Hooray for meaningless games. The lineups:
Talk it up here.
We interrupt our
slam Jason Varitek All Star Game coverage to bring you some not-so-great news on a few injured Yankees. Via the AP:
Matsui did not hit Tuesday after experiencing additional discomfort in his sore left knee. The Yankees had hoped he might be ready to return when eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Friday.
“Perhaps you can say so, it’s a short-term setback,” Matsui said through a translator at the Yankees’ minor league complex. “I’m going to hit tomorrow, that’s the plan anyway.”
Damon, eligible to be activated from the DL on Sunday, continues to have soreness in his injured left shoulder, and won’t likely start hitting off a tee until at least late this week. He underwent treatment only on Tuesday.
“It feels a little better today,” Damon said. “It still feels horrible waking up. I’m still kind of down because I know (Yankees manager Joe) Girardi wants to put me in the lineup on Sunday and I’m not sure we can do that.”
Damon’s news is being reported as a “setback,” but I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. His injury hasn’t gotten worse; it just isn’t getting better as quickly as he and the Yanks had hoped it would. Matsui’s knee and his progress, however, should probably be regarded as a setback, and at this point, I’m skeptical that we’ll see Matsui back in the Bronx before 2009.
With this news, the Yankees are obviously going to have to face a tough decision. While I’m not sold on his long-term prospects, it does make sense to give Richie Sexson a look at DH/1B in a platoon situation. Otherwise, we’ll be stuck with Wilson Betemit in the lineup nearly everyday. Meanwhile, the Yanks will continue to mix and match with Brett Gardner, Melky Cabrera and Justin Christian until Damon recovers. Tough times for the outfield.
We’ve been making quite the to-do over the Jason Varitek All Star selection. After all, it’s not everyday that someone hitting .218/.299/.354 with an OPS+ of 71 and a VORP of -2.6 gets to play in the Midsummer Classic. But is Jason Varitek the worst All Star ever? Al Doyle at The Baseball Analysts and Craig Brown at The Hardball Times look at some of the worst All Star selections of all time and the last 30 years, respectively. Varitek may not be the worst, but he certainly ranks up there. · (11) ·
…and those people are mainly visiting team players. Alan Schwarz checks in with a few Major Leaguers who won’t miss the amenities and smells offered up by an 85-year-old stadium. The money quote is, of course, All Star Catcher Jason Varitek’s: “Especially when it rains, the smell that comes up through the drainage system is not pretty. It affects your sinuses, I’ll tell you that much.” I guess he can’t fight sewage smells and sinus infections with his mask on. · (35) ·
As the Home Run Derby — or the Josh Hamilton Show — got underway last night at Yankee Stadium, the sun set behind New Jersey, lighting up the sky. Click through the jump to see more sights from last night’s Derby. I took all the photos, and you can find them and more in this photo set on flickr.
Josh freakin’ Hamilton. Seriously. Kyle Farnsworth must have been pitching to him, am I right?
Double-A Trenton (2-0 win over Binghamton)
Ramiro Pena: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
Colin Curtis, Edwar Gonzalez & Joe Muich: all 0 for 4 – Edwar K’ed twice, Muich once
Austin Jackson: 1 for 4, 1 K
Chris Malec: 4 for 4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 E (throwing) – yeah, he’s kinda good at hitting
James Cooper: 2 for 4
Walt Ibarra: 1 for 3
Brian Bruney: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 3-0 GB/FB
Phil Coke: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 8-5 GB/FB – that is some quality long relief right there
Mike and I will be enjoying the Derby tonight from Section 31 of the Tier Reserve (fair territory!). So let’s roll with an open thread. Ostensibly this is about the derby, but use this to discuss trade rumors, the terrible state of the Yankee offense, Brian Cashman‘s head on a silver platter and anything else that tickles your fancy. If you’re over 21 (of course) want to get drunk during the Derby, play the Home Run Derby drinking game.
Anyway, I’ll start the open thread fun.
This morning, Jayson Stark penned a typical A-Rod-bashing column about Alex’s decision to eschew the Home Run Derby. Stark claims that A-Rod first opted out of the “Call Your Shot” promotion that would have featured David Ortiz had he not been injured and then opted out of the Derby all together. Why? Stark posits it is because of Alex Rodriguez‘s fragile psyche.
Well, I’m fairly certain that with his face plastered all over the tabloids these days, A-Rod’s fragile psyche could have handled losing the Home Run Derby. While Stark claims A-Rod may be afriad of ending up on the tabloids after the Derby, I have to wonder how that end result would be any different from, oh, the last two weeks.
Stark slams the Yankees’ hitter — and indirectly Jason Giambi as well — for opting out of the game in their home town. Giambi would have participated had he been selected to the All Star team, but heaven forbid he enjoy a four-day vacation at home for the first time since early February. Writes Stark, “It’s not important enough, apparently, for Alex Rodriguez to risk not living up to his own ego. How sad is that?”
No sadder than an ESPN columnist using the meaningless Home Run Derby as just another platform to tear down A-Rod. It’s an old trope, but would we expect anything else from Stark and ESPN?
PeteAbe’s got the word. Paps thinks he’s earned it by closing out the World Series last year. With Joakim Soria (292 ERA+, 2 BSV) Joe Nathan (348, 2) and the Hammer of God (384, 0) on the team, Papelbon (178, 4) should be grateful if he pitches after the 6th. · (37) ·
This one’s for all you hosers out there: the 2008 Canadian Olympic Team has been announced (page 7 of the pdf). Highlighted by two very good prospects in Nick Weglarz (Indians) and Mike Saunders (Mariners), the Canadians boasts a respectable lineup but iffy pitching. Brett Lawrie, the Brewers first round pick (16th overall), is on the squad despite turning 18 just this year. Crazy.
The US Team was selected last night, but has not been made public. Remember, the US squad in yesterday’s Futures Game was a trial a team, a group of players in the running for the Olympic team. · (1) ·