Today’s news is powered by Blue Jays . . . and the Fab Four:
- Joe Sheehan wonders about Sunday night’s late game pitching choices:
Joe Girardi committed himself to Phil Coke in the eighth inning despite having six right-handed relievers on his roster, meaning Coke would have to face four straight right-handed batters after Jacoby Ellsbury. With Philip Hughes apparently unavailable after pitching Friday and Saturday—but for just one out each day—Girardi reacted by making none of his other righties available. It mattered less in the important matchup—letting Coke face Victor Martinez, batting right-handed, would have been the play in any case—but had Coke retired Martinez, he would have been asked to get Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay with the tying run on base, and that would have been a huge risk. It was yet another odd decision by a man for whom running a bullpen is a daily challenge.
- And on the day after the sweep, some guys rested:
Girardi prepared a lineup sans Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui for Monday’s series opener against the Blue Jays, and said that more rest could be expected as the Yankees wrap up their homestand before hitting the road for an 11-day trip to Seattle, Oakland and Boston. . . .
Matsui sat for the second consecutive game, but Girardi said that the designated hitter was physically fine and the move was more about having Jorge Posada get a half-day as a DH. Girardi said that he expects to play Matsui on Tuesday and probably Wednesday, as well.
Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira are also among those who might see a day off, or at least reduced duty, this week against Toronto; Teixeira prefers to DH rather than have a complete day off.
Girardi said that Alex Rodriguez, who has homered in the past two games, made it through the Boston series fine, but he could also see rest before New York hits the road.
- Tyler Kepner profiles Jerry Hairston, Jr.
- Mickey Mantle’s widow passed away.
- Happy 25th birthday to Melky Cabrera.
[My take: We may get on him a bit, but he’s still two years from the beginning of his supposed “peak years”.]
- Bubba Crosby turns 33 today. Crosby spent parts of three seasons with the Bombers. He had been part of the Dodgers’ side of the package that brought Scott Proctor to the Yanks in 2003. His lifetime slugging percentage of .300 is the 16th lowest in the DH era for outfielders with 250 or more career ABs. Pop quiz: Bubba is NOT Crosby’s given first name. What is it? (answer later)
- On this date 80 years ago, Babe Ruth hits his 500th career home run, off of the Indians’ Willis Hudlin. Second place all-time in homers at the times was Cy Williams, with 237.
- On this date in 1980, Reggie Jackson hits his 400th career home run, in the Yankees’ 3-1 victory over the White Sox at Yankee Stadium.
- And finally, in the “not related to the Yankees but still newsworthy in a ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ vein” . . . ChiSox GM Kenny Williams got arrested ticketed, for JAYWALKING . . . on the same day he acquired Blue Jay (not doing much walking or anything else for that matter) Alex Rios!
- Pop quiz answer: Richard (Stephen Crosby)