Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Posted by el duque at 7:51 AM
Yesterday, the Yankees again signed Canzler, a 27-year-old firstbaseman and outfielder, this time to a minor league contract.
If he stays in the Yankee system - and Canzler would be the first person to tell you nothing is certain about that - Russ this summer will probably patrol a corner OF spot in the hills of Moosic, Pa., not far from his birthplace of Hazelton. Good grief, if he wants, he can probably sleep in his old bed.
It's tempting to joke about players like Canzler, but they epitomize the frustration we all feel at times. You watch them tear up Triple A, but they never even get 100 at bats in the majors, because somebody somewhere decided there was a hitch in the swing, or a bulbous gonad, or hammerhead toes, or something. It's the same arbitrary decision that sentences worthy actors, musicians and artists to lives of waiting on tables, while others become stars.
Remember Thomas Neal last April? In Scranton, he was Mr. Baseball, among the league leaders in practically every offensive category - and this, after having an impressive spring training and being one of the last Yankees cut. We called him up for 4 games - four. He received 11 at bats. He got two hits and a walk. (His on-base percentage still beats Ichiro's.) Then he was gone - poof - gone. The Cubs picked him up, and he received 4 at bats. Four.
So if you're dumb enough to waste your time following the Yankee farm system, get used to seeing Canzler's name in the box scores, hitting home runs that will never lead to anything, sparking rallies that will never rescue him from Scranton.
And if something happens, if the fates line up and Russ Canzler gets the call, know that his only hope will be to go 10 for 10, with maybe 4 home runs. Otherwise, he'll be back to sleeping in his old bed.