Guess who paid a visit to the Yankees clubhouse before the game? George M. Steinbrenner III. He then moved upstairs to a suite where he is watching the game – believed to be the first time he’s seen the Yankees play in person since the season opener.
Mr. Steinbrenner visited in the manager’s office for about 45 minutes during and after batting practice. Players came in to shake hands and visit with him.
Michael Kay says Mr. Steinbrenner kiddingly asked Matsui why he doesn’t speak English yet. Matsui answered in English, saying he uses interpreter Roger Kahlon only for the media. Surely, everyone in the room got a kick out of that.
C.C. and CC: Nice job by Crawford and Sabathia today in answering questions, giving advice and offering batting and pitching tips to 300 kids from local Boys and Girls Clubs. Both also signed lots of autographs. CC signs with his right-handed, interestingly. Then again, Joba signs with his left.
Alfredo Aceves: He has a fatigued pitching shoulder, which is why he’s been on the mound for just one-third of an inning over the past eight days. For the past three days, he received treatment. He says he woke up this morning feeling “great.” Then he threw 20 fastballs off the mound before batting practice and said he felt “great.” Girardi says he’d be inclined to think about using Aceves tomorrow in Chicago.
Shelley Duncan: Assuming the bullpen is refreshed, the Yankees could add a right-handed bat for the White Sox series, when they’ll see lefty starters on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If they stay in-house, Duncan is a possibility. Girardi said if they do go the call-up route, it wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent move; it could be something that simply makes sense for, say, a four-game series.
Joba Chamberlain: He looks so much better when gets the ball and throws it. No more shaking off Posada 100 times. It seems to work nicely.
Marissa of Central Jersey: She’s 15 and she’s a blog reader and she presented us with a box of Mike & Ike’s today at the Trop. Thank you, Marissa! Maybe we’ll save them for Chicago and share with Leiter. Maybe.
Now this should be fun. It’s 7:32 a.m. and fearing traffic, I’ll be off to the stadium soon. Today has seemed a long, long time coming. By the time the millionth cowbell was ringing in their ears, the players were definitely ready to leave St. Pete and head home.
Andy Pettitte mentioned on the flight how big a win yesterday’s was. Somehow it did seem more significant than your usual, ninth-game-of-the-season victory. And if the Rays’ bullpen can’t right itself … ouch!
The home opener will be something many of us remember forever. It also promises to be a crazy, busy, exciting day. And one that will be, sadly, blog-free for me. I plan to hit you up this evening, but I’m not even taking the laptop to the stadium. There just won’t be time to blog. Hopefully that’s the one and only time I say that this season.
We are expecting news this morning on Nady, and he wasn’t optimistic as we waited for our luggage at midnight.
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy today’s coverage. And hope to catch up with you afterward. Later, skaters!