There's no denying that Eric Chavez is nowhere near the player he used to be. When your back has been through more wear and tear than Batman's after he got done getting his shit wrecked by Bane (spoiler alert), that's to be expected. He looked about as washed up as a mid-30s player could in his first season with the Yankees in 2011, and I wasn't exactly jumping for joy at the idea of bringing him back again this season.
I'm very happy to say that I was dead wrong about Chavez and I'm even happier to eat any crow I deserve for my lack of faith. Chavez has been both healthy (212 PA already, almost 40 more than last season) and incredibly productive (.284/.344/.511, .359) for the Yankees this season, and has been a key cog in helping overcome issues with injuries and underperformance around the corner infield spots. And now he's added a new wrinkle to his resurgence in the form of being a clubhouse spokesperson. Earlier in the week, Chavez spoke very candidly about the Yankees' recent struggles and his thoughts on the matter:
“There should be a high level of concern. Anybody who says
that there isn’t is lying. You’ve just got to win ballgames, and we’re not
finding a way to do that, and it should be a concern. It’s that time of the year
when, yeah, it’s a concern. We need to start playing good and winning games.”
And yesterday, after receiving a bit of backlash for his previous comment:
“We’ve been losing. So if anybody’s comfortable with that — I
know I wasn’t. We had a nine-game lead two weeks ago, and that’s gone. I just
want to win. I just want to get back to the postseason, and I’d like to have the
biggest lead we possibly can have to do it.”
While I don't necessarily agree with his comments about A-Rod's absence, I'm totally on board with everything Chavez said there and applaud him for speaking his mind.
Around the Empire: Yankees news - 5/27/16
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