Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yanking Jesse away from where he's still loved...

Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium (TNYS for short) has been covered off from all angles by bigger and better forums.

However, our inner child was not about to let this nugget from The New York Times slide by without comment:
"In case they missed anybody, the Yankees will have 40 of their alumni on hand for the opener. Here's the list:

Luis Arroyo, Jesse Barfield, Yogi Berra, Ron Blomberg, Bobby Brown, Horace Clarke, Jerry Coleman, David Cone, Chili Davis, Bucky Dent, Al Downing, Dave Eiland, Ed Figueroa, John Flaherty, Whitey Ford, Joe Girardi, Rich 'Goose' Gossage, Ken Griffey Sr., Ron Guidry, Charlie Hayes, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Don Larsen, Hector Lopez, Tino Martinez, Lee Mazzilli, Gene Michael, Jeff Nelson, Graig Nettles, Paul O'Neill, Joe Pepitone, Willie Randolph, Bobby Richardson, Mickey Rivers, Buck Showalter, Bill 'Moose' Skowron, Luis Sojo, Mel Stottlemyre, Ralph Terry, Bob Turley, David Wells, Roy White, Bernie Williams, Dave Winfield."
This cannot stand. Danny Tartabull wasn't available?

Jesse Barfield, to a generation, belongs in one uniform, the old Blue Jays powder blue, and one ballpark, Exhibition Stadium (don't look for it, it's now a soccer stadium). He had only one full season in the Bronx, 1990, when he OPS-plused a decent 127, albeit for Yankees team that lost 95 games and finished dead last in the AL East.

There's no ill will toward a childhood idol accepting an invitation from his old team, of course, but this does not do much for a fan's illusions about the bitter hatred between two AL East teams. The Yankees' sense of propriety here is just disgusting (tongue firmly planted in cheek).

The Yankees evidently wanted a cross-section of players from different eras, not just when they were winning. That helps explain inviting former third baseman Charlie Hayes, but at least he's remembered for being a Seinfeld reference ("You better catch it here, Charlie, 'cause this isn't Philadelphia — .230's not gonna cut it in this town, babe!").

Their franchise has so much history, dating all the way back to 1902, so really, it should be mitts off when it comes to a beloved alumnus of a team which didn't begin play until 1977. That goes double when said beloved alumnus had more strikeouts than hits during his turn with the Yankees, which covered a four-year stretch where the game's most famous franchise averaged 90 losses per season. As the late, great Casey Stengel said, you could look it up.

(Personally, Lloyd Moseby was the most favoured among the Best Outfield in Baseball. He was left-handed, drew a lot of walks and the Barfield and George Bell camps were crowded.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But Jesse had that cannon for an arm!