Sunday, May 12, 2013
Posted by el duque at 6:02 PM
"VERNON WELLS IS OUR LEFT-FIELDER, AND HE IS BATTING THIRD."
Note: This will not change when a certain Man of Grandeur emerges from the fracking ponds of Pennsylvania. This will not change when the Rod of A-Hip slithers up from Florida, or when Tex or the Captain, or even Tennille arrives. This will only change when Vernon Wells decides he isn't the Yankee left-fielder, batting third.
I was wrong on Vernon Wells. We all were. Could he be the player version of Joe Torre - the guy who looked tanked until he reached the Yankees? Two months ago, Wells was run out of LA with the Angels paying half his tab, headed to a Yankee fan-base that viewed his presence as the ultimate sign of the Yankees impending apocalypse.
Well, he's hit, fielded and stolen bases - been every bit the player he was once projected to be. Last year, Wells hit 11 home runs. Today, he hit No. 9. He could hit 40 this season, passing 300 on his career. If he can be a Bill Robinson - that is, put together four late solid seasons - (he's 34) - Wells could finish with 450 HR and go into Cooperstown. Players with less original talent have done it.
Of course, that's crap conjecture. This is real: Neither Grandy, Gardner nor Ichiro is going to send the RH-hitting Wells to our bench. He is batting third. For my money, that shouldn't change when Tex or Arod come back - because he's been doing it in the clutch.
It's early. Yankee fans still have a psychosomatic Andruw Jones impulse: They saw a player show signs of re-emerging - and then start swinging for the fences in every at bat, until there was nothing left but a strikeout machine. (It might have happened to Grandy, too.) It could happen to Wells. It's up to him. But damn - he could be Cashman's greatest career acquisition. Vernon Wells! Yankee cap in Cooperstown? I like it!