Sunday, December 21, 2014


Ever since I saw him pitch in pinstripes in 2012, I was hooked on David Phelps.  I saw him as a breath of fresh air.  There is this youthfulness about him, this air of humble confidence.  He has the professionalism and articulation of a veteran but the freshness of a rookie.  And now he is off to Miami, where it will be hard for me to follow him as he moves through the trajectory of his career. Joe Girardi never really saw him the way we did here at BYB but yet he came in and filled some very big shoes when our ace CC Sabathia went down last season.  Prior to that, Phelps was consistently called upon as a middle relief pitcher.  When we spoke to him earlier in the 2014 season, Phelps was just grateful to be a Yankee, wanting to add value.  He provided much needed support and newness to an aging Yankee team and he respected and admired his veteran teammates Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter.

When I was younger, I watched another #41 right-hand pitcher be traded from the other New York team to the Cincinnati Reds.  It is a day that broke my heart, much like Friday, December 19th.  "On June 15, 1977, the Mets sent Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson and Dan Norman. In a coincidence, the Reds are in New York this weekend to play the Mets. The so-called midnight massacre, which occurred on a Wednesday, was to many fans the darkest day in club history," stated a 2012 article in the New York Times commemorating the 35th anniversary of the unthinkable event.

Tom Terrific was the Mets franchise player and in a blink of an eye, without anyone knowing or expecting it, he was gone.  Much like Phelps, who we reached out to for a comment or word about the unexpected trade to Miami, but have not heard back from him just yet.  Perhaps when the dust settles and he settles his young family perhaps in a new area of the country we will hear from him. 

I know I am down as this was a blow to me as a fan of the Yankees and of David Phelps.  But I just can't help it.  I interviewed him just five months ago almost to the date of the trade and it just isn't sitting well with me.  One of the things he said in that interview stays with me:
BYB: In your post game interviews and such, like the one you gave in Kansas City when you said you were the worst kind of teammate, you get down on yourself for giving up runs or hits , or letting your teammates down- how do you rebound? I mean, how do you stay focused or can you stay focused in a game that seemingly is not going your way. How can you just remove the anxiety and just go pitch?

David Phelps: One of the toughest things in this game is consistency. And one of the hardest things is to go out there and find a way to get better. That’s the challenge for each of one of us players. You just can’t be satisfied with what you did today. You have to go out tomorrow and be better, even if it’s just one little thing. A bad outing makes you stronger. You mention the Kansas City game, and they went out there and put up three and I go back out and give up four. You have to go back out there and shut them out the next inning. That’s how you win ball games. 

This is the level of professionalism and promise we gave up to Miami.  And you know what, it just wasn't worth it in my eyes.  It really wasn't.  We wish you and your family well, David Phelps.  We are grateful for your two years of service to us here in the Bronx and we hope you will continue to grow and evolve as a pitcher, perhaps in the starting rotation for the Marlins.

Good luck and God Speed, my friend.

--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
Twitter: @suzieprof

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