Saying goodbye is the hardest part …

Cervelli-7-9-250.jpgWhen Ramiro Pena was sent down to AAA, he was smiling and happy, a young guy who knew he needed to play every day, believed he had played well and hopes he’ll return to the majors Sept. 1.

Today, it was slightly different with Francisco Cervelli. Yes, he knows he performed better than anyone anticipated with Posada and then Molina going on the DL at the beginning of May. Yes, he is happy with the way he played and contributed and caught veteran pitchers who rave about him. And yes, he knows how great a defensive catcher Molina is and he respects that.

Yet there was sadness with Cervelli, who said he didn’t think we could possibly understand how much the past two months have meant to him. “The most important time in my life,” he said. “You don’t know how much I enjoyed every day here.”

Over the past two months, his parents visited New York for the first time and loved it. They were in town during the Subway Series at Citifield. Cervelli introduced them to everyone he could on the team bus.

He marveled at catching Mariano. “You could catch him in your sleep,” he said, closing his eyes and shaking his head. “The best.”

And he appreciated so much the relationship he developed with CC and A.J. “CC was always great,” Cervelli said. “I love that guy. It gave me confidence to know the confidence he had in me.”

Said CC, “He did an unbelievable job. I hate to see him go.”

Added Cervelli: “A.J. was great, too. When I watched A.J. (before being called up), I would say, ‘Let me catch him.’ He has such nasty stuff. He makes hitters look so bad.”

Cervelli will take a flight back East tomorrow morning. He knew the time was coming when he would be sent down, as soon as Molina was ready. “I might cry a little in my hotel room, and I don’t cry often,” he said, sitting in front of his locker during a long pregame chat. “But my mom always told me to have fun in whatever I do. So I’ll go to AAA and have fun. I’ll be back. I know I’ll be back. And I’ll bring Pena with me.”

Laura Posada: Jorge’s wife is featured in a TV show that debuts tonight – “True Hollywood Story: Baseball Wives” at 10 p.m. on E!. She is thrilled. “They followed me for a week!” she told us. We asked Jorge if he was excited. “Uh, yeah,” he said with a smile. “But not as excited as she is.” Set your DVRs.

Jose Molina: It seems like an awfully long time since he went on the DL May 8. Particularly for Molina. “It’s awesome to put on the uniform and be back on the field again,” he said. “It took a lot of hard work, but it’s great to be back.” He’ll catch one of the games this weekend, against the Angels, his former team.

Joe Nathan: The Twins closer is an All-Star again and looks forward to picking Mariano’s brain at the midsummer classic. They have mutual respect. As many pitchers do, Nathan will ask about the cutter. “I hear it’s hard to teach,” Nathan said. “The repetition probably just comes so naturally for him.” But Nathan will ask. “At the same time, I don’t want to have so many pitches that it messes me up,” Nathan said with a laugh. “I have four or five as it is, which is enough.”

Nathan is one of the closers in the game respected by Mariano. He likes the way Nathan goes about doing his job, with superior results and without showmanship.

Alfredo Aceves: He’s tomorrow starter and he’s excited about it. “How many pitches did I throw Sunday?” he asked. Forty-three. “How many did Joe say I could throw tomorrow?” Sixty to 65. “I should be able to throw more than that,” he said. Really, it’s no wonder Girardi loves the guy.

Mealtime at the Metrodome: Following Cone’s lead, we had Maui Wowis for dinner. Think smoothie, with a little umbrella. Cone went with raspberry, Kenny strawberry and we had mango. What a diverse group! We’re all eating popcorn; they have movie theater-caliber popcorn here. Sadly.

Then there’s Stage Manager Teresa, who is peddling a bag of carrots. No takers, besides herself, so far. Watching Cone decline her offer of a carrot was amusing for some reason. Then again, Cone is often amusing, even when he doesn’t say a word.

20 Comments

Hi Kim,Just wanted to say the chat was GREAT. Lots of different kinds of questions and some great answers. I would gather that everyone listened to the warnings about repetitive questions being asked. lolI can’t wait for Cervelli to come back. He was great to watch play. As much as we love Jeter, Arod and those types of players, having Cervelli, Pena and Gardner makes watching the Yankees exciting.

I echo the comment about Cervelli and Pena. I hope they know how much fans enjoyed watching their enthusiasm and accomplishments. (Please tell them. . I am guessing you will cross paths with them before I do!) :) It is sad, but a glimpse to the future. . and it is exciting knowing what they can do.

Maui Wowis? Feeling the need to dig out my blender and join you! Does Peach Schnapps count as a fruit??

I think we all knew it was coming, but it doesnt make it less sad to see Cervelli go. i cant wait to see him agagin!!!!!!

Cervelli and Pena have fans! It makes me want to drive down to Scranton Wilkes Barre to see those two in action. SWB won’t be playing here in Rochester again until the end of the season.

hey i wanna say,i respect posada greatly,n molina but,i don’t think the pitchers will excel and pitch as good as they did to cervelli.I’m heartbroken to see him go,pena too. The yankees should stick with them.As good a defensive catcher that molina is ,i would rather have cervelli’s bat with risp..i also would choose pena any day of the week over ransome!!!Youth and farm system players are the only way to win.e.g cervelli,pena,gardner..they are the future.. p.s my husband bought a business in delaware and wanted to move the family,but refused cuz i cant get yankee games. loyal and lovin for 32 years and counting. hey kim can you please tell micheal kay i luv his ny accent and when he talks about growing up in the bronx,my kids say wow mom he talks like you do or shall i say tawk!!!

Its sad to see Cervelli go down to AAA. I think the youth has been important to this team as fill ins, guys like Pena and Cervelli exhibit an extra passion when they play.

This give us something extra to look forward to when September rolls around. It will give us a chance to see Pena and Cervelli again. Then we’ll probably see Austin Jackson too. That Scranton team has three of the Yankees more promising prospects now with Pena, Cervelli, and Jackson

Kim, how did Pena and Cervelli change the clubhouse? Are you seeing a difference now that they have gone to Scranton?

Wow, that was the first homer off Coke since May 26. At least it was by a brand name guy.

The Twins seem to bring out the best in the Yankees. Kim, if the Yankees can sweep the series can you ask some of the Yankees what they think about sweeping the Twins for the season?

@prettyeyes12168: I would also prefer to have Pena and Cervelli on the team instead of Ransom and Molina. I think its the youth and their determination that I enjoy the most. I also like having home grown players contributing. Pena might be the best infielder for the team on defense. Cervelli has handled the pitching staff so well those guys will miss him. The most impressive thing about both of these players is that they came from AA straight to the majors and contributed.

Molina is a free agent at the end of the year so it looks like we can expect Cervelli to grab his spot next year and take the backup job or split time with Posada. Then hopefully we will have Pena as a super utility guy who plays 2B, SS, 3B and all 3 OF positions.

This is not the last we’ll see of Francisco Cervelli.

CERVELLI!!! LOVE that kid!! He has such GREAT enthusiasm for the game…something the Yanks lacked before he came up along with Pena. Gardner is the same way…these kids LOVE playing the GAME and it shows. The older players could take a lesson from them, and REMEMBER how they used to feel about playing the GAME before it became a JOB.

Well….I’m sure we will see Cervelli again. I hope so. he certainly showed that he had maturity beyond his years and a GREAt way with the pitching staff and calling a game. Not dissing Molina here at all OR Posada…..but unless the Yanks go out and sign a new veteran catcher in the off season, I think we will see Cervelli be catching MOST of the games next year while Posada gets used to the DH role. Again, not any disrespect meant for Posada’s catching skills. He’s been a GREAT catcher over the years….but age takes a toll, especially in that position. I think it’s clear that defensively speaking, Cervelli is at least on par with Jorge right now, and sure to be better next year.

OK….now on to a less critical topic. Kimmie….I think purple just may be your color!! You looked SMOKIN’ last night. And just to let you know, I took my life in to my own hands last night and made a comment about how hot you looked during the Mauer interview…. while my girlfriend was sitting on the couch. Luckily, all I got was a cold and icy stare.

They should have kept Cervelli up. If itwas not for him the Yanks would have had trouble. He has a strong arm and he handle the pitching staff better. He was the MVP for the Yanks in the first half.

We will also miss Cervelli behind the plate and Pena’s speed on the bases. However, we plan on a trip to Scranton to see them soon and cheer them on.

I loved Cervelli’s great game calling, defense and energy also, but I’m afraid the guy is caught between a rock and a hard place.

For this season, the Yanks will stick with oldsters Posada and Molina. If Molina’s contract is not renewed at the end of the year, at best Cervelli may get the back-up spot next year while the Yanks wait for minor leaguers Montero and Romine to develop. This of course is if Posada and Molina stay healthy, which is a big “if”.

Montero is supposed to be a once-in-a-generation Pujols-type bat, so unless he changes positions (he is 19 and not much behind the plate yet), he is destined to be the future Yanks catcher. Romine is also extremely promising.

I predict that the only way Cervelli will ever be a #1 catcher on a major league team will be if the Yanks trade him. It’s unfortunate, but they will always go for a big bat rather than an old-style small ball hitter with great game calling and defensive skills.

Ha ha — of course, if the 20 million dollar man CC can’t pitch well to anyone else, then all bets are off! Molina will be cut loose and the Cisco Kid will be back before you know it!

You can bet that Molina will not be renewed after the season, and that Cervelli will be here full time while Montero develops. But as you pointed out, Montero may just end up in a different position because he isn’t much behind the plate at this time.

And you know how ‘prospects’ often turn out. It’s a long road to the majors.

Kim,
How about some injury updates?

Do you have any info on Nady? Has he had the TJ surgery? What is his timetable for returning? Do the Yankees keep him on the 40-Man roster or release him to make room on there?

Whats up with Marte? Don’t really miss him with how the bullpen has been, but still curious.

Any news on Wang? Is there an estimated return or how long might it take for him? The only good thing about the injury is he gets to see his new baby some more.

No doubt there is sadness swirling around Cervelli’s departure. You could tell that he really enjoyed his time up in the majors, not only by everything he’s said in his interviews, but in his conduct on the field as well. He’s smiling and always seems happy with a great attitude, always having fun. He handled himself really well when he was up here, I remember the first game he caught with CC was the day that A-rod made his return and hit the homerun in his first at bat. The press was interviewing Cervelli after the game and asking about how he did, and Cervelli instead of reflecting on his personal accomplishments really stepped back and evaluated the team as a whole, referring to A-rod and CC with praise and admiration. He did so much better, both offensively and handling the new pitchers, than anyone could have hoped, and you can tell how thankful CC and the pitching staff was for that. Thinking of him crying in his hotel room almost moves me to tears, but I think just about everyone is extremely confident that come September, he’ll make his return to the big apple.

I will miss both Pena and Cervelli. I love Jorge and I respect Jose Molina, but there is something about Cervelli that just caught my attention and I am really sorry to see him go. I know he will be awesome in AAA and I wish him as well as Pena, the best of luck.

OMG! I am touched by the Cervelli story. What a class act. I am also blown away by the reactions of AJ and CC. We Yankee fans haven’t seen the likes of players like them (and Swish) in a while — something tells me Cashman may have finally picked the right formula of free agents.

Thanks for posting Kim! :)

Phil Hughes has pitched very well, but I haven’t seen him coming in the middle of an innings with runners on first and third with no out. What say you, Kim.

I love how Cervelli says that he’s going to bring Ramiro Pea back with him. Love the confidence.

The thought of Cervelli crying brings a frown to my face. Such a touching story. I think the majority of us miss Pea & Cervelli already, but we all know that they’ll be back. What an amazing job they both did. Every time the camera showed them, they were smiling. You have to love their enthusiasm. They should feel proud of themselves. They’re so much fun to watch. I got tickets to see them in Scranton. I can’t wait. I hope they both stay in the Yankee Organization for a long time. Best of luck to the both of them.

Unless the organization pulls a real rock and trades Cervelli, he should be Posada’s successor in a year or two. He really showed us something — his poise as a young player reminds me of the young Jeter. ~~~~
I remember the criticism he took on some of the radio shows for the excitement he showed as he ran the bases after his home run — for cryin’ out loud, it was his first major-league home run! A couple of months earlier he was in AA ball — he was entitled to show some excitement. ~~~~
Kathy

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