Surrounded by reporters just outside the Yankees clubhouse, hitting coach Kevin Long was giving the usual answers to the usual questions about the Yankees inability to hit with runners in scoring position. Then Derek Jeter walked by, saw the crowd and chimed in.
“Kevin, what is wrong with our offensive woes?” Jeter asked.
As you might expect, there was a lot of laughter. Then Jeter walked back by and had this exchange with Long.
Jeter: “Will we score again this year?”
Long: “What do you think, Derek?”
Jeter: “Probably not.”
Long: (turning back to the reporters) “Derek says we probably won’t score again. He’s our captain.”
At this point, the Yankees really have no answers. They’ve faced the same problem for weeks now, and even when they’ve seemed to get out of it here and there, it’s always returned. Long said all of the things you’d expect — he believes in his guys, the at-bats have been good, there’s nothing mechanical causing this problem, and he expects things to turn around.
“They’re asked about it every day,” Joe Girardi said. “Sometimes I think, the more you focus on it, the worse it is. Eventually it’s going to change. I really believe that. Our hitters have been too productive over the years and have been in the situation too many times for it not to change.”
• Girardi said he hasn’t heard from the league about last night’s run-in with Bob Davidson. Long refused to comment on the situation. “Just wait until the umpire’s report comes out and we’ll go from there,” Long said. “There’s really nothing to say until it comes out. Nothing good can come out of it, for me.”
• Girardi said he was wrong when he said Dave Robertson threw a bullpen yesterday. Turns out, Robertson’s bullpen will happen today.
• Brett Gardner might take batting practice on the field today — Girardi said he wasn’t sure when exactly that would happen — and he said it’s still possible Gardner will be back by the weekend. Gardner was actually supposed to play the outfield in extended spring training games Friday and Saturday, but they scratched that because of rain. Girardi said Gardner will need at least two or three minor league games before coming off the disabled list.
• Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pitch in the elbow last night but he’s back in the lineup today. “I’m assuming he’s OK,” Girardi said. “I have not seen him today. If I have to change it, I’ll change it.”
• Girardi said he hasn’t seen a replay of his over-the-top antics last night. “I don’t need to watch myself,” he said. “I usually have enough calls from my family.”
Associated Press photos