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Off day notes and links: Cousins, center fielders and clutch hits

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First, a cool picture from Nick in San Francisco who went to see CC Sabathia toss out the first pitch for the North Vallejo Little League last night. Sabathia was joined by Joba Chamberlain for the event. I told CC to throw a slider and let the kid catching him really show what he could do. I strong doubt he took my advice.

Meanwhile, from the never-a-quiet-day file, Alex Rodriguez’s cousin Yuri popped back onto the radar today. The Daily News reported that Rodriguez’s steroid smuggling cousin was spotted at the team hotel this week. [3]Brian Cashman told me basically the exact same thing he told every other writer: The team can’t keep a player from seeing his cousin outside of team functions and team facilities.

“It’s his cousin,” Cashman said. “He hasn’t been in any Yankee areas. We have nothing to do with any public areas.”

By the afternoon, Major League Baseball had finished investigating the issue and found that no violations occurred. [4]Yuri Sucart is banned from team-controlled facilities, and joining his cousin on road trips doesn’t violate that ban.

Some other notes and links for the off day.

[5] [6]• Cashman also said there is “zero” new information on any of the injured Yankees. Phil Hughes is throwing batting practice on Saturday, but there’s nothing new on Eric Chavez, Pedro Feliciano, Damaso Marte or Rafael Soriano.

• Cashman also said Carlos Silva actually does not have an opt out date, so the Yankees have no reason to rush making that decision. I’d heard last week that he could opt out this month, but Cashman said that’s not the case.

• Kind of a strange story: Apparently the Angels flight from Kansas City made an emergency landing after some mechanical problems [7]. Looks like everyone was fine, but that had to a pretty tense situation. The Yankees play the Angels tomorrow.

• Nice story by Wally Matthews, who looked that emergence of Curtis Granderson and the fact he could quickly become one of the most recognizable players in the game. [8]

• Good stuff over at Bronx Banter, examining whether Rodriguez has been clutch since joining the Yankees. [9] Spoiler alert, the answer is yes.