Prelude to Game 1
Couple of quick thoughts before I have to stow away the computer for the night:
Let the fun begin:
If yesterday’s Media Day was indication, this will be a fun series. (A better indication, of course, is that both teams are playing at a very high level.) Rollins stood by his prediction. Jeter paused, shook his head and laughed when I asked him about facing Pedro again. And Lidge told me he does think the Phillies’ staff can effectively pitch to Alex.
Media Day was set up like it is at the Super Bowl. (Good idea.) Pedro drew a crowd of reporters that Peyton Manning would have been proud of — easily the biggest of the day. And he seemed to relish his return to the spotlight. What else would you expect?
Game 2 will have amazing intensity. A.J. said he’s happy to be part of it.
The Phillies are extremely confident and loose, which would make them the first team this postseason to match the Yankees in both categories. (A member of the Twins told me before Game 2, “I just hope we don’t get swept.” That’s not a notion the Phillies could relate to.)
Making the calls:
Let’s hope the umpires are not discussed during the series. Not once.
Chat to come:
I’ll do a chat before Game 3. Details to follow.
“This Week in Football” moves on without me. Picks for this week — Jets over Miami because Sanchez can’t be that bad again. The angry Giants over the Eagles in what will be a crazy day, even by Philly standards. And Vikings over Packers — a game that most of the world will watch.
Bruney is back:
We’ll see Bruney in a big spot before this series ends. That’s an intriguing proposition for a pitcher who hasn’t pitched in more than three weeks.
Chat with Kimberly
What does Kimberly think of Peter Gammons’ recent comments about Yankee Stadium? Is she rooting for the Cavs or Magic? What’s the mood in the Yankees clubhouse? For answers to this and more, read the below chat transcript.
<a href=”http://www.coveritlive.com/mobile.php?option=com_mobile&task=viewaltcast&altcast_code=08a2815daa” >Kimberly Jones Chat, 5/22</a>
Rain, rain go away
Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! Next time the rain dance will include neither diet coke nor malted milk balls.
Nice to hear from so many of you! Yes, I read every single one of the comments. And I love them! I cannot comment on all of them, but I’ll try at least to allude to them more often in my posts.
Just between us….I’m now hearing the Wang-not-trusting-his-foot theory on more than one media outlet. Hmmm. Hey, that’s how it goes.
Bruney and I actually talked about that theory before Wang’s latest fiasco. But I went back to him Sunday and we revisited the topic. (Bruney’s into the blog; he gets it. He knew I was going to talk about it on pregame and also blog about it.) By the way, Bruney really, really supports Wang and believes he will return to form. But – and this is important – the degree to which Wang is struggling is mystifying to every single one of his teammates.
The Yankees also believe Wang is still building arm strength. Here’s what I’m not sure of: Remember when we used to report regularly that Wang’s fingernail was split, was painful and required medical attention? The nail’s not split now. Not sure how that plays into Wang not being Wang. But I’ve been trying to find out.
With the official decision to skip Wang, I suspect the Yankees will have him pitch a simulated game (or two) to try to get him on track. Or they could attribute the poor outings to injury and DL him, but Girardi has been pretty clear in saying Wang isn’t hurt.
Wang has built collateral in the clubhouse, and that helps him here. But the whole confidence thing is very, very tricky. And, let’s face it, it could be debilitating. Wang just doesn’t look the same. I cannot tell you how many football and baseball players have told me over the years that confidence is the most important factor in their success once they reach the professional level.
To answer a few questions:
I am thrilled to report: There WILL be a live chat. Listen, I’m not the least bit shy or afraid or anything like that. I just had NO IDEA if ANYONE would read this little blog of mine. But you read, and I am SO GRATEFUL. And so, we shall chat.
Internet Guru Kevin Sullivan and I will find a time. Tentatively, I think our first chat (of many) could be next week from Detroit – probably Tuesday or Wednesday evening. The tricky part is my little pregame ditty around 6:30 p.m. So the chat might start at 6:45 p.m. and run until first pitch. If they will allow me to chat through the beginning of the game, I would do it. (As long as I can figure out the technological part of this.) As soon as we clarify the details, I will let you know. Thank you so much for your interest. My goal would be to chat weekly, and I’d also love to take questions from you for a player on a bi-weekly basis. (This is kind of, sort of, stealing an idea from my friend, Pete Abraham, who is the King of Blogs. At least we admit it.) We’ll work that out soon, too.
Growing up in South Central Pennsylvania, I loved the Orioles and the Phillies. I admit to continuing a fondness for the O’s. They are so easy to root for. And their pitching is coming. As Andy McPhail told me, this is a big summer for them at the AAA level. My NFL teams included the Eagles and Raiders and I desperately wanted the Bills to win a Super Bowl. But even today I have no particular affinity for one NFL team. But I love the game.
Several of you have asked about players and my postgame interviews. I understand that. So here goes. The Yankees are a pretty cool group. Honestly. They are almost always accommodating, even the biggest of stars. And they are fun sometimes. Like Pettitte punking me. Or Joba, who is always talking and is unbelievably accessible. A.J. rocks and has a great personality. CC is nice. Jeter is fun. Yes, really. I love Posada; I think if I were a player with four rings, I might be like Posada. Except I could never squat for three hours. Swisher is a blast. Damon always says yes to any request. Nady is terrific. Guys like Gardner and Ransom and Cano are great. Teixeira seems very agreeable. Mariano is distinguished and his teammates notice — the consummate professional. I know I didn’t mention every single player but I didn’t intentionally leave anyone out. There are very few players around the league who haven’t been cooperative when I’ve asked. And I’m not trying to suck up. Trust me on that, I’ll call someone out here if I have to. For example, Alex and I have shared an interesting professional rapport – I’ve ended a couple of his group interviews with questions he didn’t like — but he was great with me when we saw him in Tampa. My goal at the moment is a one-on-one, no-holds-barred interview with him. I truly do not know if that will happen.
Just watched Dancing With The Stars. I want you to shoot me.
Here’s the biggest travesty about tonight. Al Leiter was doing the game with Kay and Kenny. Now I won’t see Al til Wednesday because tomorrow is My9. So sad.