One of my favorite TV shows when I was growing up was “Happy Days.” Teenagers growing up in the 1950’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The breakout star of that show was Henry Winkler, the actor who portrayed Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli. The Fonz was ultra cool. He could seemingly command women with a snap of his fingers. He could start a jukebox or pinball machine with the bump of his fist. The one thing he couldn’t do, was say the word “wrong”. “Sorry, Mr. C- I was wwrrrrroooo”, “Hey Rich, I might have been wwrrrroooo”. A recurring joke, that always got a laugh. I am not the Fonz. I will admit that I was wrong, for at least one day.
The other day, in this very space, I wondered aloud what the Red Sox were thinking, promoting Yamaico Navarro. I detailed his history in 2011. His struggles with the PawSox since his return from the DL. (5-43, .116). I did everything but call the Red Sox nasty names for the promotion. I even got into it a little bit with Bostons’ Director of Player Devlopment, Mike Hazen, when he appeared on “PawSox Insider” Saturday. “Who would you suggest we promote?” He asked me.
With the game on the line on Saturday night in Houston, Navarro got his first major League at bat of 2011, in a pinch hitters’ role. He drilled a 3-1 pitch from J.A. Happ into the night. His very first Big League home run! That made it 5-2, Boston, as they eventually rolled to a 10-4 win. Navarro was caught by surprise. So much so, that he had to wear the helmet of an unidentified teammate. Navarro is a man with immense natural ability. The talent is not in question, not even for a millisecond. That homer may be the jump start Navarro needs. Tito Francona has tabbed him as the starter at shortstop on Sunday.
For the record, Mike Hazen, a man I like and respect very much, exchanged good natured text messages with me after his appearance on the show, and again, later that night, after Navarros’ bomb. The Red Sox have a good track record with their development system, and when I doubt them, it is because I am such a huge Sox fan. Always have been. Nice job, Yamaico!!!
Pawtucket had a horrible day on Saturday, getting shut out in both ends of a doubleheader against the Scranton- Wilkes Barre Yankees. The PawSox managed a total of three hits in the twin bill (2 by Tony Thomas). My true regret is that Yankees Captain and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter is rehabbing with AA Trenton, rather than with SWB. I would have loved to hear the reaction of the 10,000 assembled at McCoy when #2 stepped up to the plate. I also would have enjoyed the chance to interview my nemesis (even though he doesn’t know he is.)