Archive for June 4th, 2007

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Johnny Not First Option In Center

Yankees Rumors & News

Even before the Yankees learned that Doug Mientkiewicz would miss 6-8 weeks with a broken wrist, the Yankees were reportedly exploring creative ways of shuffling their personnel. With Jason Giambi lost for the foreseeable future and perhaps the entire season, the team was already aware that they’ll need more production out of first base than the platoon of Mientkiewicz and Josh Phelps is capable of supplying. Adding to the equation is the fact that the famously durable Johnny Damon seems to have suddenly fallen into a tailspin as a serviceable centerfielder. Age has begun to catch up with him and his wheels have begun failing before the Yankees’ eyes.

As such, bench coach Don Mattingly has begun running Damon through “First Base 101.” In all likelihood the experiment will crash and burn in spectacular fashion like the failed conversions of Mike Piazza and Gary Sheffield before it. For the time being however, Damon isn’t playing the field anyway, and there’s no harm in trying. For his part, …

Rocket Stalls

Yankees Rumors & News

The Yankees are flying high after taking a second straight series from the rival Red Sox, this time in the unfriendly confines of Fenway Park. But that doesn’t mean Yankee detractors don’t have something to cling to this morning as Matt DeSalvo prepares to toe the rubber for the Bombers against the White Sox, stepping in for the injured Roger Clemens, who had been scheduled to make his season debut tonight.

Some observers raised their collective eyebrows last week when Clemens threw just 89 pitches in his final tune-up start at AAA-Scranton after throwing 102 in his prior start for AA-Trenton. In particular ESPN’s John Kruk didn’t feel that Clemens appeared to be pushing off the mound with much strength in his legs. The media in New York were far less concerned, proclaiming the Rocket ready for launch and clamoring for his debut to be pushed up to Saturday in Boston.

It mustn’t come as much of a surprise to Kruk that Clemens has been diagnosed with groin …

HA! Stray-Rod Strikes Back!

Yankees Rumors & News

Two days after being taunted by Boston fans wearing blond bimbo masks, Alex Rodriguez silenced Red Sox Nation, taking an 0-2 fastball from Boston’s dominating closer Jonathan Papelbon and depositing it over the right field fence to break a 5-5 tie in the 9th inning. Mariano Rivera closed the door in the bottom of the 9th, retiring David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez to seal the 6-5 victory.

Ortiz momentarily seemed as if he may have tied the game on a ball crushed to right field, however the ball died short of the warning track. The feared slugger seems to have lost much of his power since missing three games last week with sore hamstrings that continue to ail him. ESPN aired footage of Ortiz grimacing after each swing in batting practice prior to the game, rarely using his legs to drive anything with much authority. The Yankees, who have been plagued my injures all season – and hamstring injuries in particular – will take it.

It was a rewarding finale to …

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