Postgame notes: Closer and closer to 600 • 07.07.10
Alex Rodriguez said he thinks more about his 600th home run when he’s in New York. It’s hard to avoid it when the Yankee Stadium scoreboard announces the chase every time he moves one home run closer.
“Walking the streets of New York a lot of people are cheering me on,” Rodriguez said. “And every day it’s kind of embarrassing, you look up and they’re replaying the last three or four. It feels good.”
It felt good tonight when Rodriguez went deep twice, including the 21st grand slam of his career. He’s tied with Manny Ramirez for the second most grand slams all time, two away from Lou Gehrig’s record. For the season, Rodriguez is 7-for-13 with 24 RBI with the bases loaded.
He now has 14 home runs this season, and he has 23 RBI in his past 14 games. This seems to have been the kind of thing Joe Girardi had in mind when he named Rodriguez an all-star.
“He’s had some big home runs for us too, home runs that have put us out in front,” Girardi said. “It’s wonderful to see. We know how dangerous of a hitter he is, and even without the home runs, he was still driving in runs.”
• Speaking of Girardi’s all-star picks, CC Sabathia has won seven straight starts. It’s the second time in his career that he’s won seven straight, and the first such streak since 2005. It’s the first time a Yankees starter has won seven in a row since Roger Clemens won eight straight in 2001. “CC’s been an ace for a long time,” Girardi said. “Whether it’s been in this league or the National League, he’s been very, very good. He’s on a string right now, and he’s pitching great.”
• Sabathia’s biggest pitch of the game was the 3-2 fastball to Daric Barton, who took the pitch on the outer half for a called strike three. Barton slammed his bat and was ejected for the first time in his career. “I thought it was a good pitch,” Sabathia said. “Obviously he disagreed, but I thought it was a pretty good pitch.”
• Can’t ignore the defense tonight. Two nice plays in foul territory by Mark Teixeira, and one great stop by Rodriguez to start a double play.
• Jorge Posada said he felt good in his return behind the plate. He wore some extra protection in his glove. “Got a foul ball late in the game and it held up,” he said.
• Derek Jeter ended a 19-game streak without an RBI. It was the longest such streak of his career.
• Nice work by Dave Robertson tonight: 1.1 innings, 2 strikeouts, 16 pitches, 11 strikes.
• Rodriguez laughed when he was asked about his relationship with Dallas Braden, who sent a signed poster and a signed “Get Off My Mound” t-shirt to Rodriguez before the game. The poster had a personal message, and it was all intended as a goodwill, let’s-be-friends offering. Rodriguez said there’s no hard feelings between the two.
• Rodriguez signed 10 of the Get Off My Mound t-shirts, with the idea that Braden will sign them as well to be auctioned for charity.
Associated Press photos of Rodriguez and Sabathia
Get off my mound, and my back • 07.06.10
A t-shirt has caused quite the uproar here in Oakland, and believe it or not, Dallas Braden wants no part of it. I wasn’t in the A’s clubhouse when Braden talked to a few reporters last night, but apparently his message was simple.
Oddly enough, the Yankees didn’t seem to have a problem with it. Rumor is that Robinson Cano wore the shirt to tease Alex Rodriguez, and before yesterday’s game, Joe Girardi said he hoped Braden and Rodriguez might sign a few shirts that the A’s could sell for charity.
“An organization is having a little fun with it, trying to take advantage of the situation a little bit,” Girardi said. “I don’t have a problem with it. They’re selling T-shirts. Maybe A-Rod should have gotten a cut of it. Organizations always look for creative ways to do things. The more money they bring in, the more they can spend on players, so I d0n’t necessarily blame them.”
After Braden came out against the shirt, the A’s actually released a statement… about a t-shirt!
“We regret that Dallas has expressed concern in regards to the ‘Get Off My Mound’ t-shirts that are being sold throughout the stadium. The organization created these shirts in response to numerous fan requests and made them to generate interest in this series. The shirts represent the competitive nature of the team, which Dallas epitomizes, and were intended as a fun way to engage the fans. We will speak privately with Dallas about this to clarify our position and make sure we have a clear line of communications going forward.”
Pregame notes: Injury reports good so far • 05.09.10
Obviously Dallas Braden has become one of the more notorious names in the Yankees clubhouse, but the final outs of his perfect game were on the clubhouse TV here in Boston tonight. Most of the Yankees were on the field for stretch, but A.J. Burnett was watching as Braden hugged a woman assumed to be his grandmother. “Grandma, I love you, but don’t cross my mound!” Burnett said.
As for the events here in Boston, Girardi suggested he’s going to have to start filling out an injury report like a football coach.
Chan Ho park would be out. Alfredo Aceves would be doubtful. Mariano Rivera would be probable.
“I’m going to have to start doing what the NFL does,” Girardi said.
Most of the health news is good today. Rivera hasn’t pitched in a while, but he’s absolutely available. Park is throwing a bullpen tomorrow, which could lead to a rehab outing. Aceves and his bad back are much better today and Girardi is hopeful that Aceves will be available tomorrow.
“If not, we’ll shoot for the next day,” Girardi said.
• Apparently Dallas Braden’s grandmother actually said, “Stick it, A-Rod,” during a postgame interview in Oakland. You can’t make this stuff up.
• Andy Pettitte will return to the rotation on Saturday. He’s scheduled to play catch tomorrow, throw long toss on Tuesday and throw a bullpen Wednesday.
• Girardi said Aceves is not available tonight, but he’s not worried about his bullpen because Romulo Sanchez is available for 100 pitches if necessary.
• You could see Rivera get in tonight’s game, but Girardi’s not worried about the lack of recent work for his closer. “He’ll get plenty of work in the course of the season,” Girardi said.
• Sounds like Park could get in a rehab game as early as this week, but Girardi said he’s not sure how many rehab inning Park would need before rejoining the team.
• Don’t expect any roster moves before the Detroit series. With Robinson Cano back at second base, the Yankees no longer need to carry a second utility infielder, but Girardi said he doesn’t expect to make a move between now and Monday. “Not really anticipating anything right now,” Girardi said. Russo has experience in the outfield and could go out there if necessary.
• Girardi once again said the production from Francisco Cervelli has not changed his plans at catcher. He entered the season planning to have Cervelli catch one out of three or one out of four games, and that’s still the plan. “I don’t see that changing a whole lot,” Girardi said.
• Braden’s perfect game was going on during Girardi’s press conference. “I hope he gets it,” Girardi said. “A perfect game’s an amazing feat.”
Rodriguez: “I’ve never quite heard that” • 04.22.10
In a very bizarre game, perhaps the most bizarre moment came in the sixth inning when Alex Rodriguez got into a shouting match with Oakland starter Dallas Braden.
“He just told me to get off his mound,” Rodriguez said. “I was a little surprised. I’d never quite heard that. Especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career.”
The whole thing started when Rodriguez went from first to third on a foul ball by Robinson Cano. On his way back to first, Rodriguez ran across the pitcher’s mound, which Braden saw as a sign of disrespect.
“I don’t care if I’m Cy Young or the 25th man on the roster, if I’ve got the ball in my hand and I’m on that mound, that’s my mound,” Braden said. “… He ran across the pitcher’s mound foot on my rubber. No, not happening. We’re not the door mat anymore.”
Rodriguez said he had never heard the unwritten rule that a player shouldn’t run across the mound. When Braden started yelling at him, Rodriguez didn’t know what it was about. “I thought it was pretty funny, actually,” Rodriguez said.
Braden, though, went out of his way to call out Rodriguez. He spoke very kindly of the Yankees organization, but took great exception to Rodriguez.
“He should maybe watch his Captain a little more often,” Braden said.
Here’s the audio from Rodriguez and Braden.
That’s an Associated Press photo of Braden.