It’s Flashback Friday here at Rogers Centre. Does that mean we can call it Skydome? The Blue Jays look dandy in their powder blues. And they wish it were 1993.
Anyway, Mariano was joking around in the clubhouse before the game. That’s the surest sign that his left groin is feeling better. He’ll throw a side session tomorrow and, if all goes well, be available Sunday.
Derek Jeter: With the way the schedule is breaking, it’s almost certain he’ll break Lou Gehrig’s franchise hits record at home. (Which, really, is how it should be.) Jeter isn’t in the lineup tonight; Girardi called it a planned day off. He’s eight hits shy of tying The Iron Horse and has two games left in Toronto. Then it’s 10 games at home. The record-breaker will be an outstanding moment. How will his teammates congratulate him? Will they go on the field? Or stand at the dugout, joining the ovation?
David Cone: “Are you blogging?” he wants to know. “Yes!” I reply. Through his extensive pre-game research, he has some “offensive tidbits” to pass along.
One, the Yankees don’t chase bad pitches. In fact, they’re best in the Majors at identifying balls and strikes. The Yankees swing at just 22.2 percent of pitches outside the strike zone. The Giants swing at the most — 31.6 percent.
Two, the Yankees are selective, stubbornly so. As are the Red Sox. Boston hitters swing at just 42.4 percent of pitches seen, the lowest rate in baseball. The Yankees are just behind at 42.6 percent. And you wonder why their games are so long.
Yogi Berra: At 7 p.m. on Sept. 17, Fritz Peterson will be at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center for a discussion and signing of his new book, “Mickey Mantle is Going to Heaven.” Fritz had an interesting career; he played with Mantle and Munson and was a 20-game winner in 1970.
Jonathan Papelbon: The Red Sox closer was fined $5,000 by MLB for a pacing violation during his outing Tuesday. (His 2009 salary is $6.25 million.) He said he’s been fined at least five times for taking too long at the start of an inning.
“Game pace, pace of game, or something like that,” Papelbon told the Boston Globe and WEEI.com. “I don’t know why they keep coming after me. It’s probably because I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m not obeying the rules. You’re allowed (two minutes, 25 seconds), and I’m taking too long.”
Remember when Theo Epstein said his closer “isn’t a Rhodes scholar, obviously?” That was funny.
Jay Alford: The Giants defensive lineman is gone for the season after partially tearing his ACL. That’s a shame. Why? Because he went to Atlanta during the offseason to work his tail off with Osi and was going to be a big contributor this season. And he’s a Nittany Lion.