Monday, August 31, 2015

Soon, the First Noel will arrive

Soon - like, any minute now - the MLB rosters will expand, unleashing upon the Yankiverse the swiftest, fastest, blurriest pinch runner since - well - Brett Gardner. Yes, I'm talking about 26-year-old Jablonski Rico Noel - aka "Rico Noel" - who, no matter what name he uses, is one frickin' fast Jablonski. 

As soon as the rosters expand, Noel will be available to join the Yankees and pinch run for A-Rod, who is one frickin' slow Jabroney. Noel is a Scranton OF the Yankees picked up a few weeks ago to help the Railriders in their heroic charge for the International League's North Division crown - yes, in 2015, that Impossible Dream season when the Governor's Cup could actually be returned to its rightful coal mine. (Although the last time it was held in Scranton, it was smashed by an over-excited Scrantonian fan. I'm not making this up. There was tomfoolery afoot in the City of Biden.)

But dammit, as much as I'd love to simply write about Scranton, this is about the Yankees drive to the 2015 Wild Card! And the name to remember is Rico Noel. Because starting probably Tuesday, Noel is going to be the guy we bring in during the late innings of a close game to pinch run for A-Rod, or Tex, or McCann, or Beltran, or any one of the leaden, slow-footed anchors in our lineup.

Check this guy out:

That's right. He's got 5 stolen bases in the last 10 games. (Eight with the Yankees, since he was picked up.) In each case, he was pinch-running. Poor guy can't hit a lick. This year, over all, he's at .181. But he's stolen 23 bases and been thrown out 5 times. 

Last year, he stole 32 bases (six throw outs.) In 2013, he stole 59 (19 CS), and in 2012, he stole 90 (with 23 CS). Yes, he was our version of Jorge Mateo, who at least is a SS.

Here's the deal: This guy isn't Dave Roberts. He might not even be Homer Bush. But with Slade Heathcott tweaking a gonad every time he pisses in the shower, Rico Noel is probably the fastest guy we've got coming off the bench with an unlimited roster. And we - more than any other team in baseball - can use a base-stealing pinch runner in the ninth. 

Imagine him coming in for A-Rod. What a difference in the make-up of an inning. Suddenly, instead of baseball's slowest runner, we have a guy who is generating pick-off attempts. And if we're facing a pitcher with a slow move, or a catcher who isn't throwing well... zoom.

Rico Noel. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


Dutchfan said...

Here is something I never really understood. Why don't professional baseball teams hire fast runners. Just 1. One that runs the 100 meters in 10 sec flat. Teach him how to slide and you have a guy stealing second and third when it really matters.

Designated Hitter said...

Great article. We are all waiting for the call for this deserving kid. Go Rico.

Michele Faamatau said...

So proud of you Blonski!!! Seems like it was just yesterday I was watching one of your games here in town. May the Lord continue to bless you!!

Herb Washington said...

Amsterdam Admirer, been there done that!

Leinstery said...

Fuck Joe Girardi and fuck Greg Bird. If Didi is hitting everything thrown at him why is he buried behind that fanook who hasn't done shit since the Twins series? Goddamnit. Of course Joe puts him right where all of the outs are made in front of him and no one can hit behind him. God he sucks at putting a lineup together. Can't say I'm surprised, he kept trotting Jeter out there in the 2 hole no matter how terrible he was. How many runs do the Yankees score tonight if he's batting in front of Bird?

Dutchfan said...

@Herb: You cannot know this, but I am from Rotterdam. Calling me an Amsterdam Admirer is about the same as calling everybody here a Socks fan.
On topic: "Oh".

Herb Washington said...

Damn, not my intention to be an Ugly American,sorry. How about "Rotterdam Rooter"?