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News of the Day – 5/21/09
Posted By Diane Firstman On May 21, 2009 @ 9:30 am In Diane Firstman,News of the Day | Comments Disabled
Hi there gang! I’m back, and thus … today’s news is powered by the return of someone a bit more (in)famous:
With veteran backstops Jorge Posada and Jose Molina both on the disabled list, the Yankees wanted to see (Frankie) Cervelli save runs behind the plate with his strong throwing arm. Whatever else he could provide would be wonderful, but not necessary.
The 23-year-old may be exceeding all expectations. He raised his average to .370 entering Wednesday’s play and his voice has become a trusted one on the bench. It’s becoming a reliable recipe: Cervelli calls the pitches he wants, and the Yankees’ starters succeed.
“I feel very lucky right now to be the everyday catcher with these guys,” Cervelli said. “They give me confidence and let me do the same things I was doing in the Minor Leagues. When I feel something and I want to call one pitch, they let me do that. That’s exciting for me.”. . .
“I like what I see just when you talk to him,” (Andy) Pettitte said. “The look in his eyes is very confident. If he’s confident in what he’s doing, no matter how much experience I have out there or any of these other guys, it helps you. It’s what you want to do. I’ll ask his advice. He’s really paying a lot of attention and doing a great job, that’s for sure.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, a former big league backstop himself, has raved about Cervelli’s abilities.
“This young man can catch, throw and block and do a lot of things, and offensively he’s been a big contributor for us,” Girardi said. “He’s played very, very well.”
The whipped cream pie to the face is not the only current fad among the Yankees. The shaved head is also becoming popular, particularly in the bullpen. The most recently shorn dome belongs to Phil Coke.
He showed up bald and proud of it on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. “I’ve shaved my head before, it’s not a big deal,” Coke said. “But nobody around here has seen me with a shaved head. It’s just hair. It grows back. It’s fun, man. We’re having a good time.” . . .
Until Tuesday, Coke had sandy blond hair of moderate length and full sideburns. His locker is next Brian Bruney’s, another reliever with a recently shaved head. The computer monitor in Bruney’s locker shows a skull and crossbones. . . .
When Reggie Jackson, the Hall of Fame slugger, strolled over, Coke hugged him and took off his cap to show his head. Jackson, wearing a beret, kept it on his clean scalp.
“So far, it’s me, Veras, Bruney and Alfredo Aceves,” Coke said of the bullpen baldies. Coke said Jonathan Albaladejo “is thinking about it; he’s on the fence now. He’s not sure.”
A court date for a professional athlete is rarely a good thing. Wednesday was an exception.
All of the Yankees, coaches, staff and Manager Joe Girardi, were required to report to a Kangaroo Court hearing at 3:15 p.m. in a room off the clubhouse. Anyone late was fined $100 by Judge Mariano Rivera and his jury of Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon and A.J. Burnett.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Xavier Nady, who was the official stenographer. “It brings guys together. It’s just entertaining how people plead their case. I’m sure it’ll get better, too, the longer we have it.”
The mock court has been a staple of clubhouse culture in baseball for decades, but according to Andy Pettitte, the Yankees have not had one since 1995, when Wade Boggs was the judge. The idea came from Burnett and Nady.
It is another example of the looser locker room the Yankees have cultivated recently.
There was a subtle change at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday that spruced up the background behind the outfield walls. The stark gray, concrete wall in the bullpens was painted dark blue, consistent with the color of the outfield wall and the seats.
, the radio Voice of the Yankees and a man who has always cherished the sound of his own voice while placing strained self-promotion over good-faith play-by-play, has created and cemented a dilemma: Every game played by the Yankees is a doubleheader — the game that’s played and the game Sterling calls.
This weekend, the games Sterling described did not exist. Some examples:
In the eighth inning Saturday, Sterling called a game-tying home run by— Sterling gave it his, “It is high … !” routine, culminating with, “It is gone!” But the ball, as Sterling several seconds later acknowledged, didn’t even reach the wall on the fly; it bounced over it.
And radio-reliant Yankees fans again were led to believe that a Yankees batter had performed the ultimate — had hit a home run — when he hadn’t.
In the fourth inning of Saturday’s game, Sterling and Suzyn Waldman fabricated a story.lost sight of a pop fly as he approached the stands along the left-field line. Damon missed the ball, plain and simple as that.
But on the Yankees’ radio network, Sterling claimed the ball fell from Damon’s glove. Nonsense. Then Waldman added, “He had to fight a fan with a glove.” But there was no fan with a glove, no fan hindrance at all.
Later, Sterling would repeat that “fan with the glove interference story” as fact, as the eyewitness testimony of the Voice of the Yankees. But it never happened, nothing even close.
[My take: Perhaps he is training to be a Navajo code-breaker, and is really sucking at it?]
(Swisher is) teaming up with the good folks at Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant in Manhattan.
Today at noon, Swisher and Foley’s owner Shaun Clancy will announce the launch of a new item at the restaurant: The Swish & Chips (also known as battered fish and fries).
From now until the end of the season, Foley’s will donate $1 from every sale of the dish to Swisher’s charity, Swish’s Wishes, which benefits kids around the country.
[Trivia time: Besides Alex Rodriguez, name the most recent Yankee to amass 13 total bases in a single game (answer later)]
[Trivia answer: Shane Spencer (two doubles, two homers, one single) in Yanks 14-2 win over KC in 2nd game of doubleheader, August 7, 1998 .]
Article printed from Bronx Banter: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com
URL to article: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2009/05/21/news-of-the-day-52109/
URLs in this post:
 Cervelli with a smile: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090519&content_id=4817492&vkey=news_nyy&fext=.jsp&c_id=nyy
 Head like a dome: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/sports/baseball/20pins.html?ref=baseball
 Kangaroo Yanks: http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/for-yankees-court-is-back-in-session/
 paint it blue: http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/a-little-paint-make-a-big-difference/
 Phil Mushnick: http://www.nypost.com/seven/05182009/sports/yankees/baseball_fans_deserve_better_than_sterli_169830.htm?&page=1
 Swish and Chips: http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2009/05/20/swish-chips/
 August 7, 1998: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA199808072.shtml
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