As I write this, Alex Rodriguez is on the field taking batting practice and – just my opinion – he looks to be moving pretty freely. I know A-Rod is trying to be cautious about whether he’ll return on Sunday (the first day he’s eligible) but at this point there doesn’t seem to be any reason why he wouldn’t.
Much of Joe Girardi’s pre-game press conference centered on CC Sabathia, who is going for his 19th win of the season this afternoon. CC has downplayed the importance of reaching 20 wins for the first time in his career, but Girardi knows it would have meaning to him.
“I think it would mean a lot,” Girardi said. “And I think the longer he was to get away from the game, I think it would mean more. I think you can reflect back on things a lot more when you’re done and things aren’t moving so fast. … A 20-win season for any pitcher, I think, is a big deal.”
Some other tidbits:
• Girardi hadn’t yet seen Andy Pettitte today (he met with us around 11:15 a.m.) and said he was taking that as a good sign that Pettitte’s lower body wasn’t overly sore after yesterday’s bullpen. “If he was here at 9 in the morning, I probably would have been more concerned,” Girardi said. I’ll pass along any updates we get.
• It certainly seems like Girardi had at least a quick word with Jorge Posada about the foolishness of last night’s ejection, though the manager wouldn’t flat-out confirm that. “I’ve talked to him about some things,” Girardi said. “And he understands. But Jorgie is an emotional guy. And that’s one of the things we love so much about Jorgie because he brings that intensity every day, so sometimes with all that great intensity that he brings to the field every day, sometimes things happen. But I don’t want him to change what he’s doing most of the time, because his personality is important to this club.”
Obviously Posada’s tirade at plate ump Dana DeMuth would have been an even bigger deal if rosters hadn’t expanded and Chad Moeller wasn’t available to come in and catch the ninth inning, though Girardi said he believes Posada would have held his tongue if he’d known the Yankees had no catchers behind him. Have to say, I’m not so sure I agree with him on that. Posada was pretty hot over that strike-three call.
• How has Eduardo Nunez, who didn’t play third base much in the minors, looked there so far? “It’s totally different playing third base than shortstop,” Girardi said. “The ball gets to you a lot quicker, the throw is different. I think he’s handled himself very well. I know he made an error the other day, but that can happen to anyone. And he hasn’t let his offense affect his defense or his defense affect his offense so I’ve been happy with him.”