Sunday, April 24, 2016
IT'S A SMALL BALL WORLD AND I WANT IN!
Yankee fans are frustrated and I get that. Despite winning two in a row against the basement dwelling Tampa Bay Rays, we continue to be aggravated and rightfully so. Our record is pitiful, our hitting with runners in scoring position awful and Mark Teixeira (.218), Chase Headley (.159) and Alex Rodriguez (.132) have the lowest batting averages of the veteran force; if you would call it a force. But, I want to share a glimmer of hope, my people. And it goes like this... Joe Girardi took a risk! There I said it. He finally came to grips with the fact that in order to play in today's game, we have to take on a different mindset. It's a small ball world and we need to be in this world in order to win.
My brother, Paul, is as big of a Yankee fan as they make them. He and I took on a Brooklyn 10K today in step brother (NY Mets) territory. Our pre-race discussion went like this:
"The Yankees are really terrible," Paul
"Yes, but did you see (Jacoby) Ellsbury steal home?" Me
"Finally, Girardi gave the call." Paul
Sparkle, glimmer, happy place
When you look at the way teams like the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals and Houston Astros are playing, you see the trend. You hit aggressively, you run aggressively, you hit again and you don't leave runners in scoring position. You play the small ball. O's top hitters Manny Machado, Mark Trumbo and Joey Rickard have more than youth in common. They all get lots of hits and they all score runs either on their feet or with their bats. Watching the Royals play the Birds this weekend has actually been entertaining and I don't like either team. But I like what they are doing and I like the excitement they bring to the game.
It's about time that Girardi get things going with some aggressive play calling instead of always playing the numbers. Explore your talents and let the players do something with it. And if they are not doing anything then I agree with the ESPN report on Saturday evening: Give them some bench time. This nonsense with slow starts and it's only April is just ridiculous. These guys are not even coming close and the worst of them all is Rodriguez. "Having Rodriguez in the middle of an already-weak lineup more often than not brings the Yankees' offense to a grinding halt. It's not helping Mark Teixeira, batting in front of him, because there's no reason for any opposing pitcher to give him anything meaty to hit, hence Teixeira's team-leading 13 walks. And it's not helping Brian McCann, who often hits behind him, because he's often left to lead off an inning after ARod has made the final out," stated ESPN.
So, do the Yankees bring up Nick Swisher who is hitting the hell out of the ball and bench A-Rod. Honestly, yes. We need some small ball hitting and Swisher is hot right now and frankly, A-Rod is not. It's a small ball world and it's time for us to enter or hover on the outside looking in while everyone else steps up their play and leaves us in the dust.
--Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
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