It shouldn't come as a shock to anyone that Raul Ibanez's performance in Game Three of the American League Division Series has netted him a 2012 GIBBY Award. The awards are based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at MLB.com and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). And the performance, just in case you missed it, was something for the history books.
With the Yankees down a run to the Baltimore Orioles in the bottom of the ninth, manager Joe Girardi did something that at the time seemed absolutely crazy. He pulled Alex Rodriguez to pinch hit Ibanez in his place.
The tension was high in the Stadium. If the move didn't work out, people would be questioning the move for years to come. If the move did work out, Girardi would be lauded for his gusty call. Luckily for the Yankees and their fans, the move worked out, twice, because not only did Ibanez hit the game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth to send the game into extra innings but he also came to bat in the twelfth inning and sent everybody wearing Yankee paraphernalia home happy with a game-winning walk-off home run.
People broadcasting the game couldn't believe it, fans both at home and in the Stadium couldn't believe it and I really don't think the Yankees or Orioles could believe it.
So, congratulations to Raul Ibanez for his GIBBY award and a big thanks to him for those incredible moments. They gave Yankees fans something to cheer about in the postseason.