The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pinch hitting: David Brandwein

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Pinch hitters on Feb 02, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Next up in our Pinch Hitters series is David Brandwein, a college professor in the Department of Doctoral Studies at Kean University. He is a lifelong Yankees fan who said his fondest Yankees memory came during Picture Day at Yankee Stadium during the 1980’s where he saw Dave Winfield catch a batting practice fly by jumping at the right-field wall, all while “singing ‘Jump’ while Van Halen’s Jump was playing over the Stadium PA,” David wrote.

For his guest post, David made the case that it’s time for a Yankees youth movement… no matter the cost.

“Let Them Play, Let Them Play, Let Them Play”

OK, take your mind to October 2011. You wake up on the final day of the baseball season and see the following:

**Red Sox 100-62  –
*Rays 87-75 13
Yankees 86-76 14
Blue Jays 83-79  17
Orioles 76-86 24

** Division Winner
* Wild Card Winner

OK, I know this is enough to make some of you say, “I’m not reading this anymore”, but please… give me a minute or two of your valuable internet time.

Some you might have read the title to this blog entry and immediately went to the scene in The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training — my favorite baseball movie — where thousands of fans in the Houston Astrodome wanted to see two Little League teams more than the Astros (hey, in the 1970’s, would you have wanted to see the Astros play?)

But, that is not what I am talking about.

The “Let Them Play” refers to the kids, the prospects, our future… Montero, Romine, Brackman, Nova, Betances. Now, if Seattle calls up and offers Felix Hernandez for any combination of these guys, I will pack their bags, book their flights, and drive them to the airport. Outside of that remote possibility, though, I would be willing to give these guys a chance — now.

Put Montero behind the plate, make Nova the fourth starter, and let Brackman and Betances fight it out for fifth starter and/or long reliever. It might mean missing the playoffs in 2011, and it might be painful to watch at times, but I think the team needs to know if these kids can get the job done. I, for one, think they should get the shot.

If last season was any indication of what baseball is becoming, youth (especially young pitching) and speed will reign. Right now, the Yankees are behind the curve. We saw that, painfully, in the ALCS last year. Without the kids, will it be any different this year?

Now, take yourself to the last day of the baseball season in 2012. You wake up and see the following:

Montero .325 BA, 25 HR,  125 RBI
Nova 3.75 ERA, 17 wins, 8 losses
Brackman 3.90 ERA, 15 wins,  6 losses
Betances 4.10 ERA, 13 wins, 7 losses
Yankees 97 wins, 63 losses, 1st place

We could have the makings of a lasting, cheap dynasty, showing everyone that the Yankees can win without spending more than the gross national product of a third-world country. What would Red Sox fans say then?

Associated Press photo of Nova

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