Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jason Giambi 1B
Jorge Posada DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Chad Moeller C
Mike Mussina RHP (1-2, 4.15)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
David Ortiz DH
Manny Ramirez LF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
J.D. Drew RF
Jason Varitek C
Sean Casey 1B
Julio Lugo SS
Gentleman Josh Beckett RHP (1-1, 6.35)
Notes: Joe Girardi is a perfect 17 for 17 in terms of having a different lineup every day. … Hey, Moose, don’t pitch to Manny. … The teams are 2-2 through four games. After today, they will not play again until July 3-4-5-6 in New York. … Beckett allowed three runs on five hits over 6.2 innings against the Yankees last Saturday. Mussina allowed four runs on eight hits over 5.2 innings. … The Yankees (9-7) have won three in a row and are tied for first place in the AL East with the Red Sox.
Back later with updates. Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 3:57 p.m.: Fresh off the interweb, here’s a statement from George Steinbrenner via Howard Rubenstein:
“The visit by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is wonderful for New York, our nation and indeed the world. His message of brotherhood rings loud and clear. We welcome him to Yankee Stadium with respect, reverence and enthusiasm.â€
There’s about as much chance GMS actually said that as there is that I wrote the Gettysburg Address. But it sounds good.
The reporters covering the Pope’s mass on Sunday will use the same press box the baseball writers do. Do they blog? How great would that be?
UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Pope calls for world peace. No surprise there.
Does the Pope do a post-Mass press conference? Are there Pope beat writers? Does the Pope get second-guessed by the tabloids in Rome? I’d like to find these things out.
UPDATE, 4:31 p.m.: Sox lineup now posted. Same as yesterday.
UPDATE, 5:44 p.m.: Here’s some quality blogging from Amalie Benjamin of the Globe as she reports on the conversation between Derek Jeter and Sean Casey at second base last night.
Amalie and I were on ESPN News last weekend at Fenway. I was quite impressed that she had her own earpiece (or IFB as the TV types call it). I had to use theirs, although the guy was nice enough to clean it off first. Maybe someday I will rate.
If you want to keep up on the Sawx, make sure you read Extra Bases on Boston.com or our pal Rob Bradford, who blogs for the Herald.
UPDATE, 6:49 p.m.: Sam Borden was among the media who quizzed Jorge Posada about his shoulder. Seems that JoPo was a little ornery, which means he’s feeling better.
“We’re pushing for Saturday,” he said. “So ask me on Saturday. I’m really tired of you asking me everyday, ‘How you doing?’ – ‘I’m fine.’ Same (stuff). I could have played today (but) they didn’t want me to. So I’m pushing for Saturday.”
Meanwhile, Jose Molina said he’s hoping to do blocking and throwing drills tomorrow and is also targeting Saturday as a possibility
The Posada shoulder injury is a bit of a mystery and the Yankees seem determined to make sure he’s OK before they put him behind the plate. Considering that other teams will test him right away, that makes good sense.
Meanwhile, Posada gets all Sonny Corleone when he’s mad. He gets that 1,000-yard stare, especially with writers he doesn’t know.
UPDATE, 7:17 p.m.: More good news on Harlan Chamberlain. This from Joe Girardi:
â€œ(Chamberlain) is continuing to do better. He was up to rehab twice today. Thereâ€™s still no timetable, but there is progress and thatâ€™s a good thing. … I don’t think that they’ll run all the tests until he’s off the ventilator. And I believe they hope to have him off that sometime this weekend.”
No word yet on when Joba will rejoin the team. Tough spot for him, but his father obviously has to come first.
UPDATE, 7:33 p.m.: What is the point exactly of pitching to Manny? I understand you can’t intentionally walk him. But you can’t throw him a 3-1 fastball, either.
UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: Joe Girardi is supposed to be a smart guy, right? Lots of charts, he can use a computer. Terrific with in-game situations, all that. How has the fact that Manny Ramirez absolutely murders the Yankees escaped him? Just pitch around him. Tell Mussina (or anybody else) to throw him four pitches off the plate. Maybe you’ll get lucky and he’ll chase one and pop up. It’s like they’re daring him to see how far he can hit it.
Being stubborn has cost them three runs tonight.
UPDATE, 8:25 p.m.: I’m sure people want Mussina executed at dawn. But if he stays in the rotation, he’ll win 12 or 13 games because he will beat NL teams and some of the dreck in the AL. The offense will carry him. Do you think Kei Igawa will be any better?
The problem is that he needs to be the No. 5 starter, not the No. 2 starter. And obviously they need to limit his exposure against teams like the Red Sox or Tigers.
This is why they need to transition Joba into the rotation. Starters are more valuable than relievers, it’s that simple. Mussina will not be here next season and Joba will be. He needs to get to 140 innings this season so he can go to 170 in 2009 then 200 in 2010. Limiting him to 70-80 innings this season is a waste of time, literally.
UPDATE, 8:49 p.m.: Manny is 53 of 113 (.469) with 13 homers and 38 RBI in his last 33 games against the Yankees. … Meanwhile this game has come to a conclusion as Albaladejo didn’t do his job.
UPDATE, 9:14 p.m.: The Yankees had a chance to really get back in the game there before A-Rod popped up. He is 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position this season.
UPDATE, 9:34 p.m.: You want to throw inside and knock somebody off the plate, good idea. But Kyle Farnsworth throwing a ball behind the head of Manny Ramirez is irresponsible and dangerous.
And before you applaud the idea, what would you think if Jonathan Papelbon did it to A-Rod or Jeter? I’m all for the idea of not allowing a hitter to get comfortable. But when you throw up around somebody’s head, that’s wrong.
Beyond that, do you want to get the guy mad? He’s hitting .500 against you when he’s a goofball.
UPDATE, 10:29 p.m.: So the Yankees lose by two runs. Pitching to Manny may not have cost them the game but it sure didn’t help.
Now comes a nine game, 10-day road trip. If the Yankees emerge from this schedule and all their injuries and issues at .500, they will have done well.