Can you believe Michael Jackson is dead? When he was a kid, Joba had a poster of Chipper Jones on the wall of his bedroom. We had a poster of Michael Jackson. Just startling news. Right up until gametime, CNN was playing on the TVs in the press room here at Turner Field. Everyone’s talking about it. Probably everywhere.
Speaking of Joba, he was delighted to meet Chipper before the game. The two talked for 15 minutes. Chipper was gracious, giving Joba some tips based on the considerable amount of video he watched before facing Joba last night. Chipper probably had some worthwhile advice; he had two hits. Anyway, Joba was almost awestruck talking about Chipper after BP. That’s cool. And a reminder that Joba is so young, at 23. And that Chipper, at 37, is old. By baseball standards. (By the way, Joba wanted to thank media relations guru Jason Zillo for setting up the meeting with Chipper. So we’ll help him out with that.)
Derek Jeter: There were signs wishing Jeter a happy birthday a day early; he turns 35 tomorrow. One woman held this sign: “I’m on my honeymoon. Come see me, Derek.” Someday we’re going to have to ask Jeter if he notices this stuff. How could he not?
Alex Rodriguez: He said before the game that the past two days are the best he’s felt at the plate. Then he crushes a first-inning solo home run to center. And now an RBI-single to center.
Chicken parmesan: It’s a favorite of Kay’s, and they’re serving it tonight in the press dining room. He gave positive reviews. We second that. And the Edy’s soft-serve for dessert didn’t hurt. We ate dinner with Sweeny and Pete Abraham. They, too, have fond memories of MJ from when they were kids.
You readers rock! We’re all set with questions from you for Phil Hughes who will do the “Innerview” for the “Batting Practice Show presented by Audi” during the Seattle series. Probably Tuesday. If you submit a question now (in the comments), it’ll have to be a good one to make the cut. Thanks! Hughes says he’s looking forward to it. And we believe him.
Tuesday is also our next chat, at 6:45 p.m. from the Stadium. It’ll be a busy day. Selfish promo: Along with Adam the Bull, we’re filling in from 6-10 a.m. next week on WFAN for Boomer & Carton. We have big shoes to fill!
All aboard! We learned late this afternoon that the Yankees held a team meeting after last night’s 4-0 loss. Coaches and players were present. Jeter and Teixeira were the only ones to talk. Their messages were about staying positive, knowing they are better than what they’ve shown and HAVING to play better. Pretty basic stuff for a team that’s 4-9 over its last 13 games. Girardi likes this sort of thing; he wants his players to voice their opinions. A.J. is serving his five-game suspension, so he wasn’t in the clubhouse. If he had been, the smart money is that he also would have spoken up.
Johnny Damon: He’s not close to 100 percent with that left calf problem but knows the team needs him. He’s used to playing hurt.
Chien-Ming Wang: Since last night’s game was on My9, we didn’t talk to Wang until today. He smiled a bit and said he was mostly pleased with his outing. He’s starting to get that confident look back. He and Mariano chatted about some things today. Don’t know the details, but that’s a good friend for Wang to have.
Chipper Jones: Talked to him for today’s “Innerview.” Add him to the list of WBC alums in love with Jeter. He went on and on about the Captain, joining Pedroia, Rollins and DeRosa, who did so in previous “Innerviews.” Chipper’s a fun guy, even if Mets fans don’t think so. Said he received his two seats from Shea Stadium today! What timing!
Joba Chamberlain: He was hitting balls into the left field seats in BP and wanted to make sure we took note of that. Check. We told him we wanted to see it during the game. He didn’t make any promises. He did, however, just hit a liner off Kawakami’s neck. It appears the pitcher is OK; he walked off under his power but he’s out of the game. By the way, on the scoreboard here, it gives an “Upper Deck Scouting Report” for players. Joba’s read, in part, “upper 90s FB.” Joba likes Atlanta, where nobody complains about his velocity.
Cody Ransom: Nice to see him back. He is a really good guy who didn’t play nearly as well as he’d hoped in April. Now he gets another chance in a role off the bench. Berroa was designated for assignment, much to Pete Abraham’s dismay.
Nate McLouth: The Braves CF has made two impressive catches – one was terrific – and it’s only the third inning. He said he feels energized by playing in a bigger market and on a more competitive team than the Pirates. He also marvels at the Bay-McLouth-Nady outfield that Pittsburgh had – and still could have. All three are nice guys and they keep in touch with each other, mostly via texts.
Michael Kay: He sent Peter the Runner to the concession stands for a slice of pizza. It was so good, he sent Peter for another. Then we sent Peter for one. Peter is a regular at the pizza stand. “Did you blog about the pizza?” Kay just asked between innings. Now we did.