During a rousing7-4victory at Fenway this afternoon, the Yankees acquired Al Leiter from the Florida Marlins. Leiter looks as if he might just end his career where it started. I have gone back-and-forth in my appreciation of Leiter over the years, but I generally enjoy watching him pitch. He knows what he's doing, is animated on the mound, and is a real pro.
The Yankees are desperate for starting pitching. In Leiter they get the kind of cagey veteran they had in El Duque or even David Cone before him. Part of what makes watching him enjoyable--and alternatively agonizing--is knowing that his margain for error is so thin. He might keep the Yanks in the game, but he'll throw 126 pitches over five innings doing it. The tank is almost empty for Leiter, so what does he--or the Yankees--have to lose? He may be shot, who knows? But I'd gladly take my chances with him over Tim Redding. Look, if the Yankees are going to be successful in the second-half of the season, they'll need a little of that old bullcrap Pinstriped magic to help them along. It would be a Made-for-YES story if Leiter came in and won a half-a-dozen games.
I'm looking forward to watching him pitch tomorrow night. Welcome back, Al.