As expected, the Yankees have confirmed that Xavier Nady will undergo season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery, likely ending his time in New York after just 66 games.
Nady was acquired from the Pirates last July with his value at an
all-time high thanks to a fluky .330 batting average, but he’d hit a
more modest .272/.327/.441 coming into the season and predictably
regressed to those numbers by batting .268/.320/.474 in 59 post-trade
games with the Yankees.
Nady took over as the Yankees’ starting right fielder this season
following the departure of free agent Bobby Abreu, but played just
seven games before leaving a mid-April game with a “sharp pain” in his
elbow. Reports immediately surfaced that he’d need surgery, but Nady
opted instead to rehab the injury and appeared to be making solid
progress in his recovery before suffering a setback in a minor-league
game last week.
Now he’s facing 9-12 months on the sidelines and the Yankees seem
unlikely to make a strong effort to re-sign the impending free agent
when bigger, healthier bats will no doubt be available this winter. All
of which means that they’ll end up parting with Jose Tabata, Ross
Ohlendorf, Jeff Karstens, and Daniel McCutcheon for 66 games of Nady
hitting .270/.319/.469 and 23.2 innings of a 7.61 ERA from Damaso
Meanwhile, the Pirates have already gotten 238 innings of 4.57 ERA
pitching from Ohlendorf and Karstens, both of whom are in their mid-20s
and under team control at low salaries for the foreseeable future.
Tabata was actually the centerpiece of the deal and at 20 years old
still has considerable long-term upside, but he’s battled injuries
while hitting just .269/.343/.359 in 135 games at Double-A since the
The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.
It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:
On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:
“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”
Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrate. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.
A couple of weeks ago our president wrote one of his more . . . vexing tweets. He was talking about immigration when he whipped out the phrase . . . “Easy D”:
No one was quite sure what he meant by Easy D. Was it the older brother of N.W.A.’s founder? The third sequel to that Emma Stone movie from a few years back? So many questions!
Baseball Twitter had fun with it, though, with a lot of people wondering how they could work it in casually to their commentary:
It wasn’t a scout who did it, but twelve days after that, a player obliged Mr. McCullough:
I have no more idea what Turner was talking about with that than Trump was. We’ll have to wait for the full story in the L.A. Times. But I am going to assume Turner was doing McCullough a solid with that one rather than commenting on the president’s tweet. Either way, I’m glad he made the effort.
And before you ask: yes, it’s a slow news day.