Eduardo Nunez Of The Above

As I watched the replay of Eduardo Nunez’s 127th fielding chance of the season turn into his 11th error of the season (and open up the gates of hell for five unearned Toronto runs in the New York Yankees’ defensive inning of the second half), I was reminded of two virtually identical sentences about Nunez that were spoken, months apart, by two different Major League General Managers.

“As near as I can tell,” the first told me, “there are only two clubs who believe Nunez is anything more than a glorified utility infielder – the Yankees and Seattle.” The other said “I believe only two teams believe Nunez is more than a utilityman – maybe a Wilson Betemit. Seattle and the Yankees. And I’m not sure the Yankees really believe it.”

Both of these GM’s believed, but could not offer evidence about, the story that the Yankees and Mariners had agreed on a deal last summer of Cliff Lee for Jesus Montero and somebody, and then when M’s GM Jack Zduriencik demanded that the somebody be Nunez, Brian Cashman bailed out.

So if you’re Seattle, sometimes your best deals are indeed the ones the other GM isn’t sharp enough to take you up on, and take you to the cleaners with.

Nunez is not a major league infielder. There was a joke going around the Yankees earlier this year that he was on the roster entirely to make Derek Jeter look like a defensive all-star. Now the joke is, the Yankees feel they can trust all those whistling liners towards left that A.J. Burnett and Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia and Sergio (“Who Am I? What Am I Doing Here?”) Mitre will surrender in the second half, to Eduardo Nunez and what was his .920 fielding average before #11 dribbled away tonight.

The GM who doubted that the Yankees really thought highly of Nunez said if I could see his scouting reports on Yank prospects and compare them to New York’s own I would assume there were 50 or so Yankee farmhands who had the same names as other, far lesser players. It is not atypical for teams to hype prospects – the trade market is now largely based on prospects – but it is awfully unusual to see a team actually begin to believe its inflated opinion of a minor leaguer.

Nunez already disproved theories that he might be a big league shortstop (91 chances, 9 errors). Now he’s working on third base. They’ve only experimented with him in the outfield and there might yet to be salvation there. He seems to have a viable bat, with a little pop, and a propensity to get very hot for very short periods of time. But if this is all he’s going to be, and they didn’t trade him and Montero for Cliff Lee, the Yankee front office is sillier than it seems even from the outside.

My goodness, as I was finishing this up, he just fumbled another one and just barely got the ball to second for the force (on a high throw). Which makes this headline laugh-out-loud funny.


  1. Maisy

    That headline is only funny if it doesn’t make you weep, as it does me. It’s going to be a long, long second half.

  2. Mr. T

    Long time reader, first time commenting. I watch just about every Yankee game all season. I can’t believe they have kept this guy in the bigs this long. He is an awful fielder! THREE bad plays tonight. And glad you mention Mitre here, too. I do not know what Girardi sees in this guy. He has not succeeded anywhere!

  3. Sam

    I’m still mad at Cashman for not agreeing to throw Nunez in with Montero for Lee. Lee may have re-signed with the Yankees once he got there– or at least helped them repeat. But Cashman acts like Nunez is the next Bernie Williams– or Derek Jeter. He just doesn’t pull off the big deal like Epstein does– Beckett/Lowell for Hanley, for instance. Oh well– the Yanks have J.C. Romero. Stop the presses.

  4. Real Yanks Fan

    Oh Keith, how long is it going to take to get over your Oldtimers Day snub? You are really something else — using your baseball blog to get back at Yankee mgmt like a little kid. I notice there was no mention of the captain of your favorite team hitting a milestone. What was the petty reason that led you to decide not to cover Jeter’s 3000th hit? Not on good terms with Derek either ?

    How can I read the column of someone so subjective and biased. Grow up…

    • Patricia Powell Couvillion

      Real Yanks Fan, sometimes devotion can impair vision. I know I have to be careful of that myself. I catch myself loving somebody so much that I no longer can see any fault or flaw. I forget that people tend to be human and all fall short. Perhaps REAL YANKS FANS are the ones who truly try to see what is NOT perfect, what IS flawed, so they can help the team to achieve all it can be. A real fan might just want the Yankees to do the right thing, to be fair and honest, and to become the very best version of themselves. You think Keith Olbermann has never been snubbed before? Do you really believe everyone has been fair and honest and kind to him? The man calls them as he sees them. Unlike most folks, he is not afraid to say what he thinks, even though he knows for sure it will be misconstrued by some. Do you really think he needed to cover Jeter’s hit, when everyone else in the world had already done so? Maybe someone who is subjective and biased has trouble reading Baseball Nerd. Keep in mind, it is not called Yankee Nerd. And on growing up, he is already taller than you. I am certain. But then, I will admit I am biased. ;o)

      • Real Yanks Fan

        I’m not saying he has to cover the 3000th hit. It is a popular story, however I’m also a little sickened at the way it has become the uber-marketing opportunity, selling branded baseballs at whatnot. But the Yankees are not the only ones guilty of that sort of thing in this day and age.

        FWIW, I thought I’d call KO out on his lack of coverage of a big story, which confirms my suspicion, from reading his blog for some time, that he kind of has an axe to grind when it comes to the Yankees. And this was only escalated by his Oldtimers Day snub, but the snub was really brought on by his own actions.

        Look, I’m a fan of the game too, and not just of the pinstripes. But if KO has a problem with NYY mgmt, which I think he clearly does, then he should seek other avenues instead of using his blog to take veiled shots. For the record, he is bigger than me, but only in height.

  5. John

    “Perhaps REAL YANKS FANS are the ones who truly try to see what is NOT perfect, what IS flawed, so they can help the team to achieve all it can be.”
    Yes, I’m sure Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenners are having daily meetings to discuss Keith Olbermann’s latest expostulations, without which the team cannot achieve its full potential…
    Olbermann is an angry, crotchety individual. It is apparent in his demeanor, his writing, and his language. He devoted recent posts to Ryan Vogelsong and Dee Gordon (who?), but nary a mention of Derek Jeter hitting a home run for his 3,000th hit in a game in which he went 5-for-5, including a game-winning RBI single. Olbermann has foretold so frequently of Jeter’s imminent demise that it would pain him to offer credit or kind words, even for such a monumental accomplishment.
    If you can’t see that Patricia, I think we can safely say that this is one of those instances you mentioned of you “loving somebody so much that (you) no longer can see any fault or flaw.”

    • Dale Sams

      “but nary a mention of Derek Jeter hitting a home run for his 3,000th hit in a game in which he went 5-for-5, including a game-winning RBI single”

      Because that’s what Derek Jeter needs, more press.

  6. John

    It has nothing to do with what he needs…it’s what he deserves. Becoming the 28th member of the 3000 hit club is a statistical accomplishment that should be recognized by any self proclaimed “baseball nerd.”

  7. John

    Good for you Patricia. Reach out to Keith…maybe the comforting words of a sympathetic loyalist is what it will take to transform his state of mind.

    • Patricia Powell Couvillion

      I love his mind like it is. Yours is okay, too. I want to try to accept folks if I can. He does not need me to be comforting or sympathetic. He has like over 300,000 followers on twitter. He is adored by so many. I hope not to transform his mind too much, because his brilliance is what delights me so…and all my pals who follow him as well. I think The Yankees did him dirty. They could have called him to let him know they were letting him go from Old Timers. But it is okay. He is strong and deals with stuff way better than I ever could. Also, in following him on twitter, I have learned that he supports numerous ball clubs and players. They truly seem to admire and respect him. They are always happy to take photos with him. There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of mean in that. You know? His mom was the big Yankees fan…his dad not so much. His dad did not like it when two Yankees were traded years ago. And Keith…I think is more a baseball fan than a Yankees fan. I am just learning about baseball now. I used the Yankees to study how things go in the baseball world…they were like my model. I used Wrigley field to learn dimensions of diamond and such. I am an old English teacher and spent a lot of time preaching against sports…as it was sometimes valued over learning…throughout my thirty years in the trenches. You may be right…his mind may need some transformation. But, if so, wouldn’t that just make him human like the rest of us? We all fall short. Who among us is perfect? Also, I want to mention that I have cognitive loss from my MS, so I am not always 100%. Sometimes it is hard for me to figure things out. But I do kinow that I don’t want to hurt anybody in the world…not you or Keith. I wish you only the best. And I am sorry if I caused any upset. Best of everything!

  8. Kiko Jones

    Oh Keith, how long is it going to take to get over your Oldtimers Day snub? You are really something else — using your baseball blog to get back at Yankee mgmt like a little kid. I notice there was no mention of the captain of your favorite team hitting a milestone. What was the petty reason that led you to decide not to cover Jeter’s 3000th hit? Not on good terms with Derek either?

    Um, yeah.
    I’m one of the last people on Earth who would suggest Jeter get more press, but not even mentioning the 3K hits milestone in passing makes KO look quite petty.

  9. Patricia Powell Couvillion

    I think he grinds all kinds of axes here at the blog. My goodness, he says lots about many different teams. Know what I mean? Yes, they are selling Jeter dirt and I suggested that his spit was priceless. The capitalism is common, perhaps. I knew he was taller than you. Just don’t let him have a bigger heart. Keep in mind, too, that I am no pro. I have learned so much at baseball nerd…ever since I started reading it years ago. It is a great teaching tool and I am an old teacher…ya know? I posted Jeter’s hit at my facebook and cried at the joy on Posada’s face…and Cano’s face…it was just grand! I am still learning how to be a fan.

  10. CasanovaVet

    wow you guys are quick to throw Nunez under the bus..does the word rookie mean anything to you? besides this guy is only gonna get better as the season progresses….trust me his fielding is not the best but he swings a big bat………….ask Lou Piniella how he feels about Nunez as the start of this season

  11. Patricia Powell Couvillion

    I hear ya, History. I have enjoyed reading your posts here, too! People will find any reason to be mean, if they want to be mean. You know me. I love the guy. He sees the big picture, and life is tough sometimes for people who have that kind of vision. A broad, inclusive view scares a lot of folks. They get intimidated, and scared. I think most of Keith’s followers literally have been helped by him…through his words. I know I have. I was unjustly fired after thirty-something years of teaching. Countdown was on right after I was fired. It made me feel like I was not alone, like there was someone else in the world out there who understood me. His views and inclusive nature made me feel like I really mattered, like I belonged. With years of being fired, came years of poverty and depression would try to creep in. I know I am not alone when I say that the guy is a lifesaver. He knows the sport…and he knows politics…and I will never have an unkind word for him. Take care. Hugs.

  12. tips for beauty

    Get over KO is not a Yankee apologizist and that is not his job to be one, that is not what being a journalist even a sports journalist means. Patirce some Yankee fans need to learn what legit critism is, again I do not mind critism of KO all I expect is for him to be who he is and I know that is a person that has his flaws like everyone else that makes me love him is the fact that he is human along with being a great journalist, but all Yankee fans I have seen here have not and do not deny it because I will know that it is a lie are making up crap and bashing him because no Yankee player is allowed to critize.

  13. Patricia Powell Couvillion

    Because of health concerns, my friend has pointed out that KO sh*ts low fat frozen yogurt now. 😉

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