Just a few notes in the middle of this final off day before the second half begins…
• MLBPA director Michael Weiner told the Daily News that the union might encourage certain players in the Biogenesis scandal to reach a plea deal with the league. “If we have a case where there really is overwhelming evidence that a player committed a violation of the program, our fight is going to be that they make a deal,” Weiner said. For the Yankees, that’s particularly interesting given recent reports about the evidence facing Alex Rodriguez.
• Of course, in a CNN interview, Rodriguez said once again that he has not pursued a plea deal with the league. “I hate all the noise but, you know, hopefully that goes away soon and we can get back to playing baseball,” Rodriguez said.
• Speaking of third base, Stephen Drew says the Yankees approached him this offseason about taking essential the Kevin Youkilis contract to play a sort of regular utility role, filling in for the two injured players on the left side of the infield. “The Yankees wanted me to switch around,” Drew told the Boston Herald. “They wanted me to play short when Jeter got hurt and third with A-Rod out.” Drew said he took less money to stay at shortstop with the Red Sox.
• Kind of a random story from The Associated Press today: Apparently Mariano Rivera, Dave Robertson and Joe Girardi — along with a handful of Mets players — will be a part of a new I Love NY campaign airing on YES and SNY. According to the AP: “The ads seek to entice New Yorkers and out-of-state tourist to plan summer vacations that include Mets and Yankees games and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. But the spots also promote New York attractions from Niagara Falls and the Adirondack and Catskills mountains to the beaches of Long Island.” So, you know, look for the game’s best closer to start convincing you to see some waterfalls in the near future.
• Short-term Yankees first baseman Travis Ishikawa has signed a minor league deal with the White Sox. He was designated for assignment and chose free agency rather than accept an outright Triple-A assignment from the Yankees.
• Speaking of short-term Yankees: Derek Lowe has officially retired. Lowe actually pitched pretty well in a limited role with the Yankees last season. He got into nine games with the Rangers earlier this year.
Associated Press photo