Strange to see Alex in a polo shirt and pants in the clubhouse, as all of his teammates scurried about in uniform, preparing for BP. Alex won’t start tonight or tomorrow because he is fatigued or, as he said, “running on empty.”
It’s mind-boggling that Alex had played in all 38 games, just three as DH, since returning May 8. And that pace has taken a toll, or so it seems. He is 8 for 55 in June, in an 0-for-15 skid and hitting .212 with nine home runs and 26 RBI. (In 2007, the MVP season Alex repeatedly has said he wants to copy in terms of his approach to the game, he had 26 RBI and 10 home runs after just 14 games.)
Alex suggested that yesterday’s marathon, which included a five-and-a-half-hour rain delay, played into his reaching the tipping point in terms of fatigue. “Yesterday was an absolute nightmare for me,” he said, describing a nearly 13-hour workday that began with 9 a.m. work with Kevin Long.
Oddly, Alex said he told Girardi on Thursday night that he needed a break. But, he was in the original lineup today, until he met with Girardi and was joined via phone by Cashman. Then it was determined that Alex will miss two days. The Yankees also have a day off Monday. It’ll be interesting to see what effect this respite has when Alex returns.
Angel Berroa: He just crushed a double, his first hit since April 28. We’ll leave the jokes to Abraham.
Nick Swisher: We asked him how he spent the rain delay. For a long time he worked on the collage in his locker. (Yes, he said we may photograph it and show it to you — but not until it is a finished product.) Then he ate. (The YES booth was a food orgy. Disgusting.) Then he watched some TV. Then he slept — in uniform in case the rain suddenly ceased. It was a long day.
Derek Jeter: Should he be running on that gimpy left ankle? He’d say yes, of course.
Paul O’Neill: He’s back from Paris where, he says, “they don’t eat.” You can imagine how he felt about that. Well, he just sent Matthew — not Matt — to the Edy’s concession stand for ice cream. Two vanilla cups. One for him. One for me. He is so nice! We didn’t even want the ice cream. But you just don’t say no to ice cream from Paul O’Neill.
Dolphin Stadium: It has been renamed Land Shark Stadium. But every piece of permanent signage still reads Dolphin Stadium. Anyway, it looks like rain (again), but they’re playing Meatloaf over the P.A. We love Meatloaf. He was at a game a couple of years ago in Toronto (we think) and we became a public embarrassment swooning over him. It wasn’t restraining-order stuff, but it was a little much.
Flaherty’s first words to us today were these: “You have to update the blog.”
The man knows whereof he speaks.
Hello from Arlington, where little, tiny, light brown bugs are taking over the universe! But it’s not raining and there is no threat of rain, so no one’s complaining.
Speaking of not complaining: Guess who checked in via email? Polly! Wearing her perfectly pink do-rag, she visited us at Yankee Stadium last Wednesday and captivated the clubhouse. (Polly wrote that she was “VERY nervous.” We don’t believe her. LOL) She also wrote, “Words can’t even begin to express what the day meant to me. It was one surprise after another! … It was all just incredible! I don’t think I have ever smiled that much. I think Nick Swisher had a lot to do with that! His attitude and love for life is contagious!” Polly rocks! One reason we got along so well was because we both love exclamation points! Stay in touch, Polly. And keep fighting.
The return of Posada, (temporary) departure of Melky: Melky is day-to-day with a bruised right shoulder and is headed back to New York to see team doctor Chris Ahmad. If Ahmad believes Melky can be back within a week, Girardi says the Yankees can live with that. If not, Melky might be DL-bound and the Yanks would need to call up an outfielder. (And they might have to do something with Berroa one of these days.) Meanwhile, Posada will rejoin the team Friday, after catching five innings in Tampa today. But don’t expect Cervelli to go anywhere. At least not yet. The pitchers love him, which could create some interesting dynamics. Stay tuned.
Joba, Joba, Joba: Joba is a big kid who was fooling around in the clubhouse with a little laser that A.J. bought him at a gas station here. Seriously, a gas station. He got a kick — a big kick — out of pointing a red dot at unsuspecting teammates. Joba’s big personality extends to the mound, as we all know, but he just seems more natural in the 8th-inning than in the starting rotation. At least that’s our view. It would seem an athlete who can dominate at a position helps a team more than an athlete whose results are, so far, a mixed bag in another role. Obviously there are two sides to this, and both can make relevant points. But there are plenty of voices in the clubhouse who agree with us, but it’s a silent chorus. At the moment. (If Bruney’s flexor mass strain in his elbow leads to a long — or painful — absence, you might start to hear the chatter.)
Food fight: The press dining at Rangers Ballpark features chicken and pork tonight, along with a salad bar and (very) soft-serve ice cream. The zucchini was tasty. M&Ms made the ice cream better. And something tells us there will be a lot of food consumed on the team charter bound for Cleveland later tonight. On days like these, the will power wanes when the Twix bars are getting passed around. Sigh.
Coke and a slider? Coke was still disgusted with himself today for throwing a slider to Chris Davis last night. The ball wound up in the seats. “I threw a slider to a guy with slider bat speed,” were Coke’s words. “Right in his barrel.” We asked Coke if it reminded him of the slider Morneau deposited among Yankee Stadium fans. “No, that was a hanging slider,” Coke said. “I thanked Morneau for hitting that pitch – because that’s what it deserved.”
“Yeah, I said thanks during BP the next day,” Coke said. “He just smiled and pointed at me.”
In his next outing Coke got Morneau to strike out on a series of fastballs away.”Tino Martinez told me to do that,” Coke said. “We were talking during BP and he said lefties at Yankee Stadium hate fastballs down and away because there’s nothing they can do with them.”
That Tino is full of advice.
“I like talking to him,” Coke said. “He knows the game, and he knows how the stadium plays.”
Since he mentioned Tino: We’re still accepting a FEW more questions for the Tino Q&A. He’ll answer him during the Tampa series of the next homestand and we’ll post them. Like we did with O’Neill.
So much for hitters having trouble with shadows. Guess the Burnett-Beckett matchup really was a draw. An 8-8 draw. The only question is whether the first round of the NFL draft ends before this game.
Actually, there are other questions. Stay tuned for postgame.
Glorious day in Boston! Let’s play nine! Emphasis on nine.
The game has started and soon the hitters won’t be able to see a thing because of the shadows. Jeter and Nick Green — separately — were talking about that before the game.
Well, the shadows didn’t bother Swisher, 1-0 Yankees.
Okay, lots of pregame updates. And, since we didn’t have a pregame show, we’ll put it here.
Ransom was placed on the 60-day DL. He has a right quad injury that Girardi said is significantly worse than the quad strains sustained by Jeter and Alex last year. He’ll have tests Monday in New York. Ransom worked so hard, and so long, for this opportunity, that it’s a shame this hasn’t worked out better for him.
Angel Berroa is here and will play third on an everyday basis until Alex returns. It’s a new role for Berroa, who had yet to log a full inning at third in the big leagues before today. Said Girardi: “We like the experience of Berroa” over Ramiro Pena.
Bruney was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained flexor mass in his right elbow. It’s a muscular ailment; Girardi said the MRI indicated Bruney’s ligament is fine. The treatment will include a week of rest before he starts throwing. Girardi figures the whole deal might take “two-to-three weeks, depending on how he reacts.”
The Yankees will miss Bruney. They already do. He will rejoin the Yankees team for the rest of the trip. Girardi said “we’re going to have to mix and match” in the eighth inning for now.
Mark Melancon was called up for the first time and his will be a much-anticipated debut. He’s not scheduled to arrive in Boston until about 5:30 p.m. “He’s a guy we’ll probably try to ease into it a little bit,” Girardi said. To make room for Melancon on the 40-man roster, Humberto Sanchez was released.
Holy smokes! The Jets moved up to take Sanchez!
With Wang on the 15-day DL, David Robertson was recalled. He threw strikes and was effective during the home opener. He was smiling ear-to-ear today, saying he got the call at 12:30 a.m. He and Berroa flew in late this morning from Rochester, where the AAA Scranton/WB Yankees were playing. (Melancon was on a later flight because the decision on Bruney wasn’t made until later.)
Girardi said Wang will continue to pitch in extended spring games while he rehabs his hips with an exercise and strengthening program of undetermined length. And he said it will “probably” be Hughes who makes the start Tuesday against the Tigers. (That means it will be Hughes.) And it might be Hughes for the duration of Wang’s absence. “You don’t call a guy up to make one start,” Girardi said. “(And we hope) he pitches like he has down there” at AAA.
The NFL draft appears to be moving at a nice clip. It’s still kind of strange that it doesn’t start at noon. Is Crabtree slipping?
4-0 Yankees, Burnett looks very good. Neither Beckett nor the shadows are bothering the Yankees. So much for the pitchers’ duel.
See you on the postgame.