Monday, November 18, 2013
Jason Nix, the man who nearly replaced Jeter and nearly ended Mariano's career, may just have been shown the door
Posted by el duque at 6:08 PM
In fact, Nix's play was spirited enough to allow him to rise above his lifetime status as the answer to a trivia question: What batting practice hitter smacked the long fly ball that caused Mariano Rivera to blow out his knee?
For a while last spring, Nix represented a hustling, overachieving team that was fighting for first. Then the chickens of Hal's austerity budget came home to roost. Suddenly, the middle of our batting order declared war on Yankee rallies. God, could Vernon Wells and Travis Hafner kill an inning, or what? Then came the storm surge of injuries, which killed hope that the cavalry was coming. And then Nix himself went down, and we were back to watching the long-running Yankee horror show known as Eduardo Nunez.
Today, the Yankees sort of closed the door behind Suzyn Waldman's second-favorite shortstop. They signed Brendon Ryan to a one-year deal. That makes Ryan the late-inning caddy for Derek Jeter, as he is better fielding shortstop than Nix - though probably a worse hitter. That would put Nix in Scranton, where - in case you're scoring at home - the Yankees currently have no Triple A-worthy, rising young shortstop. It's a micro move, but considering the handcuffs on the Yankees' big storm fronts - A-Rod, Cano and the Japanese posting process -that could be all we're going to get for a while.
I, for one, will miss Nix. He comported himself with dignity and grace. He could steal a base, he never jogged to first, and he seldom threw a ball into the stands. Years from now, we may be looking back at a tough time in Yankee history - the Redsocks could win a couple World Series in a row, and we might be not even make the playoffs - but Nix will be remembered for more than Mariano's knee. And maybe he's not gone. Good grief: Last year, we not only brought back Alberto Gonzalez, but the guy pitched for us.