Results tagged ‘ Nick Swisher ’

Comings and goings in the Majors

Swisher-9-2-(2)-250.jpgSo we’re sitting here in the booth, Kay’s eating a heaping portion of peanut butter and I’m thinking about blogging. Thinking about it. And then, out of nowhere – perhaps his memory was jogged when Kenny mentioned that Teixeira attended high school in Baltimore — one of our local freelancers in the booth tells a story.

He’d like me to refer to him as “Pablo.”

When he was a young man in the 60′s, Pablo attended a public all-boys school in Baltimore. When gym class incorporated swimming, the boys were required to swim sans suits. There was concern about wet suits getting moldy in the lockers. Or something.

Anyway, Pablo said 140 “naked guys” would swim together. At the end of class, they’d form two teams and play a game like water polo in the shallow end of the pool. With a volleyball. A few gym teachers supervised, but there were no rules. None.

Wow. Can you possibly imagine this happening today?

Thank you, Pablo, for participating. Now back to Yankees-Orioles.

Nick Swisher: He’d like you to wear jeans and donate $5 to Women’s Cancer Programs to fight breast cancer. He’s signed on as an Entertainment Industry Foundation Ambassador for Lee National Denim Day on Oct. 2. Swisher lost his grandmother to cancer in 2005 and continues to honor her memory with campaigns such as this one. We’ll have more info for you as National Denim Day approaches.

Labor Day: For the Monday doubleheader against the Rays, Yankee Stadium gates will open at 10 a.m. for the 1:05 scheduled game and 5 p.m. for the second game at 7:05 p.m. The second game is rescheduled from June 5, when it rained. Tickets for the postponed June 5 game will be valid only for the 7:05 game, not the 1 p.m. game.

CC and A.J. are starting that day. Girardi hasn’t announced if they’ll go in alphabetical order or if CC will start the opener. A.J. will be on an extra day.

Sergio Mitre: His forearm is feeling better and he’ll start Sunday in the finale in Toronto. It’s Gaudin, Joba and Pettitte in the first three games there. Joba is opposed by Halladay, who hasn’t been himself since all that trade talk.

This Week in Football: A new season premieres Friday night – only on YES! More details to come tomorrow. Oh, in the comments, one of you mentioned the TWIF promos. (Yes, I swear I read the comments and apologize for not answering more questions.) So I checked. I’m told our new promos, which we shot Aug. 25, haven’t aired yet. I’m sure they’ll surface soon, and hopefully you like them.

Nick Markakis: Amazingly, only two major-leaguers have played in each of his team’s game this season. The Orioles RF is one of them. The other? Prince Fielder. Prince Fielder! Why do I get a kick out of that note? Thanks, Elias Sports Bureau.

The White Sox: So they finally beat the Twins at the Metrodome, coming from behind against Joe Nathan for a 4-2 win this afternoon. The White Sox went 2-7 at the Metrodome this year and were 3-16 since the summer of 2007, leading Ozzie Guillen to refer to the Dome as a funeral home. The Twins will open their outdoor ballpark – Target Field – next season.

“How crazy this thing is,” Guillen said. “We figure out how to win in this place, and now we can’t come back here no more.”

After the game, Paul Konerko walked into the visiting clubhouse and yelled, “We own this place!”

From afar, the White Sox seem baseball’s traveling carnival.

Chat room: We’ll do another chat soon — the first in a while — with Internet Guru Kevin Sullivan there to head off any technical difficulties. I’ll let you know the date as soon as I do.

Hairston handled himself well

Last night, Jerry Hairston Jr. conducted a clinic on how to handle the aftermath of committing a devastating error. First, he stopped the first reporter he saw — WFAN’s Sweeny Murti — and told him, “I know you guys want to talk to me. I’m going to get something to eat and I’ll be right back.”

Then, when he emerged, Hairston literally invited the media to his locker with a wave. And he answered every single question.

hairston400_090109.jpg“He knows you have to be accountable,” Derek Jeter said. “Everyone makes mistakes. That’s one reason it’s so hard to throw a perfect game.”

Pettitte also reassured Hairston, joking that he didn’t want to throw nine innings anyway. Posada said everyone felt bad for “J-Hair.”

“Jerry’s been outstanding,” Jeter said. “He’s playing everywhere, the infield, the outfield, and he’s catching between innings. I don’t think people appreciate how difficult that is.”

Speaking of Jeter, he is the Yankees nominee for the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, which annually recognizes the player who performs exceptionally on the field and contributes in the community.

Johnny Damon: Told Damon today that I could not say “calf cramp” on yesterday’s pregame. He laughed. Much more significantly, Damon paid a “very rewarding” visit to Walter Reed Army Hospital today, part of his ongoing commitment to the Wounded Warrior Project. Swisher, Robertson and Coke went along. Johnny was particularly touched by a young quadriplegic he has seen on several visits. “I see the progress he’s making,” Johnny said. “And he has a great spirit, a great sense of life. Definitely, he’s an inspiration.”

Alex Rodriguez: He’s back at third tonight and this morning, Alex spoke to 500 student-athletes at Millford Mill Academy in Baltimore County about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs. According to a news release, Alex opened his remarks: “As a kid, my favorite player was Cal Ripken, Jr. Has anyone here heard of him?”

The man knew his audience. Alex went on to say he made a mistake and “one of my missions in life is to turn a negative into a positive.” He called his admission of steroid use “pretty darn liberating.”

The call-ups: Francisco Cervelli, Ramiro Pena, Mark Melancon, Edwar Ramirez and lefty Mike Dunn. As you would imagine, they were smiling a lot in the clubhouse.

Adam Jones: The young Oriole center fielder hates to lose, which will be important as he becomes a leader on a Baltimore team that is trying to rise from the ashes. And Jones wasn’t thrilled last night to see Yankees fans taking over Camden Yards. “We’re not at the new Yankee Stadium,” Jones said. “I expect more of our fans to be here, but I understand completely why they’re not. But it (stinks) that they’re not.”

Jim Thome:
Had a chance to interview him for Saturday’s “Batting Practice Today presented by Audi” when the White Sox were in town. No wonder he’s considered one of the friendliest players in the game. Anyway, today on WFAN, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti was interviewed by Adam the Bull and Jon Heyman. Colletti said Thome wanted to make sure he was upfront in telling the Dodgers he did not think he could play first base for them. No matter. The Dodgers want his bat and his leadership, which could pay off big.    

Pitchers head out for a fun run

pettitte_250.jpgThis afternoon, Dave Robertson and Andy Pettitte were running the concourse of Citi Field. The concourse.

“It’s fun, something different,” Robertson said. “We kind of got lost a couple of times.”

Tomko and A.J. are the ringleaders among concourse runners. Joba also has joined. Tomko has been running concourses since 1999 when Reds teammate Juan Guzman got him hooked. Some Yankees began to join him during last weekend’s Florida series. Hey, it beats running circles around the field.

“It can be like Groundhog Day during a season,” Tomko said. “This breaks up the workouts; it goes quicker.”

They run in packs of four sometimes. In a 20-minute run, each guy takes the lead for five minutes. He might break up the run with sit-ups or jumping jacks.

“Right in the middle of the concourse,” Tomko said.

“It’s a lot more fun than running,” Joba said. “I mean, it is running, but you can do a lot more things.”

Joba enjoyed checking out Citi Field, which he describes as “nice, very nice.” Said Tomko: “Extremely nice. It has a lot of character.”

As for Robertson and Pettitte, they made it back to the clubhouse after an unplanned detour.

“We were up by the Caesar’s Club (on the fifth of six floors), then almost ran into the press box,” Robertson said. “We weren’t sure where we were, but we figured we should get out of there.”

Nick Swisher:
As we were talking to Robertson, Swisher couldn’t help but interject. “Are you asking him why he threw McCann two backdoor cutters?” asked Swisher, wearing a Cheshire Cat grin. “That’s what I want to know.” (Brian McCann of the Braves hit two home runs against Robertson.) Robertson laughed: “Well, the first one was supposed to be a fastball in – and wasn’t. And the second one was supposed to be a fastball away – and wasn’t.” Swisher was highly amused. Robertson’s a good sport. “He hit two bombs off me,” Robertson said. “But I had a pretty good string going of not giving up home runs.” In 16.1 innings, those are the only two jacks Robertson has given up.

Derek Jeter:
He’s got to be really sick to miss back-to-back games with the cough/illness that’s going around the clubhouse.

“George!” That’s how Keith Hernandez greets Cone whenever he comes into the YES booth during the Subway Series. We asked Cone why. When Cone was traded by the Royals to the Mets, he often talked about George Brett. So much so, that Hernandez decided to call him George. And probably a few other things. Honestly, as we told Cone, it’s a much more innocent story than we’d anticipated.

Subway Series:
Enjoy tomorrow night’s game, the final interleague contest of the regular season. We’ll be watching.

Running on empty

 
arod250_061909.jpgStrange 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.

Rainy day woman…again

rain_300.jpgA trivia question:

What does Kay eat during a rain delay?

A.   Peanut M&Ms
B.   Fruit Loops
C.   Watermelon
D.  Nathan’s French Fries
E.   All of the above

The answer is E. That’s what happens when a rain delay stretches to nearly four hours, and counting, for a scheduled 1 p.m. start.

You might wonder how we’re spending the day. It probably would be more interesting to know how the players spent the day, but we can’t ask them that for a while. Probably a long while.

We did have a chance to confirm with Internet Guru Kevin Sullivan that our next chat will be Tuesday, June 30. We’ll provide a million reminders before then.

Hopefully, Wang enjoyed his first appearance on the YES postgame show last night. He was great, considering he says he’s not comfortable on camera, and very happy about the birth of Justin Jesse, his 7-pound, 12-ounce son. He stood at his locker amid congratulatory balloons, and he was holding a piece of paper with the baby’s footprints.

And now he gets to make another start – Tuesday at Atlanta. Life is good for Wang.

Kay is yelling at us, for no apparent reason.

“Kim,” he said, as he brushed his hair, “are you losing steam?”

Honestly, the answer is yes. There is no Red Bull in the press dining room.

“You better pick it up,” Kay said. “You’re not even blogging today.”

Actually, we are.

“Why did you just brush your hair?”

“Because I thought it needed it,” he replied.

This is riveting stuff, isn’t it?

Anyway, there has been an inordinate amount of food consumed by people in the YES booth. Except Flaherty, who has consumed blueberries, grilled chicken and almonds, all of which he brought from home. He was smart to pack.

For some reason, there are now cupcakes, chocolate-covered strawberries, M&Ms, cookies, Cracker Jacks, Twizzlers and Fruit Loops all within arm’s reach. It’s insane.

It seems like hours and hours ago – weeks, really – that we were in the clubhouse this morning. Swisher was updating the collage of teammates’ pictures that adorns a wall of his locker. By now, he’s probably covered several walls. And several lockers.

What do starting pitchers do on days like this? We’ll have to ask Joba.

We’ve looked through a couple of newspapers that are strewn across the booth. Shocking news on Billy Joel and his wife. Thought they were for keeps.

This has become mind-numbing. It seems like they should have been able to play five innings by now. No wonder Girardi says he’s looking forward to the weather in Florida.

From Rays of light to Boston bound

hughes_250.jpgLooking for Tino is like trying to find Waldo. We’ve given up. For now.

Hughes responds:
Because you wanted an update, we asked Hughes about his blog. His sheepish response: “It’s on standby.” Tomko, who overheard our conversation, offered this to his teammate: “You’ve got to start Twittin’ or something!” Hughes laughed.

What about the pits?
At one point late in the Sunday game, after we’d blogged, Kay was eating a bowl full of cherries, which he said were provided by Mia from the suites. Kay with a bowl full of cherries was amusing.

Bronx Bombers Sundae: Kay and (to a lesser extent) Cone are digging into pints of Turkey Hill ice cream as we write this. When Cone’s talking, Kay’s eating by the spoonful. For dinner, Kay and some others in our crew ordered out from Yolanda’s; he had chicken parmesan. Cone’s dinner: four cups of coffee (so far) and a piece of chocolate.

The press dining room featured awesome roast beef and mashed potatoes. Sadly, we pigged out. Audrey the Stage Manager is disappointed. “There weren’t mashed potatoes when I was in there,” she said. Sometimes, all we talk about it food.

Swish and chips:
The Swisher “Innerview” has been added to the blog. That’s a good job by internet guru Kevin Sullivan, who will be delighted that Kay and Cone just discussed this blog on the broadcast. Sullivan loves when that happens. So, thanks guys!

Ray of light:
The Rays don’t exactly have a long and storied history, but it’s worth noting that Longoria is trying to become the first Ray to be selected by fans to the All-Star Game and to start in the game. (Jose Canseco was voted in by fans in 1999 as DH but didn’t play in the game because of back surgery.) By last week’s count, Longoria was third in the overall voting, behind Pujols and Utley and just ahead of Jeter. New vote totals should be announced tomorrow.

We’re going to catch up with Longoria during the next Yankees-Rays series (in seven weeks) for an “Innerview.” Upton pinch hit today because Longoria was having pregame treatment on his hamstring. And Upton showed up 10 minutes early for the spot. That’s a great job by him.

Boston bound:
A quick road trip awaits. Should be a fascinating three games in Boston, beginning with Burnett-Beckett. Let’s hope the forecasted rain doesn’t screw it up. The Yankees are looking for their first win against the Sox this season, but this is a different Yankees team than the one Boston last saw. A reminder, Jeter is joining us tomorrow on “Batting Practice Today presented by Audi.”
 

Posada and Teixeira now BFF

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.

mark_blog_053009.jpgThere’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!

Hello from Arlington!

Flaherty’s first words to us today were these: “You have to update the blog.”
The man knows whereof he speaks.

Hello from Arlington, where little, tiny, light brown bugs are taking over the universe! But it’s not raining and there is no threat of rain, so no one’s complaining.
 
nick_052709.jpgSpeaking of not complaining: Guess who checked in via email? Polly! Wearing her perfectly pink do-rag, she visited us at Yankee Stadium last Wednesday and captivated the clubhouse. (Polly wrote that she was “VERY nervous.” We don’t believe her. LOL) She also wrote, “Words can’t even begin to express what the day meant to me. It was one surprise after another! … It was all just incredible! I don’t think I have ever smiled that much. I think Nick Swisher had a lot to do with that! His attitude and love for life is contagious!” Polly rocks! One reason we got along so well was because we both love exclamation points! Stay in touch, Polly. And keep fighting.
 
The return of Posada, (temporary) departure of Melky: Melky is day-to-day with a bruised right shoulder and is headed back to New York to see team doctor Chris Ahmad. If Ahmad believes Melky can be back within a week, Girardi says the Yankees can live with that. If not, Melky might be DL-bound and the Yanks would need to call up an outfielder. (And they might have to do something with Berroa one of these days.) Meanwhile, Posada will rejoin the team Friday, after catching five innings in Tampa today. But don’t expect Cervelli to go anywhere. At least not yet. The pitchers love him, which could create some interesting dynamics. Stay tuned.
 
Joba, Joba, Joba: Joba is a big kid who was fooling around in the clubhouse with a little laser that A.J. bought him at a gas station here. Seriously, a gas station. He got a kick — a big kick — out of pointing a red dot at unsuspecting teammates. Joba’s big personality extends to the mound, as we all know, but he just seems more natural in the 8th-inning than in the starting rotation. At least that’s our view. It would seem an athlete who can dominate at a position helps a team more than an athlete whose results are, so far, a mixed bag in another role. Obviously there are two sides to this, and both can make relevant points. But there are plenty of voices in the clubhouse who agree with us, but it’s a silent chorus. At the moment. (If Bruney’s flexor mass strain in his elbow leads to a long — or painful — absence, you might start to hear the chatter.)
 
Food fight: The press dining at Rangers Ballpark features chicken and pork tonight, along with a salad bar and (very) soft-serve ice cream. The zucchini was tasty. M&Ms made the ice cream better. And something tells us there will be a lot of food consumed on the team charter bound for Cleveland later tonight. On days like these, the will power wanes when the Twix bars are getting passed around. Sigh.
 
Coke and a slider? Coke was still disgusted with himself today for throwing a slider to Chris Davis last night. The ball wound up in the seats. “I threw a slider to a guy with slider bat speed,” were Coke’s words. “Right in his barrel.” We asked Coke if it reminded him of the slider Morneau deposited among Yankee Stadium fans. “No, that was a hanging slider,” Coke said. “I thanked Morneau for hitting that pitch – because that’s what it deserved.”
What?!?

“Yeah, I said thanks during BP the next day,” Coke said. “He just smiled and pointed at me.”

In his next outing Coke got Morneau to strike out on a series of fastballs away.”Tino Martinez told me to do that,” Coke said. “We were talking during BP and he said lefties at Yankee Stadium hate fastballs down and away because there’s nothing they can do with them.”

That Tino is full of advice.

“I like talking to him,” Coke said. “He knows the game, and he knows how the stadium plays.”
 
Since he mentioned Tino
: We’re still accepting a FEW more questions for the Tino Q&A. He’ll answer him during the Tampa series of the next homestand and we’ll post them. Like we did with O’Neill.

A brave young woman meets her heroes

Jeter-5-20-250.jpgA terrific pregame story today involved Yankees “honorary bat girl” Polly Tompkins. She is here as part of the MLB/Susan G. Komen for Cure effort to recognize baseball fans who are battling cancer.

Polly was very popular before the game. She’s a lifelong Yankees fan and met many players, including her crush, Jeter, after he took BP.

She leaned in toward the end of their chat and asked him for his phone number. (Love the spunk!) Jeter was smiling ear-to-ear and said, “I’ll get in trouble here. Maybe later.” (That means no, but he was very nice.)

During BP, Alex and Swisher went with Polly into the stands to greet the 100 or so friends and family members who made a four-hour bus trip from Candor, N.Y. That was absolutely incredible. We’ve never seen anything like it, two stars walking through the stands with the pink do-ragged Polly, going to greet her cheering contingent, most of whom were wearing pink T-shirts.

Reggie talked to Polly for a while, as did Damon and Mariano. (When Mariano walked toward her, Polly’s eyes got wide as baseballs. So cute.)

And just before the game, Polly was in the dugout, hanging with A.J. and Swisher. Which meant she was having a blast. She said she couldn’t believe “that I’m sitting here watching Nick Swisher stretch before a game!” Said A.J.: “All you need now is a pie in the face.”

Polly laughed, heartily. Then she threw out the ceremonial first pitch, caught by Swisher. Swisher’s grandmother died of brain cancer a few years ago. He’s always great in these spots. And Jason Zillo and Jason Latimer of the Yankees media relations department did a terrific job in making Polly’s day so special.

Polly Tompkins is a 38-year-old first-grade teacher who was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. She thought she beat it. The cancer came back last month, and she learned it had advanced to Stage 4. She usually spends Wednesdays receiving chemotherapy. This was a much better Wednesday.

We wish Polly the absolute best and hope today strengthened her spirit. She promised to update us regularly on her condition. She may call anytime. And we’ll pass on any message to Jeter.

Oops! Didn’t mean to forget Joba! Turns out he also went into the stands to meet Polly’s people. He hugged her mom. He told me after the game it was an awesome experience, something he believes players SHOULD do. And he does plan to stay in touch with Polly. Nice work, Joba.

And very cool of Swisher to give Polly the lineup card after the game. She was so psyched on the field. Just a terrific, terrific night.

In response to a couple of comments, I’ve not been fined by the Kangaroo Court. I think I’m out of that jurisdiction.

Saw Posada in the dugout, but not to talk to. His take on Cervelli would be interesting. There’s something about that kid.

What else did you ask me? I can’t remember. Short game tonight! Woo-hoo!

It’s My9 again tomorrow, strangely, but we’ll try to check in.

Musings from north of the border

In response to one of your comments, we talked to Aceves and Girardi about the reliever’s role. Girardi says, yes, he would be interested in using Aceves — and Coke when he’s healthy again — for two-inning appearances. If those two continue to pitch well, it would be an obvious help in building the bridge to Mariano.

Aceves, however, told us he couldn’t do that every time out. Two consecutive games of two innings of work would likely be his limit. Then, he said, he’d need at least a day off. Even today, Aceves said, his shoulder is a bit sore – just normal soreness – after pitching two scoreless innings last night.

So it’s something that’s possible at times, just not every time. Good question.

It’s getaway day, which means everyone is hoping beyond hope for a quick game. It’s also “Ladies Night Out” here at Rogers Centre. Yee-hah!

As we write this, Leiter is rolling his chair over his jacket. Repeatedly. Now he realizes it and is staring down at the blue jacket, which is rather dusty. Especially one of the sleeves. The inning just ended, and Leiter is worrying about having to wear the jacket on postgame and looking dirty. This is the stuff from the booth you don’t see.

Last night’s game went three hours, nine minutes. None of the Blue Jays previous five games lasted longer than 2:34. For whatever that’s worth.

Leiter just asked if we’re writing about him. Yes. We’re also wondering what happened to the Mike and Ike’s.

Swisher’s haircut is creating waves in the clubhouse. It looks a bit like someone took lawnmower blades to his head. Actually, he went to A.J.’s stylist in Toronto – which is another story unto itself. Anyway, in the near future, we will have a Swisher InnerView on “Batting Practice Today presented by Audi” and you’ll get an up-close-and-personal look at his hair. We’ll try to give you a heads up. That should be entertaining.

So Jeter’s back, as is Matsui. Bruney should return within a week. Coke could be available tomorrow. Nady plans to swing a bat in the cage tomorrow. Girardi says it’s too early to forecast a return date for either Posada or Molina; Posada is in Tampa, but not yet playing games, and Molina remains in New York.

That’s today’s injury update, brought to you by Benadryl. Or whatever allergy medication we’re taking today.

 Leiter just said he didn’t buy more Mike and Ike’s. He also said he read the blog – really, he read it! – and was amused that Mike and Ike’s are so popular. Keep reading, Al. And bring those Mike and Ike’s next time. :)

Tomorrow will be Alex’s first game at Yankee Stadium. Something tells us he’ll be very happy to see the home fans after some of the treatment he’s received here and in Baltimore. Sources say the Toronto fans – particularly on Tuesday — have been as unruly as any the Yankees have seen in a while. They were throwing coins into the Yankees bullpen and yelling all kinds of vulgarities. And we thought Canadians were a gentle sort.

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