Yankees Reserves Big Leagues Best: Stengel Has Bench Almost as Good as Team on Field; Brooklyn Tops in National, Daily Racing Form, 1951-06-04


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Yankees7 Reserves Big Leagues7 Best Stengel Has Bench Almost As Good as Team on Field; .* Brooklyn Tops in National By MILTON RICHMAN United Press Sports Writer NEW YORK, N. Y., June 2.— The New York Yankees — with far more talent than they can possibly squeeze into one line-up — undoubtedly harbor baseballs outstanding collection of "super subs." "There are times," moans manager Casey Stengel, "when I have almost as good a team sitting on the bench as I have playing out on the field. But what can I do about it? Im only allowed to play nine men at a time." Outside of possibly the Brooklyn Dodgers, no club • in either league comes close to boasting such a solid bench. Stengel is so strong in reserve strength that he had to let third baseman Billy Johnson go to the Stj. Lduis Cardinals, much as he wished to keep him. Here is a sample of a "second team" the Yankees could field before they let Johnson go. IB — Johnny Mize or Johnny Hopp Joe Collins holds the first string job at the moment. 2B— Billy Martin. SS— Gil McDougald. 3B — Bobby Brown. OF — Gene Woodling, Jackie Jensen and Cliff Mapes. C — Charlie Silvera or Ralph Houk. The "second string" pitcher, of course, could be any Yankee hurler who wasnt pitching for the "first team" on that particular day. Several Veterans on Bench It would prove interesting to see how such a "sub" line-up would fare in regular American League competition. Naturally, Stengel isnt overly happy that he is forced to keep so many better-than-average players idle most of the time. "Several of the players who are sitting on the bench for me now helped win us a pennant and World Series last year," he said, shaking his head sadly. "It must be awful tough on em and I sure hate to do it, but I havent any choice. Ill say this, though. Theyre going right in there as soon as any of the others slump, get hurt or need a rest. Im mighty thankful Ive got such a fine bench. You really appreciate it when an emergency arises." Stengel, always a realist, said he wouldnt be surprised if some 6f the men who warm the Yankee bench grumble because of their enforced idleness occasionally. "Its only natural that some of em might cuss me out once in awhile," Casey declared. "I dont blame em. It isnt easy to just keep sitting around all the time." Stengel was asked how he felt when he was forced to warm the bench during his playing days. "I felt real rotten," he grumbled. "I used to be fidgety whenever I had to sit around and do nothing. It sure wasnt any fun, let me tell you." Fellows like Silvera and Houk have it especially rough. They sit in Berras shadow and average something like half a dozen games a season. McDougald has been alternating with Brown at third base, more or less, but Martin only sees occasional pinch hitting duty. Woodling, Jensen and Mapes probably will be used more later in the season, but so far theyve had to sit still while Joe DiMaggio, Hank Bauer and Mickey Mantle roam the outfield, grass. You can believe Stengel„when he says the situation bothers him, but even so, he wouldnt trade "problems" with any manager in baseball.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1950s/drf1951060401/drf1951060401_2_8
Local Identifier: drf1951060401_2_8
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800