Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Old Guy Gets New Life

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Old Guy Gets New Life

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- The phone call was the kind all big-leaguers dread.

Lyle Overbay found himself no longer wanted.

The Boston Red Sox were moving on without him, general manager Ben Cherington told him March 26. And just four days remained before spring training ended and teams finalized their rosters.

Overbay wondered if his 13-year career was over, having been released for the third time in three years.

"I mean, you don't know," he said.

Overbay could smile about it Sunday afternoon after his two-run homer in the seventh inning spoiled R.A. Dickey's return to New York in the Yankees' 3-2 victory over Toronto.

It finished off the Yankees' four-game sweep and their 14th win in their past 19 games. The victory was the latest in a quasi- magical run, considering the rash of injuries that has plagued the team -- and the castoffs such as Overbay who were signed to replace the injured stars.

And the Yankees (15-9) just might continue that torrid stretch with the lowly Houston Astros coming to the Stadium tonight.

But Sunday's victory might never have happened had they decided against Dumpster diving that March day.

About 90 minutes after his release, Overbay's phone rang again. The Yankees were interested. A few days later, Juan Rivera was out. Overbay, 36, had won a job.

"Honestly, I'm thinking at this time, 'I got a three-day tryout,' " he said. " 'But I mean realistically, how's this going to play out? Do I really even have a chance? I don't know.' I felt like I had to impress them."

Overbay -- who had two hits off Dickey, despite entering the game 1-for-14 against the knuckleballer -- certainly did. So did Phil Hughes on Sunday, who held an opponent to two runs for the third straight start.

In a spring where everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, the Yankees seem utterly unfazed. The no-name Bombers are on pace to win 101 games. …

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