Monday, April 22, 2013

By bunting, Travis Hafner yesterday broke the sacred Yankee Sluggers Code of Homerabbi

In the ninth inning of yesterday's bullpen-fueled heart attack, new Yankee Travis Hafner spat upon a grand tradition that extends to the final whiffs of the Giambino Curse: Facing an overwhelming defensive shift - six fielders jammed onto the right side - instead of taking his normal cuts, the honorable strikeout for a Yankee slugger, Hafner laid down a bunt.

Naturally, he was thrown out at first base, and the game ended. And it's his fault we lost.  What was he thinking?

The true Yankee way - as evidenced by last season - is to deal with excessive overshifts by ripping at the ball harder, so you either drive the ball all the way to Schenectady or strike out. Why do anything else? You'll simply hit the ball to a fielder.

Obviously, Hafner hasn't been with the team long enough to understand the Yankee Code. Yesterday, we were four runs down with two outs in the ninth. This was the perfect time for a two run HR - (some call these Arod homers) - because it would cut the final deficit in half. But Hafner, in his deranged thinking, saw the entire left side of the infield wide open and somehow reasoned that a single was as good as a HR. (He obviously doesn't understand winter contract negotiations either.) So he laid one down.

I just hope other Yankees did not see this. I'd hate to think Hafner planted some notion in sluggers heads that they should adjust their ways or think about game situations -  rather than go up and take their full-scale, moonshot, luxury yacht cuts. We've had a good April thus far, mostly because these scrap heap vets seem to want to win rather than hit their 40. Let's hope nobody saw it. (And damn, it's a shame Haf didn't make it; wasn't Lyle Overbay on deck?) 


KD said...

Let's hope Tex wasn't watching. I've grown too used to seeing that lug ground into the sift, time after time. But i suppose Hafner did demonstrate that there is no profit in diverging from the Yankee Slugger's Code. too bad...

Anonymous said...

Truer words were never spoken!!! I've seen .300 hitters like Giambi & Tex come here and morph into Rob Deer, a one dimensional HR or nothing hitter.
If the Yanks got Joe Mauer he'd become a .250 30 HR hitter immediately.
I wonder if Girardi has forgotten the late 90s teams that dominated w/o a big HR hitter.