Welcome to the Bronx, Chase Headley! A game-winning single and a Gataorade bath marked Headley’s debut on the New York Yankees.
It must have been a whirlwind of a day for the newly acquired Yankee. Early Tuesday afternoon, Headley was traded to the Yankees from the San Diego Padres. He was at Wrigley Field with the Padres when the Yankees’ wasted no time in getting him to the Bronx to help them in their excruciatingly long game against the Texas Rangers.
Taking the number 12 (Yankees not missing Soriano so much) and of course shaving his scruff before getting on the field, Headley entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 8th..
His first three at bats were hitless. Understandable for a guy who probably hasn’t processed this changed of scenery yet.
Being a true athlete, Headley didn’t let the forces around him defeat him. He got up to plate in the 14th inning, swung the bat and BAM! A hit right down left-center field to bring in Brian Roberts for a game-winning single, ending the game, 2-1! His new teammates rushed to greet him on the field, bouncing around him all smiles while Brett Gardner poured the Gatorade on top of his head.
During a postgame interview with the New York Daily News, Headley said:
“When I found out about the trade, obviously you have mixed emotions when you’ve been at a place for as long as I’ve been in San Diego. But I couldn’t be happier to be a Yankee. It’s unbelievable. I can’t even believe I’m saying that. Long day, but great way to finish.”
General manager Brian Cashman sent Yangervis Solarte and a minor league pitcher Rafael De Paula to the Padres for Headley, plus about $1 million. A third baseman with a career batting average of .266, Headley was drafted by the Padres in 2005 and played all eight years for them.
Headley wasn’t the only one making his pinstripe debut. Newly acquired pitcher Jeff Francis also started his first game for the Yankees. He wasn’t so bad either, he recorded three outs in the 14th inning also aiding in the victory.
But this leads me to ask what’s going to happen once Alex Rodriguez comes back to take his spot at third? Is Headley just a temporary replacement for these next two months? He will be a free agent at the end of the year, so it’s very possible that he may be with yet another team next season.
Since the Yankees didn’t give up much in this trade for Headley, I imagine Cashman is very much still on the hunt for that savior of a pitcher they’ve been looking for.
Follow @isportsweb on Twitter