New Yankees reliever Ian Hamilton is an intimidating man with a mystery pitch
By Adam Weinrib
Equal parts Skeletor and a James Bond villain, New York Yankees reliever Ian Hamilton made his team debut with a visual bang on Monday night, showing off the new pitch that's made him famous in the clubhouse.
He calls is ... the "slambio". Should he call it the "slambio"? Who's to say? What, exactly, does it mean? Is it just a combination of syllables that have never been uttered together before, leading Hamilton to want to claim them as his own? It's certainly possible.
Regardless, Hamilton and his slambio were the corresponding move for newly-minted ace Jhony Brito, who'll be back the next time the Yankees require a fifth starter.
In the meantime, Hamilton will be here soaking up the middle innings with his slider/changeup combination, a breaking ball thrown with a circle change grip that comes with a lower-than-average spin rate. You try to hit it. Nick Castellanos could not.
And here comes Kyle Schwarber with two men on base and a full count. Surely, one of the game's great sluggers would have a better cha--nope.
Ooh, so close.
Yankees reliever Ian Hamilton, Slambio put away Phillies
The slambio, so named because it's a combination of a slider and "cambio," the Spanish term for "change," appears here to stay -- again, at least until Brito returns to make his next start.
Take one look at Hamilton, though, and it seems clear you'll have to ask for his permission to demote him. And you won't like that experience very much.
Like Cousin Greg cornering Kerry Castellabate to tell her the imaginary focus group didn't like what they saw, Aaron Boone would probably have to take a couple of shots of liquid courage before staring Hamilton in the eye.
Watch this. You try telling this dude he has to go back to the beet farms of Scranton.
A man of few words. A man of many slambios.
In the meantime, before a decision has to be made, Hamilton and recent signee Colten Brewer will battle it out for supremacy as the "last men" in the bullpen. So far, so good for both pitchers, who've carried excellent springs into the regular season.
But, if they ever find themselves in a real cage match instead of a metaphorical one, my money's on Hamilton's steely glare.