Angela (from my chat), you were correct! Jesse Carlson was spotted by My9 cameras in the visiting dugout after he was ejected last night. Flaherty and Leiter say they were making the point during the broadcast that Carlson should not have been there. Nice catch, Ang!
“This Week in Football”: I’m required by producer Jared Boshnack to make NFL picks. Went 2-1 last week, hitting on Giants and Saints and missing the Jets. This week, I’ll take the Giants because of their pass rush. And the Patriots because they’re the Patriots. For my third pick, I’ll go with the Titans over the Texans because the Texans looked awful and somewhat disinterested.
Angels-Yankees: Yeah, it’s two days late, but Monday’s game yielded some interesting comments from the visiting clubhouse. Said pitcher Jered Weaver, who is having an outstanding season: “It’s pick your poison with anybody who comes up to the plate for them.” Said Mike Scioscia, who knows a thing or two about how much solid relief pitching can propel a team: “(The Yankees are) definitely not a team you want to get in a bullpen war with.”
Should be a fun three-game series in Anaheim, beginning Monday. And here’s a weekend highlight: CC against King Felix on Saturday night at Safeco Field.
It’s Flashback Friday here at Rogers Centre. Does that mean we can call it Skydome? The Blue Jays look dandy in their powder blues. And they wish it were 1993.
Anyway, Mariano was joking around in the clubhouse before the game. That’s the surest sign that his left groin is feeling better. He’ll throw a side session tomorrow and, if all goes well, be available Sunday.
Derek Jeter: With the way the schedule is breaking, it’s almost certain he’ll break Lou Gehrig’s franchise hits record at home. (Which, really, is how it should be.) Jeter isn’t in the lineup tonight; Girardi called it a planned day off. He’s eight hits shy of tying The Iron Horse and has two games left in Toronto. Then it’s 10 games at home. The record-breaker will be an outstanding moment. How will his teammates congratulate him? Will they go on the field? Or stand at the dugout, joining the ovation?
David Cone: “Are you blogging?” he wants to know. “Yes!” I reply. Through his extensive pre-game research, he has some “offensive tidbits” to pass along.
One, the Yankees don’t chase bad pitches. In fact, they’re best in the Majors at identifying balls and strikes. The Yankees swing at just 22.2 percent of pitches outside the strike zone. The Giants swing at the most — 31.6 percent.
Two, the Yankees are selective, stubbornly so. As are the Red Sox. Boston hitters swing at just 42.4 percent of pitches seen, the lowest rate in baseball. The Yankees are just behind at 42.6 percent. And you wonder why their games are so long.
Yogi Berra: At 7 p.m. on Sept. 17, Fritz Peterson will be at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center for a discussion and signing of his new book, “Mickey Mantle is Going to Heaven.” Fritz had an interesting career; he played with Mantle and Munson and was a 20-game winner in 1970.
Jonathan Papelbon: The Red Sox closer was fined $5,000 by MLB for a pacing violation during his outing Tuesday. (His 2009 salary is $6.25 million.) He said he’s been fined at least five times for taking too long at the start of an inning.
“Game pace, pace of game, or something like that,” Papelbon told the Boston Globe and WEEI.com. “I don’t know why they keep coming after me. It’s probably because I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m not obeying the rules. You’re allowed (two minutes, 25 seconds), and I’m taking too long.”
Remember when Theo Epstein said his closer “isn’t a Rhodes scholar, obviously?” That was funny.
Jay Alford: The Giants defensive lineman is gone for the season after partially tearing his ACL. That’s a shame. Why? Because he went to Atlanta during the offseason to work his tail off with Osi and was going to be a big contributor this season. And he’s a Nittany Lion.
Here’s how you know – with lock-down certainty – that John Flaherty’s a good teammate. He had a few Canadian bucks burning a hole in his pocket, so he bought chicken wraps at the concession stand for dinner. Nice.
Sergio Mitre: Mitre balked at a question Friday in Chicago about whether he felt he was pitching for his job, but it cannot be a good feeling knowing the Yankees called up Anthony Claggett for bullpen insurance. When Girardi was asked earlier today about what has changed the most on his team since it last saw Boston, he started with the bullpen. The Yankees don’t want to risk blowing out the pen tonight with four looming against the Red Sox.
Cody Ransom: Ransom was designated for assignment to make room for Claggett. He was popular among teammates. It’s a shame this season, when he finally had some opportunities but also dealt with a 60-day stay on the DL, didn’t work out better for him.
Mark Rzepczynski: Spell check has a problem with the name of the Blue Jays starter. If you ever have to say it, it’s zep-chin-ski. Easier said than written, right?
Joba Chamberlain: He flew ahead. You would think he’ll have a lot of energy to harness tomorrow night against John Smoltz and the Red Sox. Joba was exactly two months shy of his third birthday when Smoltz made his major league debut on July 23, 1988.
Paula Abdul: What in the name of Clay Aiken is going on? Idol won’t be the say without her and her giant cup of Diet Coke. We’ll have to ask Jeter what he thinks of this development. Probably will wait until after the Boston series for such a conversation.
George Murray: The 38-year-old died last night after battling ALS for three years. He and his family – wife Kim and son Trayson, 4 – and a host of friends were guests of the Yankees two weeks ago during Hope Week. George spent three years in the Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. One of his dreams was to attend a Yankees game with his son. “I know there are a million other fathers out there who don’t get this experience, and I hope they have it one day,” George Murray said July 22 at the Stadium. “This proves that regardless of your circumstances, your dreams and goals can be accomplished and come true.”