It seemed a bit strange to some when Bobby Abreu sat against Scott Kazmir on Friday night. But Joe Torre’s decision seemed to pay off tonight when Abreu went 2 for 5 with a homer and five RBI.
“They donâ€™t want me to lose my rhythm,â€? Abreu said. â€œIt worked. We faced a righty today and I helped the team win.â€?
You never know what will motivate a player. Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio was at the game tonight, throwing out the first pitch as part of Latin Festival Night. Aparacio is a national hero in Venezuela and has known Abreu for 15 years.
Abreu said having “Mr. Aparicio” at the game gave him some extra incentive.
Mariano Rivera on his 425th save: “I canâ€™t believe it. If you told me that 10 years ago, I would tell you you were drunk.”
Ron Villone: The lefty has thrown 10.1 scoreless innings in his last eight appearances. There’s a reason he was used in the seventh inning today. Torre said to expect more of that as it seems Mike Myers is on the outs.
Johnny Damon: On base three times, his going first to third on a single in the ninth was a huge play as it gave the Yankees an insurance run. He seems to have his legs back.
Chien-Ming Wang: He said he pitched the entire game the same way, balls just found holes in the first inning. That’s what happens with guys who pitch to contact on turf fields sometimes. But Wang struck guys out when he needed to. Get this: Wang has 29 wins since the start of last season. Only Johan Santana (30) has more.
Hideki Matsui: He has hit in nine straight (12 for 35) with five homers, four doubles and nine RBI. A lot of people on the team think Godzilla is about to start knocking over buildings. That ball he hit tonight was smoked.
Kenny Lofton was asked in Texas what he thought of Gary Sheffield’s comments about the Yankees and racism.
“All I can say is, Sheffield knows what he’s talking about. That’s all I’m going to say,â€? he said.
Lofton played poorly for the Yankees in 2004, his only season on the team. I didn’t cover the team that season, so I can’t speak to what happened or didn’t happen. But I would like to see Torre say more than “no comment” tomorrow.
Torre’s best friend is Bob Gibson. He runs a charity that works to combat domestic violence in the inner city and he has treated players like Rivera, Jeter and Bernie Williams like sons.
It only continues the story to comment, but Torre may need to say something. Racism is a serious word to throw around.