Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms! Especially mine!
It is a glorious day in Baltimore. A postcard day. Except for the pollen, which is going to render some of us unable to breathe by the end of the day. After the last road trip, my car had a fresh coat of pollen on it; that’s how this misery starts.
It’s been a long stretch of games — yes, there was a rainout but everyone was still at the stadium — and tomorrow is a very welcome off day. Every single person in the clubhouse is looking forward to it. (No country music in the clubhouse today. In fact, there was no music at all while we were there.)
We did lots of Mother’s Day stuff for today’s pregame shows. Maybe you saw the Ransom feature on “Batting Practice Today presented by Audi.” That was a terrific job by producer Jared Boshnack and his gang, chiefly production assistant Blayke Sheer. Thank you.
Last year, an Oriole who shall remain nameless said he would WALK around the bases if he hit a home run against Joba. Today in the Orioles clubhouse, a few players wanted to know why Joba pumped his fist Tuesday against the Red Sox when his team was losing. (As if we know.) And so, Aubrey Huff hits a home run and makes sure to pump his fist as he rounds first and as he crosses home. Hmmm.
Burnett-Halladay should be a great matchup Tuesday night on My9, and A.J. is excited about it. (Every season My9 lucks into a great game or two that we’d pay to see.) A.J. was going to text Halladay, for whom he has great respect, but decided he’ll wait to talk to him after the game. He says Halladay never worries about who he’s facing — why would he? — so he might not even know that the two will face each other, for the first time.
Surely, Blue Jays fans are excited to welcome back A.J. And Alex.
Had a full breakfast in the Orioles press dining room: Bagel, eggs, bacon, yogurt. Kay had two burgers — they even make burgers before noon, apparently — and bacon, with a side of fruit. Kay isn’t going to Toronto, so we’ll make due with food updates from Leiter.
More later or tomorrow or Tuesday. Will spend time tomorrow compiling your questions for O’Neill.
Just a quick check-in tonight from Baltimore. Definitely a more upbeat mood today and more country music. Loud country music. The Yankees were jamming to Keith Urban yesterday and won, so they listened to more Keith Urban today. Much to the dismay of some players. (The music, not the winning.)
How about Evan Longoria? Wow, another home run today. He is the future face of the game, maybe sooner than we think.
If Yankees fans get to know Cervelli, they’ll like him. He has a confidence and a friendly air about him. Like he expects himself to play well but will smile while he tells you about it.
The coaching staff has thought about dropping Teixeira in the order but wants to give him a chance in the No. 3 spot with Alex hitting behind him. If time spent in the batting cage with Kevin Long is any indication – and you’ve got to think it is – Teixeira is working hard to get it right.
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. We’ll have a bunch of Mother’s Day wishes from players that will appear during tomorrow’s coverage. And we have a Cody Ransom feature for the batting practice show that is worth seeing. At least we think so.
Just ate PB&J with a yogurt. Trying to be healthy. Allergies are a killer here. Kay had two burgers, strawberries and grapes, and a plate of peanut butter, which he says he ate with a spoon. He says he’s on neither the Atkins nor South Beach diet. Just cutting out carbs. How does anyone live without carbs?
ONeill just said that all he needs to do a game is a credential and a bowl of ice cream. Which is not exactly true. Because he just ate dinner. (And, yes, it was late and he wasn’t happy about it, but he didn’t break utensils or anything.)
So O’Neill had a seafood salad, a slab of salmon and a pizza. A large pizza, but he shares. (Thanks, Paul.) And he just brought back two pints of ice cream, including a Turkey Hill NYY flavor, Pinstripe Brownie Blast. He’s also having vanilla bean.
Flaherty packed his own dinner — probably something unbelievably healthy — and Kay had grilled chicken, a burger (no bun) and watermelon. And he just ate the cheese off a piece of pizza.
Hey, I’m just reporting what I see.
Talked for a while today with the guys who are on the DL but are around — Bruney, Ransom and Nady. Bruney played catch from 60-75 feet, didn’t throw hard and made about 35 throws. It’s the first time he’s thrown since the elbow injury. It’s a step in the right direction.
Nady said he should be able to swing a bat in a week-and-a-half. I asked his level of frustration on a scale of one to 10. He said nine. But he said for him to say 10, he’d be really, really bad –“like jumping out of my skin.”
Ransom said he originally felt discomfort in his quad sometime in March. He described it as “a knot” but figured he could play through it. “I’m stubborn,” he said. Ransom later learned through the MRI that it was actually a series of small tears. Those tears converged, if you will, last Friday night in Boston when he slid and became a larger, though not complete, tear.
Ransom is on the 60-day DL, so he has time to rehab, but he did take some swings in the cage for the first time today. He said he’s feeling better but is really frustrated by the injury “because I haven’t been injured since I hurt my back in 1999 and by the way I played. It wasn’t the results I wanted.”
They’re all good guys, and I told them that the readers of my blog wish them well. They seemed to appreciate that. Or maybe they were just humoring me. No, I think they appreciated it.
On second thought, maybe someone else should have held the umbrella for me during pregame.
It’ll be interesting to watch Pettitte if/when a runner reaches third base tonight. He got SO tired of hearing about that Ellsbury steal of home. He and Eiland talked about it, and Eiland was clear that the steal was 100 percent Pettitte’s fault. He also said it should — and would — never happen again. I mentioned Figgins. Eiland said Pettitte “better be” paying close attention if he reaches third.
“Andy told me he peeked at the runner,” meaning Ellsbury, Eiland said. “You cannot peek. You have to make eye contact. You have to make that runner realize that you know what he’s thinking.”
Or, with Abreu on third, Pettitte could pick off Hunter at first. That works.
Hi there! Unlike this trip, this blog post is going to be short.
Lots going on today. Bad news for Xavier Nady, who is a good guy. His eyes watered as he talked about the initial diagnosis on his right elbow being “not great” and as he said he spent the morning making some difficult calls to family members and friends. He expects a final diagnosis tomorrow, when he will go on the DL, and is worried that he’ll need a second Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He initially had the procedure in September 2001 and said he was ready for the start of A ball the following spring.
This is why you don’t automatically trade an outfielder just because you have one too many.
Interesting approach with Chien-Ming Wang today. He threw his bullpen with Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland among the onlookers. Then he went to the pitcher’s mound and faced live batting practice, with Cody Ransom and Melky Cabrera taking swings. The goal is to have Wang translate his good bullpen sessions to the game, something he clearly hasn’t done through two starts. Wang said the issue has been balance-related, with his legs getting ahead of his arm.
We’ll see how it works Saturday, I guess.
Today’s lunch/dinner update: Kay and Cone ate in the press dining room – somewhat of an upset, to the betting public – as did I, though later. The buffet included meatballs, chicken parm, veggies and stuffed shells. Flaherty skipped ballpark food; he had a sandwich at the hotel.
The Yankees head home after the game and every single person in the traveling party is ecstatic about that. There are a million cowbells here at the Trop – today’s giveaway – so it’ll be a loud sendoff if the Rays get going.
Nice to see everyone wearing No. 42. CC Sabathia said one of the reasons he didn’t fly ahead of the team in anticipation of his start tomorrow is because he wanted to take part in Jackie Robinson Day.
I asked Mariano Rivera about the home opener being tomorrow. His response: “I love it.”
Swisher had three Red Bulls and three RBI.
Teixeira had balloons — white, black and silver — hanging above his locker and was given a birthday cake by his teammates. A.J. might have been the organizer, not sure about that. Sources say the cake read: “Happy Birthday, Mark. From the Baltimore Orioles.” Nice touch.
Teixeira thinks he’ll play tomorrow but said his left wrist is sore. Joba-Meche should be a good one. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ransom gets a day off, but Girardi wouldn’t give away the lineup tonight. Both teams are holding optional batting practice; the weather, unfortunately, could be an issue.
Finally, folks, this could be a big night for the blog: Bruney not only asked about this little endeavor of ours, he promised to comment! Coolio! One of his teammates told Bruney he couldn’t use curse words. Bruney then said he didn’t know if that was possible. We shall see.
Had to haul tail to make the bus tonight, by the way. CC and his wife were a football field ahead of me as the bus came into view, and I KNEW they wouldn’t leave without them. I made it!