Brian Heyman here for Chad at Yankee Stadium today. The three new guys, Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns, were all meeting the media before this first game wearing the actual pinstripes. All sounded thrilled to have this opportunity to win, as opposed to being in Houston or Cleveland. But the three of them are trying to settle in at their new surroundings.
“You got to get a GPS to figure out how to get around this clubhouse,” Kearns said. “Just come here and try to figure out where everything is.”
Joe Girardi knows Wood well, having caught him with the Cubs from 2000-02.
“Joe was great,” Wood said. “I trusted him obviously from a pitching standpoint, as far as calling pitches. He really forced me to pitch inside to guys. At that particular time in my career, I wasn’t comfortable doing it. He forced me to do it. It made me a better pitcher.
“We haven’t played together in a few years. I don’t look at him as a teammate anymore. He’s the manager, obviously. But we do have a little bit of a relationship in the past. So it’s nice to know some faces when you walk into the clubhouse.”
Lance Berkman is to trying to adjust after playing with Houston since 1999.
“Even being on the road, I’ve got the Astro routine down pat; I could do it in my sleep,” the Texas native said. “I know what time the bus leaves. I know what to do with my bags. I know who to talk to if I have a problem.
“When I’m at home, I’m at home. I live there. My kids go to school right around the corner. I never have to go a month without seeing them. Until you get settled in, there’s a sense of unease with all of that stuff. I just want to fit in. I don’t want to come in here and rock the boat or do something that I shouldn’t do. All of those things kind of go into it being a very emotional past 48 hours.”
The 34-year-old switch-hitter and five-time All-Star was having his worst offensive season, and he was off to a 1-for-8 start with the Yankees. But he would love if hitting coach Kevin Long could straighten him out.
“The reality is, this is the worst season I’ve ever had offensively,” Berkman said. “I’m hoping coming over here and working with K-Long and getting around some of these great hitters, that’s going to help me find my swing again and get back to the level that I know I can still perform at.”
Girardi has him as the DH and hitting seventh in tonight’s game against the Blue Jays.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever hit seventh,” Berkman said. “I’ve hit sixth before, I know that. But I also can’t remember the last time that I’ve been on a team with like eight Hall of Famers. That has a lot to do with it.” …
Girardi said he has a number of options to pitch the eighth inning now – as opposed to just Joba Chamberlain – and that he has been going by matchups. So this could be a time share between Wood, Joba, David Robertson and possibly Boone Logan as the lefty specialist.
Alfredo Aceves threw a batting practice session and is due for another, possibly Wednesday. Damaso Marte threw off flat ground at 90 feet. The lefty will test his shoulder again at 100 feet on Wednesday. Andy Pettitte played catch and will have a bullpen session in the next few days.
Here’s the Blue Jays’ lineup:
1. Fred Lewis DH
2. Yunel Escobar SS
3. Jose Bautista RF
4. Vernon Wells CF
5. Lyle Overbay 1B
6. Aaron Hill 2B
7. Travis Snider LF
8. Edwin Encarnacion 3B
9. Jose Molina C
Brandon Morrow P