A few postgame updates for you:
• Derek Jeter on George Steinbrenner’s visit: “It’s always good to see him and to spent time around him. We had a chance to talk about a few things. His attitude will never change. … A few of us are used to him coming through the clubhouse quite often throughout the years. But some of these guys haven’t had a chance to spend time with him and I’m sure it was very special.”
Steinbrenner, Jeter said, is “very proud” of the team.
• The eight innings matched a career best by Joba Chamberlain. His performance since the break should put to rest the silly bullpen/rotation debate. He’s 23 and when he has himself together, he’s one of the best starting pitchers in the game. You want more innings from a guy like that, not fewer.
“That is probably the best I have seen Joba,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “You have to give him credit.”
• The Yankees (62-39) now lead Boston (58-42) by 3.5 games and Tampa (55-47) by 7.5 games.
• Mark Teixeira is now tied with Justin Morneau for the AL home run lead with 26. He hit 33 last year. His most were 43 in 2005.
• Nothing new to report on Chien-Ming Wang. The Yankees will only say that he had surgery and there is no timetable for his return. I reached out to his agents, who said basically the same thing. It really doesn’t matter much to the Yankees at this point when he could return. But the Yankees should show more respect to the people in Taiwan and be more forthcoming. They want to know how their guy is doing.
• Eric Hinske got his AL Championship ring from the Rays before the game. Remember when Girardi said before the break that he was going to play more? What happened to that?
Off to Chicago in the morning. Check back then.