The Cervelli Story

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The Cervelli Story
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Sports Illustrated featured four members of the New York Yankees on their cover a few weeks ago. Nicknamed “The Core Four,” the members included Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, and Jorge Posada. But anyone can write a story on those guys. You are talking about the top players on arguably the best team in baseball. Seems like a real blatantly obvious and lazy way out in terms of writing a story to me.

I get bashed for being a Yankee fan. I hear the same things over and over. The Yankees buy championships and all that other nonsense. But I am not like all other Yankee fans. I like to focus on the little guys. Brian Cashman and whichever Steinbrenner is now running the team may like to buy all the best players… but as a fan, that doesn’t mean that is what I want. Of course the current method is working. But it is still important to focus on the little guys.

You can’t call me a bandwagoner either. Back on February 22 , I wrote an article about backup catcher Francisco Cervelli. I called him the “Yankee Sleeper.” With Posada suffering from injuries this season, the focus has turned to Francisco Cervelli and it is about time we give this guy some credit. Let us go over some basic stats, shall we?

Cervelli, after his five RBI performance on May 8 in the Yankees 14-3 victory over the Red Sox, has now played in 14 games this season. In those 14 games he has 12 RBI, and has 18 hits in 42 at-bats (.429).

Now let us go slightly more in depth. As fans, we like players to be CLUTCH. We talk about how great a player like Alex Rodriguez is, but in the past we have still faulted him for not being clutch in certain situations. So let us take into consideration one simple clutch stat for Cervelli this year.

Lets look at the “within 2 runs” stat. When the Yankees are within 2 runs, how does Cervelli do? In these situations, Cervelli is 11-22 (.500) and has 6 RBI. That means that half of Cervelli’s RBI’s this season have been clutch RBI’s. But even if he isn’t driving in the runs, he is still getting on base (with 11 hits and 4 walks) in these situations allowing the team to get their way back into the game.

Cervelli in today’s game versus the Red Sox, he had a big game-tying RBI hit. I think what adds to the impressiveness is just the fact that Cervelli just overall is inexperienced, but he is also accomplishing this in Fenway Park in what is probably the most heated rivalry in sports. Also keep in mind that the hit came prior to the rain delay so all the rowdy Red Sox fans were still there.

But in all honesty, I am just happy that I wrote an article about Cervelli back in February and you all thought I was on crack. But just note that my drug use in this case is irrelevant. I was right. I could also mention the great catch he made by the dugout the other day but I think we all know Cervelli is a great defensive catcher….right?

I understand Yankee fans would like the 20 HR hitting Posada in the lineup. But there is no need to be too down in the dumps.

But Cervelli is helping the Yankees out in a big way. We know he has no future with the Yankees. Jorge Posada is the Yankees’ guy now, and Jesus Montero is the future. But the Yankees can trade Cervelli whenever they please and get someone decent in return if he continues to play well. We will see how the season continues to play out but when the trade deadline rolls around, the possibility of Cervelli departing and a solid reliever coming in is not so out there in my opinion. If it were my choice, I’d keep Cervelli… but as I mentioned before, I don’t make the choices.

Oh and before I didn’t make this obvious for comedic reasons, but I just want to also make the public aware that I am not a drug user.

–Mark Elliot Wishnia–

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