Cyclones Pass Trammell Test With Flying Colors |
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Friday, June 29, 2007
BROOKLYN, NY - Back in professional baseball after a two and a half year hiatus, Aberdeen Ironbirds slugger and former major leaguer Bubba Trammell brought his game to Keyspan Park this past week in an effort to prove he’s still a major league talent.
The Cyclones however, were intent on making sure the former Mets and Yankees outfielder regretted his time in Brooklyn, as Trammell hit .125 in the three game series with an RBI and four strikeouts in eight at-bats.
After getting injured in Spring Training with the Orioles in April, Trammell has been rehabbing ever since, trying to crack a major league lineup for the first time since 2003, when he was patrolling the outfield in the Bronx.
“I had a torn-meniscus in Spring Training and I’m here to get some at-bats,” said Trammell, who is still remembered by Mets fans for his play in the 2000 World Series, when he hit .400 with three RBI. “I’m feeling a lot better. I want to get back in the big leagues and be as successful as I was before; I’m ready to get back to where I was. I’ve got about 12 more games here before I head off to double-A and we’ll see where it goes from there.”
Overcoming a myriad of problems both on and off the field over the past few years, Trammell is elated to be back on the field, sporting a smile not seen since the best year of his career in 2001 when he hit 25 home runs and knocked in 92 RBI for the San Diego Padres. Even at 35, Trammell feels he can still be a productive major leaguer and believes it’s only a matter of time until he’s back in the big leagues.
“I had to go through a nasty divorce and my mother and sister had cancer, so my family was more important to me at the time” said Trammell, who put on monster performances in batting practice all week, sending at least a dozen balls over the left field wall. “Things have changed now and I’m ready to show people I can still do this. I think I can.”
While Trammell was taking batting practice and talking to a few reporters about his playing days in New York before the first game of the series on Monday, across the field, the Cyclones had no idea he was even on Aberdeen’s roster.
“Wow, Bubba Trammell. I wish him the best of luck, just not against us,” said Cyclones catcher/first baseman Jason Jacobs before the first game of the series with the Ironbirds this week. “It’s pretty cool to play against these guys every once in a while and see that they don’t hit 1.000 when they’re here. This is a difficult game and hopefully we’re going to approach him like he’s any other hitter.”
Maybe Jason Jacobs is this generation’s reincarnation of Nostradomus, or maybe he just understands the killer instinct the Brooklyn pitching staff is sporting this season. Not afraid of a resume that includes 469 major league hits and 82 home runs, the Cyclones pitching staff went right after Trammell, infesting the strike zone with a hearty helping of inside fastballs and sliders, proving they’re ready for anything the NY-Penn league can throw at them. With a 7-2 record through the first nine games of the season, Brooklyn is taking no prisoners on the mound and isn’t scared of anything standing in their way.
Even if it’s a former big leaguer like Trammell.
“We found out we struck him out four times in two games and that’s because our starting pitchers have gone right after him,” said Cyclones reliever Edgar Ramirez. “Our pitching coach Hector Berrios has given us the confidence we need and we just follow our system and go right after people, even if they’re major league hitters.”