The Yankees HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) comes to an end tonight, and it’s been quite a week. Last night in particular, after the nearly three-hour rain delay, many players stayed into the wee hours with the kids and young adults from Camp Sundown. And they had a blast, with several saying they stayed much later than they’d intended because they were having so much fun.
One blessing of the long rain delay: the Camp Sundown folks were scheduled to arrive in the second or third inning. Because of the delay, they were able to see the entire game.
Aceves and AJ made music, playing acoustic guitar and singing and, sources say, Cashman joined in the vocals. The on-field carnival was a tremendous success. As the entire week has been.
Mark Teixeira: He’s tied for the AL lead in home runs after launching a(nother) rocket to the second deck in right field last night, on a 3-0 pitch. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle noted that pitchers had gone 3-0 on Teixeira in 16 previous plate appearances this season. He’d walked each time, five intentionally. In other words, no other pitcher dared as Vin Mazzaro did, serving up a pitch over the middle of the plate.
Chien-Ming Wang: He might pay a visit to Dr. James Andrews on Monday as he continues to seek the best course of treatment for his right shoulder strain. Wang calls the past year “very frustrating” and fears he won’t pitch again this season. Girardi says the Yankees have to proceed as if Wang won’t be back this season.
Paul O’Neill: He’s joining Kay and Leiter for the balance of the A’s series. He is lucky to have missed last night’s game; O’Neill and two-hour, 43-minute rain delays don’t mix. “That wouldn’t have been real good,” O’Neill said. During the break every half inning, Kay and Leiter sit and sometimes talk, laugh or make fun of each other. O’Neill walks around. He just came back with a hot tea and cookie from the dining room.
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!
Mark it down: April 30 – the day of our first live chat! We’re not sure of the time yet but will let you know. It makes sense to do the first chat at home, where I can navigate the computer logistics under the watchful eye of Internet Guru Kevin Sullivan. This will be historic!
Four games is probably too early to come to conclusions about how Yankee Stadium is going to play. And it’s not like 20 home runs in four games never happened at the old Stadium. But I do know Mark DeRosa told Mark Teixeira, “You’re going to WALK into 40 home runs here.” The two were teammates in Texas.
For those of you who got even a tiny little bit worked up when I mentioned wanting to interview Alex Rodriguez, don’t worry. Those are very long odds. As in, will not happen. (A couple of commenters take things very, very seriously. Wow.)
Welcome to the newbies who are taking a look thanks to Pete Abraham’s recommendation! Enjoy the game tonight on My9. Might blog more later, might not. But I’ll see you tomorrow from the Stadium.
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!
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!
I will never do a weather forecast again. I will never do a weather forecast again. I will never …
So, today’s pregame show was going along swimmingly, plenty of sunshine and fun times with Bob. I happened to mention the clear skies and emphasized HOW WRONG the “ominous forecast” was. Oops!
As soon as I finish my little report, I turn around. Tarp still on the field. Uh-oh. Black clouds rolling in. Shoot. Rain. Serious rain. Oh, no!
Nice job by me.
Luckily, we seem headed for an on-time start. I’ll say no more.
The press dining in Baltimore is one of my faves, especially when they have crab cakes. They usually go one per plate. I always ask for two.
But, today, the main dish was Boog’s Pit Beef sandwich. Ate it like a savage. Unfortunately, dining at the stadium becomes a fact of life when the season starts. Most options don’t measure up to Boog’s. Most, I just skip.
Kay, apparently, doesn’t share my affection for Boog’s. He just returned to the booth with a bacon hamburger and fries. Lots of bacon. I told him that was a bloggable offense.
Elaborate pre-game festivities going on. Teixeira really, really got booed. With venom. He seemed to enjoy it.
By the way, I checked with Cano about his locker situation — that he and Melky, his best friend, are on opposite sides of the clubhouse at Yankee Stadium. I asked if he and Melky were fighting; Robbie laughed.
I asked if they get mad — and stay mad — at each other, like girls do. He smiled, shook his head and said, “No!”
Turns out, it’s just a coincidence. Those were the only lockers open, so they are half a clubhouse apart. Robbie says they’ll live with it.
Mixed reception for Joe Biden on the first-pitch scenario.
See you for the postgame!