Monday, March 17, 2008

Tino, We could use you...

Our 1B problem is starting to scare me.

What were we thinking? That refugee Juan Miranda, emboldened by the end of Fidel Castro, would suddenly learn to use a glove?

Here’s what’s happening in Grapefruit World:

Shelley Duncan is having a great spring. We love the guy. He’s hitting .333 with 3 HR. Over a whole season, he can hit 30 HR and bat .275 – but that's in a DH and RF mode. Play him 100 games at 1B? I dunno. The guy's a defensive end. That huge body has a pile of errors in it. What happens after a couple tough losses because his glove went clank? Long year. WE LOVE HIM. KEEP SHELLEY DUNCAN. But find him a safer place in the lineup.

Jason Giambi is having a decent spring. Batting .333. with 1 HR. OK, contract year. They say he's stroking them to all fields. (We've heard that before.) Still, the guy should hit. What he can't do is play 1B. We know this. Haven’t we seen this movie? How many times do the voters have to reject the school budget before you don't put it up again? We now have two (2) DH's.

Morgan Ensberg is batting .310, no home runs, five RBIs. Do we really think he can cut it? If so, he's our third 1B/OF/DH.

Nathan Lane is batting .273 with 2 HR. Same thing. How many 1B/DH can we carry?

By the way, while you're at it, add Matsui and Damon to the list.

The problem is that Brett Gardner is having the best spring of any young Yankee. This is the component we have been needing for the last four years -- the breakaway speedster who can steal a base any time we need it.

QUESTION: Who on this team plays 1B 130 games, so we don't have to carry the entire population of Utica, NY?

ANSWER: Nobody.

This is starting to look like Boston's closer-by-committee plan of 2002, back in the days when the Redsocks always did it the Haywood Sullivan way.

Except that today, we are doing it the Haywood Sullivan way.

POSTSCRIPT: Just saw the box from a minor league Scranton game Monday. The two guys that would have been considered outside shots at 1B, Eric Duncan, and Juan Miranda, never took a ball at that position. Duncan played 3B, a sign that he has cast into Purgatory. Miranda played DH. If this keeps up, we should have Tino's replacement by 2024, for President Jenna Bush.

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