Though the Yankees losing coaches Phil Nevin and Reggie Willits to “breakout” positive COVID tests was no laughing matter, former Bombers backup catcher Erik Kratz was luckily lurking in the Twitterverse to give fans a needed smile in the wake of the strange news.
It’s possible no Yankee backup has ever been more beloved for such a short cameo in the bigs — though we can’t discount Kratz’s first stint with the team in 2017, too, a two-at-bat resumé with a 1.000 batting average.
From his relationship to Deivi Garcia, which bordered on father and son, to his walk-off watching of a wild pitch with Dellin Betances on the mound, Kratz ended up affably stumbling into plenty of iconic moments with the bizarre 2020 Yankees.
Though his removal from the roster and subsequent retirement made sense in the grand scheme of things, we were still unhappy to see him fade away. Luckily, thanks to his Twitter performance, we don’t have to!
When word emerged that a coach (later revealed to be Nevin) had tested positive, necessitating several more staffers missing Tuesday’s opener against the Rays, the call of the wild went out for anyone and everyone associated with the team to give coaching a shot.
Kratz, a natural fit in the coaching world moving forward, obviously received more than a few bat signals.
Luckily, he responded in kind.
Former Yankees catcher Erik Kratz is ready to coach…for a price.
That gas money is no laughing matter, at this point. We’re a few days away from someone handing Kratzy a plastic bag filled with gasoline and instructing him to fend for himself.
Regrettably, though, this is not a false positive or a one-day disaster. Willits tested positive in the aftermath of the initial news, and Aaron Boone reported Wednesday that several more staffers — though none of them coaches — have come down with COVID-19.
On Day 2 of the disaster, Kratz sprang into action…when he unfortunately encountered more complications, on his end.
Only the best and brightest, Yankees fans.
Maybe, if the drive back to Tampa is too long, Kratz can simply head to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and offer some words of wisdom to Garcia, his former pupil? Through two starts at Triple-A this year, we’ve seen one fantastic outing and one all-over-the-place mess from the 21-year-old.
They’ve got phone chargers at the ballpark, Kratzy. You know what to do.
Kratz is so good on Twitter — and played for so many teams — that it was only a matter of time before some fans of his other former organizations jumped into the mentions to open up his recruitment.
That meant Kratz was seeing dollar signs.
Come on, King. Who has more to offer, the Yankees or Brewers? There’s a reason you hung up your spikes after one final round in the pinstripes. You were officially satisfied, having absorbed all baseball has to offer.
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but Erik Kratz will be back in the Yankees dugout someday.
Just plop him down near the outlet, give him a fully-charged phone, and watch the magic happen. He won’t be allowed to tweet in-game, though. Fair’s fair.