Rosecrans’ article today is about Bubba Crosby.Ã‚Â I don’t want to beat up on Crosby, but it’s an interesting view of what players consider important, and how that differs from what some fans (at least me) think is important.Ã‚Â As Jules Winnfield would ask, “Example?”
“That’s something we lacked in New York. It felt like everyone would go their own separate ways. Here guys go out and do things together,” said Crosby, who was signed to a free agent contract in the off-season. “I think that’s a huge part of the game. The Yankees have had $200 million-plus payrolls the last few years. Money doesn’t mean championships all the time. You look at St. Louis, it looks like the guys love each other and hang out.”
One, I’m sure St. Louis looked like they were having one hell of a time — when they were celebrating winning the World Series.Ã‚Â Second, I’ve been hearing about the the Reds’ great chemistry for several years now.Ã‚Â Meanwhile, they’ve had 6 consecutive losing seasons.Ã‚Â The Yankees, with their terrible chemistry, have been winning an average ofÃ‚Â 25 games a season more than the Reds (’02-06).Ã‚Â Money doesn’t mean championships, but chemistry sure doesn’t, either.
On his role:
“Even being a fifth outfielder for a National League team, you’re going to get three times as many at-bats as I would if I were with the Yankees again,” Crosby said. “It’s exciting to know I can play my game. Sometimes I’d get the green light, but I’d get the stare from Joe (Torre) that said I better be sure. Then you hesitate and just wait for (Hideki) Matsui to hit a two-run homer.”
I understand the sentiment – everybody wants to play, and if you don’t believe you can get the job done, you’ve got no business in professional baseball.Ã‚Â That said, I don’t blame Joe Torre one bit.Ã‚Â Bubba Crosby has a career line of .216Ã‚Â .255Ã‚Â .300 – 555 OPS.Ã‚Â Why in the world would you want him taking hacks with Matsui (career OPS 857) coming up next?Ã‚Â (Of course, this whole scenario took place in Fantasyland – Matsui batted 5th or 6th all but once last year; Crosby never batted higher than 8th, and I can’t imagine he was pinch-hitting for Sheffield or Giambi.)
Crosby thinks his horrific career numbers are due to a lack of consistent at bats.Ã‚Â Even if that’s true, I don’t see the problem resolving itself – if Crosby is getting consistent ABs, it means that the 2007 Reds have big problems.Ã‚Â
Again, I’m not trying to beat up on a journeyman for thinking he’s better than he’s shown, or for answering the questions he was asked by saying someÃ‚Â nice things about his new teammates (or on Rosecrans for writing a standard-form “let’s look at the new guy” story four days into his first spring training).Ã‚Â It’s just interesting to hear the importance that “in the trenches” guys place on things that don’t appear to make a big difference on the scoreboard.