Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lyle Overbay is a pleasure to watch, and one of these days, we are really going to miss him

In March, when the Retrieval Empire cashed in its Raleigh Coupons and signed Lyle Overbay, the wheels in every blogsmith's mind began to rotate. We said to ourselves, "Let the hilarity ensue!"

Lyle O-for-three... Lyle Overmatched... Lyle NoCanPlay... 

You don't get enough names like that. (We never imagined Chien-Ming Wang was on the way.) The best part was that Overbay wouldn't hit, and he would soon be gone, so we could feel no remorse in mocking his name. Lyle NotToday.

Listen: I have really come to appreciate the cool professionalism of the sparky Lyle.

He has become one of my favorite Yankees.

Last night, his base running savvy allowed Eduardo Nunez to score the critical game-winning run. Last weekend, his late homer beat Toronto. Throughout April, Overbay's defense saved Nunez and the left side of the infield, which at one point included Frankie Cervelli, and more than once I've tried to imagine where the Yankees would be if they had handed first base to the clanky Juan Rivera. God knows how many errors - and games - would have rolled into the Yankee dugout.

Thus, the sadness that inevitably awaits us. Mark Teixeira is healing, and one of these days, Lyle Overbay will be Lyle Overboard. I'd like to think otherwise, but look - look at the team. No way can Cashman can keep a backup 1B and another LH bat. He could go to Scranton, but - jeez - he's deserving of a better fate. Odds are this: When Tex returns, we shake Overbay's hand, give him a Rolex and ask for the parking lanyard.

I'm tempted to suspend the elections and declare Lyle Overbay April Yankee IIH Employee of the Month. I'm really going to miss this guy. He has reminded me of how enjoyable it can be to watch a player who tends to the details - moving runners, shortening his swing in critical ABs, making the right defensive decisions, etc.

In recent years, the Yankees evolved into the team that bludgeoned the opposition with HRs, but that didn't always play smart. Grandyman was the worst offender, but it trickled down to Andruw Jones and Nick Swisher, too. (To be honest, Robbie didn't always play smart.) Overbay brought something to the Yankees this year. He has played with his heart and his mind. Damn, I wish there was a way he could stick.

Lyle FindaWay. Lyle WishCouldStay. Lyle ThisGuyCanPlay...


Alphonso said...

Why won't he be back-up first baseman? Either Yukilis or Tex will always be hurt anyway, and Yuke is really our fill-in at third.

We have Nix who can't hit and now another released utility infielder. One of them can go. Right?

I agree. Overbay must stay.

Hermodorus said...

I'm putting out an APB for audio evidence of last night's borderline inappropriate call for Ben Francisco...

Anonymous said...

Will someone open their golden gates and hand you said evidence?

SanJoseKid said...

Your characterization of Overbay exemplifies why we Yankee fans are so affable and occasionally bownright adorable, contrary to what RedSux fans say. If a guy is (apparently) washed up but shows some gritty determination and plays well, Yankee fans will pay him due respect. Yankee fans give players a second chance, oftentimes a second career. Now, mind you, the onus is on the player. Tino Martinez got a fair share of boos in the beginning. But you do the smart baseball stuff that Duque mentioned above - smart base-running, late-inning homers - and Yankee fans will embrace you now matter how ugly you are (Youkilis) or how old you have become (too many guys on the roster to name). Consider that two genuine RedSux meatheads, Boggs and Clemens, were warmly received despite the fact that they have personalities roughly akin to a cranky anaconda. We're nice guys, RedSux, and we bring out the best in players. Trashing Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay sparked them to prove us wrong. Is that a type of JuJu?

This Yankee Fan said...

Sorry, I draw the line at Youkilis.