Our feature on Polly Tompkins ran today during pregame and Polly texted to make sure we knew she appreciated it. Sometimes, that’s all that matters. This is one of those times.
Polly is such an inspiration, an example of how to stay positive — and keep smiling — when faced with extreme adversity. In her case, it’s the return of cancer. And we wish her well as she continues to fight and, hopefully, continues to get good news.
Brett Gardner: The Yankees will miss the instant offense and speed on the basepaths he provides, not to mention that he’s hit over .300 since mid-May. Gardner will be in a cast for two weeks and re-evaluated. He won’t be available for the series in Tampa, which starts tomorrow, or the upcoming one against Boston, beginning Aug. 6 at the Stadium. He’s the player in pinstripes who plays most like a Ray.
Rickey Henderson: The man who once said, “I’m a walking record” will make a speech that could be one for the ages at the Hall of Fame. We’ll have to catch the (many?) highlights.
Paul O’Neill: His kids are here today, so there are three pizzas in the booth. Or what’s left of them. “Another slice and some ice cream and I’ll be set,” Paul just said between innings.
Alfredo Aceves: He joined media relations czar Jason Zillo on “Batting Practice Today presented by Audi” to talk about HOPE Week. Ace made a big impact, playing guitar for the Camp Sundown children and young adults late Thursday night. He had as much fun as they did.
CC and CC: Still have to read the Sports Illustrated article on Carl Crawford. That’s on the to-do list during the flight. On Wednesday in Tampa, Crawford will be joined by CC Sabathia for an hour before the game for “Catching up with Carl Crawford,” an event to encourage more African-American youth to play baseball. They’ll tell stories to the kids. We’ll try to listen in.
Adam Jones: The Orioles center fielder is one of the best young players in the game. He also happens to share his name with the NFL cornerback nicknamed Pacman by his grandmother. Pacman Jones has had a hard time staying out of trouble, to put it charitably. Adam Jones, an All-Star, cleans his own cleats in the clubhouse. Where are we going here? Last night, while a sports wrap-up show was providing background noise, we heard an anchorman who thought he was very, very clever link the two, yelling “Pacman!” while some Orioles highlights played. That’s nice. And just wrong on a couple of different levels.
Meanwhile, Adam Jones the Oriole can’t stand being called Pacman. Can you blame him?
Beautiful night in the Bronx. It’s Hope Week at Yankee Stadium, which is a fantastic undertaking by the organization. We could all use a little hope.
Chien-Ming Wang: And that includes Wang, who felt pain while playing an innocuous game of catch this afternoon, his first on-field action since pitching against Toronto July 4. At this point, it will be a bonus if the Yankees get anything out of Wang this season. Girardi said as much. That puts a premium, obviously, on Joba and Andy having better second halves than first halves.
Sergio Mitre: He’ll start tomorrow night against the O’s (on My9), and he’s the fifth starter. Meaning, he’s not in the rotation on a start-to-start basis. He’s in the rotation. Girardi says they can count on 100 pitches from Mitre. If he’s up to the job, he would give this team some peace of mind.
Alfredo Aceves: If the Yankees have to resort to using a reliever as a starter, it’s likely to be Aceves not Hughes. Girardi says it would take Hughes 25 days or so to build up starter’s arm strength. It would take Aceves less time. And, let’s face it, Hughes is just so good where he is right now, it’s tough to think about moving him. Maybe impossible.
Adam Jones: The O’s All-Star CF cleans his own shoes. Today he was cleaning his own bats. He figures the clubbies have other things to do. He also had a blast at the All-Star Game — probably his first of many — meeting President Obama and taking groundballs with Jeter before the game. He said the highlight was high-fiving his fellow All-Stars after the win.