HOLLYWOOD STAR LANES, CA – The Mets have a guy named Duda. Why haven’t I been informed? Has everyone already put the word “bides” after his name?
And if The Duda-bides, then with the September call-ups last week the Yankees got their own Jesus. This wasn’t total news, Yankee fans have been hearing about Jesus’s coming for at least two years now. The Yankees’ farm system had been taking some lumps, the team had tossed big money at free agents that off season and won the World Series, and all of a sudden here was this Venezuelan kid Baseball America was calling one of the best prospects in the game. And he’s a catcher?
But the luster wore off over a season moving slowly up the ladder with a series of odd injuries–including a two balls on one pitch kind of injury–and when he didn’t knock the cover off the ball in spring training Yankee fans yawned and looked to Banuelas and Betances. But our own Angry Ward posted a picture of Montero and his ridiculously endowed girlfriend (that I sadly can’t find) that was most intriguing. The Montero picture comes into sharper relief…it’s very possible that he’s a tool. His catching was suspect, his hitting underwhelming, and yet there remained that smug swagger of an entitled lifelong stud. Yankee fans found that they could live with trading him away for a front line starter (by the way, in his six starts since becoming an Indian, Ubaldo Jimenez has given up six bombs and is a mediocre 2-1)…but Cashman held firm. Last week the word spread quickly, Betances and Banuelos are staying put, but the Jesus is getting his chance…and with Posada’s implosion nearly complete, the timing felt right.
Fortunately the Yankees have never shied away from tools, and the beauty of a tool like Montero is that he may well be “a beast in the middle of our line-up” as Cashman referred to him last week (right after dropping names like Manny Ramirez and Miggy Cabrera), and it’ll drive all the anti-Yankee fans insane. This is what we Yankee fans truly get off on, and everyone knows it, which makes it all the more fun when a Montero works out. Called up and dropped right into a September series for first place at Fenway Park on Friday, in his first AB the Jesus stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, with that big lantern jaw and his hunched over stance, and looked completely over matched by Jon Lester. Later on, though, he takes one for the team and comes around and scores the go ahead run. On Saturday in his third at bat he got his first hit, a humpback liner over the hole at shortstop. Kudos to Joe Girardi for taking him out after that, allowing Montero to go to bed that night knowing his last AB was a hit. The next day he collects two more hits right away. Sure, he’s only hitting lefties right now, but so far the Yanks haven’t lost with him in the line-up and they’re in first place. Might this work out?
It may be too early for Yankee fans to… love Jesus, but it’s not too early for everyone else to start hating him. He needs to start exploiting this, and can start by having the Gypsy Kings’ version of Hotel California as his walk up music.