I don’t know anything about the Rangers, except that they’re the surprise first-place team in the AL West and their fans will boo A-Rod and Tex.
Oh, and that Josh Hamilton hit all those homers in the Derby at Yankee Stadium last year but didn’t win it.
What about the rest of the position players? The Yankees face them today and I felt the need to be more prepared. So here’s what I’ve learned.
1) Ian Kinsler.
He’s their leadoff guy and has 12 homers and 33 RBIs. But only one walk? Sounds like a free-swinger to me. Tip to Hughes: throw him stuff out of the zone.
2) Michael Young.
He went to college at Cal-Santa Barbara? I didn’t even know there was a Cal-Santa Barbara and I live here. Hm. But his favorite player growing up was Mattingly and he’s the ambassador for Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer, so he must be a good guy.
3) John Hamilton.
Mr. Home Run Derby only has six dingers so far this season, so he must be due. Tip to Hughes: don’t groove any.
4) Nelson Cruz.
A former basketball player in the Dominican, he can probably leap for balls in the outfield. Tip to Yankees: hit hard liners into the gap, not in the air.
5) Marlon Byrd.
Not much to say here, except that one of his hobbies is weightlifting and that his favorite TV show growing up was “The Cosby Show.” Tip to Yankees: don’t let him lift you and mention Phylicia Rashad.
6) Chris Davis.
He was selected by the Yankees out of high school in the 2004 draft – but didn’t sign. The nerve. So far this season, he has SIXTY-FOUR STRIKEOUTS. Tip to Hughes: be aggressive in the zone and go right at him.
7) Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Not only does he have the longest last name in the majors, but he was born on my birthday. That means he’s a Taurus and is very stubborn. Tip to Yankees: don’t argue with him.
8) Elvis Andrus.
I wonder how many times his teammates have said, after a game, “Elvis has left the building.” The Venezuelan-born rookie shortstop has an older brother named Erold in the Rays organization. But the real point of interest is that his favorite player growing up was Derek Jeter. Tip to Jeter: Talk to him and he’ll be so star-struck he’ll screw up.
I’ll leave the pitching for another post. This should at least lay some groundwork for a successful series.