Today’s news is powered by a very old and very rare baseball board game:
- CMW’s troubles mounting:
Chien-Ming Wang is concerned that his 2009 season may be over, having sought a second opinion as he continues to feel discomfort in his right shoulder, and now Dr. James Andrews will get his chance to take a look.
Wang visited on Wednesday with Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York after suffering a setback earlier in the week while playing catch, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman met with team physician Dr. Chris Ahmad on Thursday to discuss Wang’s situation.
After reviewing Altchek’s findings, the Yankees are set to next confer with Andrews before discussing Wang’s status further. But at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, the 29-year-old Wang said that he is worried that surgery may be necessary.
- If Yanks make a trade, will it be for a starting pitcher?:
The Yankees made a calculated gamble in poaching starting pitchers Alfredo Aceves and Phil Hughes for their bullpen, one that has helped them become a first-place club while also leaving a lack of depth.
It is a situation that general manager Brian Cashman is acutely aware of as the Yankees approach the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. While there are no moves that can be classified as imminent, he acknowledges that there is room for improvement.
“When we made the decisions that we’ve made so far, they were tough decisions with consequences,” Cashman said on Thursday. “We’re better because of those moves, but we’re thinner.” . . .
But the switch made it difficult to fill in earlier this month, when the Yankees lost Chien-Ming Wang from their starting rotation, with no definitive return date for the right-hander.
New York is also watching the innings tick off rapidly for Joba Chamberlain, who will take the mound on Friday having already thrown 95 2/3 frames.
“I still think there is some concern with our depth,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I’m not saying that you necessarily trade for a Major League pitcher, but there is some concern if someone else goes down. There are some innings limitations on Joba, so that is something that is a concern.
- Tyler Kepner echoes the concern over the depth of the starting pitching.
- Jesus Montero is one of . . . The Untouchables! (at least per Baseball America):
Scouts who cover the Yankees organization are fond of saying the team over-values its own prospects, but the scouting consensus is that Montero is the real deal. He has premium raw power and pure hitting ability to go with it. If he can catch, he could have a Mike Piazza-esque career. More than likely, he’s New York’s future DH, and the Yankees’ asking price for him is prohibitive.
- On this date in 1934, Earle Combs crashes into the wall at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis and suffers a fractured skull. New York calls up George Selkirk, but learns he broke his arm the same day playing for Newark.
- On this date in 1954, after Casey Stengel pulls Phil Rizzuto in the eighth for a pinch-hitter, he brings in Mickey Mantle again at SS. Mantle plays SS with Willie Miranda at 2B against left-handed hitters. Against righties, Miranda and Mantle switch positions.
- On this date in 1983, in the memorable “Pine Tar Game” at Yankee Stadium, George Brett hits an apparent 2-run home run off Rich Gossage to give the Kansas City Royals a 5 – 4 lead with two outs in the 9th inning, only to have it taken away when Yankees manager Billy Martin, at the urging of coach Don Zimmer, points out that the pine tar on Brett’s bat handle exceeds the 17 inches allowed in the rules. As a result, Brett is called out for illegally batting the ball, giving New York a 4 – 3 victory. Brett goes ballistic and the Royals immediately protest, and American League President Lee MacPhail overrules his umpires for the first time saying that, while the rules should certainly be rewritten and clarified, the home run will stand and the game will be resumed from that point on August 18th.
- On this date in 1991, in a game against the Mariners, the Yankees score three runs on a ground ball hit back to the pitcher. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out in the 4th, Pat Kelly hits a comebacker to Erik Hanson. The Seattle hurler traps Kevin Maas in a rundown between 3rd and home, but Maas scores when 3B Edgar Martinez’s throw hits him in the back. The ball rolls up the 1st base line in foul territory where it is recovered by C Dave Cochrane. Cochrane throws home to head off Alvaro Espinoza who is also attempting to score. The throw goes into the Mariners’ dugout allowing Espinoza and Kelly to cross the plate with the 2nd and 3rd runs.
- On this date in 1992, Commissioner Fay Vincent announces that George Steinbrenner can resume active control of the Yankees on March 1, 1993.
- On this date in 1999, the Yankees pound the Indians, 21-1. The Bronx Bombers are led by DH Chili Davis, who bangs out five hits, including a double and homer, while driving home six runs.
- On this date in 2004, a bench-clearing brawl breaks out after Red Sox starter Bronson Arroyo hits Alex Rodriguez, who hit last night’s game-winning home run, with a pitch. As A-Rod stares out at the mound on his way to first, Boston’s catcher Jason Varitek, after a verbal exchange, pushes the All-Star third baseman in the face causing a series of fights with players in both team’s dugouts and bullpens involved.
Back on Monday!