A Bubba Crosby Retrospective
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!
Shades of Ryan Freel. You know, Freel was largely ignored in the minors (and during his brief, recurring stints in the majors) despite perfectly adequate performance.
Maybe this will be the place for Bubba as well. Damn, between Crosby and Freel, they wouldn’t need anyone else in the outfield. Dunn could use those half-innings to sit in his massage chair.
Boy, Freel sure has an interesting history. How do you get send down to A-ball again when you’ve been playing at the Triple-A level?
It does make you wonder how much talent there is in the minors, blocked because of big names ahead of them, or politics, or projections. Neither Robinson Cano nor Chien-Ming Wang were supposed to amount to much, according to their projections. Now they are not only starting, they are stars. But the only reasons they got a chance were 1) No one wanted them, so they weren’t traded, and 2) Injuries that forced the Yanks to give them a try.
Bubba’s never said much about the team that drafted him, the Dodgers, but from things his teammate and fellow tradee, Scott Proctor, has said, it sounds like they were pretty dysfunctional. They had three different managers in only a few years. The people who had drafted Proctor and Crosby were soon gone, and their replacements just weren’t very interested in their predecessors’ prospects.
Freel, for whatever reason, just couldn’t get noticed. Now, there isn’t a more popular guy on the team. And, looking back on it, there wasn’t anything he did to finally get his chance. He was always plodding along, waiting for someone to recognize him.
Sure, plenty of the guys in the minors would never make it at the big-league level, but there’s got to be at least a few guys who would have been superstars who will never get the chance for some stupid reason or another.
Sucks for the sport, but really sucks for those guys.
I dunno. I could see not getting promoted if you’re not noticed. But getting sent down two levels…seems like someone noticed, and not in a good way. You sure he didn’t run over the GM’s cat or something? 😉