SPANISH HARLEM – As spring training draws closer, the Yankees still don’t know who their starting first baseman will be. Will it be Greg Bird? Or will it be Tyler Austin? And as the NBA season marches on, will the Knicks finally bite the bullet and trade Carmelo Anthon? I hope not!
Who’s On First?
The Bombers’ brass have stated that Greg Bird and Tyler Austin will battle it out to see who starts the season at first base. Some fans will remember that two years ago, Greg Bird, took over for Mark Teixeira after his season/career ended due to injury. Bird hit .261 with 11 homers and 31 RBI… those numbers may not pop but when you consider he only played in 41 games, after starting the season in the Triple A, you start to see a player that may be destined for stardom. There was a lot of hype for Bird coming into that season as he was the Yankees best hitting prospect and had excelled in every level up to that point. Many fans, like me, couldn’t wait to see what a full year would look like for the young hitter but that did not come to fruition, as he missed 2016 season due to shoulder surgery.
Last year fans got to see Tyler Austin, who was considered a fairly good prospect, or the first time. He finally had a break-out season in the minors. As a diehard Yanks fan, I remember reading about Austin, who many scouts liked but had a hard time staying on the field due to injuries. When Austin was brought up, he was a feel good story in that he was released by the Yankees prior to the season but was brought back when other teams decided against signing him. What made his story even more appealing was when he hit a home run in his first MLB at bat. It was the moment that Yankees fans became enamored with the youth movement and made it easier to believe that the future was now.
As the saying goes in baseball, “It’s a good problem to have.” So it’s definitely not a bad thing for a manager when you have two players that are capable of starting. Both have stated they want to start and will come to spring training ready to show why they should, but my gut tells me it will be Bird. Why? Because Bird was the more highly-touted prospect and considered the successor to Teixeira. Even though Tyler had the type of season many were hoping for, Bird is a player who consistently put up good numbers in the minors. My call is that Joe Girardi will go with the more proven player in Greg Bird (if injuries do not interfere).
For those thinking Austin will be regulated to the bench, he also played outfield in the minors, so Girardi will find a place for him in the lineup if he continues to produce when given opportunity.
Should the Knicks trade Carmelo Anthony?
I have always wanted to write about this subject fo two reasons; my love for the Knicks and my love for Carmelo Anthony. Please understand that Anthony is my favorite player and this was before he became a Knick, so you can imagine how excited I was when the team acquired him in a trade. It was a dream come true for me; I finally got a chance to see my favorite player on my favorite team.
Nothing could go wrong… or so i thought.
As the years have gone by, I have become torn when it comes to discussing Melo and the Knicks. Is it the right time to trade him? If they do trade him, what can they get? The respective answers are no and close to nothing.
Every year there comes a point when the media thinks it’s time to discuss whether or not to trade Anthony. This year is no different, as the Knicks have once again turned an average season into a disaster. I’m here to say I want Melo to stay a Knick and I also want the team to be good. Have the Knicks made me question my loyalty? Absolutely! But in the end I want them both to be great.
It is disappointing when Anthony himself has stated that he is the type to lead by example, and yet I see him getting ejected from games. Sometimes you have to look in the mirror and say, “What can I do to help my team?” and if that’s not working then you try harder the next time!
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