Continuing our look back on 2013 — and the most significant moments that happened month-by-month — we’ll now look at the start of the regular season, when Derek Jeter was on the disabled list and several other players were about to join him. Remarkably enough, the season was actually a positive for the Yankees roughly two months into the schedule. The Yankees were scrappy, and they were winning, but they couldn’t win with smoke and mirrors for long. Eventually, their patchwork roster began to unravel, and their most controversial player stood front-and-center.
Robinson Cano signed with Jay Z’s new agency
It was April 2. The season had barely started, and already the Yankees were dealing with an offseason curveball when Robinson Cano dropped Scott Boras and signed up with Jay Z’s new agency. “I want to stay with the same team,” Cano said a few days later. “You know, if my agent decides that and talks to the Yankees, we’ll see what happens.” The announcement of Cano’s decision to sign with Jay Z came in the very same press release that announced the formation of Jay Z’s agency. It was a buzz-worthy story at the time, and it brought a new wrinkle to Cano’s free agency. He might have landed in Seattle with Boras as well. We’ll never know.
Worth mentioning: Phil Hughes rushed back to start in Detroit; Derek Jeter diagnosed with a new break in his ankle; Kevin Youkilis to the DL after playing through back soreness; Francisco Cervelli’s broken hand; Mason Williams’ arrest; Cano playing shortstop; Mariano Rivera’s first visiting stadium retirement gift
A first-place team
I’m not sure it’s the Yankees most definitive win of the first half, but it’s certainly among them. It was May 25 at Tampa Bay. Vidal Nuno made a spot start. Brennan Boesch had been called up the night before and had a huge hit in the ninth. Ivan Nova pitched in relief. Lyle Overbay had a game-winning homer in extra innings. The Yankees were, at the time, a first-place team. They were in first place from May 9 through May 27, and it’s because they got help from unexpected sources and won games like this early in the year. In the month of May, believe it or not, the Yankees were one of the biggest surprises in baseball.
Worth mentioning: Curtis Granderson hurt again; Mark Teixeira off the disabled list; Ivan Nova optioned to Triple-A; the Subway Series; David Adams’ hot start; the night Phil Hughes couldn’t pitch out of the first inning; Mariano Rivera’s return to Kansas City; Joba Chamberlain to the DL
“Just shut the f— up.”
This is around the time the Alex Rodriguez saga truly became a soap opera. In late June, published speculation hinted that Rodriguez might fake an injury to get out of rehab games, or push for an early rehab assignment, or find a way to retire and collect his money. It was kind of chaos, and nothing was off the table. On June 25, Rodriguez tweeted that Dr. Bryan Kelly had given him a green light to play in games, something the Yankees had denied. Almost immediately, Brian Cashman responded in an interview with ESPN New York: “You know what, when the Yankees want to announce something, (we will),” Cashman said. “Alex should just shut the f— up. That’s it. I’m going to call Alex now.” Cashman never denied the quote, and soon apologized for his language. It was made-for-TV drama.
Worth mentioning: Surgery recommended for Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis; Lyle Overbay in the outfield; Rodriguez beginning rehab in Tampa; Zoilo Almonte’s strong arrival; the loss in Oakland when the heart of the order when 0-for-28; Andy Pettitte winning on the day his son was drafted
Associated Press photo