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Pregame notes: “I can’t grab a bat and start chasing reporters”

Posted by: vmercogliano - Posted in Misc on Aug 12, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Brett Gardner

It’s taken about four and a half months, but the Yankees’ everyday lineup is finally starting to bear some resemblance to what Joe Girardi might have envisioned during spring training.

“Obviously, you have more power throughout the lineup, and you hope that it translates into more blunt production for us,” he said. “But it is a different feel when we’re able to split some left-handers and right-handers up at times.”

Injuries have devastated the Yankees throughout the 2013 season, but for perhaps the first time all year, Girardi seems to have settled on a regular lineup that is filled with legitimate major league hitters. His options had been so limited for the majority of the season, and at times it was as if he was simply picking names out of a hat.

Offensive production has been scarce for the Yankees, but they homered three times in Sunday’s walk-off win — a trend that they’re hoping continues. Guys like Alex Rodriguez and Curtis Granderson don’t even have 60 at-bats under their belts yet, but they’re being counted on to step in and be productive immediately. A-Rod said yesterday that the Yankees should expect to score a minimum of five runs per game.

“You hope that if you get behind early, you have the firepower to comeback,” Girardi said. “That’s the hope. As I’ve said, these guys have not had normal spring trainers and are not in midseason form, but we need them to be.”

Mariano Rivera• While the lineup is inching its way toward respectability, the pitching staff has been slipping a bit of late. Mariano Rivera blew a third consecutive save for the first time in his career yesterday, and he was reminded this afternoon that he told reporters after the All-Star game that he didn’t have much left in the tank. “There’s a lot left in the tank,” he said. “It’s just the delivery. I wasn’t repeating what I normally do.”

• When asked specifically about the issues with his delivery, Rivera spoke about making sure that it stays the same for every pitch. He’s said several times in the past few days that he’s felt like he’s left too many pitches up, and that his cutters have been too flat. Interestingly, he said that he leaves it up to his coaches to determine what is wrong and rarely looks at video himself. “That’s why I have a pitching coach and a bullpen coach. They look at the film and tell you what to do,” he said. “The release on the ball is not consistent. When you’re consistent, the ball has sharper breaks.”

• I’m stating the obvious here, but you have to give Rivera credit for how he handles these rare rough stretches. He spoke to reporters for at least 10 minutes, and did so with a smile on his face. He was asked about how he maintains such a positive attitude. “You have to enjoy it. The game is hard enough,” he said. “I’ve always been like that. Not only in the good times, but also in the bad. I can’t grab a bat and start chasing reporters.” That last line is classic.

• Girardi was asked if he has any concern about Rivera’s recent workload. He hasn’t pitched on back-to-back days since July 6-7, but he’s thrown at least 23 pitches in each of his last three appearances. “I look at yesterday, and it was sort of a high pitch count in the 20s,” he said. “The one the day before was in the 20s. I’m going to see how he feels today, basically. It’s been every other day, and your hope is that he can recover from that. I worry a little bit more about the two innings (on Wednesday in Chicago) than maybe the 23 pitches. But I’ll see how he feels today.”

• Check out this interesting read from my pal Larry Fleisher, who breaks down the elite matchup between Rivera and Miguel Cabrera and delves into just how rare it is for Mo to give up the long ball.

Derek Jeter• Derek Jeter is doing tee and toss today, as he continues to increase his baseball activities. When the Yankees leave for Boston on Friday, The Captain will head down to Tampa to get more work in. Girardi said they do not have a return date in mind. “He’s making progress,” was pretty much the extent of it.

• After tonight’s game, A-Rod will have played in more games this season than Jeter. Girardi was asked if that surprises him. “Well, he hasn’t went on the DL since we got him back. That’s the big thing,” he said. “We weren’t sure who we were going to get back first when it came to those two. Initially, we thought that we’d get Derek out of spring training, but that didn’t work. He re-cracked his ankle in a different spot. I’m not really sure if I find it hard to believe that Alex has played more than Derek, or vice versa. It’s just been a strange year.”

• Girardi was also asked about Travis Hafner’s progress, and his answer wasn’t very promising. To be honest, it’s difficult to figure out where he fits on this current roster considering all of the DH-types that the Yankees have. “He feels better,” Girardi said. “He’s continuing his rehab. He’s not ready to do baseball activities yet, though.”

• Sunday’s hero was Brett Gardner, as he continues to prove his value in a variety of ways. He’s one of the few Yankees that has pretty much avoided injuries all year, and Girardi was asked if he’s looked at as more of a leader in the clubhouse this season. “I think so,” he said. “Gardy is fiery, and I think his personality comes out. It’s been great having him all year. As I said, we really missed him last year – what he’s capable of doing. His personality has definitely come out this year. It’s good.”

Associated Press photos



23 Responses to “Pregame notes: “I can’t grab a bat and start chasing reporters””

  1. Hankflorida August 12th, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Trisha, how right you are as baseball as existed way before the evil of steroids, and I can attest to that in over seven decades that my eyes have seen the glory of this game. Differing from other sports, Baseball creates the most tension filled moments as it begins to slow down before it reaches that ultimate high. I can remember that hip and valley of emotions as I witnessed Allie Reynolds pitching a no hitter in the ninth with two outs and Ted Williams at the plate. Williams hit a foul ball with Berra camped under it; the Stadium rocked with jubilation, and as Berra dropped the ball, silence followed with disbelief; the next pitch, William popped it up again, and this time Berra caught it. Hitting a ball 500 feet is not what this game was ever about, and who ever thinks steroids saved the National Past Time is not a student of history.

  2. Jerkface August 12th, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    You’ve never watched a baseball game untainted by drug use.

  3. Warning Track Power August 12th, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    The photo above of Jeter reminds me of his most recent appearance of
    Jimmy Fallon’s late night t.v. show.
    That was a cool episode. Full of many funny moments and the finale, Fallon performing
    3 walk up songs for Jeter to consider when he takes his at bats.

  4. vwlfan August 12th, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Silly question I hope someone can answer …What is the song they play at the stadium that starts with ” Southern Comfort? “

  5. DONNYBROOK August 12th, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Yanks can platoon Mark Reynolds at 1B with Overbay and occasionally DH him. At 3B, he’s a defensive liability, so I would avoid that. Passing on this guy at the MLB minimum would be a mistake.

  6. Spudz August 12th, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Lance Nix is available. Why doesn’t Cash pick him up and make all of Binder Joe’s dreams come true.

  7. pulchritudinous August 12th, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    you don’t know that for certain, Jerkface.

    I like what you did on the previous thread, i forgot who the poster was, mentioning the missed call that went against the Tigers yesterday.

  8. RhapsodyInBlue August 12th, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Hank my earliest recollections were watching in black and white the 55-56 Dodgers and Yankees World series followed by Milwaukee Braves in 57-58.

    Talk about some intense games and I think the sport was doing just fine without peds and hgh.

  9. UnKnown August 12th, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    ” You cannot draw conclusions about the types of people fans are based on who they root for in a kid’s game.” :shock:

    Come on now, everyone knows the fans that are cheering for A-Rod are going to HELL!! :evil:

    :lol: :lol:

  10. pulchritudinous August 12th, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    jeez, the constant use of emoticons… the nick in sf disease. unknown has caught it.

  11. Mordot11 August 12th, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Does 31-15 make the playoffs?

  12. MTU August 12th, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    That’s about .675 baseball and 90 wins.

    Good luck with that one.

    I’d say the Yankees would be doing very well to play .600 or so.

    So my answer is no because I don’t believe they could do that.

  13. pulchritudinous August 12th, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    what’s a mid 40s guy thinking when he constantly uses emoticons?

  14. UnKnown August 12th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I think 31-15 is the best they can do, so I hope it makes it. That would be a lot of fun if they could rattle off 31 wins before the end of the season. Lots of A-Bombs for A-Rod.

  15. MTU August 12th, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    How many AB’s to qualify for a batting title ?

  16. Warning Track Power August 12th, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Mordot11 August 12th, 2013 at 6:12 pm
    Does 31-15 make the playoffs?
    IMO, YES!!!

    Just a matter if the team can get that HOT!!!

  17. pkyankfan69 August 12th, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    I’m watching Project Runway right now… I really need to buy a second TV.

  18. MTU August 12th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Because Sr. Puig is batting .376 with almost 300 AB’s under his belt.

    Rookie of the year, and batting champ ?

    OMG. Just knock me over with a feather will ya’.


  19. MTU August 12th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Well. Enjoy the game folks.

  20. Warning Track Power August 12th, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Noticing Yankee coverage on Twitter is very, very quiet. Normally there are dozens of
    posts there. I only see a few today.

    I guess the ARod story has died down and the media has no clue what to do
    with their idle time.

  21. Warning Track Power August 12th, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    Ex Yankee Chad Curtis on trial

  22. yankinvegas August 12th, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    I hope we can finish 31 – 14 to force the other clubs to at least play well. If we can get to 90 + wins, this season will be a great success.
    Sign the Cuban defector and Lincecum

  23. yankinvegas August 12th, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Pretty funny reading that Josh Hamilton said we need a clean game.

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