A sign of things to come, perhaps?
I'd say Yankees fans have waited long enough.
I have been hearing about Jesus Montero for what feels like an eternity now. And finally - FINALLY - he's here. The expectation level for Montero is through the roof. After a hitless debut against the Red Sox, I hoped that maybe the initial Big-League butterflies would subside. With every passing at-bat, the 21 year old rookie looked a little bit more comfortable.
And today, he proved his worth in my heart.
Before today's game, the hits I saw Montero get were of the pull variety. They didn't look like his best swings, and it probably wasn't his best approach - maybe he was a little anxious, hence the swinging early. Today against the Orioles, the kid (kid...he's older than me!) was cooler, calmer, and more collected at the dish.
I am proud to say that I saw Jesus Montero go deep for the first time.
And the second time.
I'm sure Montero is still in disbelief about everything he has experienced since being called up. I'm still in disbelief, too. That's why I promised myself that I would watch every inning of every game that Montero was in this year. Like, no matter how busy college may keep me. I need to see this phenom play. I need to really believe that yes, this is that player I've been hearing about, and yes - he really is that good.
Montero's first homer came at a pretty clutch time, giving the Yankees a 9-8 lead in the 5th inning. When the ball connected with the bat, I was the only one in the room. I knew where it was headed. As it traveled into the right field seats, I jumped from my seat to exclaim, "OHHH MY GOD!!!! MONTERO HIT A HOME RUN!!!! DAHHH!!!"
My family immediately stopped whatever they were doing and made their way into the living room, hoping to see the ball land. It got out too fast. Thank God for replay.
In the 7th, Montero's second homer played out just like the first one: I was again watching the game alone. He hit it out to right field, and my inner fangirl emerged once again, "OMG AGAIN!!! JESUSSSSS YOU CUTE THING!"
And then everyone gathered around the TV again (Aww, Jesus...bringing my family together!) to catch the replay. Two monster oppo-homers in one game? Two curtain-calls for the rookie? TWO fangirl shrieks, and our relationship has just began?
Holy Jesus, you are special.
Aside from getting on my knees for Jesus, maybe I should do so for Brian Cashman as well. I tip my cap to Cashman for not dealing this guy. I know it's early, but I seriously think Jesus Montero is the real deal. I think the Yankees should find a spot for him in the lineup for every remaining game this season. I think this guy was born to be a Yankee. His swing, the short porch in right field, his already-developing positive relationship with the fans - this guy is everything I've dreamt of!
My brother says he thinks Montero is going to go on a huge tear in this final month of the regular season - so huge, that the Yankees will have NO CHOICE but to put him on the postseason roster and start him. Who cares if he's DH-ing? HE CAN HIT.
But if he's DH-ing, that means somebody else isn't: Jorge Posada. Everyone is aware of Posada's struggles this season. It's probably his last season. I'm sure he would want to play in the postseason, but then again, the Yankees have to win those games. If Montero really is what we think he is, there is no doubt in my mind: I'd rather have him starting in the postseason. Besides, Jorge's totals for the postseason aren't all that impressive. He has a lifetime postseason average of just .241.
The Yankees have played some pretty good baseball as of late, and they now possess a relatively-roomy 2.5 game lead in the AL East. The season is winding down, and I think now was the perfect time to bring up Montero. He'll continue to provide a spark that will hopefully help carry these Yankees to their ultimate goal.
by Virginia Califano