Well, this is the time when people traditionally get soddenly retrospective. No, not Friday night without a date. New Year's - the time of endings…and new beginnings.
This year saw the end of Bubba Crosby's four season stint with the New York Yankees, and the beginning of a new opportunity with a new team - the Reds. So, for my first Red Hot Diary, I'd like to look back at the highlights of Bubba's career as a Yankee, as a way of introducing him to Reds fans. Without further ado:
BUBBA'S TOP 10 YANKEE MOMENTS
#10 March 22, 2004 - Bubba hits an inside-the-park grand slam. The third base coach gives Felix Escalona, who had been on 1B, the green light, and Crosby, by then only a few feet behind Escalona, thinks the sign is meant for him. And he makes it.
#9 April 9, 2004 - Bubba homers in his first at-bat as a Yankee. The game was hopelessly out of reach - which is why he was in it - but he gave the fans something to cheer.
#8 September 24, 2005 - A fine diving catch.
#9 May 11, 2006 - Grand theft Bubba! Bubba robs Mike Lowell of a two-run homer. (Gotta have the good gloves in with Shawn Chacon on the mound.)
#6 September 23, 2005 - Another great diving grab. Bet he had grass in his teeth after that one.
#5 May 15, 2006 - Bubba makes a leaping, tumbling circus catch, landing hard on the warning track. Mike Mussina is grateful: “You can't make a better play than that. It turns a double and guys running all over the place into a sac fly.”
#4 July 14, 2006 - Mariano Rivera was on the mound with a two-run lead, but it looked like the game was slipping away. It was Bubba to the rescue, with this great play. Yes, it ended up a WebGem.
#3 April 26, 2006 - Three-quarters of the world is covered by water; the rest is covered by Bubba! Bubba made a couple of nice plays in this game. Though the announcer thought he was Johnny Damon.
#2 April 11, 2004 - The Crosby Clambake. Bubba's first start as a Yankee. Mike Mussina had struggled to earn his 200th win, but Bubba almost single-handedly won it for him. He made a great catch and homered. (Actually knocked a piece of the facade off the upper deck!) Then made another nice catch.
#1 September 19, 2005, The Bubba Crosby Game - With the Yankees desperately trying to catch the Red Sox in a brutal stretch run, Bubba Crosby hits a walkoff homer, bringing the Yanks to within half a game of Boston. Alex Rodriguez's reaction, both on the field and later, talking to the press: “Holy (bleep)!!!” (Bubba had a great night all around. While the rest of the team struggled against Eric Bedard, Bubba went 3 for 4. He scored two runs - 2/3 of the Yankees' offense for the night. And helped get the remaining run in.)
Bubba's provided Yankee fans with a lot of memorable moments. It was tough to pare it down to ten. Here's hoping for even more great moments with the Reds.
Happy New Year!