Welcome to Saturday at the Banter!
- Nick Swisher got nailed on the elbow with a pitch Friday night:
X-rays were negative and Swisher is listed as day-to-day, though Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he would be surprised if Swisher took the field Saturday.
“He got hit right behind the elbow, and that can be an extremely tender spot,” Girardi said. “He’s day-to-day. I’d probably be surprised if he can play [Saturday], but we’ll see.”
- As Mark Teixeira faces his ex-Angels teammates for the first time, he reflects on the off-season negotiations:
Teixeira called his Angels tenure “the best 2 1/2 months of my career,” though the ending wasn’t storybook. A team that led the major leagues with 100 wins and was favored to reach the World Series lost to the Red Sox in the first round.
“I sat and cried at my locker after that last game in Boston because I knew that was a special group, I knew how good a chance we had, and we let it slip away,” Teixeira said.
“After the season, my wife and I stayed in L.A. for 10 days. I thought there was a really good chance I’d be back. It would be different if my family or my wife’s family was from the West Coast.”
But Teixeira’s parents live in Baltimore, and his wife’s parents live in Atlanta. Their proximity to New York, combined with the Yankees’ top-dollar offer, persuaded Teixeira.
“I’m a businessman, too, and in the end, the Yankees made the best offer, and it was the best situation for my family,” Teixeira said. ” . . . I get to see my parents every week I’m home, and they get to see their grandkids. That’s pretty special.”
- Johnny Damon would like to be back with the Bombers next year, but sees the writing on the wall:
Damon said the numbers game in the Yankees outfield does not bode well for him. Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner are in center, Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady — who will also be a free agent and is currently on the DL — in right and the team’s top prospect, Austin Jackson, lighting up Triple-A.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman has spoken about making the Yankees younger.
“I know where I want to be next year,” Damon told 1050 ESPN New York. “I want to be here in New York. I also know New York has a lot of young outfielders coming back. Austin Jackson is in the wings. At least, in this situation, I know my chances of coming back could be slim because of the young talent the Yankees do have.”
- Prices for Yankee tickets on the secondary market are falling fast:
The price of New York Yankees tickets on the resale market plummeted this week following the team’s decision to give free extra seats to people who bought the team’s priciest season plans.
Legends Suite seats for Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels that originally sold for $500 could be had for $144 shortly before 5 p.m. on StubHub.com. Legends seats in section 16, row 9, behind the first-base dugout were available for $199, down from their $850 original price.
All the sharp discounting wasn’t just among the Legends seats, which include access to three restaurants and lounges with free food and soft drinks. Field level seats to the plate side of the first-base dugout could be had for $50, down from their $325 price as part of season tickets.
“We’re seeing an unprecedented number of season-ticket holders selling. The market has been flooded. It is a buyer’s market for baseball fans,” said Mike Janes, chief executive officer of FanSnap.com, an Internet search engine that finds tickets on resale sites.
- Over at FanGraphs.com, Mark Hulet rates the Yankees’ recent amateur drafts, and looks ahead to this year’s.
- Here’s the latest (daily) rehab update on Alex Rodriguez.
- The Times offers book reviews of memoirs written by Ron Darling . . . and Darryl Strawberry:
Believe it or not — here’s an act of expiation — he (Strawberry) devotes more space to his 1999 arrest for cocaine possession and prostitution solicitation than to the three World Series he appeared in, combined. But Strawberry (along with his co-author, John Strausbaugh) tends to skate through particulars off the field as well as on, not ignoring his foibles but never digging in too deeply, either as storyteller or as analysand. That said, “Straw” does have the virtue of sincerity and of seeming profoundly felt. Its narrator emerges as a real and complex man: humble in the face of his failures, palpably hungry for redemption, and yet still capable of myopia and self-righteousness. You feel for him in a way you never did — at least I never did — when you were merely cheering and/or booing him at Shea.
- Felix Jose turns 44 today. Jose was out of the majors for four years when the Yanks signed him in 2000. At the age of 35, he raked Triple-A to the tune of .310/.359/.567 in 50 games before getting called up to the Bombers. The journeyman outfielder then compiled a line of .241/.281/.345 in 20 games, and was released after the season.
- Jim Walewander (nine games as a sub for the ’90 Yankees) turns 47 today.
- On this date in 1923, Walter Johnson recorded his first shutout of the season and the 100th of his major league record 113 career shutouts as the Washington Senators defeated the Yankees 3 – 0. Yankees shortstop Everett Scott received a medal from the American League for playing in his 1,000th consecutive game.
- On this date in 1939, Lou Gehrig didn’t play against the Detroit Tigers, ending at 2,130 his streak of consecutive games played. An ailing Gehrig removed himself from the lineup, telling his manager Joe McCarthy that he could not play because of continuing weakness. Doctors will later diagnose Gehrig with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal disease that affects the muscles. Gehrig will never play again.
- On this date in 1992, Yankees pitcher Scott Sanderson became the 12th pitcher in ML history to surrender four home runs in a single inning. Sanderson was rocked in the fifth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins by Shane Mack, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, and Randy Bush. The Twins needed all the homers in their 7-6 win.
- On this date in 1995, the Red Sox defeat the Yankees, 8 – 0, scoring its runs on grand slams in back-to-back innings by former college teammates John Valentin and Mo Vaughn. According to SABR statistician David Vincent, it is the first time ever that two grand slams account for all the runs scored in a major league game.
- On this date in 1998, Yankees pitchers Roger Clemens (seven innings) and Paul Quantrill (two innings) combined to one-hit the A’s, 7 – 0. Oakland’s only hit is a single by rookie Ben Grieve.
Off til Monday . . .