“DID YOU HEAR? THE YANKS GOT DIDI!!”
AWESOME! Wait, what?
That’s right Yankee fans Didi Gregorius is now a member of your Bronx Bombers. The powers-that-be worked a 3 team deal sending promising, youngster Shane Greene to Detroit and brought us the heir apparent to Derek Jeter…it would appear anyway. Is this a good move? Can Didi fill the MONSTER void that DJ left behind? Time will tell.
Gregorius is also a young guy. He is known as an above average glove and an OK-ish bat. The question I ask would be isn’t Brendan Ryan known as an outstanding glove and a below average bat? Why then did Cashman and Company feel the need to trade a good, home grown arm away for something we already had? Maybe Didi just has that certain something or what the French call a “I don’t know what.” The truth is we just don’t know what this guy can do…nobody really does. Yes, even you, Heyman. Sit down.
We’ve seen players come in and be handed the daunting task of replacing a Yankee icon. Tino came in for Donnie. Tino went on to be a pinstriped hero and was then replaced by Jason Giambi…who was well received…for a while.
This past season David Robertson was handed the keys to the 9th inning. DRob did a great job…and now he's a White Sock. Why? Well, he was offered something more than he's probably worth. Oh, and he isn’t Mariano Rivera. It is no easy job to follow a player that was bigger than the game in many ways.
Hell, do you remember when LaTroy Hawkins had the nerve to wear number 21? He wasn’t even playing right field and the Bronx Faithful reigned down a piss and vinegar filled “BOO” anytime he appeared. The only good thing Hawkins did while in New York was CHANGE HIS NUMBER!!
Now young Didi will try do the impossible. He will play shortstop for the Yankees. He won’t be a stopgap. He won’t be a platoon player. Gregorius will be the everyday guy. This is tougher than replacing Donnie. Donnie was a beloved Captain, but Mattingly never won a title let alone 5. This is Derek Jeter. The ground at short is still warm and Didi is a little known kid from Arizona…why not try to be an astronaut instead? Seems much, much easier.
It can be done however. It can be a success story. It will not be easy, but there is a chance we could be singing Didi’s praises by the end of this season. All players leave the game sooner or later. All players are replaced. If I could give any advice to Gregorius I’d throw two pieces of wisdom at him.
Number 1: BE YOURSELF. There is only one Derek Jeter and he ain’t coming back. Play your game, play with all heart and the New York fans will welcome you.
Number 2: MAKE YOUR WALK UP SONG ANYTHING BY THE RAMONES! Yankee fans love a little thought in the music choices…or at least I do. The last Didi in this town was a punk rock legend. He was an original in every way. Didi, be play like Didi…just stay clear of the insane amounts of booze and drug use etc.
I wish this kid all the luck in the world. It’s like being an unknown band taking the stage after The Who finishes a two-encore set…but hey, somebody has to play short. Why not Didi Gregorious?
** This one is for you, Didi. HEY! HO! LET’S GO! Welcome to New York, the home of American Punk and Baseball Legends PERIOD.**
Senior "Features" Writer
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