Dave Robertson was one of the hosts for a Superstorm Sandy benefit golf tournament today at Bethpage Black, and he talked to Mike Francesa about what it was like to watch Mariano Rivera’s final All-Star Game last night.
“It was just an amazing thing to see,” Robertson said. “It gave me chills, and I was watching at the house. … He literally is one of the best people I’ve ever known in my life.”
Robertson also talked about the Yankees need to get players off the disabled list as they head into the second half, beginning with this weekend’s series in Boston.
“There’s nothing we can do about it right now,” Robertson said. “All we can do is wait for them to get back and hope that when they come back they’re ready to perform and we can make that push for the playoffs. … We’re right there. This is when it happens. After the all-star break is when you’ve got to win those big games.”
Robertson and Ike Davis hosted today’s event with former Major Leaguers Bobby Bonilla, Jim Bouton, Phil Bradley, Mike Cameron, Frank Catalanotto, Royce Clayton, Jose Cruz Jr., Ron Darling, Ken Griffey Jr., Rick Helling, Al Leiter, Jim Leyrtiz, Jeff Nelson, Jim Rice, Steve Rogers, Reggie Sanders, Gary Sheffield and Chris Singleton. It’s the latest in a long line of charitable work that Robertson and his wife Erin have done since Robertson settled in as a fixture in the Yankees bullpen.
“I’m given so much and blessed to be able to play here in New York and at Yankee Stadium with some of the greatest fans and some of the greatest players of all time,” Robertson said. “It’s only fitting for me to give back whatever I can.”
• When I had Brian Cashman on the phone today, I asked him briefly about Dellin Betances, and whether he thinks the recent bullpen success should be taken seriously. “Of course,” Cashman said. “Obviously from Double-A on up it’s about results, and he’s out of the bullpen having successful results.” Cashman referenced Oliver Perez and all-star Brett Cecil as guys who struggled — often with their command — as starters but have found significant success since moving to the bullpen. Betances is out of options after this season, and he seems to be giving a last-minute reason to think he might play a role next year.
• Now that Aaron Judge has signed — the last of the Yankees top picks to do so — he’ll report to Tampa and begin getting ready for the season. Cashman said today that it’s likely Judge will start in the Gulf Coast League just to get some games under his belt, but Staten Island seems like his eventual destination.
• More Triple-A injuries for the Yankees: Utility man Addison Maruszak and outfielder Fernando Martinez have been added to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre disabled list. Donnie Collins reports that it’s also possible Thomas Neal won’t be back from the Triple-A All-Star Game in time to play tomorrow, so Scranton might need some guys (even with Alex Rodriguez joining them). Maruszak’s had a nice year while playing basically everywhere, and Martinez has been a significant boost since coming over in a minor trade.
• This isn’t really Yankees news, but it’s a great story for anyone who’s ever met this guy: Doug Bernier has been called up by the Twins and will join them immediately after the All-Star break. The light-hitting utility infielder is a terrific fielder who spent three seasons in a utility role with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He signed with the Twins this offseason and has had a huge year with their Triple-A affiliate. He’s had four big league at-bats in his career, all with the Rockies in 2008. I’m always happy to see a really good guy keeping giving it a shot and being rewarded in the end. And Doug’s one of the best guys out there.
• Speaking of former Yankees minor leaguers, former Padres second baseman and short-term Yankees Triple-A player Matt Antonelli has reportedly retired and will take a student assistant coaching gig. He was once a fairly big prospect.
• Finally, a column from Chris Kelly, who’s the lead columnist at the Scranton Times-Tribune (not for sports, for the news side). Chris is a terrific writer, I feel lucky to have worked with him, and on Sunday he wrote a nice piece about Derek Jeter and the impact he had during his rehab assignment with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. “Those who sneered when fans swooned over his visit and ridiculed the exhaustive media coverage of his time here are missing the point,” Chris wrote. “In a society that routinely rewards its most corrupt at the eternal expense of its most honest, Derek Jeter is a glaring exception.”
Associated Press photos