Eiland working with Wang
Hello from the Trop. Good thing we’re under cover. It rained hard all day.
Tonight’s game is on My9, which usually means I don’t work. Today I’m at the Trop to finish up some interviews for a Jackie Robinson feature tomorrow — should be a good one; the pressure is on producer Jared Boshnack — and to watch at least the beginning of what should be a great pitching matchup.
Just got back to the booth from the field. Flaherty bought dinner and made the independent decision to get me a grilled chicken sandwich. Nice move. He’s having the same thing. Kay and Cone are eating chicken tenders and fries.
Dave Eiland talked about Wang, saying he’s seen the same struggles and arm angle issues before — during the ’07 playoffs and during a brief period last year, before Wang got hurt.
Eiland said Wang looked strong in the bullpen, as late as 6:45 p.m. Monday. But, the stuff obviously didn’t translate into the game.
“He’s the one who has to do it,” Eiland said. “The player always has to do it.”
Eiland and Girardi met with Wang behind closed doors, probably talking about those things and also making sure Wang remains confident.
“It’s there; I’ve seen it,” Eiland said of Wang’s good stuff. “He just has to take it into a game. He’s going to get it. He’s going to get it because it’s there.”
All of that being said, the Yankees believed last night was a big start for Wang because they didn’t want his awful debut to carry over. That makes Wang’s next start really big, for his mechanics as well as his confidence.
Talked with Alex Rodriguez, who is at the game again tonight. He said he awoke with usual workout soreness but nothing that would be of any concern. He said Dr. Philipon was delighted to hear that. The rain changed Alex’s workout a bit, but not much, and he remains encouraged and upbeat. (His interest in the blog was minimal, though he did ask the name of it. He suggested I sign up Swisher for some sort of a role. Not an awful idea. Everyone wants a piece of Swisher these days.)
Hung out with Mariano for a while as the Rays took BP. Evan Longoria walked along the third base line and tipped his cap. Nice. Mariano appreciated that. It was funny to watch the Rays, especially Longoria, keep an eye on Mariano. He’s baseball royalty. Once Don Zimmer started motioning and yelling over, I knew I was done. Sure enough, Mariano went over to Zim, saying he loves him and had to say hello.
Gabe Kapler had an awesome response to being struck out by Swisher: He now has an answer when people ask him his most embarrassing moment. Also said he had no problem with Swisher’s wanting to keep the ball.
Joe Maddon marveled at that catch Upton made. (Who didn’t?) He said it was as technically perfect as it could have been. Maddon and Molina shared a nice moment during BP. There is much respect between the two, from their days with the Angels.
A long trip is a step closer to coming home. Kay says he’s already packed. Already a better start for the Yanks with Gardner getting a bloop hit.