Hey there! Still looking for Tino but as one of you mentioned in the comments, maybe it’s even better to catch up with him after the draft and get his thoughts on the players the Yankees select.
Phil blogged down: In March, when we originally told Hughes that we were joining him in the blogosphere, he responded: “You can have my blog.” So, yes, he knows he’s neglecting it. We’ll check with him again.
Mo tied up: In answer to a couple of you — yes, the numbers indicate that Mariano isn’t the same in tie games, but he’s always said his approach is no different than save situations and that he feels no different in tie games. We’ll check in with him again on that, maybe tomorrow, but we’re guessing he’ll stick with those responses.
Bruney back soon? Bruney threw his bullpen today – 15 fastballs, sat for four minutes, 15 more fastballs – and said he felt great, as good as ever. Girardi wanted to see him throw changeups; Bruney said next time. He’s probably no more than 10 days away if everything goes well.
Omelet Sunday: They serve made-to-order omelets in the press dining room on days like this. And they even have egg whites. Awesome! Kay had bacon and fruit, probably a burger, and definitely ice cream. A swirl, no toppings. The ice cream is going to be very difficult to resist all season, which is going to be a problem. For us for sure, maybe for Kay.
Swish-a-licious: Glad some of you enjoyed the Swisher interview. He’s a hoot. We did the interview – or “Innerview” – while Girardi was meeting the media at the other end of the dugout. When we finished the interview, we looked over and Girardi and the reporters were staring at us, laughing. Guess we were a bit loud. Or, more accurately, Swisher was a bit loud. His energy is contagious!
Just to let you know: We are planning to interview Longoria tomorrow for “Batting Practice Today presented by Audi.” If he’s still out of the lineup, we might have to go to Plan B. And Jeter has committed to doing Tuesday’s Interview from Boston. That night, we have the BP show, pregame and postgame on YES, with the game on My9.
Has anyone in the history of blogging been more neglectful? We have to fix that!
Since we last worked a full day at the stadium – May 24 – a lot has changed. Well, one thing has changed, but it’s big. They added a soft-serve ice cream machine to the press dining room. Sources say O’Neill really enjoyed it; he went with the chocolate-vanilla swirl, no toppings. Every day.
Paging Tino Martinez: Okay, so this is the series where we plan to ask Tino your questions. Your questions are great. But we can’t find Tino! He’s expected here Tuesday for the draft; hopefully he’ll come in a day or two early. If not, we’ll get your answers the next time we see him.
Hughes in the pen: Hughes says he’s ready to do whatever the Yankees ask, and he’s available out of the pen from now until the foreseeable future. If Wang is right for a couple of starts, Hughes could return to AAA as a starter, to keep his arm strength so he’s ready should the Yankees need a starter at some point.
Courage for Life: You might remember an Innerview we did late last June with John Challis, an 18-year-old from the Pittsburgh area who died of cancer Aug. 19. He remains an inspiration through the foundation he started not long before he died. Courage for Life Foundation grants wishes of high school athletes who have life-threatening illnesses; for more info check the Web site.
John’s parents and sister, Lexie, were here today. Girardi greeted them, as did Alex; Mr. Challis still marvels at the flower arrangement Alex sent to the funeral home. And Joe Maddon has a T-shirt that bears one of his slogans, the proceeds from which go to John’s foundation.
A short story: Alex called John a couple of weeks before his death and they chatted for a bit. Then John said, “Well, I have to go. One of my friends just got here.” Mr. Challis laughed in relaying those words. (How many teenagers cut short a call from Alex Rodriguez?) “That was John,” he said. “He treated everybody the same.”
Hitting the Mark: Girardi, on Teixeira, who had an awful April and a marvelous May, which is continuing into June: “His demeanor’s been the same the whole way throughout. That’s one of the things that’s impressed me.”
Bruney ball: Bruney will throw another bullpen tomorrow, one that will simulate a two-inning stint. He will throw 15 pitches, sit down and throw 15 more. After Bruney and the Yankees gauge how he feels Monday, they will know his next step. For now, both parties are taking a cautious approach. Bruney, on the DL for the second time with a strained flexor mass in his right elbow, won’t commit to a timeframe for his return. “I tried that the last time and probably rushed myself,” he says. “I’m just going to go whenever (I’m ready).”
Price is right: Rays teammate James Shields says of David Price, “He definitely has ‘it.’ He has that good arrogance that I think all baseball players have to have to succeed.” Price’s pregame demeanor on the day he pitches is somewhat like CC’s. Both lefties will say hello to reporters, chat with teammates and generally appear to remain pretty relaxed.
REX! Jets coach Rex Ryan is here today. We called him “intimidating” on the pregame. He’s actually very friendly and easy to talk to. We probably should have described him as “not easily intimidated.” Whatever. The important thing is, Rex has committed to appearing on “This Week in Football” this fall on YES. Which puts him ahead of the Mangini pace already.
Pass the popcorn: We were lucky enough to be invited by the Giants to their practice facility Thursday for a screening of “The Taking of Pelham 123,” due in theaters June 12. (Giants co-owner Steve Tisch is producer.) It rocks! Denzel and Travolta are terrific. So is the new facility. The Giants did a really nice job with it; it’s bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside. And it definitely trumps that practice bubble they’ve been using for years. (John Mara appreciated that assessment when we shared it with him.)
The theater where the movie was shown will be used for film study. There are no cup holders attached to the seats. And the movie started five minutes early. No kidding.
The weight room is as enormous as you would expect. Rumor has it, coach Tom Coughlin is doing personal two-a-days. His first workout ends by 6 a.m. and he goes back for another in the afternoon.
Good news for Giants fans: Brandon Jacobs was the first player we saw and he appears leaner than ever. He says he’s lost eight pounds. He looks like he could play a game today. And run over a bunch of people. The Giants are delighted with him.
Speaking of food…: Following Kay’s lead, we ate a burger today but, unlike him, we added a bun and tomato. Kay also had bacon, grapes and watermelon. Something tells me soft-serve ice cream is in the near future.
Still paging Tino Martinez. Please pick up the white courtesy phone.
It’s been a while, huh? How are you on this Memorial Day?
Last homestand was a eventful one, wasn’t it? Four walk-offs, five pies in faces, two My9 games, a FOX telecast, a broken-bat home run and eight wins in 10 games.
Now we’re on the road and a day game is kinda nice today. A barbecue would be nicer, but we’re not complaining.
Bad news – actually, continuing bad news – for Bruney, who is back on the DL because his elbow just won’t cooperate. The MRIs have come back clean; Bruney suspects they’re missing something. He also says he’s disappointed and frustrated and has to figure out what’s going on. He said Sunday “it just felt wrong” while he was playing catch. That’s not good. And this is a guy who wants to pitch. So the bullpen will have to continue to weather the storm without its supposed 8th-inning guys, Bruney and Marte.
Alex is 2-for-2 and it looks like he’s getting into the swing of it, literally. They’ve always booed him here in Texas. The admission that he took performance-enhancing drugs while a Ranger doesn’t seem to be resonating with this crowd. They booed him more heartily in previous stops here. Plus, there are a lot of Yankees fans in the stands today.
Hughes did a great job getting out of the second. A grittier Hughes is a good sign.
Nady is scheduled to play in a simulated game of some sort in Tampa tomorrow. He’ll hit only. Posada, Molina and Ransom are also in Tampa; they’re not ready for any game action yet.
It’s hot here in Texas. They tell us we’ve arrived just in time for the muggy weather. And there are plenty of little bugs around. Terrific!
We’re digging the red hats for a one-day holiday thing. Hope you’re having yourselves a nice day.
A final post from Motown.
Congrats to Girardi for win No.100 as Yankees manager. Loved how he said he wished he could have gotten it in one season.
Swisher was off the chain in postgame. Taking a page from Damon, he did the interview shirtless. And was a riot. He says he plays the game like a glorified game of whiffle ball. Maybe that’s why he always seems to be having a great time. Of course, it doesn’t hurt when you have a killer on-base percentage and a couple of jacks from either side of the plate.
Joba and Hughes could be very, very good for each other in this rotation. Joba identifies so well with the veteran pitchers, but it just seems like he and Hughes could be a great tandem — and could push each other at times — for years and years to come.
This is a first: I am blogging from the team charter.
So is this: Phil Coke just walked by and said, “I haven’t had a fire drill since high school.” Everyone is very happy. (Coke gave permission to blog that.)
And this: After saying he would contribute to this little endeavor of ours, Bruney has asked to chime in. Here is what he wrote:
“A promise is a promise, so here I am following through on that promise. My recovery is going well. I hope to play catch on Friday and should be back pitching within a week and a half if all goes as planned. I hope everyone enjoys the blog, I know Kim works hard at it. I will keep in touch!” (That rocks! And, yes, Bruney himself typed those words.)
And, finally, this: Our live chat, 6:45 p.m. tomorrow! Talk to you then!
Get ready to chat!
The only thing any of us really need to know: The first live chat is less than 24 hours away! We’ll get it started at 6:45 p.m. tomorrow and hope you can be there. Internet guru Kevin Sullivan will walk us through the first one. Thank goodness. Feel free to watch our pregame show and participate in the chat simultaneously 🙂
It’s so cold here. Fifty degrees feels like 40.
Interesting that Girardi didn’t rule out two possibilities during pregame: That Alex could return during the upcoming homestand and that Joba could — could — return to the bullpen at some point this season. Girardi could have said “no” to either question. He did not. Hmmm. You have to think Hughes will play an instrumental role in the latter.
I asked Jim Leyland to estimate the impact of putting Alex into this Yankees lineup. “Tremendous,” he said.
Speaking of Hughes: He is (still) just 22 and appears to have bounced back beautifully from a disappointing 2008. Between 3:30-6:30 p.m., he did some running, chatted easily with reporters, signed autographs, interacted with fans and smiled. Smiled a lot. I always feel good for players who face adversity, don’t sulk, pick themselves up and have great attitudes. Put Cano in that category, too.
Guess the Posada hamstring really was of “no concern.” He’s behind the plate.
Melky’s in center again. Girardi essentially said he has no regular center fielder at this point. He prefers to think of it as four guys to play three outfield positions. When Damon or Swisher needs a day, Melky and Gardner both will be out there. Girardi has had a conversation with Gardner, telling him to maintain his confidence and stay ready.
Gardner seemed to enjoy a pre-batting practice card game with Bruney and a couple of others.
The Tigers have had decent attendance so far, which is great to see in this economy, particularly in Detroit. It was strange, even disconcerting, Monday to read dueling headlines in the Detroit Free Press: More layoffs by the car manufacturers while the Lions give Matthew Stafford $41 million in guaranteed money. Stafford faces an incredible task — and that doesn’t include just quarterbacking the woeful Lions. He’ll have to show he identifies with the community here.
Credit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch with a fantastic gesture, having installed the logos of Chrysler, General Motors and Ford above the Comerica Park scoreboard. “The Detroit Tigers support our automakers,” reads the sign below. Ilitch is providing the advertising for free, despite offers from other sponsors to pay up to $2 million for that prime real estate. That’s a tremendous move by the owner of the Tigers. Maybe Ilitch should counsel Stafford.
This is kinda embarrassing, but I’ll share: So, Damon introduces me to a guy named Chris in the clubhouse around 4 o’clock or so. We said hello. He looked slightly familiar, but I didn’t really think twice, other than to make a mental note that it was somewhat unusual for a player to have a random guest in the clubhouse before a game. Then Cone tells me it’s Chris Chelios of the Red Wings. Oops! Bad, bad job by me. It’s a good thing — make that great thing — YES doesn’t do hockey.
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.