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News of the Day – 8/25/09

Today’s news is powered by…The Doobie Brothers:

The lasting effect of eight days off should charge through Joba Chamberlain when he takes the mound on Tuesday against the Rangers. At least, the hard-throwing right-hander expects it will.

“Strong like bull,” Chamberlain said, grinning.

. . . “It still feels like it’s about a month in between each start, but that’s just because you’re used to going out every five days and doing it. This one felt a lot better than the last one did.”

  • Girardi opines on the Posada/Burnett troubles:

“This (Jorge Posada) is a guy who’s played in [five] World Series — he’s doing something right,” said Girardi, a former big league backstop himself. “The true onus falls on the pitcher, what they’re going to throw.

“I would never want a pitcher to throw what I want if he didn’t believe in it, ever. Conviction, for me, is extremely important for pitchers. We’re suggestion boxes.”

(A.J.) Burnett gave new life to one of the Yankees’ most recent hot-button issues on Saturday, when he threw a fastball to David Ortiz that he admitted he did not completely want to throw.

The Yankees admire Matsui’s professionalism and are thrilled that he has overcome two knee surgeries in the last two seasons to remain productive. But as reliable as Matsui has been while hitting 23 homers and driving in 68 runs as a designated hitter, the Yankees may not offer him a contract for 2010.

The Yankees have high-priced veterans like Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Mark Teixeira who need rest from playing defense, so they would rather use the D.H. as a flexible spot. General Manager Brian Cashman, who considers Matsui, 35, a full-time D.H., said there were too many unknown variables to speculate about Matsui’s future.

“Obviously, he’s a pro,” Cashman said. “He can swing the bat, there’s no doubt about that. Where it goes from here, who knows?”

. . . Matsui was noncommittal about his future, saying that he was “not looking at anything beyond the season right now.”

When pressed on whether he would rather stay with the Yankees, Matsui eventually said: “I like New York, I like being with the Yankees, I like the New York fans. So it’s a place that I feel very comfortable.”

  • Where will Johnny Damon be in 2010?  Jon Heyman thinks it might be back with the Bombers:

The Yankees intend to try to bring back Johnny Damon, probably for about $6-8 million a year (that’ll be the first offer, anyway), and might be willing to give him a second year. Damon’s been saying in the papers all year that he wants to be back, which is quite a departure from the usual free-agent script and could mean he’s that rare player amenable to a below-market contract. Yankees management loves Damon personally, too, and that doesn’t hurt.

. . . Damon’s making $13 million now, but the Yankees appear to view this case in much the same way they looked at Andy Pettitte, who took a pay cut to $5 million guaranteed to return last winter. Damon shopped himself last time when he felt he wasn’t getting the respect he deserved from the Red Sox. But this appears to be a different case.

. . . Pettitte hinted Sunday night that he not only wants to play next year, but that he would prefer a return engagement in pinstripes. After weathering an offseason in which he and the Yankees haggled for weeks before agreeing on a deal, the 37-year-old lefthander said he does not want to repeat a lengthy contract process.

“I really would hate . . . I really don’t want to go into the offseason, you know, and sit there and be a free agent again, have to worry about other people making me offers and whatever,” the lefthander told the Daily News before the rubber game against the Red Sox.

Asked if that drawn-out process frustrated him, Pettitte nodded, and emphasized that in addition to playing for a likely contender each season in the Yankees, there is something special about playing in the Bronx.

“I wanted to come back here and it looked like it might not happen towards the end. In my mind-set, I was coming back no matter what,” he said. “That’s where I was at. It’s tough when you’re getting offers from other clubs, and it’s not even comparable.

  • Bobby Meacham turns 49 today.  The weak-hitting San Diego State grad was the Yanks primary SS in 1985, when he hit a mere .218, but managed to steal 25 out of 32 bases and lead the AL with 23 sacrifice hits.

[My take: It was a different game and a much different type of team back then, wasn’t it?  As a comparison, the 2008 Yanks had a total of 31 sacrifice hits all year.]

  • Happy 70th birthday to Dooley Womack.  Womack was the closer on a woeful 1967 Yankee squad, and in his three seasons with the Bombers, allowed only 185 hits in 234 IP.
  • On this date in 1956, to make room for Enos Slaughter, the Yankees give Phil Rizzuto his unconditional release.
  • On this date in 1968,  the Tigers, ahead 5 – 0, fail to score with two on in the 4th inning when the Yanks bring in Rocky Colavito. The 35-year-old slugger retires Al Kaline and Willie Horton and tosses 2.2 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win. In Rocky’s only other appearance, in 1958, he also faced Kaline, and the victory by a non-pitcher will be the last this century. In the 8th, Yankees reliever Lindy McDaniel ties the then-American League record for consecutive batters retired by setting down the first Tiger he faces, giving him 32 straight batters retired over four appearances.
  • On this date in 1976, the Yankees edge the Twins 5 – 4 in a 19-inning marathon. Grant Jackson is the winner over Pete Redfern.
  • On this date in 1996, the Yankees dedicate their first new monument in 47 years, to Mickey Mantle, in Monument Park.
  • On this date in 2001, the Yankees defeat the Angels, 7 – 5, as Roger Clemens becomes the 1st AL hurler to go 17 – 1 to begin a season. OF Paul O’Neill hits his 20th home run of the year, making him the oldest player in history -at age 38 – to reach the 20 home run – 20 SB mark in a season.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  News of the Day

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1 Sliced Bread   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:59 am

Tex on Letterman last night. a little q&a and bp on 53rd St.


re: Damon, Matsui, and Pettitte: I think all three will be back next year. Matsui and Damon for two years, and Andy for 1.

2 The Hawk   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:07 am

The Doobie Brothers are right up some alley that isn't mine.

3 Rich   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:24 am

Giving Damon a second year would be incredibly stupid.

4 Rich   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:29 am

I should add that Heyman is a Boras flak so everything he says about a Boras client should be taken with a large grain of salt.

5 Toxic   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:58 am

You didn't do a "News Of The Day" a few weeks back when I could have posted the fact that Bobby Meacham committed his last two errors as a Yanks player that day.

6 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:05 am

[1] Thanks, sliced, that was cute.

7 sonyahennystutu   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:14 am

I think Pettitte will be back for 1, Damon for 1 + a club option on 2nd year with a decent (say $2mm) buy out. Matsui = gone.

8 sonyahennystutu   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:15 am

One caveat actually. if the Yanks win the WS and some combination of Matsui/Damon heroics prove crucial to the win then I could see the Yanks doing 2+1 to Damon, 1 for Matsui. They get emotional that way :)

9 Rich   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:46 am

[8] I actually agree with that. Wining the WS may be the only way Damon or Matsui come back.

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