This article is a day late. The submission deadline was Saturday, and it is to be a criticism of Vernon Wells. He’s been in a bit of a rough patch lately. Why is it submitted a day late? I will get back to that.
Have to admit, I have a soft spot for Vernon. I wrote an article about him at the start of the season. I am proud to say this site stood with me when I called on Vernon to pleasantly surprise everyone with his tools. If Bleeding Yankee Blue wasn’t the very first to call Vernon as a breakout player during those early days of doom and gloom, then we were certainly in the top five.
Which brings us to the present. Vernon has not had a great May. Many of his detractors are quick to gleefully point out that he has reverted to type. Carrion pickers, all of them, but they are not wrong.
Never mind that Vernon had already exceeded expectations. He had combined with Travis Hafner to give the Yankees some serious pop. Aided by contributions from Brett Gardner, Kevin Youkilis, whichever catcher was not injured that week, and steadied by Robinson Cano, the boys took and held First Place.
Well, that was then. This is New York City. It isn’t what you have done, but what you have done lately. Vernon? He ain’t done much lately. Specifically, he sports an average of .178 for the last 30 days including Saturday. A paltry 18 for 101. Ugh.
The Yankees cannot abide this sort of anemic performance. While it is true they were hoping Wells would give them jump in the early going while badly depleted by injuries, which he has done, they need him to keep it up.
Curtis Granderson came back to play around about the time Vernon dropped his average. That would have gone unnoticed except that Grandy lasted only four games before returning to the DL, so Vernon could ill afford to let up. Furthermore, if he cannot continue to perform at the level at which the Yankees need him to, then he should not be performing at all.
Tough words for me to write. If you have seen my previous article regarding Vernon, you know how much I like the guy. Because of this, I wanted to wait just one more day, take one more look at him before I said it. I risked my editor’s wrath and held off.
Saturday, Vernon Wells had his first multi-hit game in a very very very long time. He stroked two singles, one in the sixth and one in the eighth. On Sunday he grounded out twice, walked, and reached on a fielding error.
Not a lot, of course. He has a long way to go to get back in the proper good graces of Yankee fans everywhere. But it was something. A start. It could be the road back to being a productive everyday player. The kind of player the Yankees need him to be.
The last time I wrote something complimentary about Vernon Wells, he repaid us all with a monster start. Let’s hope lightning can strike twice. Wells needs it. The Yankees need it. And so do we.
It’s not quite too late Vernon. Like this piece, he’s overdue. Get it done and turn in the work already, Vernon. We are losing our patience.
Chad R. MacDonald
Facebook: New York Yankees the Home of Champions
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