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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Mid-day notes: Travel trouble and a possible lineup shakeup

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Oct 09, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Last night, I got to my hotel a little past 2 a.m. My train was scheduled to leave six hours later, but I wanted to get a head start on the morning — and I knew I wouldn’t fall asleep quickly anyway — so I decided to write something about Alex Rodriguez’s struggles at the plate. I thought I’d probably tweak it a little bit when I got on the train, but at least I’d have something ready to go on the off day.

This is the first time I’ve opened my computer since then.

This day has been far more annoying and far less productive than expected. Amtrak service out of Baltimore was a mess because of some sort of electrical issue, so instead of writing on a train all morning and getting home at noon, I’ve spent all day fighting traffic in a rental car with Dan Barbarisi and David Waldstein.

So, much later than I expected, here are some quick notes from today.

Lineup change could be in the works

We were able to listen to Joe Girardi’s conference call in the car, and Girardi seemed much more open to the idea of dropping Rodriguez in the order. I’ll have the exact quotes later, but he talked a lot about the need to do what’s right for the team in what is now a three-game series. Girardi didn’t say a lineup change is coming, but I definitely left that call feeling as if Girardi were leaning that direction.

Game times have been announced for the rest of the division series.

Wednesday, Game 3: Scheduled for 7:37 p.m., would be pushed back to 8:37 if both the Reds and Tigers sweep tonight.

Thursday, Game 4: Scheduled for 7:37 p.m., would be pushed back to 8:37 if the Tigers have already clinched.

Friday, Game 4: Scheduled for 5:07 p.m., would be pushed back to 7:07 if it’s the only game left on the schedule.

Yankees also dealing with travel problems

I wasn’t the only one stalled by Amtrak this morning. Last night, the Yankees took a train out of Baltimore, but electrical problems forced that train to make an unexpected stop along the way. The players had to exit the train, wait for a bus and didn’t get back to New York until sometime around 6 in the morning. There was no full workout scheduled anyway, but still, getting out of Baltimore has been a pain.

And to think, playing the Orioles instead of the Rangers seemed to convenient!





61 Responses to “Mid-day notes: Travel trouble and a possible lineup shakeup”

  1. luis October 9th, 2012 at 3:08 pm


    Thanks, if Girardi goes that route, he would be doing the team a favor. Unfortunately, he is not the only problem the lineup has.

  2. Sigmund October 9th, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    No doubt it’s been painful watching Rodriguez at the plate.

    But in last night’s game his sweet fake-out move in the third completely fooled JJ Hardy and prevented a sure run from scoring. That’s just about as good as him hitting a home run, if you ask me.

    Yeah, let’s rail on Alex for what looks like just waving his bat in the vicinity of home plate, but we gotta give him props for that play — I thought for a while that the prevented run was going to make the difference.

  3. Nick in SF October 9th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    We’re pissed off at Hal today?

  4. tomingeorgia October 9th, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    We’re apparently pissed off at everybody. Seems we lost a game.

  5. djsunyc October 9th, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    if he’s gonna make a change, then i can see something like this:


  6. DONNYBROOK October 9th, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I would Not mess with Jeet-Ichiro at the top. You can Play around all you want after that.

  7. Melk Man October 9th, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Adam Jones and Reynolds do not have the career of A-Rod, nor do they make as much money.

  8. Melk Man October 9th, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    If you flip-flop Cano and A-Rod, then Cano will never get anything to hit. A-Rod is batting in front of Cano for A-Rod’s benefit – he will get fastballs and strikes to hit because pitchers don’t want to put runners on for Cano.

  9. G. Love October 9th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    If it were me making the lineup for tomorrow;

    SS – Jeter
    LF – Ichiro
    2b – Cano
    DH – Ibanez
    1b – Tex
    3b – Chavez
    RF -Swisher
    CF – Grandy
    C- Martin

    I’d rather have Chavez at 3b and Ibanez’s bat also in the lineup but keep the defense of Swisher in RF over letting Arod get at bats.

  10. tucker October 9th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Am very psyched to be at the Arizona Fall League opener. David Adams, Slade Heathcott and Austin Romine. Also hope to see Mark Montgomery make an appearance.

  11. Chambliss October 9th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    If I am Girardi, I move Alex down a few slots and blame it on the recovery from the broken hand. That allows Alex to save face.

    I would rather see Swisher or even Martin in A-Rod’s spot in the order.

  12. yanks 27 October 9th, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    If this goes to 5 games, then one of Nova/Phelps would be starting game 2 of the ALCS… Yikes

    Andy would be on normal rest for game 1. Hughes would be out. CC would be out. Kuroda would need to go on 3 days rest and Joe probably won’t do that. So potentially, the ALCS rotation could be

    Verlander vs. Pettitte
    Fister vs. Nova/Phelps/Lowe
    Scherzer vs. Kuroda OR CC on 3 days rest
    Sanchez vs. CC on full-rest or Hughes/Kuroda


  13. Shame Spencer October 9th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Chambliss!! Nice to see some old faces around here. I also noticed raymagnetic popped in last night.

  14. Hassey October 9th, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Is it crazy that I’d like to see Ibanez batting 4th against righties?

  15. mate October 9th, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    1. Jeter
    2. Ichiro
    3. Cano

    I don’t care what the rest looks like. But Jeter and Ichiro are getting on a lot. Gotta have Robbie right behind them. Any lineup that doesn’t start with that order is not optimal imo, regardless of lh vs rh opposing pitcher.

  16. UnKnown October 9th, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Yanks 27 – We desperately need to wrap this thing up in 4 games for a number of reasons.

  17. charlestonchew October 9th, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    I think the lineup ends up like this:

    Jeter SS
    Ichiro LF
    Cano 2B
    Teixeira 1B
    Swisher RF
    Arod 3B
    Martin C
    Granderson CF
    Ibanez DH

  18. JobaTipsHisCap October 9th, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    if they will have a game on Fri at 5:07, call sick day?

  19. MG October 9th, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    the 2012 Yankees are inconsistent and streaky, nothing can be done about that other than put the guys who are hot in the right places in the lineup and hope the other guys contribute.

    That means batting Cano who is white hot in the 3 hole behind the two guys who are consistently getting on base and put whoever else is hitting the ball well behind him.

    The rest of the guys have been hit or miss, if they square one up it’s out of the park but at least getting Jeter, Ichiro, and Cano the maximum ABs can make a difference, it certainly would have in game 2.

    Girardi is so inflexible, though, it’s not a good fit for this team, they need a manager who has good instincts and knows how to manage his way around players who are slumping.

  20. BobbyJones October 9th, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Why would u have a guy whos 1-33 with RISP batting 5th

  21. MG October 9th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    a paragraph was somehow cut in the last post, Teix has swung the bat well so far and should bat behind Cano right now.

  22. tucker October 9th, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Slade Heathcott has a nice compact swing. He struck out looking during his first at bat, but he’ll do just fine with that swing. Short, quick, barrel to the zone … Austin Romine doubled and David Adams bounced to short …

  23. blake October 9th, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Keep us updated on the AFL action tucker if you will

  24. Hassey October 9th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    why does everyone keep complaining about our Rhode Island State Police?

  25. tucker October 9th, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    David Adams just crushed one off the left-center wall. It’s about 400 feet out there. Two Feet higher it would have been out …Heathcott can’t bring him in, though. One hop smash to second and Heathcott nearly beat the throw. He can run …

  26. tucker October 9th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Betances warming in the pen … This should be interesting.

  27. RadioKev October 9th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    You know what Robertson reminds me of? Mo last year against Detroit in the ALDS. Mo was ridiculous. He recorded something like 4 outs on less than 15 pitches.

  28. tomingeorgia October 9th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Just got a sweepstakes from the NRA, offering a grand prize of 32 (!) guns, from $10,000 Italian shotguns down to .22 plinkers (hope that’s not a racist term; never hear of people called Plinks). One of my choices is a Sig in .380 for the frau, since she can’t handle the .357 any more.

    First bright moment of my day, after reading the blog most of the day. Am I entering? Hell, yes!

    Go Yankees, reload and fire when ready!

  29. disco stu October 9th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    How about we win THIS series first before worrying about the next one. We could have very easily been down 0-2.

    If this series goes the distance (and be prepared, because that may just happen) and its 2-2, 7th inning, Game 5, everyone on this board and Yankee fans all over will sign up in a heartbeat to have to worry about how they will set their rotation in the ALCS and who will be the Game 2 starter.

    Last night should have proved yet again that Baltimore is no longer the Yankees whipping boy … they will be a tough out, even with the remainder of this series played at YS.

  30. JobaTipsHisCap October 9th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    “How about we win THIS series first before worrying about the next one”

    100% agree. Yanks and O’s are the same level team.

  31. trisha - true pinstriped blue October 9th, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    A number of people have aptly pointed out Hernandez’s rotating strike zone and spots where he really hurt the Yankees. Post-season games tend to be low-scoring events, so that should never come as a surprise, nor should it shock or worry anyone – as long as we’re on top of the low score, of course.

    Does Hernandez’s poor game calling mitigate at all the condemnation of the Yankee offense? If the Yankees had won this game by a run, would there still be all of the hand-wringing, or is it because they lost that there’s so much consternation? Maybe there’s no good way to answer that since it didn’t happen.

    Although Chen had some not-great games in the 2nd half, he also had some beauties. He’s also the only O’s pitcher with double-digit wins. Does Chen’s pitching ability play into this? I know some people are really down on Swisher, but the first game he had some nice hits. Are you going to judge every Yankee hitter game by game? Are you going to take into account the pitching and the umpiring?

    I know it’s easier for some of you to just make all of your judgments in a vacuum, but is that really the best way to do it?

    If you believe that despite O’s pitching and Hernandez’s rotten and untimely calls the Yankees still should have come through, then that’s another thing altogether.

    I know I give the benefit of the doubt, but I’m not able to ignore factors that play into each situation as if they don’t exist and just want to blow everything up.

    Maybe this game would not have been “a microcosm of the whole season” if we had an umpire who had a fair strike zone.

    Just some things to think about.

  32. RadioKev October 9th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I’m really hoping that seeing O’Day and Matusz a few times makes a difference.

  33. Patrick October 9th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I think it’s a bit silly to be ripping A-rod right now or think about moving him around in the lineup. We did fine in September with him as he is now. And he ripped that ball in the first inning, if it isn’t caught he would have had 2 hits and 1 or more RBI. Would anyone be complaining about him if that ball was a few inches further away from the fielder?

  34. umbrelladoc October 9th, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I think Girardi isn’t talking about A-Rod. Swisher is 0-6 vs Gonzalez with 5Ks. Chavez and Ibanez are 3-6 and 2-6 with HRs.
    My guess is Ibanez plays the OF, and Chavez DHs or plays 3rd, sending A-Rod to the DH spot.

  35. mate October 9th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    I disagree regarding the Orioles and the notion that they will compete in this division from here on out and that they are a very good team.

    They have been ridiculously lucky this year, and next year I expect a full regression to what should be their norm.

    The Yankees with all their flaws are the better team.

    I expected a sweep. Didn’t happen, no problem.

    Time to get this done at home then.

  36. Boss Tony N October 9th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    “We did fine in September with him as he is now”

    The goal in any sport of a coach is to put your team in the best position to succeed. Doing fine isnt good enough.

  37. G. Love October 9th, 2012 at 4:57 pm


    I hope you’re right. The important thing is Ibanez & Chavez need to be in vs. Gonzalez because they have the ability to hit a changeup.

    Whether it’s Swisher or Arod on the bench, one of them needs to be there tomorrow night.

  38. tucker October 9th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Blake, I’ll try to get to as many games as possible. It’s a great atmosphere for a baseball fanatic. There are about 300 people at the game and it seems virtually everybody is involved in the game — or is a relative of the players.

    I was sitting near a couple of AAA imps who were dishing on Angel Hernandez and Joe West — a d they attempting to explain away that infield fly call during the Braves-Cads elimination game.

  39. Ken Phelps October 9th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Why do people kill a rod but not kill swisher… Swisher as a Yankee is 1-33 lifetime with runners in scoring position in the playoffs .. He might be the worst post season clutch hitter…. Ever… But no one drops him in the line-up… In fact some people move him up.. I don’t get it

  40. tucker October 9th, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    AAA umps

  41. Bring in the Goose October 9th, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    I can’t think of a reason why Raul would start a playoff game in the OF.

    My guess is Ibanez gets a start at DH and both Swisher and Arod are moved down 2 spots in the order.

    Still would like Chavez to get a few at bats in this game somehow though.

  42. Ken Phelps October 9th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    A good question in a big spot in the playoffs which Yankee do u want up:
    1. Granderson
    2. Swisher
    3. A rod

    Tough call there… Ugh

  43. Boss Tony N October 9th, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    In order to

  44. Boss Tony N October 9th, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Swisher is a waste of space. He’s not even worth wasting valuable breaths talking about. Alex is someone worthy of discussion.

  45. G. Love October 9th, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Ken Phelps,

    In the spirit of the binder;

    Vs. RHP Granderson
    Vs. LHP w/breaking stuff Arod
    Vs. LHP w/fastball Swisher

  46. Ken Phelps October 9th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    G. Love says:
    October 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm
    Ken Phelps,

    In the spirit of the binder;

    Vs. RHP Granderson
    Vs. LHP w/breaking stuff Arod
    Vs. LHP w/fastball Swisher


  47. LGY October 9th, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Haven’t been around or read much the last two days but it’s sadly predictable that Alex is taking the heat for the failures of this lineup.

    This team has gotten completely shut down by two mediocre starting pitchers the past two nights. It’s not just Alex. In fact, he’s one of the few players in the lineup that has actually hit the ball hard in a key spot.

  48. LGY October 9th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    This team has left 18 men of base the first two games and has only hit 1 HR.

    Hammel and Chen combined for 12 innings, 4 runs, 2.25 ERA.

    That’s teamwide incompetence. Moving Alex around won’t fix it.

  49. Tidrow October 9th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    ARod gets the brunt of criticism because he invites it with the humongous contract and past greatness. You can’t be paid so much more than your teammates yet expect to be bunched in with them when things go bad. It’s just the way it is. You opt out of big contract to sign for more money you better produce or you will hear it from fans and media. It’s very simple and not unfair if you ask me.

  50. Tidrow October 9th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    To ARods credit i never hear him complain about the criticism. Guy is a class act. I wish him nothing but the best. I still think he has something left. He’s just not able to stay on field long enough to get in rhythm.

  51. ron October 9th, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Arods power hs completely dissappeared,and when you are paying a player 27 million a year,or 30,for being a very small threat when he was the most feared player in ml baseball,your offense is less than it used to be.

    Jeter,tex,cano,swisher,granderson are all in line with their career power numbers,but arod is way off.
    Tex had an off year but 24 hr in 150 or so less ab than in 2011 when he hit 39 hr,and it would have been close if he got the ab.
    It seems like he took that burden off of his shoulder,and said someone else can,or will get it done.
    5 more years of arod is going to be painfull too watch.
    Hopefully he retires after one more try in 2013.

  52. The Mad Prince in Pinstripes October 9th, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    ARod has to be injured or debilitated in some capacity, however minor.

    I totally buy into the tapering off concept in one’s career as a result of aging, but this guy literally has ZERO power. Something has to give…you don’t just have it and then suddenly not have it.

    If I am running the Yankees, next year this guy is told to put on 20 pounds of muscle and do nothing…NOTHING…NOTHING but hit and stay in shape in the offseason. Screw third base.

    This guy’s value to us is solely in his ability to drive in runs and its time he became a full time DH.

    I still believe in the guy, I know there’s still gas in the tank, but eliminating unnecessary asks is perhaps the first step that needs to take place.

  53. The Mad Prince in Pinstripes October 9th, 2012 at 5:51 pm


    ARod is not a class act. Class acts don’t do steroids.

    I want him to succeed because his success will likely mean Yankee success, don’t get me wrong, but this guy, Bonds, and Clemens are the biggest frauds of their generation.

    The only thing that separates this guy from Bonds and Clemens, in my mind, is the fact that he had the cajones to admit (albeit after he was caught, similar to Pettitte).

  54. Andymelillo October 9th, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Kevin long has been working with arod extra an Aroid getting worst.Arod is arm swinging not driveing with hips through the zone.Arod can’t use the hips because all the steroids shots their

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