Bobby Abreu drew a key, nine-pitch walk in his second at bat as a Yankee last night. It loaded the bases, and after A.J. Burnett came back to strike out Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams sent three runners home with a double to the gap in left center field (Alex Rodriguez had doubled home the first New York run earlier in the inning). The Yanks had a 4-1 lead, would add another run, and go on to defeat the Blue Jays, 5-1. Coupled with a Red Sox loss, the Yanks are now tied for first in the AL East.
Abrue was hitless in three other at bats, but was recieved warmly in the Bronx, hustling out a ground ball in his first at bat, and making a routine play closer than should have been. Jaret Wright threw a season-high 103 pitches, which got him through five innings. Ron Villone, Scott Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth pitched well in relief.
Gary Sheffield, expected to go mental with the addition of Abreu, had nothing but good things to say to reporters yesterday. According to Brian Lewis in The New York Post:
“A championship is on the way and that’s what I’m looking forward to. I’m hurt; I can’t help this club. They’ve got to do what they got to do to help this club. I’m all for it,” Sheffield said. “If this helps I’m all for it.
“When I first got here, before Alex Rodriguez got here, I was willing to play third base. Thank God that didn’t happen, but I feel the same way about this. I can do anything on the field: outfield, third base, first base. As long as I can get that ring I’m all for it.”
Sheffield apparently has already ordered a first baseman’s glove and is prepared to fight for a job. He was an odd mix of humility and hubris, something he called the “mystique of me,” in Reggie-esque fashion.
“I love that people are in my face thinking this can’t be done. I’ll be laughing at the end: Watch me. You ask anybody on any team in the league would they want to be battling me over a position, they’ll lose every time,” said Sheffield, who’ll see Dr. Charles Melone next Tuesday, and was bemused that many predicted he would erupt at Abreu’s arrival.
“The first thing I did when I saw him was give him a hug. I wanted him to feel welcome. It’s funny how people can think for you and tell you what you’re going to do. Y’all think you know what I’m going to do, but you don’t. Nobody knows. That’s the mystique of me.”
It’s not quite on par with Reggie’s “magnitude of me,” line, but it’s pretty good. And though Sheffield’s mood has been known to turn suddenly and without warning, the Yankees (and their fans) must be breathing a sigh of relief to see him handling the Abreu deal in such good spirits.