Basak it is — but that’s not all

As was rumored this morning, Chris Basak has gotten the call-up in place of Matt DeSalvo. This gives the Yanks flexibility, as Basak can play all infield positions and the outfield corners.

However, they have also optioned Kevin Thompson back to AAA to make room for the return of Sean Henn. In the Yanks bullpen earlier this year, Henn struggled, walking as many as he struck out (11) and surrendering 10 earned runs in 17.1 IP. He fanned 11 and walked 5 in 12.2 AAA innings, givig up six earned runs. I’m guessing he won’t fare any better this time around.

So that’s still 13 pitchers. I guess they needed it again after last night.

The Rocket officially returns

Wanted to start a new thread for the huge postgame press conference. Both Ben and Joe were at the game, so I’m sure they’ll chime in eventually. Stick around for updates.

Update 1: Kay just referred to Clemens and Hughes as “Rocket and Bottle Rocket.” Oh haha. Hughes had better be sponge when Clemens is around, and I’m sure he will be.Â

Update 2:Â Cashman gave your basic “we’ve been working on this deal since the winter” schpeel to kick of the press conference.Â

Update 3: Randy Hendricks (Roger’s agent) is talking; he said the Yanks were only team of the 3 that wanted Clemens right now – Houston and Boston wanted him back later in the year.

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Baseball Gods rain down on Yankees

I’m sure everyone has heard that tonight’s game is a washout. No, they won’t play a doubleheader tomorrow.

This, of course, is great news. And it extends beyond the fact that I still get to see Phil Hughes pitch tomorrow night.

First, it allows Andy Pettitte to move back to Friday’s start against the Red Sox. Instead of Karstens – Igawa – Wang, the rotation is now Pettitte – Igawa/Karstens (hopefully Karstens) – Wang. They’ll be lined up against Matsuzaka – Wakefield – Tavarez. I definitely like the Yankees chances better under this scenario. If the Yanks can pull a repeat performance on Matsuzaka, well, let’s just say that Pettitte won’t be giving up four straight bombs.

The news gets better, though. The game being rained out means that the Yankees bullpen gets a freakin’ full day off! Woo hoo! If Hughes can go six tomorrow, the pen should be decently rested for the weekend series — which will be followed by an off day. And, if the Yankees tee off on Burnett, we can just bring in this guy

and continue resting the guys in the bullpen who, given proper rest, can actually shut down the opposing team in a big spot.

On Monday, when Hughes’s start was announced, Mike immediately informed me that rain was in the forecast. It worried me for a second, until I realized that weathermen are as good at predicting the weather as Orestes Destrade is at predicting the baseball season.

Of course, when weathermen make these predictions, they don’t factor in the will of the Baseball Gods. For if they did, they would have known that it wouldn’t rain on Thursday, the Major League debut of Phil Franchise.

The Yankees needed two things immediately: some rest for the bullpen and a sweep against Boston. Today’s rain facilitates those needs. The Baseball Gods are smiling upon our New York Yankees.

Breaking: Clemens set to rejoin Yanks

With a recent injury to Chien-Ming Wang and a scare concerning Andy Pettitte‘s back, the Yankees acted quickly to shore up their rotation this weekend. On the eve of Opening Night, the Yanks landed future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens. Clemens, who will rejoin the Yanks at the end of April, will help solidify the Yanks’ rotation and should push either Carl Pavano or Kei Igawa off the team.

The move comes as a surprise to those of us following the mundane ins and outs of Spring Training for the last month. In fact, as recently as Thursday, Clemens said he would not decide on his pitching fate until the end of April. But, according to reports, the Yanks overwhelmed Clemens with their multi-million-dollar offer, and the Rocket will once again try to end his career with a World Series victory on the game’s brightest and grandest stage.

While this move seemingly flies in the face of what Brian Cashman has done over the last few months, Spring Training showed us that Phil Hughes was still a few AAA outings away from reaching the Majors, and the Yanks just aren’t confident that Carl Pavano who hasn’t pitched regularly in over two years, and Kei Igawa can stump hitters for 162 games. With Clemens in the rotation, the Yanks will be able to go arm-to-arm with any competitor in the league. And since Clemens is only sticking around for one year, the Yankees don’t need to overextend themselves to win now.

So with Clemens on board, all eyes are turning now to Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Just two hours away from New York City, you can bet that the Yanks’ new AAA with see some record-breaking crowds with Clemens arrives in Pennsylvania for his tune up in a few weeks. And now with Clemens on board, the Yanks are the clear front-runners for the AL East crown. With Opening Day just 33 hours away, the news could not be better for Yankee fans.

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Roster set: I am happy

Okay, so there weren’t a lot of truly pressing roster decisions to make. However, there were some issues still out there yesterday that could have in some way adversely affected the roster. Yes, Mike, backup catcher and backup first basemen aren’t of grave concern. However, it’s not a great idea to go wasting a roster spot.

Anyway, here’s what’s going down, as reported by Pete Abraham:

Henn in, Villone out. Phelps in, Phillips out (though that was reported yesterday). Nieves in, Pratt out. Karstens to the DL.

Rotation: Pavano, Pettitte, Mussina, Igawa.

That makes me especially happy, because I’m going to the second game of the season (and I’ve seen Moose pitch roughly 8 times over the last two years). All in all, though, given the choices the Yankees had, these all seem like the right moves.

Steve, you’re out of the family

George Steinbrenner‘s daughter filed divorce papers this week against husband Steve Swindal, a move that appears to end his chance to take over as head of the New York Yankees.

Jennifer Swindal filed the papers Tuesday in Hillsborough County Circuit Court’s family law department, Yankees spokesman Howard Rubenstein said Wednesday. Rubenstein said the papers cited “irreconcilable differences.”

Reached by telephone, Swindal said he didn’t want to comment beyond the statement or address his role with the team.

In honor of every man that’s been screwed over in a divorce, I say he should ask for half of Yankee Stadium in the distribution of assets.

Asked whether he still viewed himself as Steinbrenner’s successor, Swindal replied: “I can’t answer that other than it would be speculation.”

He’s out. Just can’t see it happening.

(hat tip to Pinto, with an honorbale mention to YF vs SF)