Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Drew Silva of HardBallTalk wrote a brief, albeit subtle attack on the Yankees’ newest shortstop Didi Gregorius.  In it, Silva chooses to focus on the 24-year-old’s mental state, rather than his playing ability.  He quotes Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic as saying that New York will “eat him alive”, surmising that Gregorius’s fragile mental state will prevent him from succeeding in the Bronx.

Silva concludes his slight against the shortstop – and in a way, against the Yankees – with a partial quote from an unnamed source to Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News:

“'He’s OK,' an unnamed scout told Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News on Saturday. 'Solid defender, bat is light – long swing. Good athlete. Nervous type, not sure he can handle NY.'”

What he didn’t write was the ENTIRE article that McCarron wrote, describing the assessment of the scout who originally signed Gregorius ; Jim Stoeckel, Cincinnati’s global scouting coordinator.  In it, Stoeckel says:

“He’s comfortable in his skin, handles failure well. He’s just a real easygoing guy. Nothing gets to him. He’ll love being in New York and, if people give him a chance, they’ll love him.”

Hmm.  Clearly Silva – who loved quoting the famous “unnamed” sources- has some sort of ax to grind with either the Yankees or Didi Gregorius.  Perhaps that’s why Craig Calcaterra writes most of the reports on the Yankees for HBT?

The very fact that Silva would rather write a short three paragraph piece already condemning Gregorius to failure based on the opinion of an Arizona Republic writer unveils his bias.  He’s shut the door before the shortstop has been fitted for a uniform. 

The entire piece by McManaman can be read here.

After it was written, a number of respected baseball writers piped in with their assessments of the article.

Jessica Quiroli, Prospect Writer, Rays MiLB Reporter, and Social Media Director for Minor League Ball tweeted: 
 She followed that up with:
Jed Weisberger, Correspondent for http://MLB.com . and Editor at @YESNetwork affiliated Pinstriped Prospects, IBWAA and Principal at Riverside Media Consultants ,replied to Jessica with his own tweet:
And finally, one of the D-Back’s fans got into the conversation with:

The bottom line is that McManaman’s article and Silva’s pathetic piggy-back upon it are horseshit.  They are nothing more than sour grapes (maybe McManaman was shunned for an interview by Gregorius?) and a shameless attempt to get read hits.

Not to worry Yankees fans, we’ve been through this time and again.  It’s the unfortunate consequence of rooting for the most successful club in baseball history.  

Remember Scott Brosius?  The Yankees were attacked for acquiring the third baseman the year after he hit .203 for the A’s.  How’d that work out?  In his first season with the team, Brosius hit .300 and while he didn’t achieve that average again as a Yankee, he endeared himself as our mainstay at the hot corner for three World Championship teams.  

His ability to make the barehanded play on short ground balls down the line became Brosius’s trademark.
That’s just one example, but the point is that no matter who our Yankees acquire, the haters are gonna hate.  Don’t let them discourage you – especially the ones that write disparaging things before the new acquisition has even seen one pitch as a Yankee.  Let them blow their smoke and feel good about themselves for doing so.  

In this case, it would seem that Silva and McManaman are vastly outnumbered by their own peers.


--Steve Skinner, BYB Senior Writer
Twitter: @oswegos1

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