A happy Hughes

Get ready to chat!

The only thing any of us really need to know: The first live chat is less than 24 hours away! We’ll get it started at 6:45 p.m. tomorrow and hope you can be there. Internet guru Kevin Sullivan will walk us through the first one. Thank goodness. Feel free to watch our pregame show and participate in the chat simultaneously 🙂

It’s so cold here. Fifty degrees feels like 40.

Interesting that Girardi didn’t rule out two possibilities during pregame: That Alex could return during the upcoming homestand and that Joba could — could — return to the bullpen at some point this season. Girardi could have said “no” to either question. He did not. Hmmm. You have to think Hughes will play an instrumental role in the latter.

I asked Jim Leyland to estimate the impact of putting Alex into this Yankees lineup. “Tremendous,” he said.

hughes300_042909.jpgSpeaking of Hughes: He is (still) just 22 and appears to have bounced back beautifully from a disappointing 2008. Between 3:30-6:30 p.m., he did some running, chatted easily with reporters, signed autographs, interacted with fans and smiled. Smiled a lot. I always feel good for players who face adversity, don’t sulk, pick themselves up and have great attitudes. Put Cano in that category, too.

Guess the Posada hamstring really was of “no concern.” He’s behind the plate.

Melky’s in center again. Girardi essentially said he has no regular center fielder at this point. He prefers to think of it as four guys to play three outfield positions. When Damon or Swisher needs a day, Melky and Gardner both will be out there. Girardi has had a conversation with Gardner, telling him to maintain his confidence and stay ready.

Gardner seemed to enjoy a pre-batting practice card game with Bruney and a couple of others.

The Tigers have had decent attendance so far, which is great to see in this economy, particularly in Detroit. It was strange, even disconcerting, Monday to read dueling headlines in the Detroit Free Press: More layoffs by the car manufacturers while the Lions give Matthew Stafford $41 million in guaranteed money. Stafford faces an incredible task — and that doesn’t include just quarterbacking the woeful Lions. He’ll have to show he identifies with the community here.

Credit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch with a fantastic gesture, having installed the logos of Chrysler, General Motors and Ford above the Comerica Park scoreboard. “The Detroit Tigers support our automakers,” reads the sign below. Ilitch is providing the advertising for free, despite offers from other sponsors to pay up to $2 million for that prime real estate. That’s a tremendous move by the owner of the Tigers. Maybe Ilitch should counsel Stafford.

This is kinda embarrassing, but I’ll share: So, Damon introduces me to a guy named Chris in the clubhouse around 4 o’clock or so. We said hello. He looked slightly familiar, but I didn’t really think twice, other than to make a mental note that it was somewhat unusual for a player to have a random guest in the clubhouse before a game. Then Cone tells me it’s Chris Chelios of the Red Wings. Oops! Bad, bad job by me. It’s a good thing — make that great thing — YES doesn’t do hockey.


  1. bob15

    Come on Kim….you are in Mo-town, Damon has a friend in the clubhouse and you don’t ask the big questions; How do you know each other?? What do you do?You get a big DOINK for that!I can’t wait for the chat tomorrow night. I will be here ready to chat away.

  2. bob15

    Have you asked Brett how he is accepting Girardi’s decision?? It has to be tough since he was handed the starting job and it isn’t even May and he lost the job. He still has be ready to play though because he can still impact each and every game.

  3. traceynyy75

    hughes was terrific… and looks like Joba’s got something to prove tonight to… Thank you Phil!!!!’

    Swisher with 2 jacks already tonight, I’m sure we’ll see Kim with him later!!!

  4. bad_karma

    I just don’t understand Girardi’s infatuation with Gardner. He and Melky are leagues apart. Yeah, Gardner can run and steal bases — but you have to get on base first to do that, and I don’t recall anything in the rules about stealing first being legal (although my husband thinks it might be an entertaining experiment).

    As fielders, well, yeah, Gardner makes those spectacular plays — but if he got a better read on the ball, he wouldn’t have to. His arm? Melky has a gun, and led the majors in assists two years running. Gardner can’t compare.

    And Melky’s plate discipline has improved by leaps and bounds. I went to the Indians game on the 17th, and he had an at-bat that reminded me of Sheffield at his best — fouling off pitch after pitch, until he worked a walk.

    Keep Melky in center and use Gardner as a pinch-runner.

  5. rgallo@trentonian.com

    I don’t understand what took Joe so long to bring Phil up.
    Phil & Joba are the future for the Yankees and should remain with the team in their current starting rotation.
    As far as the bullpen, I think the pitchers are fine. they will show in May what we expect from them. Look for a Good May won/lost record and tell Joe, the general public thinks he is doing a great job.

  6. jobrown

    Ok! C’mon Kim you didn’t know who Cris Chelios was or it’s just that Hockey players are hard to recognize without their headpiece? 🙂

  7. financeer

    Kim, I was wondering if you noticed that there is no music being played in the Stadium when the Yankees are batting? Is that a new policy at the Yankee Mall?
    I didn’t always like some of the music the players chose (I’m too old for all this rap stuff), but what would Paulie’s last at-bat in each game have been without “Spirit in the Sky”????
    It makes the Stadium dead, and the players could be feeding off that. Just saying.

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