Here are the lineups:
Mussina RHP (4-5, 4.63)
Santana LHP (9-6, 2.83)
Pregame chatter: Quite a lineup, eh? … A-Rod spoke and said he’ll know by Saturday whether he’s going to play in the All-Star Game. “If I feel like I do now, probably not,” he said. … Frank Torre, the manager’s brother, was at the Stadium for the first time since his kidney transplant. … Chien-Ming Wang was tabbed “Mr. Wang-derful” on the back page of the Post. Ron Guidry flipped out. “Wonderful?” he said to Wang. “You walked four guys!” The Gator then took the Post he was carrying and threw it in the trash. Just hilarious. Wang was cracking up. It’s neat to see the relationship between Wang and Guidry.
Torre said he was going to call George Steinbrenner and wish him a happy birthday. Al Davis, too. Turns out Torre knows the Raiders owner as well.
UPDATE, 1:29 p.m.: I love the people burying the lineup without knowing the facts. Damon is 5 for 24 (.208) against Santana in his career with six strikeouts. Abreu is only 0 for 1. But lefties are hitting .142 against Santana this season. with 37 Ks in 106 at-bats. Torre said he didn’t want to screw Abreu up. Cairo is 3 for 10 against Santana, which isn’t much of a sample but it’s certainly better than anybody else outside of Matsui (6 of 13) or Cano (4 of 6). Meanwhile they wanted A-Rod to DH with the day game after the night game and Posada needed a day off. No, it’s not a great lineup. But they didn’t pull names out of a hat. Joe and the coaches meet for a long while every day and look at all the numbers.
UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: Got the reader Q&A done with Mo Rivera today. He came in a bit early and we talked at his locker. He was into it and liked the questions. He’s such a good guy that instead of 10 questions I got 14 in. It’ll be published here on Sunday once I get the transcript done and the audio uploaded. Thanks to everybody who participated. I received 250 questions and it wasn’t easy to make cuts.
I know most people know this, but Mariano is really a classy guy. This job is a lot of fun when you get to talk to somebody like that. He makes it fun. If you have a son or daughter playing sports, tell them to conduct themselves like Mariano.
UPDATE, 2:32 p.m.: Moose is dealing outside of Morneau getting two hits. Pitchers always deny it, but you have to think facing the other team’s ace must fire a guy up. Meanwhile the Yankees have a lot of tough at-bats against Santana. A-Rod’s grounder to second, which moved Jeter to third, was a huge at-bat. The more pitches you can get Santana to throw, the better. Get him out of the game and you have Damon, Abreu and Posada available as pinch hitters.
UPDATE, 3:07 p.m.: A-Rod is now hitless in his last 18 at-bats. … That home run by Jason Kubel was the first by a Twin against the Yankees this season. … Santana has not beaten the Yankees since July 27, 2005.
UPDATE, 3:24 p.m.: Maybe this is just me, but it’s pretty lame that the Yankees played recordings of the Star-Spangled Banner and God Bless America on the Fourth of July. You telling me they can’t find a good singer in New York? I can’t prove this, but if George Steinbrenner were more involved, the Yankees would have put on a better show today.