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.
In what possibly could qualify as a jinx, we mentioned Cano’s 14-game hitting streak to him tonight during our InnerView on Batting Practice Today presented by Audi. He didn’t want to talk about it. Please, baseball gods, let him get a hit in this game.
Cano was very, very impressive — and honest — when we spoke. He has matured, looks at last year as a lesson learned and is grateful to Kevin Long for working with him tirelessly, including in the Dominican during the offseason. (A lot of players love K-Long.) It was Cano who brought up the “lazy” tag – one he hates and knows he has to prove wrong. He’s well on his way.
Ate in the press dining room tonight and had chicken, potatoes and salad. Not bad. Cone’s drinking coffee, and I think Kenny ate with John and Suzyn earlier.
Miguel Cabrera looks like he can hit in his sleep.
The Tigers probably wouldn’t have released Sheffield if they’d somehow foreseen the abdominal injury to Marcus Thames. (Which would have been impossible.) Right after Sheffield got his 500th home run, Leyland called him, and Sheffield returned the call. They still have a good relationship. And the Tigers recently sent a representative to New York to present Sheffield with a crystal trophy recognizing the milestone.
A story in the Detroit News yesterday was so sad: Tinker Bell, a 6-pound Chihuahua, got caught up in 70 mph winds and blew away during storms Saturday. The News reported, “Witnesses last saw the dog airborne…” (Seriously, that’s what it said.)
Well, guess what? Tinker Bell was found! About three-quarters of a mile away from home. She’s back home with her 72-year-old owner. Hooray!
By the way, big start tonight for Hughes, eh? He wasn’t in the clubhouse yesterday, and starters almost never talk on the day of their start, so the media didn’t talk to Phil prior to his outing about the pressure to stop a four-game skid, about any nerves he might be feeling. We think the Yankees liked it that way.
One more thing worth mentioning. I just noticed some comments questioning Posada and his running to first after pinch-hitting last night. We learned today that Posada has a sore hamstring and said he didn’t want to pull it running. He first felt it while stretching — yes, stretching — prior to Sunday night’s game in Boston. Posada isn’t in the lineup tonight. He said he can hit and squat but feels it when he runs. He also said it is “no concern.” You can bet the Yankees will be keeping tabs on it, but Girardi said Posada is available to pinch hit tonight and could catch.
Mark Teixeira was a late scratch (around 5:15 p.m. local time) and expected to see the Royals doctor about his sore left wrist before the game. Kevin Long told me that Teixeira took only four swings right-handed before saying he couldn’t go. “Obviously, we don’t want him out of the lineup,” K-Long said when I asked his level of concern. We’ll have more from Girardi on postgame. (I love the “level of concern” question and know that I ask it all the time.)
Very, very generous offer from Kay, who bought dinner for the guys. He even made Patrick (one of our runners here in K.C.) find me to ask if I wanted anything.
What a gesture! I’m not always easy to find.
But, I had already eaten chicken and mashed potatoes (two scoops) in the press dining room, so I passed. Patrick reports that Kay gave him a “crisp, new $50” to pay for din-din. He also says that since Flaherty bought yesterday and Kay today, it must be Cone’s turn tomorrow. I like Patrick.
OK, so Kay and Flaherty each ordered a burger and fries. Both burgers plain. Kay must be rubbing off on Flaherty. Cone went with the Italian sausage with mustard. Crazy guy.
By the way, the Royals charge $10 for dinner but have no receipts to prove it. So, when I file my expense report with Bruce Williams, I will include this blog entry.
Wanted to catch part of the Red Sox-Angels game today but didn’t. Must have been a good game (Don’t know if you saw it, but the Angels did an outstanding job with the Nick Adenhart tribute Friday night. Thank you, MLB.tv.). In the clubhouse today the players were watching the Masters. Swisher says he’s a 13-handicap. It’s impossible to imagine Swisher on a golf course, exhibiting the requisite decorum.
“I’m calm when I golf,” Swisher insists. “Really, I am.”
So, now we know the two places the guy isn’t going 100 mph: At the plate and on the course.
Big day for autograph seekers here at the New K: Joba and Mariano signed for a while after BP. Gotta watch the game now. See you on the post!