Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Countdown To Opening Day: #46

Are Yankee fans racist? Maybe just a little bit?

Remember last year, when LaTroy Hawkins was continuously booed because he was sporting Paul O'Neill's #21? It probably didn't help that he gave up six runs in 2/3 of an inning in his second appearance in the Bronx, and had an ERA over 10.00 as late as his 10th outing. However, the 5 Yankees who donned #46 after Andy Pettitte left for Houston weren't that much better, but no one bothered to boo them and petition for Pettitte's number to be retired.


Donovan Osborne was the first to pull on a #46 jersey after Pettitte left in 2003. On May 15th, 2004, Osbourne became the first Yankee since Babe Ruth to start a game for the Yanks after not starting a game for over 5 years. He gave up six runs in 5 innings and never appeared in another game for the Yankees. That year he pitched 17 2/3 innings gave up 14 home runs, and, um, sucked.

Next up was Darrell May. He was traded from the Padres to the Yankees in early July of 2005 and made his first appearance for the Yankees at the Stadium against the Indians on July 9th. May allowed 7ER in 4 1/3 IP and surrendered 3 HRs. His next outing was in Fenway Park and was equally atrocious. May came into to replace Tim Redding who was battered for 6 runs in the first inning, and gave up 6 more of his own in the followed 2 1/3. After giving up 13 earned runs in seven innings with the Bombers, George Steinbrenner had him shipped to an internment camp in Peru. May was never seen or heard from again.

Later that same year, Alan Embree was added to the Yankees after being released by the Red Sox. While with Boston, Embree gave up only two runs in 13 1/3 postseason innings, but was marginal during the regular season, with ERAs above 4. He arrived with an ERA of 7.88 and amazingly his ERA never rose to 8.00 or dropped below 7.00 while he was with the Yanks. He appeared in 14 1/3 innings over 24 games and gave up 12 ER. The Rockies signed Embree for $2.5M for the 2009 season. Good luck with that.

In 2006, Scott Erickson slipped on #46 for nine relief appearances in May and June. His 7.94ERA reflects the fact that he gave up 10 earned in 11 1/3. Like Darrell May, Erickson's last game with the Yankees game with the Red Sox, and he gave up 2 runs in 2/3 of an inning. He was sent to Uruguay.

In July of that year, a position player actually had the honor of donning Andy's numeral. The Yankees claimed Aaron Guiel off waivers from the Royals where he had spent parts of 5 seasons. He played only 4 complete games, but appeared in 44 for the Yanks and actually posted an OPS+ of 99 and popped four home runs.


You are all racists. I rest my case.

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