Obviously, getting a repeat of yesterday’s weather was too much to ask.
Lots of stuff on a Sunday morning, with Wang a main topic of discussion, Nady actually providing another day of no news, and the Yanks looking to put yesterday’s debacle behind them. And quickly.
That’s why Swisher walked through the clubhouse and ripped the front and back pages off the newspapers. “New day, fellas!” he said. (Swisher’s introduction of the lineup was entertaining yesterday on FOX. And his Q&A in today’s NY Post with Steve Serby is a good one.)
As for Wang, he doesn’t look like himself on or off the mound. And, at this point, how can it not translate? If his confidence is shot, he’ll need strong results to rebuild it. And he seems a long way from anything close to a good outing.
Girardi believes it started as a mechanical flaw that has evolved into a mental crisis of confidence. Not good. Eiland says it’s Wang who has to work himself out of it, and he strongly believes that he will. “He’s still Chien-Ming Wang,” Eiland says.
Bruney has an interesting perspective, since he sustained two months earlier the same injury as Wang last year. Bruney believes Wang’s troubles stem from not yet trusting his right (push-off) foot. Bruney says he was doing the same thing during his rehab, and his velocity was down and his stuff was off. He worked his way through it — and has been great out of the pen — which is what he says Wang has to do. You’ve got to wonder if that was easier to do in the midst of an offseason or spring, as opposed to during the regular season when you’ve already been shelled thrice.
Not much of a food update. Here’s the deal: On the road, most of us eat around the same time, between pregame and the game. At home, all bets are off. Kenny and Kay probably ate in the press dining room. O’Neill just had pizza and ice cream, which is quite a sight, considering it does not impact his 32-inch waist.
As for me, I had a pretzel that could have chipped glass, so most of it wound up in the garbage can. And some fruit and yogurt.
Okay, O’Neill just stood up (between innings) and said, “I’ve had it! I’ve tried everything else, I’m having a burger!”
He returned smiling because the press dining room lady told him, “Man, you’re eating a lot today!”
Hello from the Trop. Good thing we’re under cover. It rained hard all day.
Tonight’s game is on My9, which usually means I don’t work. Today I’m at the Trop to finish up some interviews for a Jackie Robinson feature tomorrow — should be a good one; the pressure is on producer Jared Boshnack 🙂 — and to watch at least the beginning of what should be a great pitching matchup.
Just got back to the booth from the field. Flaherty bought dinner and made the independent decision to get me a grilled chicken sandwich. Nice move. He’s having the same thing. Kay and Cone are eating chicken tenders and fries.
Dave Eiland talked about Wang, saying he’s seen the same struggles and arm angle issues before — during the ’07 playoffs and during a brief period last year, before Wang got hurt.
Eiland said Wang looked strong in the bullpen, as late as 6:45 p.m. Monday. But, the stuff obviously didn’t translate into the game.
“He’s the one who has to do it,” Eiland said. “The player always has to do it.”
Eiland and Girardi met with Wang behind closed doors, probably talking about those things and also making sure Wang remains confident.
“It’s there; I’ve seen it,” Eiland said of Wang’s good stuff. “He just has to take it into a game. He’s going to get it. He’s going to get it because it’s there.”
All of that being said, the Yankees believed last night was a big start for Wang because they didn’t want his awful debut to carry over. That makes Wang’s next start really big, for his mechanics as well as his confidence.
Talked with Alex Rodriguez, who is at the game again tonight. He said he awoke with usual workout soreness but nothing that would be of any concern. He said Dr. Philipon was delighted to hear that. The rain changed Alex’s workout a bit, but not much, and he remains encouraged and upbeat. (His interest in the blog was minimal, though he did ask the name of it. He suggested I sign up Swisher for some sort of a role. Not an awful idea. Everyone wants a piece of Swisher these days.)
Hung out with Mariano for a while as the Rays took BP. Evan Longoria walked along the third base line and tipped his cap. Nice. Mariano appreciated that. It was funny to watch the Rays, especially Longoria, keep an eye on Mariano. He’s baseball royalty. Once Don Zimmer started motioning and yelling over, I knew I was done. Sure enough, Mariano went over to Zim, saying he loves him and had to say hello.
Gabe Kapler had an awesome response to being struck out by Swisher: He now has an answer when people ask him his most embarrassing moment. Also said he had no problem with Swisher’s wanting to keep the ball.
Joe Maddon marveled at that catch Upton made. (Who didn’t?) He said it was as technically perfect as it could have been. Maddon and Molina shared a nice moment during BP. There is much respect between the two, from their days with the Angels.
A long trip is a step closer to coming home. Kay says he’s already packed. Already a better start for the Yanks with Gardner getting a bloop hit.