Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Posted by el duque at 7:13 AM
Roberts finished the night at 2 for 4, and his average now stands at a magical .251. But John and Suzyn stressed that he's hit a ton of line-drives - balls that could have been, should have been, base hits, and the world has a way of leveling out. Thus, Roberts should start receiving seeing-eye bloops and infield nubbers, as the mathematical laws of random sequence raise his stats to - gasp, dare we say it - .260?
Listen: I'm not here to dispute The Master's words, or Suzyn's math, or to pick on Brian Roberts. The Yankee need the Brian Roberts of 2009, not the one we greeted in April. Over his last seven games, he's hitting .385 with five doubles. That's enough to keep Rob Refsnyder eating pasta dishes in Scranton. But let's talk about those mathematical laws of random sequence: He is 36 and hasn't played a full season in three years. If he were on the mound, he'd be well over his pitch count.
The Yankees are reaching the crossroads of a hard and, thus far, deeply depressing season. Every time one of our stars gets hot, something happens to him. Two weeks ago, Carlos Beltran hit his "signature Yankee moment" walk-off home run; now, he has a bum knee and a bad elbow, and he's still not hitting particularly well. Brian McCann is still riding the roller coaster, and something's wrong with his foot. Teixeira had a knee drained, and Ellsbury has looked tired lately. We need reinforcements, and therein lies the danger.
Thank God, we're no longer waiting on Alphonso Soriano. I think it's relevant that the Yankees responded to his departure by scoring 14 runs over two games. Someone must fill Alphonso's roster slot, but his production will not be hard to replace. We will either add a new Sori or call up one of the Known Unknowns.
This year, from day one, Soriano was a lost cause. He never hit, and he did this from the heart of our lineup. Could Zolio Almonte have produced less than 6 HRs and .225? If so, at least Zolio wouldn't have done this while batting cleanup.
A week ago, Brian Roberts was a 1-20 slump away from following Soriano out the door. The Yankees like the guy, but it's not as if he's Tino or Paul, or a team legacy player. Roberts caught fire at the right time, and he saved his come back year. He's now hitting .251. The nubbers had been start showing up.