Jun
28

10 undeniable reasons why the Yanks must sign Shea Hillenbrand

By

It was so close to happening last winter. The Yankees sought a right-hand-hitting first baseman, and Shea Hillenbrand was on the free agent market. So, you’d think this was a bada-bing, bada-boom deal, right? Well, unfortunately, Hillenbrand and his agent far overvalued his worth and demanded a two year contract. The Yankees declined and signed Doug Mientkiewicz, leaving Hillenbrand to sign with the Angels. Well, it’s nearly a half-year later, and Hillenbrand is on the verge of yet again becoming a free agent. It seems that the Angels have realized the errors of their ways, and are prepared to cut bait, giving Bill Stoneman 10 days to trade him, lest he become a free agent (he would almost certainly clear waivers). This is the Yanks’ big opportunity. They must sign Shea Hillenbrand.


1. Bring some fight to the team
Everyone says this team has no desire, no fight in them. Who better to infuse that than Hillenbrand. He’s been known to start a fight or two. Think about it: he got his manager fired up enough to challenge him to a fight. Just imagine what he can do to a clubhouse full of frustrated players? He’ll have the whole team wanting to fight him. And then they’ll be livelier than they’ve been all season.

Then you set up the Shea Hillenbrand pinata in the locker room, and you get a whack at it every time you win. Not exactly a naked chick, but hey, something’s gotta get these guys motivated.

2. He’s currently hitting better than Doug Mientkiewicz Josh Phelps Miguel Cairo Andy Phillips
There’s not much else to say. Hillenbrand is hitting better than Phillips, and that is a fact. Look it up.

3. Duh, he’s a Proven Veteran
And everyone knows the key to winning world championships is to load your team with as many proven veterans as possible. It’s time for the Canos and the Melkys to step aside; the big boys are coming to town. They can take their inexperienced asses and watch as veterans like Shea Hillenbrand and Miguel Cairo show ‘em where it’s at.

4. We very well could wind up with the two qualified players who draw the fewest walks this season
Of qualified players in 2006, Shea Hillenbrand was 155th in walks, Robinson Cano 157th. This is out of 160 qualified players. The only players to finish below them are two Mariners (Kenji Johjima and Yuniesky Betancourt) and two players not currently on a major league roster (Ronny Cedeno and Angel Berroa). Right now, Hillenbrand has walked five times, which is worse than both the Mariners. The pesky Cano has walked 14 times, so he’ll have to cut down on that a little. Take that, Seattle!

5. With Josh Phelps gone, we need someone else’s D to complain about to take the heat off Jeter’s
Josh Phelps was run out of town, supposedly, because the Yanks didn’t like his D. So that was the talk of Yankees fans following his release. And if defense is the focus, you just know whose name is going to come up next: Derek Jeter, who has single-handedly sullied the name of the Gold Glove. What better way to defuse the situation than to add Hillenbrand’s butcher-esque glovework to the mix?

6. That’s TWO THREE former Red Sox…and counting
And it will be three once the Sox DFA Mike Timlin and Cashman swoops in. This, of course, will cause Chris Britton’s stomach to implode, leading the Yanks to ponder whether they’ve been wrong about him all along.

7. Imagine the confusion in the bleachers — how in the world do you chant his name?
Or will they even want to chant his name at all?

8. He’d be the most popular Shea in town
You see what I did there? I took the name of the player in question and made a clever pun out of it. Get it? Shea Hillenbrand…Shea Stadium. Oh, you didn’t need me to point it out? It’s old and hacky, you say? Well, someone alert Anthony Rieber of Newsday. And while you’re at it, get all the headline writers of every newspaper in the area, along with all the beat writers and all the columnists. Lord knows we wouldn’t want that kind of garbage to appear in every paper, a la “Yankee Clippard,” right?

9. Reversing the curses of 2001 and 2004
Not only is Hillenbrand a former Red Sock, he’s a former Diamondback, too. Granted, he didn’t play for the D’backs in 2001, just like he didn’t play for the Red Sox in 2004 (heh, actually, he played for the Red Sox in 2001 and the Diamondbacks in 2004). Since we’re so obviously cursed by those years, who better to reverse it than someone with close ties to both teams We won’t be losing a Game 7 with this guy on the club!

10. He has a less girly name than Shelley Duncan
I’m not the only one who realizes that this is the only reason he’s languishing in AAA, right? I think we can easily recreate the thought process that went into this non-move.

Cashman: Well, we could call up Shelley Duncan. But his name is Shelley. That’s not good for PR.
Torre: And he’s not a proven veteran.
Cashman: Blackballed it is.

Categories : Whimsy
  • TTHUNDER

    Does anyone know if Joba’s next start will be this Tuesday or Wednesday. His start yesterday was pushed to today b/c of rain, so I wonder if he’ll pitch his next game on 3 days rest or they’ll move him back a day? Anybody know?

  • Rich

    As Cliff said:

    http://bronxbanter.baseballtoa.....11026.html

    1) I’m sure the Angels’ decision to designate Shea Hillenbrand for assignment will be a big topic of discussion today. Since being traded to San Francisco in July 21 of last year, Hillenbrand, who has a reputation for being difficult, has hit .251/.275/.374 in 431 at-bats. Andy Phillips hit .240/.281/.394 last year in a smaller sample, plays better defense, and is beloved by his teammates.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    I saw these somments in the Anthony Reiber piece Joe linked too and just had to share it.

    Comment from “andrew”:

    why do the yankees need another selfish clubhouse cancer like shea hillebrand?

    aren’t clubbhouse loners (mussina, farns, sheffield) what got them in this in the first place.

    as long as they don’t wise up they will continue to flounder. its not torre’s fault he is given crap.

    Response from “Frank”:

    A loner is never a problem. The problem is always the primadonna, aka Derek Jeter. He’s the most self-centered, selfish, unmotivating player I’ve ever seen. Brosius, O’Neill, Bernie Williams were all loners. These guys showed up to play; not to ham it up for the cameras and suck up to every opposing player like Jeter does. If all the half homosexual Yankee fans who are so in love with Jeter treated him the same way the treated A-Rod then they would’ve booed and ran Jeter’s ass out of town with his near league leading errors. He’s a total pvssy and although he’s the captain by virtue of Steinbrenner’s appointment his own teammates NEVER EVER would’ve voted him their captain. Captain does not equal leader.

  • Kyle

    For future reference you almost lost a fan with that headline. Thankfully I was curious enough to read on and find the sarcasm. Signing Hillebrand is one of my biggest fears right now and its not nice to joke about

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben

    For future reference you almost lost a fan with that headline.

    Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or in this case, an article by its headline.

  • David

    Keep seeing all these calls to bring up S. Duncan, but if I’m not mistaken, he’s not on the 40-man roster, which means that somebody has to be cut in order to call Duncan up. That may be the reason why the Yanks are dragging their feet on this – I mean, he’s not much of a player, but he’s having his career year and he may as well do it in the big leagues, right?

  • http://mehmattski.blogspot.com mehmattski

    In all fairness, no one with a three-syllable name will be hard for the Bleacher Creatures to chant. It’s almost as easy as someone with a four-syllable full name (like John-ny Da-mon or De-rek Je-ter):

    Man-Cave-Itch!
    Hill-In-Brand!
    meh-matt-ski!

    See, it’s easy.

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    I think we can all agree that Colter Bean and his 6.18 ERA is no longer worthy of a 40-man spot.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    “In all fairness, no one with a three-syllable name will be hard for the Bleacher Creatures to chant.”

    Shhhhhh

  • Kyle

    Colter Bean, Jeff Kennard, and Kevin Reese are all on the 40 man, none of them would be a big loss

  • dan

    colter bean, kevin reese and bronson sardinha are all on the 40-man. sardinha is the only one that has a case to still be on the roster. I don’t understand the big deal about making a 40-man roster move. Cashman and torre always make it seem like that move will signal the end of the world. They have to go out and sign (or try to sign) shea hillenbrand instead of letting kevin reese get snatched up by the royals (OH NO!). If the yankees make the playoffs it will probably not be because of Shelley duncan on the team, BUT i can guarantee you that it will not be because of Colter and Kevin staying on the roster instead of shelley.

  • George

    Guys I enjoy reading what you write regarding our beloved Yankees, our minor league system and baseball in general. Original work that I enjoy reading.

    Presently we don’t know if Shelley Duncan is a better solution for the short term than Hillebrand. If you like history, it has shown us that when our team and season was at risk in 2005, we turned to players in our farm system named Wang, Small and Cano. Yes times may have changed and we have seen what this season has become – unbearable… I would prefer putting stock and faith in our system and give one of the two (Shelley or Erick) Duncan’s a chance (pending on which one plays better defense). Personally I feel that Hillebrand may not be happy sitting from time to time and his attitude is a negative.

    Not an original idea and may be way to late, but I would have preferred that they started the season with a better qualified backup catcher that could be a fairly consistent offensively and defensively, while “now” moving Posada to first base. Reducing Posada’s strain behind the plate and moving him to first (I know that doesn’t ensure us defensively) yet it would have been a possible solution and alternative in having him bat with Jason out and Mussina’s BS.

    One question, what’s going on with Jesus Montero? Plus can you follow up with some present up to date bios and analysis on some of their other key International signings from last year to now? And the who’s, who for this year International hot list?

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Montero rolled his ankle and will be out another 2 weeks or so. Once he’s ready he’ll join the GCL team. I’ve gotta do a little work to follow-up on last year’s international signees and preview some of this year’s hot names though…

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    Thanks for the compliments, George.

    I’m all with you on the Duncan issue. No, we don’t know if he can perform at this level, but I think he has a very good chance to perform to Hillenbrand’s level at least.

  • George

    Another injury? Put a band-aid on the season. Hopefully the big club will stop the bleeding tonight.

    Just an observation that maybe worth noting: When you look over the batters-vs-pitchers stats especially in tonight’s pitcher Cabrera, only A-Rod (not surprising) has hit home runs off of him. To me that just seems odd. In the past, you wouldn’t have seen that sort of stat, especially against a hard thrower, who the Yankees have faced before, at the stadium or Camden yards. Unless the team can pound and work the count on Cabrera, like they did Cain in Frisco, we may again be relying on the long ball from A-Rod to save us on this road trip. Nothing wrong with A=Rod hitting one out, but the “key fact for success” is getting this ship fixed as a team now/tonight.

  • John

    The Yanks already have two former BoSox on the roster (Damon and Myers). Shea and Timlin would move it to 4.

  • ANTHONY FROM THE BRONX

    ABREU LOOKS LOST AND SEEMS LIKE HE DOESNT CARE
    KNOW WEE KNOW WHY PHILLY FANS HATED THIS GUY
    MELKY HAS TO BE THE WEAKEST HITTING PLAYER IN BASEBALL
    DOES HE EVER HIT A LINE DRIVE
    MATSUI ROLLS HIS WRIST ON EVERY BALL BOUNCER TO 2ND
    DAMON NEEDS TO BE DLD
    MUSSINA IS THE BIGGEST BABY IN BASEBALL
    CLEMENS GOD WHAT A WASTE OF 28MIL PRORATED
    FRANSWORTH SUCKS
    MEYERS SUCKS
    CAIRIO SHOUDNT HAVE A YANKEE THE LAST 2YRS
    SOLUTIONS
    BRING SHELLEY UP
    BRING EDWIR UP
    LET HENN BE THE LEFTHANDER OUT OF THE PEN
    PLEASE SIGN OR TRADE FOR MILTON BRADLEY
    LET BASAK BE THE UTILITY MAN
    MAYBE GIVE ANDY PHILLIPS A 2 OR 3 WEEK RUN
    TRADE FRANSWORTH FOR ANYBODY
    SAMR FOR MEYERS
    SAME FOR MUSSINA
    HOPEFULLY CLEMENS PULLS A HAMMY
    GIVE HORNE A FEW STARTS
    WHAT IS BRITTON DOING IN AAA
    CANT BE ANY WORSE

  • Bart

    If Torre would simply write Phillips’ name in the line-up we might have enough data in a week to make a decision.

    Torre is the problem — even if you brought up S. Duncan, he wouldn’t get to play until Cairo broke a wrist or pulled a hammy – it requires a disaster for rookies (or half rookies like Phillips) to get extended playing time, and it takes a belief that you are in the lineup to stay to relax – few can relax when every at-bat is a test of “hit or sit” proportion.

    J. Damon was a bad signing – good guy – but replacing Williams aging body and defensivve play with Damon’s was unwise — it was a response to blowing a deal for Beltran and lwe are still reeling from the failure. The Yankee outfield is dismal with Abreu, Damon, and Matsui playing defense. Each has to outhit poor defensive play to keep the gane in balance. When they do the score is 8-4 – when they don’t it is 4-0. Pythagorian extrapolations don’t work when the day to day data stays lumpy. TheYankees are set up for critical failures – providing extra outs and extra bases to the opposition. Perhaps Giambi could have been enough of a difference – Hilenbrand certainly can’t.

    Then we have the problem of Joe Torre’s game mangement — gosh i love him but it is like watching a favorite doddering uncle try to skateboard.

    I think if you look at each lost game and several of the ones that were won you will find critical examples of – “not again”
    – I count 17 games that Torre has put in peril by action — wrong lineup – wrong relief pitcher – bunt – early hook (panic), late hook. He tolerates inept play from elders – but not rookies who might learn.

    17 games — despite the pitching, defense, lumpy offense — closes the gap if only half would have become wins — a reasonable coin toss average. He talks of going with the hot hand – he burns out the hot reliever, and overstays the hand with the Cairos. At least with Phelps he could have kept Posada in the lineup and pulled him from games that turned in a big offensive advantage early, risking that Nieves could finish. Not now – Hilenbarnd is not an upgrade over Phelps.

    Cairo, Nieves and a Pitcher should never, ever be in the same batting order. There is a hint at one of the 17. Cairo and Nieves should never be in the same lineup — how close does that get me to 17?

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    Anthony,

    “MELKY HAS TO BE THE WEAKEST HITTING PLAYER IN BASEBALL”

    Of all your complaints, I disagree with this the most (followed closely by Roger). He’s been hitting great this month.

    And as I type this, he hits and RBI double.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    Bart, I think you fairly summed up our collective frustrations.

  • brxbmrs

    Something tells me this would be even funnier if there wasn’t so much truth embedded in it – especially the PR comment inre Shelley Duncan.

    Guess the only way to lose your job in the Bronx is to divorce the Boss’s daughter.

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