“I’ve pitched through pain and discomfort before,” he said. “I’m 43 years old. I’ve got an arthritic knee that I’ll probably need replaced. I’ve had one back surgery and another one, probably, that I may need. I’m not going to complain about my health. I’m here to pitch in the postseason, and I’ll do whatever I can.”
“I can win 17 games anywhere, but my better chances of going to the playoffs was here, with the Yankees, and that’s why I’m here,” Johnson said. “I’ll do whatever it takes.”
(McCarron, Daily News)
In spite of Johnson’s uncertain status–and I don’t think there is much doubt that he’ll be out there for Game 3, or Game 4 of the ALCS–there were smiles all around Yankee Stadium yesterday even though the Bombers fell to the Jays, 6-5. Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield hit back-to-back home runs and Derek Jeter went 3-3 to raise his average to .345. Jeter is just one point behind the Twins’ Joe Mauer, who did not play yesterday. It is foggy and raining this morning the Bronx (the Big Unit is scheduled to have a bullpen session this morning which will go a long way in determining how ready he’ll be for the ALCS). This is a game that could easily be called, seeing as how it doesn’t have any significance, or bearing on the playoffs. However, if the game is played, Jeter will start, you can count on that (it would be a shame if Mauer, who sat out yesterday, doesn’t play this afternoon).
Bernie Williams will serve as the Yankee manager today. Mike Mussina won a cern flip with Mariano Rivera and will act as pitching coach, while Lee Maz will be the bench coach. After the game yesterday, Joe Torre told reporters, “Bernie says the toughest part will be staying awake for nine innings.” Torre laughed and then said softly, “He’s so beautiful.” Not ten minutes later, Jeter told a group of writers, “I don’t think Bernie’s sat on the bench [for an entire game] in eleven years, so this’ll be a first.” Jeter added that Bernie might not sit there for the whole game today, and said, “I think the bench coach will play a big part in tomorrow’s game.”
Update Here comes the sun, folks. After raining all morning, the sun is out. Sure, there are lots of clouds but looks like they will get this one in. Go DJ.