

Starting Pitchers:








The fifth starter will be Mike Leake. When he's needed, a week into the season, someone is going to get the axe.

Just looking at the numbers, the guy who gets the axe will probably be an infielder. I'm guessing it will be Francisco. GM Walt Jocketty hinted as much, saying that Francisco will be a power threat off the bench - "for the first few games."

A lot of fans are hoping it will be Lincoln who is cut, but I can't see them going with only 11 pitchers for long. Though I guess there's always Janish...


posted by BubbaFan, 8:48 PM | link | 0 comments |

Has Miguel Cairo cracked the big league roster?

The Cincinnati Reds have announced that they'll get the roster down to 25 tonight, before the game. Miguel Cairo is in tonight's lineup, which suggests he's made the team.

Holy guacamole. I didn't see this coming. I still think Janish is a lock. If Cairo makes the team, it means Miles will be outrighted to the minors, and Sutton will be optioned. Both Miles and Sutton have had disappointing springs, but still...this is surprising.

It also looks like Mike Leake will make the team as the Reds' fifth starter. He was just drafted, and has not played a single game in the minors. He's going directly from college to the big leagues.

I'm not sure this is a good idea. I can't help remembering the Yankees' trio of young studs: Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain. They looked good at first, but crashed and burned once the other teams got good looks at them. I still think all of those three will have great careers, but even with all the talent in the world, it takes time to learn to pitch to big leaguers.

(Speaking of Ian Kennedy...he's made the Diamondbacks roster. He'll be the third or fourth starter. Congrats, kid, and best of luck.)

posted by BubbaFan, 7:00 PM | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Holy cow

Paul Janish is en fuego. He started at SS in the early game today, and went 3 for 4.

There will likely be massive cuts tomorrow for the Reds. They're about 15 players over, and opening day looms. But I'm pretty sure Janish is safe for now.

I know it's only spring training...but I sure wish the Reds hadn't signed Orlando Cabrera.


posted by BubbaFan, 1:02 AM | link | 0 comments |