Curtis Granderson is the Yankees players association representative, Joe Girardi is their manager and Brian Cashman is their general manager. All three said more or less the same thing today: The Yankees’ desire to play a split double header tomorrow had more to do with the team and the schedule, and less to do with Derek Jeter’s pursuit of 3,000 hits.
“It’s nice because of Derek, but it’s the best situation for our team at the same time,” Cashman said. “You have the all-star break right behind it, our pitching is ready to go, all that stuff. It’s more adverse to go to push it later in the year when you don’t have the benefit of all those different things. You don’t know what your situation is, your health status and all that different stuff… It’s fan-friendly. It’s Jeter-friendly. It’s team friendly. However you want to prioritize that it depends on what position you’re looking at. From Tampa’s position it was a different viewpoint, so it was pushed off later in the year.”
Obviously the business side came into play, because a regular double header would have given Jeter three games to reach 3,000 at home, but it always would have required that the Yankees give up their ticket sales for one game. They obviously didn’t want to do that.
“We tried to do it tomorrow night,” team president Randy Levine said. “We figured all of our fans would be very disappointed. A lot of people were excited about it. We thought, do it tomorrow night. Our players voted for it. I don’t know their reason. I assume they get it. Why Tampa voted no, you’d have to ask Tampa. I haven’t the foggiest idea. I just don’t know.”
Joe Maddon actually explained his team’s position before the decision became official.
“At this point in the first half, our guys are run down,” Maddon said. “I like the idea of expanded rosters in September.”
It was kind of a strange situation. There was some thought that the Yankees would have the final say because they were the home team, but Granderson explained that wasn’t the case. The rules in place let the Rays veto a split double header, and that left the Yankees with another late-season makeup date.
Here’s a fairly lengthy audio file. Granderson, Girardi and Cashman spoke one right after another in the press conference room. Together, they pretty well explained the process that led to today’s decision.
• Brian Cashman said Dr. Chris Ahmad was traveling today, so the team didn’t have immediate analysis of Alex Rodriguez’s MRI. Cashman said he expected to talk to Dr. Ahmad tonight, and the Yankees will probably know more about Rodriguez by tomorrow.
• Half of the Yankees all-stars — Jeter, Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera — have now opted out of the event. Cashman said none of the three were told by the organization that they had to back out. “It’s an individual player decision, first and foremost,” Cashman said. “They asked us if we minded if they don’t go because of it, and we obviously said, ‘Hey, if you don’t feel physically that that’s something you should be doing, then don’t do it.'”
• Girardi didn’t give a reason for his rotation decision. Obviously CC Sabathia was going to stay on turn for Sunday, but he could have gone with either Freddy Garcia or A.J. Burnett for tomorrow. He chose to keep Burnett on turn.
• It’s worth noting that Girardi has said in the past that he likes the idea of giving Garcia extra rest when he can.
• The Yankees were supposed to have two days off during the last full week of September, but Sept. 19 is now a makeup game against the Twins and Sept. 22 is the makeup game for tonight. “We didn’t want to lose any off days in September because we figured that will obviously be the most crucial point of the season,” Granderson said.
• I heard a few people bring up kind of a bizarre scenario that — in theory — could have happened. Jeter could have gotten two hits in the first three innings or so, only to have the game rained out before it was official, meaning he would have had to get his 3,000th hit again. Cashman said he never considered that scenario. “The weather report doesn’t imply you could start it, stop it, start it, stop it,” he said.
• Here’s the ticket information as released by the Yankees.
Fans holding paid tickets for tonight’s postponed game may use them for the rescheduled game on Thursday, September 22, or exchange their paid tickets for any regular season game at Yankee Stadium within 12 months of the postponed game (subject to availability). Please note that there are an extremely limited number of tickets remaining for Saturday and Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. games vs. Tampa Bay this weekend.
The rescheduled game on Thursday, September 22, will be broadcast by the YES Network and WCBS-AM 880.
Tickets can be exchanged only at Yankee Stadium Advance Ticket Windows, which are open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and until two (2) hours after the scheduled start time of any regularly scheduled home game. Yankee Stadium Advance Ticket Windows are closed tonight and will reopen on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m.
Complimentary tickets (COMP) or equivalent tickets bear no cash value and cannot be exchanged or redeemed for any benefits that may be offered to ticket(s) with a dollar value.
For complete information about the Yankees’ rainout policy, please visit www.yankees.com/rainout.
Associated Press photos