Friday, July 25, 2014
WHY WE SHOULD ALL MISS SOLARTE
It's been a couple of days since the Yankees trade Yangervis Solarte away and I've been thinking about it a lot. Now usually when the Yankees trade away a young kid usually you find me on here ranting. I admit, it is what I do. This time I am ranting....but maybe not for the reason you may think. This time, I just want people to see there were some "high" moments during his short time with us. The season is long, and it is easy to fit. So I guess this is me being a cheerleader.
Usually I am the staff writer standing on my soap box and ranting about how Brian Cashman is damaging the farm by trading away young kids for expensive veterans. I'm not going to do that this time. Instead, I just want people to reflect back to the first two months of the season. Sure, it was a very short time span but he was a huge asset to this team, he wasn't a waste. Do we want to imagine where we would've been without him? I don't. No offense but that would've meant more Kelly Johnson and I couldn't be more opposed to that idea.
The Yankees took a lot of chances this year, and they had to. With Alex Rodriguez out the left side of the infield was a scary thought. When you have a contract hog like ARod on the team, the life of a minor leaguer is bleak. You know you aren't going to get the playing time and stockpiling backup isn't going to happen because as a player you don't want to go play for a team where a superstar is blocking your path. Nobody wants to be a career minor leaguer. I really think that is why draft picks haven't wanted to sign here for so many years, hopefully that changes soon.
As the days have gone by that is how people refer to Solarte, as a career minor leaguer. In all fairness, I can understand that to a point. Solarte was with the Minnesota Twins for 7 years and never got an opportunity there. That says a lot. But life is all about seizing opportunities and it is about the journey we take. The Yankees had a lot of opportunities this year....and Solarte was lucky enough to seize one of them.
How else do you explain Solarte and Dean Anna beating out Eduardo Nunez for a spot on the team? The Yankees saw something in him. They saw his drive, his will to succeed and his passion. How can you not like that? The Yankees could have easily stuck with what was safe and familiar in Nunez, but they didn't and if they hadn't given Solarte the opportunity then we would've missed some great moments.
April and May had some amazing moments for Solarte, and he carried the team for awhile. I remember the game on April 8th Solarte hit two doubles, and became the first player since 1900 to hit 6 doubles in 7 games. That's a huge victory right there! Think about all of the amazing hitters in this game....and a career minor leaguer accomplished that and not a seasoned veteran?
What about Solarte's game winning homerun against a very tough Milwaukee Brewers team? He drove in three runs that ended up being the deciding factor to the game. That's called being clutch. He was making things happen at the plate when no one else was. And what about his homerun during the Subway Series at Citi Field? Anytime you can do damage against the Mets means it is a good day. It's a moment he is never going to forget and neither will I.
I have to admit though my favorite moments were playing against the Rays at Tropicana field. How many times as a fan do you get to watch a 5-4-3 Triple Play against your rival? He started that play! As if that wasn't enough in the same game he comes back and hits his first big league homerun against Grant Balfour. If that isn't a storybook ending I don't know what is!
Solarte was the April and May superstar for not only this team....but in the American League. In May he had the highest batting average in the league and was also amongst the leaders for best on-base percentage. He was playing great baseball. If he didn't have that run there is no telling where the Yankees would be right now because he was feasting while others were struggling. It's how the game works. Was it fair to expect him to keep this up all season? No, especially not when seasoned veterans weren't doing it. He slumped at a bad time and we needed production at third base.
I understand why the Yankees went out and got Chase Headley. I can't say I won't miss having Solarte on the team. I loved the passion he played with. He is more than "a career minor leaguer." He is a kid looking for a chance. We are all looking for that shot in life. If the Yankees weren't going to give him another shot then I am glad he may have that opportunity in San Diego.
We all dream big, and it's his time to shine and I believe he is going to when a team gives him a shot. So thank you, Solarte. You helped carry the Yankees for awhile and we haven't forgotten that. I wish you luck, because I believe you have a bright future and I only hope I don't see you years from now having success against the Yankees because then I really will have to rant about it.
--Jeana Bellezza, BYB Senior Writer and Editor
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