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.
Obviously, getting a repeat of yesterday’s weather was too much to ask.
Lots of stuff on a Sunday morning, with Wang a main topic of discussion, Nady actually providing another day of no news, and the Yanks looking to put yesterday’s debacle behind them. And quickly.
That’s why Swisher walked through the clubhouse and ripped the front and back pages off the newspapers. “New day, fellas!” he said. (Swisher’s introduction of the lineup was entertaining yesterday on FOX. And his Q&A in today’s NY Post with Steve Serby is a good one.)
As for Wang, he doesn’t look like himself on or off the mound. And, at this point, how can it not translate? If his confidence is shot, he’ll need strong results to rebuild it. And he seems a long way from anything close to a good outing.
Girardi believes it started as a mechanical flaw that has evolved into a mental crisis of confidence. Not good. Eiland says it’s Wang who has to work himself out of it, and he strongly believes that he will. “He’s still Chien-Ming Wang,” Eiland says.
Bruney has an interesting perspective, since he sustained two months earlier the same injury as Wang last year. Bruney believes Wang’s troubles stem from not yet trusting his right (push-off) foot. Bruney says he was doing the same thing during his rehab, and his velocity was down and his stuff was off. He worked his way through it — and has been great out of the pen — which is what he says Wang has to do. You’ve got to wonder if that was easier to do in the midst of an offseason or spring, as opposed to during the regular season when you’ve already been shelled thrice.
Not much of a food update. Here’s the deal: On the road, most of us eat around the same time, between pregame and the game. At home, all bets are off. Kenny and Kay probably ate in the press dining room. O’Neill just had pizza and ice cream, which is quite a sight, considering it does not impact his 32-inch waist.
As for me, I had a pretzel that could have chipped glass, so most of it wound up in the garbage can. And some fruit and yogurt.
Okay, O’Neill just stood up (between innings) and said, “I’ve had it! I’ve tried everything else, I’m having a burger!”
He returned smiling because the press dining room lady told him, “Man, you’re eating a lot today!”
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!
Hi there! Unlike this trip, this blog post is going to be short.
Lots going on today. Bad news for Xavier Nady, who is a good guy. His eyes watered as he talked about the initial diagnosis on his right elbow being “not great” and as he said he spent the morning making some difficult calls to family members and friends. He expects a final diagnosis tomorrow, when he will go on the DL, and is worried that he’ll need a second Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He initially had the procedure in September 2001 and said he was ready for the start of A ball the following spring.
This is why you don’t automatically trade an outfielder just because you have one too many.
Interesting approach with Chien-Ming Wang today. He threw his bullpen with Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland among the onlookers. Then he went to the pitcher’s mound and faced live batting practice, with Cody Ransom and Melky Cabrera taking swings. The goal is to have Wang translate his good bullpen sessions to the game, something he clearly hasn’t done through two starts. Wang said the issue has been balance-related, with his legs getting ahead of his arm.
We’ll see how it works Saturday, I guess.
Today’s lunch/dinner update: Kay and Cone ate in the press dining room – somewhat of an upset, to the betting public – as did I, though later. The buffet included meatballs, chicken parm, veggies and stuffed shells. Flaherty skipped ballpark food; he had a sandwich at the hotel.
The Yankees head home after the game and every single person in the traveling party is ecstatic about that. There are a million cowbells here at the Trop – today’s giveaway – so it’ll be a loud sendoff if the Rays get going.
Nice to see everyone wearing No. 42. CC Sabathia said one of the reasons he didn’t fly ahead of the team in anticipation of his start tomorrow is because he wanted to take part in Jackie Robinson Day.
I asked Mariano Rivera about the home opener being tomorrow. His response: “I love it.”
Flaherty just bought lunch for the fellas. What a great teammate! Flaherty, Kay and Cone are each having a personal pan pizza from the concession stand. Actually, Cone isn’t eating his, not yet.
Today had “rain delay” written all over it, so the weather is a pleasant surprise.
Swisher is (still) shot out of a cannon. It’ll be interesting to see how Girardi finds enough at-bats to keep Swisher and Nady happy. Both want to play every day. Yes, it should help that Swisher is versatile.
CC said he really likes the recently-renovated Kauffman Stadium. He seemed genuinely impressed when he walked out of the dugout. He’s started 16 games here, tied with the Metrodome for most in his career of any road stadium, so he’s pretty familiar with the place. (He’s 8-5 with a 3.62.)
The standing room only area in right field is cool. You’re above or below the fountains and it has to be a pretty nice view.
A.J. Burnett ran the indoor stadium steps this morning. His work ethic has really impressed Girardi. I need to run some steps, or just run. Haven’t seen enough of the treadmill this week.
Game time is nearing. The field looks like halftime of a bowl game at the moment. It also looks like every seat is full.