Gardner is in trouble. With Bruney.
The two are obsessed with the Tiger Woods videogame. They play against each other all time. To the winner goes custody of a Tiger figurine.
When Bruney triumphs, he paints Tiger’s cap, shirt and shoes red. When Gardner prevails, he paints the cap, shirt and shoes green.
Yesterday, Gardner jumped the shark. He painted the entire figurine green. And he put thought into it — he asked a clubbie in Texas to purchase bright green paint and a small paintbrush. Then, he temporarily hid the mini-Tiger from Bruney.
By this morning, Bruney had seen it.
“He painted it like a two year old,” Bruney seethed. “Why did he have to paint the whole thing green? I’m done.”
With the videogame?
“No, with Gardner and the figurine,” Bruney said. “Ask him why he did it.”
Gardner was busy with the Big Buck Hunter Pro arcade game — our apologies for getting the name of the game wrong yesterday — when we were in the clubhouse, so Gardner’s comment on this controversy will have to come postgame or tomorrow.
By the way, sources indicate that Farnsworth owns a Big Buck Hunter Pro and keeps it at his home in Georgia. That’s perfect.
Double time for Jeter: 14-game hitting streak for the Captain and he didn’t waste any time. Jinx this!
Menu musings: Kay just asked the runner to go the concession stand for a slice of pizza. He talked Flaherty into ordering one, too. (Yesterday Kay went with his other staple, chicken fingers and fries.) Kay bought. The slices are huge! Kay usually will eat only the cheese. Today, he’s eating the entire slice. “I feel like treating myself,” he explained.
We ate room-service oatmeal at the hotel for breakfast, so we declined the pizza offer and also will skip The Hal Lebovitz Press Dining Room today.
Yes, to answer your questions, we pay for meals at every ballpark. Tampa is $6. Yankee Stadium and Toronto are $11. Texas and Cleveland are $10. All receipts wind up on expense reports.
In the NFL, teams don’t charge the media for food on gamedays. At least we don’t think any of them do. In fact, some — the Steelers, for sure — allow reporters to eat in the cafeteria during the week, alongside Dan Rooney.
A.J. the tutor: A.J. takes great interest in his teammates and how they’re doing, especially the pitchers. He has developed a particular fondness for Wang, and the two were in the outfield just before noon, getting some throwing in on flat ground.
A.J. finished first and stayed to watch Wang throw. Then, he stepped behind Wang and offered what appeared to be mechanical suggestions. He and Wang were discussing Wang’s grip on the sinker.
We’ll ask A.J. for more details, probably tomorrow.
Melky to return: Girardi expects Melky to be in the lineup tomorrow, after missing four games with the bruised shoulder. It might be Damon who gets a day off; he’s been sore since colliding with the wall/fence in Texas.
The visiting clubhouse in Cleveland is kind of like a mini arcade. There’s the Big Game Hunter Pro, aka the Kyle Farnsworth Game. Farnsworth never looked more comfortable than when he was playing that game. And rather scary with the play rifle in his hand. Ramiro Pena appears to have developed quite a fondness for the Farnsworth game. “I love it,” he said, while shooting.
There’s a Nintendo game — an original — and a Cornhole bean bag game, which A.J. and Tomko played in the tunnel leading to the dugout. About an hour in, both were sweating.
Gardner and Bruney regularly do battle on a Tiger Woods video game. The winner gets custody of a Tiger figurine. Today, while sitting at his locker, Gardner painted the figurine green, then hid it from Bruney and swore a couple of us to secrecy. (The green paint on his fingertips might have been a giveaway.) After that, Gardner borrowed Joba’s laser and pointed the little red light at unsuspecting teammates.
Meanwhile, Bruney and CC — tonight’s starter — were playing a Nintendo baseball game on the big screen. (CC might have had more trouble with that game than he is with the Indians.)
And in Posada’s locker sat a framed back page of Newsday from May 17, 2006, when Teixeira — then a Ranger — barreled over Posada at home plate. Teixeira signed the paper, “To Jorge: Thanks for your forgiveness. Now we are best friends! Mark Teixeira”
The first-place Yankees are a fun bunch.
Another save by Mo: Last night, we walked with Mariano from the clubhouse to the team bus. We had to go through the Indians family room and up a flight of stairs. At the base of the steps, a young Cleveland player and his wife were struggling with their baby’s stroller. The player was holding their sleepy daughter and the wife couldn’t manage to lift the stroller on the steps. So Mariano did what a lot of people wouldn’t have — he carried the stroller up the stairs. You should have seen the looks on the faces of the Indians player and his wife. They were completely in awe. Mariano and the couple exchanged some words in Spanish and then he got on the bus.
Aces wild: Had a nice pregame chat with Aceves, who likes to show off a nasty cut on the base of the big toe on the bottom of his right foot. It’s gross. He says it’s not the slightest bit painful. Anyway, he loves his role, even thought it is not defined in any way. He says he wants to pitch every day, doesn’t care if he pitches three innings (as he did last night) or the eighth inning (Girardi likes Aceves’ versatility too much to limit him to one inning on a regular basis) or comes in as a long man (as he did when Joba was hit and left in the first inning against the O’s) or as a starter. He just wants to pitch and he doesn’t complain. He also says his shoulder feels better than ever and is amazed that he has no soreness whatsoever. Then he showed us the toe, so the conversation ended.
Swish-talk: Swisher reports that his dad, who is here, likes his Swish-hawk haircut and his stepmother absolutely loves it. “It’s so easy,” he said. “Just run some water through it, a little gel and it’s done.” He was also delighted when we passed along the message from Polly Tompkins. Delighted!