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You are currently viewing archive for April 2009.

Posted by: Patrick
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Led by the firm of Swisher, Pena and Burnett, the Yankees defeated the Angels on Thursday night, 7-4.

The Angels wasted no time grabbing a lead, scoring a run in the top of the first. But, the Yankees answered right back, thanks to a Hideki Matsui RBI single that scored Mark Teixeira. Don't look now, but Godzilla's got his average up to .292 after a slow start.

But, the Angels continued to chip away at Yankees starter A.J. Burnett, scoring 2 more runs in the third to make it 3-1 through two. The Yankees would again answer back in the form of a Johnny Damon solo home run in the third and a Derek Jeter RBI single in the fourth. On Jeter's hit, former Yankee Bobby Abreu made an error that allowed Ramiro Pena to score. 4-3, Yankees, after four.

Burnett, meanwhile, settled down, holding the Angels offense scoreless in the third and fourth. He allowed them to tie the game in the fifth, but then pitched another two scoreless innings. In the end, Burnett struck out five through seven, allowing those four runs on eight hits.

He left the game tied when Phil Coke came out to start the eighth. Coke was impressive, setting down the Angels in order.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Yankees took back the lead when Melky Cabrera singled, scoring Robinson Cano. Ramiro Pena followed that up with a double, giving the Yankees a pair of much needed insurance runs, as Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher scored.

After back to back rough outings, Mo was back on his game, collecting his fifth save of the season. The first hitter he faced, Torii Hunter, singled and then reached second on fielder's indifference. The next three batters were retired, however, including two strike outs.

And so, the Yankees end the month of April at 12-10, 2 games back of the division leading Red Sox.

Tomorrow, at 7:05 PM ET, Andy Pettitte (2-1, 2.96) will face Jered Weaver (2-1, 2.45) in game two of the series.

Recap records: Patrick: 7–2, Seamus: 4–6, Andrew: 1–2.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that A-Rod will participate in an extended spring game today, his first game action since having surgery on his hip. He also has this:

The club has officially stuck to a projected return date of May 15 for Rodriguez, who had surgery to repair a torn labrum and have a cyst drained on March 9 in Vail, Colo. But Dr. Marc Philippon, who performed the procedure, said on Wednesday that Rodriguez could rejoin the Yankees in 10 days.

10 days would be May 9. Not that big of a difference - 6 days. He'll be back when he's ready.
Posted by: Patrick
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Tracy Connor of the Daily News reports on some details from Selena Roberts' upcoming book on A-Rod. Roberts was the reporter who broke the story of A-Rod's steroid abuse with the Rangers earlier this year.

In so many words, she cites anonymous sources, both in and outside the organization, in suggesting that A-Rod used steroids while playing for the Yankees. The suggestion is made through suspicion and circumstances shared by these sources, such as an "unnamed major-leaguer" saying that he saw A-Rod and Kevin Brown together with HGH in 2004. (He saw them together with HGH? That must have been awkward? Oh, by the way, what was he doing there? Heh).

The book also promises to talk about A-Rod's personal life, divorce, poker playing, pitch tipping (allegedly, he'd tell friends on the other team what pitches were coming if the game was out of reach, hoping they'd do the same for him) and all of the things we've seen in tabloid headlines in recent years.

Via Ben Kabak.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports:

Ian Kennedy was examined by a specialist in NYC today because of his numb middle finger.

He has a vasospasm that can be treated with medication. He will be evaluated again Monday and will not throw until after that follow-up.

Based on a Google search, it doesn’t seem serious.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees clicked on all cylinders for the second straight night as they took the rubber game of a three-game set in Detroit in a game that was not as close as the 8–6 final score may indicate. The victory guarantees the Yankees will have at least a .500 April, which while not necessarily impressive, is more than we could have said about this team the last couple of years.

The Yanks jumped ahead with a 7-run fourth inning after allowing a run the previous inning. Nick Swisher made it 8–1 with a home run in the top of the 5th, his second of the game (one from each side of the plate). That is where the score would be for most of the way, as Joba Chamberlain pitched seven sizzling innings, allowing just one run on three hits. The Yankee bullpen did make it interesting in the 9th, allowing five runs. Mariano Rivera entered the game with two outs in the 9th and allowed a three-run homer that closed the gap to 8–6, but he was eventually able to record the 3rd out before the damage became catastrophic.

Along with Swisher, Johnny Damon also had two hits and Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 16 games. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira were the only Yankee starters to go without a hit.

An even scarier moment came just a little while earlier when somebody in the building pulled a fire alarm, prompting the PA announcer to ask all fans to evacuate the stadium. Fortunately it was only a false alarm, as the fans were told they could return to their seats before they ever got halfway out of the ballpark. Hopefully this was just a mistake and not some knucklehead trying to be funny.

The Yankees will head back to the Bronx tomorrow night to begin a four-game series with the Angels. A.J. Burnett is slated to pitch against rookie Anthony Ortega, who will be making his second career start. Game starts at 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 6–2, Seamus: 4–6, Andrew: 1–2
Posted by: Patrick
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SI.com's Jon Heyman reports, according to sources, that the Yankees have moved up their target return date for A-Rod. They are now hoping for him to return during the first week of May.

Via the Post.
Posted by: Patrick
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Tuesday night's game between the Tigers and Yankees was doughnuts through six. The Tigers' Edwin Jackson had held the Yankees scoreless through 6, throwing 117 pitches and striking out 4 batters, while allowing 4 hits and walking 1. But, in his first appearance of the season, Phil Hughes was even better, allowing no runs on 2 hits through 6, striking out 6 and walking 2.

Once Jackson was relieved by Ryan Perry to start the 7th, the Yankees offense exploded for 10 runs in the inning, off of Perry, Nate Robertson and Brandon Lyon. This is how it went:

Nick Swisher singled.
Melky Cabrera walked, moving Swisher to second.
Jose Molina sacrificed for the first out, moving Cabrera to second and Swisher to third.
Jorge Posada pitch hit for Ramiro Pena.
Posada reached first on an error, scoring both Swisher and Cabrera and moved to second.
Angel Berroa pinch ran for Posada.
Derek Jeter walked.
Robertson relieved Perry.
Johnny Damon singled, scoring Berroa and moving Jeter to second.
Mark Teixeira fouled out for the second out.
Hideki Matsui singled, scoring Jeter and moving Damon to third.
Robinson Cano singled, scoring Damon and moving Matsui to third.
Swisher walked, loading the bases.
Lyon relieved Robertson.
Cabrera walked, scoring Matsui, leaving the bases loaded.
Molina hit a grand slam, scoring Cano, Swisher and Cabrera.
Berroa singled.
Jeter grounded out for the third out.

There was no reason for Hughes to come back out, so Mark Melancon entered and threw a 1-2-3 seventh inning. Edwar Ramirez pitched a scoreless 8th and Jose Veras did the same in the 9th. For the day, the Yankees pitchers threw a four hitter, walking 3 and striking out 7 en route to a shut out.

Nick Swisher added a solo home run in the 9th to make it 11-0. He had two hits, two walks and scored 3 runs. Matsui (triple, 1 run, 1 RBI), Cano (1 run, 1 RBI) and Cabrera (2 runs, 1 RBI, 2 walks) also had two hits each.

Obviously, it's great to see Phil turn in this kind of performance. We can only hope this is something that he can build on.

Joba Chamberlain (0-0, 3.94) tries for his first win of the season tomorrow at 7:05 PM ET, against Rick Porcello (1-2, 4.50) in the final game of this 3 game set.

Recap records: Patrick: 6-2, Seamus: 3-6 (who was unable to recap last night's game due to site related difficulties), Andrew: 1-2.
Posted by: Patrick
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The AP reports:

Turns out a few more fans might be able to buy those empty front-row seats at Yankee Stadium.

The New York Yankees slashed prices on more than 40 percent of their front-row seats by up to 50 percent Tuesday and announced many of those who bought tickets closest to the field for $325-$1,250 will be eligible for additional free seats. ...

In all, the AP count had the Yankees cutting the price of 116 of 258 front-rows seats. The team said the reductions will apply to this season only.

The YES Blog has a statement issued by Hal Steinbrenner. Here it is:

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
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Former Yankee Hideki Irabu is back in baseball, signing with the Long Beach Armada of the independent Golden Baseball League, according to a press release posted on their website.

"What a treat for our fans," said Long Beach Armada General Manager Tony Soares. "Jet balloons, hachimakis, and sushi will all be available at Blair Field this year along with a chance to watch a true baseball superstar perform!"

You have to love press releases.

Via Tim Dierkes via Kyodo News.
Posted by: Patrick
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Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger reports that Brian Bruney plans to lighten his workload between games, in an effort to stay healthy, as the pitcher thinks that pitching too much between appearances is what landed him on the DL.

Via Ben Kabak.
Posted by: Seamus
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Tonight's game against the Red Sox was the only one in the series the Yankees didn't let slip through their fingers. The problem was they never really had it to begin with. The Red Sox brought out the brooms after beating the Yankees by a score of 4–1.

Andy Pettitte was okay, allowing three earned runs in a six inning performance, but was roughed up a bit in the 5th when a 1–1 tie was turned into a 4–1 Boston lead, thanks to a steal of home by Jacoby Ellsbury and an RBI double by J.D. Drew. Three Yankees (Matsui, Cano, Cabrera) had multi-hit games but as a team they could not generate a whole lot of offense as the Yanks went 0–6 with runners in scoring position. Other than that, the game was pretty uneventful save a little rambling from the broadcast booth on what a great 5th starter Andy Pettitte is.

Also, note to Jacoby Ellsbury: Show some class. Don't come out for a curtain call after stealing home plate. It's cool that you want to come out and acknowledge and respect your fans, but respect your opponent as well. We didn't see any fist-pumping or chest-pouting coming out of Andy Pettitte after he picked off two of your runners during the game.

I think the saddest thing for me when I look back at this game is that while this was the game that capped off a Boston sweep, it's also the loss that disappointed me the least simply because the first two were so horrible.

The Yankees will try to forget this series (I hope) and head to Detroit tomorrow night to begin a three-game set with the Tigers. Pitching matchup has the potential to be a great one as CC Sabathia will be taking on Justin Verlander. Game starts at 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 5-2, Seamus: 3-5, Andrew: 1-2
Posted by: Patrick
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Tyler Kepner reports that the Yankees will start Phil Hughes on Tuesday, in place of the injured Chien-Ming Wang.

Via Ben Kabak.
Posted by: Andrew
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For the second straight day, the Yankees lost a game that they probably should've won. You see, they were up 6-0 this afternoon with A.J. Burnett on the mound. However, Burnett, who had stellar career numbers in Fenway Park before today, faltered, and the Yankees lacked clutch situational hitting. Those factors contributed to the Yankees' 16-11 loss at the hands of the Boston Red Sox.

While the game was still close in the seventh and eighth innings, the Yankees failed to get the runner in from third with less than two outs.

Robinson Cano went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI. However, Mike Lowell had six RBI and Jason Varitek hit a grand slam.

The Yankees built their 6-0 lead off Josh Beckett in the first four innings. But Burnett gave up five runs in the bottom half of the fourth and three more in the next inning. Before the Yankees knew it, they were trailing 8-6. Jason Bay had an RBI single and Varitek hit his grand slam in the fourth. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with a solo home run and Bay hit a two-run double in the fifth.

The Yankees tied it at 8 in the next inning on a Johnny Damon two-run home run off Beckett. Unfortunately, Jose Veras decided to be bad Jose Veras. He hit Nick Green with a pitch and gave up a double to Ellsbury. He then walked Dustin Pedroia before being pulled. A David Ortiz sacrifice fly gave the Red Sox a 9-8 lead.

A two-run error by Pedroia gave the Yankees a 10-9 lead, but the bullpen was once against unable to hold it. Jonathan Albaladejo gave up a three-run home run to Lowell to make the lead 12-10 in favor of Boston. Though the Yankees cut the lead to 12-11 on a Cano solo home run in the eighth, an RBI single by Pedoria and a three-run double by Lowell ultimately gave the Red Sox a 16-11 lead.

The Yankees used seven pitchers, and all but Phil Coke gave up an earned run. Burnett and Josh Beckett each gave up eight earned runs in a game billed as a pitchers' duel.

They will look to salvage a game in this series tomorrow night at 8:05. Andy Pettitte will face Justin Masterson.

Recap records: Recap records: Patrick: 5-2, Seamus: 3-4, Andrew: 1-2

Andrew Fletcher blogs about the Yankees regularly at Scott Proctor's Arm.
Posted by: Patrick
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Some late news: the AP reports that Brian Bruney has hit the 15 day DL, Angel Berroa and Mark Melancon are up and Humberto Sanchez has been released to create a 40-man roster spot for Berroa.

On Bruney, Peter Abraham says:

Bruney has what they are calling a strained flexor mass. His ligaments are fine, it’s a muscle injury. He will not throw for a week and they’re hoping that takes care of it.

Sanchez was acquired in the deal that sent Gary Sheffield from the Yankees to the Tigers.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch has more details on Chien-Ming Wang's injury.

The Yankees placed Chien-Ming Wang on the 15-day disabled list on Friday after the struggling right-hander was diagnosed with weakness in the adductor muscles of both hips. ...

The weakness is a kinetic effect of Wang's right foot injury -- a Lisfranc fracture suffered last June 15 -- and may be directly responsible for the 34.50 ERA Wang posted in three big league starts this year.

Brian Cashman says that he'll have 7-10 days of physical therapy, but it is unclear when he might be back with the Yankees.
Posted by: Patrick
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Both Kat O'Brien and Peter Abraham feel that Angel Berroa will be the one who fills the spot vacated by Cody Ransom's DL stint. Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues says that the team will need to DFA someone to make that happen - he suggests Humberto Sanchez.
Posted by: Patrick
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On his Twitter, MLB.com's Bryan Hoch gave us a quick news update. Brian Bruney is having an MRI, Cody Ransom and Chien-Ming Wang are headed to the DL and David Robertson is on the way back up. One other player will be brought in, as well, but it's not clear who it will be.

Ransom was hurt while stealing a base during tonight's game.
Posted by: Patrick
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Joba Chamberlain got off to a shaky start on Friday night - a single, balk, passed ball (scoring a run) and walk was how the first two batters came and went. But, for the five and 1/3 innings that he pitched in the game, only two runs would score in total, as Joba would scatter 9 hits, 4 walks and 1 hit batter.

The Yankees eventually answered in the fifth, when Cody Ransom doubled home Melky Cabrera and Derek Jeter scored Jose Molina on an RBI ground out. At the time, it gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. This would be lost in the sixth when Joba gave up his second run.

The Yankees came right back, though, scoring two more runs. One on an RBI single by Mark Teixeira that brought Jeter around and another on a Robinson Cano sacrifice fly to bring home Johnny Damon.

Phil Coke and Jonathan Albaladejo combined for 2 and 1/3 innings of scoreless relief before giving way to Mariano Rivera. Mo came in, in the eighth for the first time this season. After allowing a single that put runners on first and second, he struck out Pedroia to end the inning.

The 9th didn't go as well. After David Ortiz struck out, Kevin Youkilis singled. J.D. Drew grounded out, moving Youkilis to second. But, then Jason Bay homered to tie the game. After a Mike Lowell single, Jason Varitek struck out to send the game into extra innings.

In the 10th, Jose Molina singled and Ramiro Pena moved him to second. Unfortunately, Jeter grounded out, but managed to move Molina to third. Damon walked to set the table for Teixeira, who struck out. Damaso Marte pitched 1-2-3 10th.

In the 11th, the Yankees put the lead off man on again, as Jorge Posada walked. Brett Gardner tried to bunt, but that just led to Posada being thrown out at second. And then Melky grounded into a double play. Marte came back out to pitch the 11th and he struck David Ortiz out.

However, with one swing of the bat, Kevin Youkilis ended the game with a walk off homer. Red Sox 5, Yankees 4.

Offensively, Jeter, Damon, Teixeira and Molina all collected two hits. As a team, they had 13 hits, 8 walks and Teixeira was hit once, as well, but they only came up with 4 runs, finishing with a team LOB of 15, batting 4 for 19 with runners in scoring position on the night.

The worst part of this loss is I had to stay up late to recap it. Tomorrow, at 4:10 PM ET, A.J. Burnett (2-0, 3.20) will go against Josh Beckett (2-1, 3.79). Let's do better.
Posted by: Patrick
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After throwing 91 pitches on Thursday, the Yankees have told Chien-Ming Wang to stay in Tampa for now, reports MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. The team is still not sure if they will be putting him on the DL, however.

"With us, he's very open and honest," Cashman said. "He's as anxious as all of us to get this back on line. We know how great of a pitcher he is. He's one of the best in the world when he's right. Clearly his recovery from this Lisfranc fracture is taking some twists and turns. We have time to get him going and I believe we will get him going."
Posted by: Patrick
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Chien-Ming Wang threw 91 pitches in an extended Spring Training game on Thursday. Against some Phillies Minor Leaguers, he struck out 11 and allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits and no walks.

After the game, Yankees Minor League pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras does not have the arm strength that he had last year. Contreras praised Wang's slider and change up, saying that the slider is the best he's seen Wang throw.

Peter Abraham feels that all signs point to Wang being added to the DL for some random injury, which would allow him time to work on his issues while freeing up a roster spot.
Posted by: Patrick
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Long time Yankee Roy White has a new book out called "Then Roy Said to Mickey...: The Best Yankees Stories Ever Told." I haven't read it, but it sound promising.

Via Alex Belth.
Posted by: Patrick
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Forbes has released their annual list, detailing the value of all MLB franchises. The Yankees value rose 15%, the largest percentage gain of any team - by 4% - even though they were already the most highly valued franchise.

This moves the team's worth to $1.5 billion dollars. 10 teams (or 33% of the league) saw their value drop, with the worst drop being the Washington Nationals' fall of 12%. Additionally, 3 teams saw no change. Only 7 teams saw a gain of 5 of more percent - the Yankees, Mets, Rays, Cubs, Twins, Marlins and Brewers.

According to the Forbes survey, for the sixth consecutive year, the Yankees showed a loss in operating income. But, it was actually their best year of those six, as they lost only $4 million, versus last year's loss of $47 million. This up them as 29th in operating income, ahead of only the Detroit Tigers, who lost $26.3 million.

Via the AP.
Posted by: Patrick
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At a speaking engagement on Wednesday night, Brian Cashman said that the Yankees would monitor the home runs hit at Yankee Stadium.

He noted, however, that home runs are traveling at a rate of eight feet farther in this young season, versus last season, and that it may just correct itself as the year goes on. Time will tell.
Posted by: Patrick
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Alex Rodriguez ran the bases on Wednesday for the first time since having surgery. He also fielded more grounders, including some that had to be charged. That is all.
Posted by: Patrick
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Contradicting an earlier report, Hideki Matsui told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch that he did not have his knee drained last week. Rather, he had a cortisone shot.

I know a lot of people are writing Godzilla off because of his knees, but I think we need to give it time - he can be a big part of this season. His .244 batting average betrays his overall line, which includes a .392 OBA and a .856 OPS. In his last 4 games, he's 6 for 14 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 3 runs and 2 RBI. It's a short sample, but it could be the start of something.
Posted by: Seamus
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After watching a total of 14 runs scored in the first seven innings of the game, you'd have been hard pressed to find anybody who expected to see that followed by six straight scoreless innings, but that's exactly how it went, as the Yankees defeated the A's by a score of 9-7 in 14 innings thanks to a walk-off two run homer by Melky Cabrera.

The game was pretty much back and forth as the Yankees rallied early from a 3-0 defecit to take the lead on two different occasions, and Oakland came back both times to tie the score against the Yanks. The game featured five home runs (1 for the A's, 4 for the Yankees), including two by today's hero Melky Cabrera.

CC Sabathia struggled a bit, although he really didn't pitch quite as bad as his numbers indicated. He allowed 6 earned runs on 6 hits in 6 and 2/3 and allowed 6 walks, but was also victimized by some bad defense (Johnny Damon dropping an easy fly ball was an example of that) and was forced to essentially get 4 or 5 outs in a couple innings.

The game was still tied at 7 after 9 innings, and the Yanks and A's wound up playing five innings of free baseball in the Bronx. Jose Veras was a lifesaver in extra innings, as he came into the game with two outs in the 10th and pitched 3 and 1/3 innings of scoreless ball.

The game had gotten to the point where I was kind of enjoying watching every inning go by one by one and wondering just how long this game could go when Melky Cabrera belted his second home run to right field with Nick Swisher on 1st base to end the game and give the Yankees a 9-7 victory.

I was at the game today and I have to say it was a pretty good one to be at, although from the looks of things there were about 20,000 people missing from the seats (the official attendance was listed at 43,342; there is no way there was anywhere near that many people at this game). I even got to participate in the "tradional" 14th inning stretch (I guess because baseball is "traditionally" played for 14 innings now).

The Yankees will have the day off tomorrow before traveling to Boston to play their first series of the season against the Red Sox on Friday evening. Joba Chamerlain will be taking the mound against Jon Lester in a battle of two promising young arms. Game starts at 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 5-1, Seamus: 3-4, Andrew: 1-1
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that the Yankees are sending the struggling Chien-Ming Wang to Tampa on Thursday to pitch in an extended spring training game. He is expected to throw around 100 pitches.

Later in the article, Brian Cashman expresses some skepticism regarding Wang's health, despite claims from the pitcher that he is physically fine.
Posted by: Patrick
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Andy Pettitte went seven strong on Tuesday night, helping the Yankees to a 5-3 victory over the Athletics in New York.

In each of his three starts this season, Pettitte has thrown 7 or more innings, allowing no more than 3 earned runs. He has only walked two batters in the span and holds an ERA of 2.53.

The Yankees offense knocked A's starter Dave Eveland out of this game after four innings, having scored four runs off him - all in the second. Perhaps more noteworthy, there was only one home run in this game and it was hit by Johnny Damon in the sixth.

The offense run in the second was powered by singles, as the Yankees had 5 base hits, as well as a double. Brett Gardner singled in Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher, Johnny Damon singled in Gardner and then Mark Teixeira singled home Derek Jeter.

Brian Bruney came out for the eighth and ended up allowing a run to score on a double, but that would be the only damage done in the inning, as Bruney was the bridge to Mo in the ninth.

After a lead off single, Mo elicited a ground ball to force that runner out at second and then retired the next two hitters for save number 4 on the season. Bryan Hoch reported that it was the 57th time that Mo had saved a game that Andy Pettitte won - tying the record held by Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersley.

Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui all had two hits, with Matsui having a double and Damon hitting that solo home run. He also drove in another run.

At 1 PM ET tomorrow, the Yankees will throw CC Sabathia (1-1, 3.57) against Brett Anderson (0-2, 4.85).

Thanks eluva at MarianoRivera.com for the tip.
Posted by: Seamus
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It turns out that Xavier Nady will not be having surgery on his elbow after all. Peter Abraham also reports that Nady expects to be back within 4-6 weeks.

It's definitely good news, but it makes me wonder if we're going to be getting a version of Xavier Nady that's less than 100% for the entire season and whether or not that benefits the Yankees much more than just letting him have the surgery.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that Hideki Matsui's left knee was drained on Thursday.

"During Spring Training, fluid had been coming and going," Matsui told Hoch, through an interpreter. "It's been a repetition of that. I don't really look at it as a setback. I think it can be controlled to a certain extent with treatment and conditioning."
Posted by: Patrick
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AccuWeather.com says that the home run exposition taking place at the Yankees new home, Coors East, could be due to the wind. Or, more specifically, the way the wind moves inside of the stadium's shape, which is different from the old park. This would be a factor when the wind is blowing in a westerly direction and is going at least 10 miles per hour.

The good news is that, if that is an issue, they also say that it would primarily affect games in the spring and middle to late fall - home run totals would drop in the summer.

Update: Newsday's Kat O'Brien spoke with Brian Cashman who said that the team commissioned a wind study before the stadium was built and it turned up no concerns about right field - just left,

On a related note, Tyler Kepner reports that this 20 home run, four game run is not without precedent. On July 22, July 31 and August 1-2, four consecutive home games, 26 home runs were hit. And 20 or more were hit in a four game stretch in 2000, 2003 and 2004, as well - but it never occurred before 2000.

Via Mike Axisa via Joe Dimino and Steve Lombardi.
Posted by: Patrick
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ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. reports that talks between the Yankees and Cuban exile Felix Perez have cooled due to the U.S. Consulate discovering discrepancies with his age, while processing his Visa application. Specifically, sources say he may be 24 or 25, rather than 20 as he claimed.

As an aside, Arangure also notes that the Yankees are likely to sign 19 year old lefty pitcher Noel Arguelles. That said, negotiations cannot begin until MLB clears him as a free agent.

Via Mike Axisa.
Posted by: Patrick
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If you're a huge Yankees fan that likes talking and writing about the team, we may have a spot open. It's a volunteer, for fun thing, but it's also very low commitment, as well. So, if you have any interest, please e-mail me and we'll talk. Thank you for reading.
Posted by: Seamus
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Tonight's game between the Yankees and Oakland A's has been postponed due to rain. No makeup date has been announced.

Both teams have Thursday off, but I'm thinking if that was the plan they would have announced that already.

UPDATE: Mike Francesa on WFAN has just said that the game will definitely NOT be made up this week. Peter Abraham reports that the game will be made up sometime in July.

Thanks to Patrick for the update.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mark Hale at the Post reports that the Yankees have not yet determined what the next step is for Chien-Ming Wang.

But, with an off day on Thursday, they may look to skip him and give him some time to work and get back to form before they need a fifth starter - which would be April 28.

That seems like a decent idea. You just can't write Wang off after three starts, not given his track record. Yeah, he's looked awful, but let's give him some time to work on it. As I pointed out on Sunday, our current ace got off to a pretty rough start last season, too.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees were outscored 40-19 in their inaugural series at the new Yankee Stadium, but were able to come away with a split after they defeated the Indians 7-3 thanks mostly to a controversial home run call and...the sun.

Carl Pavano was actually pretty good in his return to the Bronx. He retired the first 10 Yankee batters in order before allowing a double to Derek Jeter, followed two batters later by an RBI single by Mark Texeira in the 4th. A.J. Burnett's outing was not optimal, but it was acceptable, as he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits in 6 and 1/3, but he also walked 7 batters.

The turning point of the game came in the bottom of the 7th with the Yankees trailing 3-2. With one out and Cody Ransom on first, Jorge Posada put a ball just around the top of the right field wall that looked (to me anyway) like it hit a fan in the chest just over the wall for a home run. The play was ruled a home run, and affirmed by the umpires after a video review. The two-run shot by Posada put the Yanks up 4-3.

The Yankees tacked on 3 more in the bottom of the 8th when Cody Ransom hit what should have been a playable fly ball in left that ultimately dropped in fair territory for a 3-run double because Indians' left fielder Shin-Soo Choo lost the ball in the sun. The Yankees went up by a score of 7-3, which would prove to be the final score of the game.

In the end, there were only two home runs hit in this game, which set a record so far for fewest home runs hit in a game at Yankee Stadium. Both of the home runs hit today (Garko, Posada) probably would not have been homers in about half of major league ball parks.

Tomorrow night the Oakland A's will get their first look at the Yankees' new digs as they'll be in for a three-game series. Andy Pettitte will make his third start of the season and will face Dana Eveland. Game starts at 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 4-1, Seamus: 2-4, Andrew: 1-1.

Edit by Patrick: an earlier version of this post said that Ryan Garko had lost the fly ball in the sun, but actually it was Shin-Soo Choo. Thanks David for the correction.
Posted by: Seamus
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There's been a lot of talk over the last couple weeks about the ball carrying further than it did at the old ballpark. Just look at the pounding the Indians put on the Yanks on Saturday afternoon. The Yanks, for their own part, have scored all but two of their runs on this opening homestand via the long ball. But there's gotta be something else to this. After all, the dimensions are exactly the same and the field faces in the same direction as the old Yankee Stadium, right? Well, not exactly, according to Greg Rybarczyk of the website Hit Tracker, who did an interview with Steve of WasWatching.com.

According to Rybarczyk, there is a big difference in the angles of the walls wrapping around the outfield in the two stadiums (I am interpreting this as saying that the dimensions are the same where the markings on the wall are, but I'm not sure that's exactly what he said). Rybarczyk posted a diagram showing the difference between the two walls. He also cited a possible difference in the baseballs this season, seeing that home runs are up quite a bit league-wide so far this season.

Interesting stuff. It looks like there's something to this after all. Yesterday I was just chalking this up to Tim McCarver's refusal to acknowledge that a 22-run game could just be the result of lousy pitching.

(via Peter Abraham)
Posted by: Patrick
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Check out Steve Serby's Sunday Q&A with Nick Swisher. Entertaining as always.
Posted by: Patrick
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Here was the combined line for the Yankees pitchers on Saturday against the Indians:

9 IP, 25 H, 22 R, 22 ER, 6 BB, 10 SO, 6 HR, 236 Pitches

This game was over real fast because, after a scoreless first, Wang couldn't get anyone out in the second. Well, OK, he got one person out. Out of nine people! Single, single, homer, foul out, double, single, double, double, runner to third on wild pitch, single. Sounds a lot like batting practice.

The Yankees called up pitcher Anthony Claggett from the minors before the game, demoting Juan Miranda. Claggett saw action right away, entering with one out, a runner on first and the Yankees down 7-2. In his first career appearance, Claggett pretty much matched Wang. Double, double, walk, single, strike out, home run (grand slam), home run, strike out.

Claggett pitched the third inning and, it went a little smoother (hard to go much rougher) as he allowed only one run. He started the fourth, but after allowing back to back hits to start the inning, his time was over. Wang and Claggett had very similar lines.

Wang: 1.1 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR, 52 Pitches
Claggett 1.2 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 2 HR, 60 Pitches

The Indians just kept scoring runs, eventually amassing 22. Edwar Ramirez (2 IP, 4 ER), Jose Veras (3 IP, 1 ER) and Damaso Marte (1 IP, 1 ER) rounded out the garbage time innings. No work for Swish today!

The Yankees offense consisted of a pair of two run home runs, one by Mark Teixeira and the other by Melky Cabrera.

Wait, the Indians beating the Yankees by scoring 22 runs? Where have we heard this before?! Oh, right. So, at least it wasn't as bad as that. That should give us some comfort. And, in 2004, the Yankees finished with the best record in the American League and the Indians finished in third place in their division, under .500.

Wang's performance is concerning. But, remember that, last season CC Sabathia was 0-3 after four starts with a 13.50 ERA. Not nearly as bad as Wang's 0-3, 34.50 after three and I'm not comparing Wang to CC, but people get off to rough starts. Let's not write Wang off here - it's clear he needs to work on something - but 3 games does not a career make.

In the end, it's just one game and today is a new day. The Yankees can go a long way in making up for yesterday if they beat Carl Pavano (0-2, 16.71). A.J. Burnett (2-0, 2.70) goes for the home team.

Recap records: Patrick: 4-1, Andrew: 1-1, Seamus: 1-4 (technically, it was Andrew's day, heh).
Posted by: Patrick
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Awesome commercial. I love it. Speaking of the Captain, Mark Hale of the Post talked with the only person to strike Jeter out during his senior year of high school.

Via Peter Abraham via The Big Lead.
Posted by: Patrick
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Joel Sherman of the Post reports that Major League Baseball asked the Yankees to remove a television installed around the corner from their dugout, on the way to the clubhouse. They indicated that it was illegal under MLB rules, which prohibit electronic equipment or televisions in the dugout. I guess they'll just have to walk back to the clubhouse to get a peek.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reports that Xavier Nady will have his second MRI today, as the Yankees are unsure of exact cause of his elbow issues. This after an MRI, two X-rays and two CT scans. Today's MRI will be different in that it will be without contrast dye.
Posted by: Patrick
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A day after the bullpen imploded they came right back as a strength in today's 6-5 win over the Indians.

Joba Chamberlain got the nod, but was out after 4 and 2/3 innings, through which he had allowed 5 earned runs on 6 hits and 5 walks. Phil Coke came in with a runner on second and two outs and retired the next hitter to end the fifth. At the time, the Yankees were down 5-3.

Those three runs had come on solo home runs by Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira (those two were back to back) and Melky Cabrera. Cano added yet another solo shot in the sixth, putting the Yankees within a run.

They'd get that run in the very next inning when, after a Damon lead off walk, Mark Teixeira hit a routine grounder back to the pitcher Vinnie Chulk. Chulk made a bad throw to first, though, sending the ball rolling right up the right field wall and allowing Damon to come all the way around and score.

All the meanwhile, the bullpen was on. Coke pitched a scoreless 1 and 1/3, followed by Jonathan Albaladejo and Brian Bruney, both adding scoreless innings of their own.

The Yankees went ahead in the top of the eighth when, with two outs, Derek Jeter hit the Yankees fifth solo home run of the day - his third homer of the season - to give them the go ahead, 6-5 lead.

It was time to call in the Sandman, Mariano Rivera, for his first appearance at the new stadium. After some drama (i.e. first and second with one out), Mo struck out both Grady Sizemore and Mark DeRose for his first save at the park.

The Yankees collected eight hits and five of them went out of the park. The bullpen pitched the final 4 and 1/3 innings scoreless, allowing just 3 hits and walking no one.

Tomorrow, at 3:40 PM ET, Chien-Ming Wang (0-2, 28.93) will try to get back on track against Fausto Carmona (0-2, 9.00).

Recap records: Patrick: 4-1, Andrew: 1-0, Seamus: 1-4.

Additional reporting by Seamus Molloy.
Posted by: Patrick
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The AP reports that Hideki Matsui's knees are filled with fluid, forcing him into pinch hit duty for now. I knew Matsui would probably wear down, but already? Unfortunate.

In light of this, the team has brought up first baseman Juan Miranda from the minors. To make room, reliever David Robertson has been sent back down to Triple-A.
Posted by: Patrick
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*If you don't count the top half of the seventh inning. If you do count that meaningless portion of the game, then read on.

The pregame ceremonies and opening day events were cool, but the Yankees play on the field did not match them, as the team from the Bronx lost in embarrassing fashion, 10-2. Would you believe that 9 runs were scored in the top of the seventh? Well, it happened.

CC Sabathia had left after 5 and 2/3 innings pitched, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits, but throwing 122 pitches. His 5 walks helped that number. Phil Coke had relieved him and got the final batter of the sixth, forcing the Indians to leave the bases loaded.

To start the seventh, Jose Veras came in. And it went downhill fast. A walk, a double and a double gave the Indians a two run lead. Damaso Marte came in and mistook water for gasoline, struggling to put out the fire. He hit a batter, then one reached on fielder's choice and then a single scored another run.

Finally, an out was made. But then Marte issued a bases loaded walk and allowed a grand slam. At that point, it was 9-1, so he remained. He elicited a ground out, for out number two, but then allowed a solo home run. And then, finally, it was over. 10-1, Indians. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

The final 2 and 1/2 innings when pretty quietly. In the 7th, Cano singled in Melky to give the Yankees a second run and that would be where the score ended. Cano was the only Yankee to get more than 1 hit, going 3 for 4 with an RBI. Despite collecting 9 hits, 8 walks and being hit by two pitches, the Yankees scored just 2 runs. Wow.

Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, Nick Swisher (double), Jorge Posada (home run), Hideki Matsui (three walks) and Brett Gardner each collected one hit. Johnny Damon had the first hit of the new ballpark, while Posada had the first home run. So, yeah, at least we've got that.

Tomorrow, at 1:05 PM ET, we'll try to put all of this behind us. Joba Chamberlain (0-0, 1.50) faces Anthony Reyes (1-0, 6.00).

Recap records: Patrick: 3-1, Andrew: 1-0, Seamus: 1-4.
Posted by: Seamus
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According to Peter Abraham, reliever Dave Robertson has been called up as the roster replacement for Xavier Nady, who is headed to the DL.
Posted by: Patrick
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The new Yankee Stadium (which we'll have to just start calling Yankee Stadium here, soon enough) will see it's first regular season action today, as the Yankees will face the Indians with a terrific pitching match up of CC Sabathia versus Cliff Lee.

There promises to be much pomp and circumstance, with over 40 Yankee alumni on hand, and Peter Abraham has a lot of the nitty gritty, care of this press release:

The New York Yankees will inaugurate Yankee Stadium with its first-ever regular season game on Thursday, April 16 at 1:05 p.m. vs. the Cleveland Indians.

Gates will open to fans with valid tickets beginning at 10:00 a.m. The Yankees are asking fans to be situated in their seats by 12:00 p.m. in advance of pregame ceremonies. Please budget ample time when planning your trip and be sure to consider using public transportation.

Ceremonies will begin at 12:10 p.m. with the West Point Marching Band performing John Philip Sousa’s “Washington Post March” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” in a tribute to the original Yankee Stadium’s opener on April 18, 1923, when Sousa performed on field with the Seventh Regiment Band prior to the game. The West Point Band will also play the “Armed Forces Medley.”

More than 40 distinguished Yankees alumni, such as Whitey Ford, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Reggie Jackson and Willie Randolph, will be introduced on-field, followed by baseline introductions for both teams. (A complete list of attending alumni may be found at the end of this release). Yankees Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Colors will be presented by a joint FDNY and NYPD color guard. After a 75-foot-by-150-foot American flag is unfurled in the outfield by West Point Cadets, Kelly Clarkson, winner of the first season of American Idol and two Grammy Awards, will sing the national anthem. At the conclusion of the anthem, the 174th Fighter Wing, an Air Force unit based in Syracuse, N.Y., will fly over the Stadium in F-16C Flying Falcons. The unit executing the flyover returned to the United States last August after supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom at Balad Air Force Base in Iraq.

The home plate and pitching rubber to be used in Thursday’s game is the same set that was used in the final game at the original Yankee Stadium. Following the game, the items will be dug up and placed in the Yankees Museum, located in Yankee Stadium near Gate 6.

All fans in attendance will receive an inaugural season commemorative pin.

For information on parking, please visit www.baseball-parking.com or call (866) 330-7275.

Alumni Attending Opening Day Ceremonies: Luis Arroyo, Jesse Barfield, Yogi Berra, Ron Blomberg, Bobby Brown, Horace Clarke, Jerry Coleman, David Cone, Chili Davis, Bucky Dent, Al Downing, Dave Eiland, Ed Figueroa, John Flaherty, Whitey Ford, Joe Girardi, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Ken Griffey, Sr., Ron Guidry, Charlie Hayes, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson, Tommy John, Jim Kaat, Don Larsen, Hector Lopez, Tino Martinez, Lee Mazzilli, Gene Michael, Jeff Nelson, Graig Nettles, Paul O’Neill, Joe Pepitone, Willie Randolph, Bobby Richardson, Mickey Rivers, Buck Showalter, Bill “Moose” Skowron, Luis Sojo, Mel Stottlemyre, Ralph Terry, Bob Turley, David Wells, Roy White, Bernie Williams, Dave Winfield.

Schedule of events:

10 a.m.: Gates open
12:10 p.m.: West Point Band performs in center field
12:30 p.m.: Introduction of Yankees alumni, introduction of home plate and mound from old Stadium
12:42 p.m.–12:53 p.m.: Baseline introductions
12:53 p.m.: Introduction of giant American flag, unfurled by West Point cadets.
12:53:30 p.m.: Flyover introduction, 174th Fighter Wing
12:54 p.m.: Presentation of colors by NYPD/FDNY Color Guard
12:54:30 p.m.: National anthem by Kelly Clarkson
12:56 p.m.: National Anthem, F-16C flyover
1:01 p.m.: Ceremonial first pitch: Yogi Berra
1:04 p.m.: Umpires and managers to home plate
1:06 p.m.: Yankees take the field
1:08 p.m.: First pitch

As we reported at the start of April, Paul Olden will be filling in as the Yankees public address announcer today, in place of Bob Sheppard.

It's looking like I won't be able to see the game where I live, but here's to getting off on the right foot. Go Yankees.
Posted by: Patrick
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Updating today's report from Peter Abraham, Kat O'Brien of Newsday reports that Xavier Nady will be placed on the disabled list tomorrow, according to manager Joe Girardi. It's unclear what the next course of action for Nady will be, but the picture being painted is the complete opposite of optimism, unfortunately.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees got some timely hitting in the late innings to go along with overall good performances by Andy Pettitte and the Yankee bullpen as the Yanks beat the Rays 4-3 in the final game of their season opening 9-game road trip.

Andy Pettitte put up a solid performance, but spent most of the game from the 3rd inning on trailing, as he allowed 3 runs on 6 hits in 7 and 1/3. Damon and Jeter went a combined 4-9 and Robinson Cano had two hits, as well.

The Yanks went into the top of the 8th trailing 3-2 before back-to-back doubles to start the inning by Jeter and Damon, with Jeter scoring on the double by Johnny Damon to tie the game at 3. After Pettitte and Brian Bruney put together a 1-2-3 eighth inning, the Yankees took the game for good after Derek Jeter brought home Cody Ransom with an RBI single in the 9th. Mariano Rivera, who is the only player left in baseball who wears #42 everyday (all players wore that number today to honor Jackie Robinson), put down the Rays in order to seal the victory.

So, there you go. A respectable 5-4 road trip to start the season. The Yankees of course will be coming home tomorrow to play the first official game in their new digs. Pitching matchup is Cliff Lee for the Indians and CC Sabathia for the Yankees. Game should start around 1:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 3-0, Andrew: 1-0, Seamus: 1-4.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Peter Abraham:

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE, 12:55 p.m.: Nothing official yet, but the word is that Xavier Nady will need surgery and miss the season.

Depth is a good thing...

Via Mike Axisa.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that Xavier Nady will have an MRI on his right elbow today after feeling "sharp pain" during yesterday's game. Nady, who had Tommy John surgery in 2001, felt it in the seventh, after he fielded a ball and threw it in.
Posted by: Patrick
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A.J. Burnett was on tonight, taking a no hitter through 6 and pitching 8 innings of 3 hit, 2 earned run ball and improving to 2-0 as the Yankees beat the Rays, 7-2.

The Yankees struck fast, with Jorge Posada scoring Brett Gardner on a sacrifice fly in the 1st. Nick Swisher then added a solo shot, and his fourth home run of the season, in the fourth.

After the Rays scored a pair of runs off of Burnett, to tie it up in the 7th, the Yankees came right back with Gardner scoring on another sac fly, this time off the bat of Mark Teixeira, who saw his first action since April 10, due to wrist inflammation.

The Yankees blew it wide open in the top of the ninth, thanks to a two out rally. After Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera hit back to back singles to lead off the inning, it looked as though they might be stranded when Ramiro Pena and Jose Molina went down consecutively to follow them. But, Gardner hit a group rule double to deep center, scoring Cano and the Captain brought them all home with a three run shot, also to deep center.

Brian Bruney struck out the side in the ninth to close the game out and bring the Yankees back to an even 4-4.

Jeter and Gardner led the Yankees offensive attack, with both going 3 for 5. Gardner had two doubles, score three runs and drove in one, while Jeter scored a run and drove in three, thanks to his three run homer.

Tomorrow, at 4:08 PM ET, Andy Pettitte (1-0, 1.29) will face off against Andy Sonnanstine (0-1, 9.64).

Recap records: Patrick: 3-0, Andrew: 1-0, Seamus: 0-4.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports the good news: an MRI on the wrist of first baseman Mark Teixeira has revealed that the plan is due to inflammation. He expects to be back in the lineup today.
Posted by: Seamus
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Yeah, that's right...The Yankees' best pitcher tonight was NICK SWISHER.

Chien-Ming Wang was bad (1 IP, 6 H, 8 ER), the bullpen was not great, the Yankees' fielders had a hard time with the roof at Tropicana Field, and just about everything went wrong for the Yankees as they fell 15-5 to the Rays in the home opener for Tampa Bay.

As mentioned, Nick Swisher was one of the bright spots, as he had a home run and a walk to go along with his scoreless inning pitched. Jorge Posada had two hits, as well. The 1-2 spots in the lineup (Jeter, Damon, Gardner) were a combined 0-7.

Oh well, games like this are bound to happen. I'd rather sit through one of these than watch the Yanks lose by a run in extra innings on a walk-off homer. All there is to do now is just sleep on it and go back out there tomorrow. A.J. Burnett will attempt to turn things around against Matt Garza. Game starts at 7:08 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 2-0, Andrew: 1-0, Seamus: 0-4.

Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that, on Monday, A-Rod took his first steps onto a baseball field since having surgery on his hip. He fielded some grounders and took some cuts at the Yankees' Minor League complex in Tampa, Florida.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mark Teixeira was scratched from tonight's game - the second straight that he's been out of action. Peter Abraham has an update:

We spoke to Teixeira, who is unavailable today and has a brace on his wrist. He said it remains sore. The plan is to go heavy on treatment today to try and remove the inflammation. “Better one or two days now than two or three weeks later,” he said.

He’s day-to-day. I would expect the Yankees to get him X-rayed tomorrow in Tampa and checked out by their own doctors. Why would they not?
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees failed today to complete a sweep of the Royals in a game that had more twists and turns than the Crescent rolls I ate for dinner. Joba Chamberlain pitched well enough to put himself in position for his first win of the season, but a bad 8th inning by Phil Coke helped the Royals pull ahead for their first home win of the season.

The Yankees took the lead early on thanks mostly to Brett Gardner. Gardner led the game off (Damon was given the day off; Jeter batted second) with a base hit, and proceeded to steal second. After being moved to third via a Nick Swisher groundout, Gardner scored from third on a wild pitch from Gil Meche.

The Royals tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the 3rd, courtesy of a solo shot to left from John Buck. Kansas City tacked on a few more in the 4th, after Alberto Callaspo reached on a ball that should've been handled by Nick Swisher and could have been handled by Robinson Cano. The play was originally ruled a hit, but shows up on the MLB.com boxscore as an error, so I'm assuming it was changed. David DeJesus scored on the play, and the next batter, John Buck, brought Mark Teahen in from 3rd with a single to put the Royals up 3-1.

The Royals were victimized by some bad glove work of their own in the 7th when the Yankees jumped back ahead for three runs, thanks in part to an error by Mike Jacobs that allowed Hideki Matsui to score the tying run. Xavier Nady later scored the go-ahead run on a double play groundout by Melky Cabrera.

The game took its final turn in the 8th thanks to Phil Coke, who has been the lone weak link in the Yankee bullpen during the first week of this young season. Coke was brought into the game with the Yankees one out away from getting out of the inning unscathed, but gave up three straight hits as Kansas City went ahead by a score of 6-4 which would prove to be the final tally.

As an aside, my 13-year old brother had to mention that Joba Chamberlain had a perfect game going with one out in the third inning. About 20 seconds later, on the ensuing pitch, John Buck belted a game-tying home run to left. Somebody needs to teach this kid.

The Yankees will be in St. Petersburg tomorrow for yet another home opener, as they'll be taking on the Tampa Bay Rays for the first time this season. Scott Kazmir is slated to be the starter for Tampa Bay, and he'll be facing Chien-Ming Wang, who looks to bounce back from a disappointing 2009 debut this past Wednesday. Game starts at 7:08 ET (yeah 7:08, I guess the Rays needed to be different).

Game recap records: Patrick: 2-0, Andrew: 1-0, Seamus: 0-3. Yikes...
Posted by: Patrick
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Mark Teixeira was scratched from yesterday's game, due to a sore left wrist. Peter Abraham says that he's been diagnosed with tendinitis and the Yankees expect to start him today. Happy Easter.
Posted by: Andrew
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Yankees fans can step back from the ledge: CC Sabathia is fine. After getting shelled by the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day, Sabathia responded with 7 2/3 shutout innings against the Kansas City Royals tonight.

Sabathia, who didn't strike out a batter for the first time since July 25, 2005 on Monday, struck out six and walked none (he hit two batters) in the Yankees' 6-1 victory. His control was an issue a start ago - he walked five - but he threw 73 of his 108 pitches for strikes on this night.

Just like yesterday, Jorge Posada drove in two runs with two outs in the first inning. With one out, Johnny Damon singled and Nick Swisher - playing first base for an injured Mark Teixeira - walked. After a Hideki Matsui line out, Posada recorded the big hit for the Yankees. He doubled to right drive home both runners.

They would score two more runs in each of the third and fifth innings. In the third inning, Derek Jeter led off with a single and stole second. After Damon's groundout moved Jeter to third, Swisher blooped a ball that was missed by a diving Willie Bloomquist that resulted in a triple, scoring Jeter. After Matsui grounded into a drawn-in infield, Posada doubled to left-center to drive in Swisher and give the Yankees a 4-0 lead. The RBI was Posada's fifth with two outs in this series thus far.

In the fifth, after Damon walked with one out, Swisher hit a two-run home run to left. The home run was his second of the year and his three RBIs in the game give him nine in three starts.

Teixeira was in the original lineup but was scratched due to a wrist injury. He said he could bat left-handed, but the Yankees were facing southpaw Horacio Ramirez. Teixeira was to get checked out by a doctor in Kansas City. Damon was set to get the day off with Swisher in left field, but Swisher was moved to first and Damon was installed in the lineup.

The Yankees' pitchers carried the shutout into the ninth inning, but Jose Veras walked Mark Teahen and allowed a double to Mike Jacobs. Teahen was then brought home on a groundout by Tony Pena Jr. This ended the bullpen's scoreless inning streak at 10 2/3.

Robinson Cano went 0-for-4. The last time he went hitless in a game was Sept. 16 of last year (15-game hitting streak).

Joba Chamberlain starts for the Yankees tomorrow afternoon, as they look to sweep the Royals. First pitch is set for 2:10 p.m.

Recap Record: Patrick: 2-0, Andrew: 1-0 and Seamus: 0-2.

Andrew Fletcher blogs about the Yankees regularly at Scott Proctor's Arm.
Posted by: Patrick
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Newsday's Kat O'Brien profiles Brian Cashman's pursuit of Mark Teixeira.

Teixeira never was really an option," Cashman said. "It was something I kept pushing, but it was not really being accepted by above me . . . I guess persistence paid off. I knocked on that door, I guess, just enough that someone finally answered. Hal really gave me the OK to pursue it over a few-day period. And at that point, I still thought the Red Sox were getting him."

Via Tim Dierkes.
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Ex-Yankee Sidney Ponson started for the Royals on Friday, against the Yankees, and immediately was off to a rough start. He faced 7 batters in the first inning, and the Yankees put 2 runs up on the board, thanks to a two out, two RBI single from Jorge Posada, that scored both Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees would add another two runs in the fourth, when Nick Swisher doubled in Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter grounded into a fielder's choice that allowed Swisher to make it home. The Yankees collected 7 hits in all, along with 3 walks, but only 2 of the hits went for extra bases (both doubles). Cano was the only Yankee to have more than one hit, as he went 2 for 3 with a walk. Teixeira walked twice, with a double, ending at 1 for 2.

Andy Pettitte looked excellent in his first start of the season, throwing 99 pitches - 64 for strikes - over 7 innings of work, allowing just one earned run on three hits and a walk, while striking out 6.

Brian Bruney pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, including two strikeouts and Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth, striking out two as well and picking up his first save of the season.

On Saturday at 7:10 PM ET, CC Sabathia (0-1, 12.46) will make his second start as a Yankee, pitching against Horacio Ramirez of the Royals, who will be making his first start of the season.

Recap Record: Patrick: 2-0 and Seamus: 0-2.
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From ESPN:

Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others were killed by a suspected drunk driver Thursday, a shocking end to the life of a rookie who had overcome major elbow surgery to realize his big league dreams. ...

Adenhart died in surgery at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center. Henry Nigel Pearson of Manhattan Beach, a 25-year-old passenger in the car, and the driver, 20-year-old Courtney Frances Stewart of Diamond Bar, were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Peter Abraham, Tyler Kepner and George A. King III have reaction from the Yankees.

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy.
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I guess the Yankees were just waiting for it to be my turn to recap a game. The day has come and the Yanks have won, beating the Orioles by the score of 11-2.

A.J. Burnett, making his first start as a Yankee, pitched 5 and 1/3 innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 7 hits and a walk. He threw 98 pitches and left with the Yankees holding a 7-2 lead.

Nick Swisher, starting in right field, led the Yankees offense with 5 RBI, going 3 for 5 with 2 runs, a double and a home run. Robinson Cano was right there with him, scoring 4 runs and driving in 2 more, ending up at 3 for 4 on the day, with a home run of his own. Both Swisher, and Mark Teixeira, collected their first home run as a Yankee.

Ramiro Pena, in for Derek Jeter after the score got out of hand, picked up the first hit of his Major League career, on his first ever at bat, in the ninth inning. He later scored on a Swisher double.

The bullpen was dynamite as Phil Coke, Jose Veras, Brian Bruney and Mariano Rivera combined to pitch the final 3 and 2/3 innings, failing to allow a single man to each base while striking out 6.

Tomorrow at 4:10 PM ET, Andy Pettitte will make his first start of the season as the Yankees head to Kansas City to face the Royals. Our old friend Sidney Ponson will throw for KC.

Speaking of recaps, we've decided to have a little fun with our schedule and keep track of the Yankees record depending on who recaps the game. We'll add a quick link into the bottom of each recap and we'll see who the Yankees like most. So far: Patrick: 1-0 and Seamus: 0-2.
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Peter Abraham offers this:

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, SS Derek Jeter, C Jorge Posada and RHP Mariano Rivera became the first trio of Yankees to play together in each of 15 straight seasons (1995-2009) with Monday’s season-opening loss at Baltimore.

Pretty cool.
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After CC Sabathia was seen using a heating paid on Opening Day, there was some concern that he was managing some sort of injury. But, according to Bryan Hoch, CC says that it's actually to help prevent injury - specifically an oblique injury that last occurred in 2006.
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If you missed tonight's game and are wondering how Chien-Ming Wang pitched in his first start since last June, I have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is Wang had only two bad innings. The bad news is he only pitched 3 and 2/3.

For the second straight game a Yankee starter was torched by the Orioles as Wang surrendered seven runs on nine hits, leaving the game with two outs in the 4th and the Yankees trailing 7-1. Through two games, the Yankees' starters have a combined E.R.A. of 14.63. What was a bit more encouraging for the Yanks, though, was the bullpen did not surrender a run throughout the final 5 and 1/3.

The Yankees did make the game interesting with two outs in the ninth after Derek Jeter hit a two-run shot to right and Mark Texeira (1-5, another rough night) cut the O's lead to 7-5 with a double through the right-centerfield gap. It was too little, too late though as Hideki Matsui popped up to end the game as the potential tying run.

It's not very encouraging to see the Yankees open up the season by losing a series to the Orioles, but in advance of everybody going all crazy about the Yankees being in trouble and this being the same old, same old Yankee bad start, I'll say just relax. It's two games.

A.J. Burnett will get a shot to salvage one game for his teammates in this series, as he'll be making his Yankee debut at 1:05 ET. He will be opposed by Alfredo Simon.

EDIT: Made an oops. Game starts at 1:35 ET.
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The Oakland Athletics have claimed Dan Giese, who was designated for assignment to make room for Ramiro Pena on the 40-man roster, according to Peter Abraham.

Good luck to Giese. I was kind of hoping nobody would put a claim on him.
Posted by: Patrick
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CNBC's Darren Rovell has a list of the companies that have become the official... something of the Yankees. From water, beer and coffee to airline, rental car and life insurance, it's all covered.

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings reports that veteran Brett Tomko will take closer duties at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“Tomko is going to pitch in the closer role right now, and we’ll go from there," pitching coach Scott Aldred said. "We’ll see how it works. I think it will be fine. A lot of experience. Give him some intense work instead of being a long guy and pitching in some games that don’t mean much, I think we’ll get the best out of Brett Tomko by pitching him at the end of the game.” ...

“I’m confident with any of those four guys -- Jacks, Claggett, Melancon and Robertson -- they can finish games if they need to, and they will," Aldred said. "I’m confident in all four of them. I like our whole bullpen setup. Those guys will get the majority of the workload. Whether it be the sixth, seventh or seventh, eighth, whatever we decide to go with. They’ll get most of the innings down there and it should be a nice little foursome.”
Posted by: Seamus
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The deconstruction of The House that Ruth Built has begun and the WFAN website has some pretty startling photos up. This is the first I've seen of the outer shell being taken apart.
Posted by: Patrick
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USA TODAY puts the Yankees Opening Day payroll at $201,449,189. When including bonus payments that are paid this season, Peter Abraham says it's $206,880,950.

So, where are the differences?

CC Sabathia
Abraham: $23,000,000
USA TODAY: $15,285,714

Mark Teixeira
Abraham: $20,600,000
USA TODAY: $20,625,000

Derek Jeter
Abraham: $20,000,000
USA TODAY: $21,600,000

Nick Swisher:
Abraham: $5,300,000
USA TODAY: $5,400,000

Jose Molina
Abraham: $2,000,000
USA TODAY: $2,125,000

Edwar Ramirez
Abraham: $422,500
USA TODAY: $422,450

Abraham also mentions that if you include Kei Igawa ($4,000,000), Andrew Brackman ($1,137,500) and Juan Miranda ($400,000), all of whom have Major League contracts, his total balloons to $212,418,450.
Posted by: Seamus
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I have to admit that this year's season opener felt a bit anticlimactic after all the offseason drama and this past weekend's opening of the new ballpark. But, aside from the result, it was definitely nice to get the smell of baseball back in the air. It seemed early on like they might not get the game in today, but seeing the Rays-Red Sox opener being postponed left me encouraged since that meant the storm had probably moved up the East Coast just in time for baseball in Baltimore.

By just about 4 p.m., it was time to introduce the players onto the field, and the folks at Camden Yards decided to play that Evil Empire Star Wars theme while introducing the Yankee players, leaving me wondering whether people realize that most Yankee players find that flattering. Maryland native Mark Teixeira received the loudest boos after turning down an offer this offseason from his hometown O's to join the Yankees. The rest of the more familiar Yankees such as Jeter and Rivera got their share of boos, as well.

Once the introductions were over, it was finally time for baseball. CC Sabathia made his first Yankee start and was, well...not sharp. The big man left the game with one out in the 5th inning, trailing 6-1 after allowing six earned runs on eight hits and five walks without striking out a batter.

The Yankees did jump back into it, though, pulling to within 6-3 in the 6th after Jorge Posada led the inning off with a home run and Xavier Nady doubled home Robinson Cano later in the inning. In the 7th, Hideki Matsui hit a two-run homer to make it 6-5. Mark Teixeira, who had a rough day (0-4), had a chance to tie the game or put the Yanks ahead with runners on the corners in the 8th, but grounded into a fielder's choice to end the inning, and that was all she wrote for the Yankee offense.

The bullpen couldn't keep it close in the bottom of the 8th, as Phil Coke and Brian Bruney combined to allow four runs on four hits in the inning to make it 10-5, which turned out to be the final score of the game.

It wasn't a pretty start, but I was glad just to finally see a ballgame that actually counted. The Yankees can play another 60 games just like this one and still end up as the best team in baseball.

The Yanks will be off tomorrow before taking the field again in Baltimore at 7:05 ET on Wednesday. Chien-Ming Wang will be making his first start since June of last year and will be facing Koji Uehara, who will be making his MLB debut and is the first Japanese player in Orioles history (according to YES).
Posted by: Patrick
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From Joel Sherman and George A. King III of the Post:

Hitting coach Kevin Long, who speaks daily with A-Rod, told The Post that Rodriguez has begun to hit and reported that he "feels 70 percent." Long wasn't sure if Rodriguez was hitting off a batting tee or doing flip drills. ...

A Yankees official told The Post he thought the rehab was going so well, in fact, that if the organization wanted, it could have Rodriguez back on a major league field by late April.

Via Tom Singer.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Phil Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune:

The Yankees could have chosen any team to be their first opponent, but Yankees general partner Hal Steinbrenner wanted Piniella to be part of the opening festivities, so the Cubs were his first choice.

Steinbrenner has told close friends he plans on hiring Piniella as a consultant when his managerial contract with the Cubs runs out after the 2010 season.

I always like when the Yankees do things like this - that is, bring back a former Yankee as an advisor of some kind. I would definitely like to see Piniella come back to the organization.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
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It's a formality at this point, but Peter Abraham reports that A-Rod has been placed on the disabled list, retroactive to March 27. Accordingly, he could return on April 11. But, of course, he'll return when he's ready - and not before.
Posted by: Patrick
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From SI.com's Jon Heyman:

The Giants like Xavier Nady and wouldn't mind bringing the University of California product home at some point.

This doesn't mean they have to trade for him, though. They could just pick him up as a free agent after this season.

Via Tim Dierkes.
Posted by: Seamus
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According to Peter Abraham, the Yankees have chosen Ramiro Pena to take on the utility infielder role until Alex Rodriguez comes back, giving him the nod over former Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa. Abraham also reports that the Yankees have designated pitcher Dan Giese for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster.
Posted by: Patrick
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Cliff Corcoran of Bronx Banter has a great post detailing his visit to the new Yankee Stadium, along with some great photos. Well worth a read.
Posted by: Patrick
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Updating a previous story, Reegie Corona cleared waivers and has been shipped back to the Yankees, from the Mariners, who selected him in the Rule 5 draft. Chad Jennings has the story.
Posted by: Patrick
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Andrew Fletcher, fellow April Fools prankster and the author of Scott Proctor's Arm, will be joining us here at YanksBlog.com once a week during the 2009 regular season for a special guest blogging appearance.

Every Saturday, he'll recap the Yankee game(s) played on that day. So, if you get sick of me and Seamus, just stop by on Saturdays for something different. We're glad to have you, Andrew.
Posted by: Patrick
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The guys over at River Ave. Blues have announced their 2009 charity pledge drive in support of the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation. Check it out.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Yankees opened up the new stadium for their first workout on Thursday, writes Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. Kevin Devaney (again) and Joshua Robinson have more thoughts and player reaction.
Posted by: Patrick
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Minor league infielder Reegie Corona was taken from the Yankees, by the Mariners, in the most recent Rule 5 draft. Chad Jennings reports that Corona has been placed on waivers by Seattle. This is the first step to him being offered back to the Yankees.
Posted by: Patrick
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Yesterday, on April Fools' Day, Jack Curry of the Times reported:

The new Yankee Stadium will sound different from the old one because Bob Sheppard’s authoritative voice will not be emanating from the public address system. Paul Doherty, an agent who is one of Sheppard’s friends, said Sheppard’s son Paul told him Wednesday that Sheppard was planning to retire.

Now, it apparently wasn't a joke, but the Yankees have spoken to Paul Sheppard and he says that he never said anything like that. From a report by MLB.com's Bryan Hoch:

"We have spoken to Paul Sheppard, and he was very clear to us that the report made is categorically untrue," said Yankees director of public relations Jason Zillo. "Paul Sheppard has not said anything remotely like that."

So, for now at least, Bob Sheppard is still hoping to get back to work.
Posted by: Patrick
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Sports Illustrated's S.L. Price is the author of their April 6, 2009 cover story on Yankees ace CC Sabathia. If you want to know more about CC's past and upbringing, this is your chance.

Via Alex.
Posted by: Patrick
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Adam Gonzalez of MLB.com reports that, according to the AP, Joba Chamberlain plead guilty to to the charge of drunk driving on Wednesday.

As part of his plea deal, a second charge of driving with an open container of alcohol was dropped by prosecutors. Joba was sentenced to probation.
Posted by: Seamus
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From the AP via SI.com:

Manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday that his spring training switch of Jeter and Johnny Damon atop the lineup has worked so well that as of right now, the Yankees captain will bat first and Damon second for the season opener at Baltimore on Monday.

I'm kind of scratching my head here. Both guys have success at the leadoff spot and they both more or less get on base at about the same rate, but Damon is a bit more of a speed guy (steals about twice as many bases per year as Jeter). Jeter to me is more suited to be that #2 guy who can move a runner over.

Then again, come to think of it, putting Jeter at the leadoff spot will take a few GIDP's away from him.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mike Ashmore reports that the 2009 James P. Dawson Award, given to the top rookie in Yankees camp each season, will be presented to Brett Gardner.

The last 9 winners (going backwards) were Shelley Duncan, Kei Igawa, Eric Duncan, Andy Phillips, Bubba Crosby, Hideki Matsui, Nick Johnson and Alfonso Soriano. For some reason, the Yankees did not select one in either 1999 or 2000. Why?! Just pick one. In 1996, pitcher Mark Hutton took the honor, over a certain rookie shortstop.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez reports on Derek Jeter's visit to "Good Morning America" in promotion of Weplay, a new online youth sports community for athletes, parents, coaches and fans.

Jeter made an appearance on the show, speaking to panelist Robin Roberts about a new Internet concept called Weplay, a youth sports community whose mission is to "enable and enhance the joy of sports for kids, families and coaches both online and on the field," according to the Web site.

On the site, young athletes can set up profiles, post pictures and share videos of games, while parents can get practice schedules and set up carpools, and coaches can more easily communicate with members of their team.
Posted by: Patrick
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Tyler Kepner of the Times shares a brief, yet funny story of Dick Vitale's recent visit to the Reds spring complex, in search of Yankees. Vitale wanted to pass out some autographed copies of his new book, "Dick Vitale's Fabulous 50 Players and Moments in College Basketball," and Phil Coke served as the point man.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that Bob Sheppard will miss the opening exhibition series with the Cubs, on April 3 and 4, as well as the Yankees home opener on April 16, as expected.

Paul Olden will fill in for these three games. Olden's had a long career in broadcasting, but I'll always remember him for his brief stint on WPIX in the mid-90s, as I'm sure many Yankees fans do, as well.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees announced that reliever Jonathan Albaladejo has made the Yankees' roster and will be headed to New York, leaving veteran Brett Tomko as the odd man out. Albaladejo allowed just one run and stuck out 10 in 9 and 2/3 innings this spring.

Tomko was disappointed after hearing the news, and understandably so. Tomko struck out 12 batters in just over 15 innings and had a WHIP of under 1. He will be assigned to Triple-A Scranton.

From Newsday:

"I'm extremely disappointed," Tomko said. "Of course I respect their decision, but I'm extremely disappointed because I feel like I've pitched my way onto this team."

It's hard to say who I would have went with. Either guy could be called up at any time, but my gut would probably would have gone with Tomko.