(With apologies to John Sterling for stealing his schtick.)
I really like Vernon Wells.
This isn’t earth-shattering news by any means and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way but last night’s events solidified it. And I’m not talking about his performance in last night’s win over the Colorado Rockies, I am talking about his post game quotes and a postgame tweet.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t well versed in ‘Vernon Wells.’ I knew of his huge contract and the disappointing performances with both Toronto and Anaheim but I had no idea what kind of person he was.
If yesterday is any indication, Wells is a pretty cool guy and I think I want to hang out with him.
Last night, in the top of the ninth, Yankee fans realized that because of a combination substitutions in the lineup and injuries, the Yankees were going to be without a third baseman in the bottom of the frame. On Twitter, people were joking about suiting up for the Yankees and one of my Twitter friends even suggested her cat do it.
When the tweets started coming in from Denver saying that Vernon Wells was making his way to the field to play third base, most people were flabbergasted. Fans of other teams were making sure they tune in on MLB.tv to see it. Those people were mocking the Yankees for having this happen.
I mean look at this series of events:
Mariano Rivera replaces Travis Hafner (PH) pitching and batting 7th
Chris Stewart replaces Austin Romine playing C batting 9th
Vernon Wells moves from LF to 3B
Ichiro Suzuki moves from RF to LF
Brennan Boesch moves from PH to RF
Can you blame them?
So the first out of the inning was a fly out to centerfield. Some Yankee fans actually voiced disappointment because they wanted to see what would happen if Wells had a chance to make a play.
Turns out, they wouldn’t have to wait long.
The next batter, Carlos Gonzalez, hit a ball towards the 3B-SS hole and Wells moving to his left, scooped up the ball and threw it to first for the 5-3 putout. It was a pretty nice play considering Wells hadn’t played a positon in the infield since high school.
The reaction at the ballpark was loud, as if it were the final out of the game at Yankee Stadium only in Coors Field.
Isn’t that always the way? Remember the time Jorge Posada played second base for the Yankees and he ended up assisting on the last out of the game much to the delight and amusement of Nick Swisher who received the wonky throw to first?
Next, Willin Rosario hit a fly ball to Brett Gardner to end the game and preserve the win for the Yankees.
Ballgame over, Yankees win!
After last night’s game, the beat reporters descended on Wells with good reason. It wasn’t just because of his defensive play in the ninth inning, he also had a great game offensively, finishing 3-4 with two RBI.
Wells was like a giddy little boy after the game tweeting:
Just played 3B behind Mo!!! #ThatJustHappened
— Vernon Wells (@VernonWells10) May 9, 2013
He also told reporters that the one time he played the infield in high school it was because all of the players in the infield had failed their classes.
Another thing I like about Wells, he is apparently a big fan of the show Scandal on ABC. He’s also not afraid or embarrassed to admit it. Not that he should be but you know how guys get sometimes when they watch shows that are skewed more towards a female audience, they tend to joke about watching the show or they say their girlfriends or wives forced them to watch. Not Vernon! He will proudly tweet about Scandal, even using the show’s Twitter handle and ask how it was or he’ll talk about how he missed it and how it needs to catch up.
Many people laughed when the Yankees traded for Vernon Wells. He was terrible with Anaheim, so he’d probably be terrible with the Yankees, right? Wrong. So far he is batting .287/.341/.504/.846 with seven home runs and 15 RBI and he looks like he’s having fun playing baseball for the first time in a while.
Coming to the Yankees seems to have taken some pressure off of Wells and he is just able to play baseball without the whispers about his contract. But that’s what happens when you come to a team filled with ludicrous contracts. You become just a face in the crowd.
A happy, more relaxed face.