A-Rod back in the swing

See Alex run, see Alex throw, see Alex catch and … most important of all … see Alex hit.

The Yankees had plenty to keep an eye on before Wednesday’s game, watching Alex Rodriguez take his first steps back on the field since hitting the DL on April 30. By all accounts, it went quite well. A-Rod ran at about 75 percent, he estimated, and said he can’t wait to start his rehab assignment in Tampa on Monday.

That lines A-Rod up to rejoin the Yankees on Wednesday against Tampa Bay, one week from today, the earliest he could possibly be activated. They’ll take it. No, he didn’t faint.

A few assorted notes…

Joe Girardi said he spoke to Joba Chamberlain briefly after last night’s game and has no concerns that the free-spirited reliever will be able to bounce back — “Joba’s been through some tough times in his life, and he’s had to get back up, and not always on the baseball field,” Girardi said.

Judging by the pretty solid slap Joba threw at my left shoulder an hour before game time, he’s in a much better mood this evening.

Wondering about Jorge Posada? He’ll be cleared to take batting practice on Friday. Phil Hughes will tag along to Tampa while the Yankees go to Detroit, though he can’t do a whole lot physically right now.

The Yankees have an interactive feature up until 5:30 p.m. during batting practice where you can send a text message to the video screens down the left and right field lines. Most are simple like “Hi Jenny” or “Go Yankees,” but in the past, I’ve seen some pretty good ones up there — most revolve around Carl Pavano.

Anyway, I finally cranked one up there this afternoon to salute Morgan Ensberg’s devoted fandom of the Will Ferrell movie ‘Anchorman,’ posting “Morgan Ensberg is kind of a big deal.” Actually, I just wanted to see if it would work. If you can think of anything funnier for the next few home games, fire away.
 

40 Comments

I agree with what you’re saying, but I don’t think we should panic barely more than a month into the season. If players started panicking about the way this season has gone, this team really would be in trouble with everyone on the club pressing unnecessarily trying to be the one to lead this team out of this funk. No way can the Sox play .600 -.650 ball until the end of the season, they couldn’t do it last season and they won’t do it this season either because the Suks basically have the same team from last season just as we do, and the Yanks stayed in in it until the end even though they couldn’t close the deal. Like I said, it’s a long, long season and anything can happen to anyone. This team had a rough schedule, and the weather wasn’t on the Yanks side, not that I’m making excuses, but these thing tend to even themselves out down the road, the Yanks time will come as it did last season. Once the weather warms up so will the offense, my main concern is the pitching though. What will happen if Rasner, and Igawa falter and Hughes and Kennedy aren’t back later on in the season? What will happen if the pen melts down from overuse? That’s a lot of pitching to replace. I’m sure the team will put together trade packages together, but what will it cost for nothing but unknowns? You’re right this team doesn’t need 10 game win streaks,just stay close, if they can do that most of the season, this team will be in good shape. IF this were August, I’d be right next to you panicking like crazy. Have patience is all I’m saying, although fans can afford to panic, players can’t.

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Matt, so you’re saying that if we keep playing like this, swimming or floating above .500 for the next couple months, and the Sox keep playing .600-.650 baseball, that we’l still have enough time to suddenly catch up ? No way. You can forget about the division if this keeps up. No, I’m not asking for the team to have 10 game wins streaks, but having a homestand where we win six or seven out of ten is more like it, and not neccesarily in a row, but you get it. That’s how we need to play on a cosistent basis to compete, and the ballclub is not built that way right now, and it’s not because of JUST our pitching, but sometimes our offense flattens out too, you know?And that’s expected, it’s not like we’re going to go out and score five-six-seven every night, but ( A-Rod, Posada or not ) we’ve got to find some type of balance. By the way, that WAS actually Cliff Lee on the 4 train yesterday afternoon. Kind of crazy isn’t it? Hopefully we can keep this up, like we did today, where we PITCHED and HIT. I’d like to see us take two out of three, two out of four, sweep a series ( post Seattle ). That’s when we’re set. To do that, we have to be consistent, and when we fall, find a way to get back up, quickly. Yesterday should’ve been a day where we got back up, but we didn’t and maybe we can credit that to Cliff Lee, who’s been a tough cookie, or whatever. But jeeze, he won’t be the onlyu toughpitcher we face this year, and we’ve got to do better than that, period.

Rasner and Igawa HAVE to pitch and keep us in games, because we can’t expect the front three to keep up their great work, they will faulter too. Cano, Giambi, they’ve woken up, finally, and now e’re scoring runs, so hopefully that problem is out of the way. Detroit’s coming back in tommorow, let’s whip some a–, ah?

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The highlight of Betamit’s season, watch him strike out in his next 5 ABs

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This sound like the same garbage I heard last season hen the Yanks got off to their slow start last season. No, the season isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon, and the most important games are the ones late in the season, so this team has plenty of time to right the ship, especially since no one has been able to run away with the division. Is this team flawless? No. It still has major flaws in the pitching staff and the offense. Can this team win at least the Wild Card? I think so. Teams like Baltimore, Toronto, Tampa, Oakland, Chicago, and Minnesota just don’t have the talent or the experience to be there in the end. They will most likely do what they always do, fade away. So those teams have problems of their own.

However, this team is going to have to make majore improvements in its pitching staff in order to compete for a Wild Card, especially since 40% of the staff is no longer in the majors. With a little luck Hughes and Kennedy will be back before the end of the season. In the meantime it’s going to have to rely on the usual people to get them through their problems just like last season with Wang and Pettitte. Like it or not Wang is the staff ace of this team, and heas shown why. Pettitte has shown he is still the stopper on this staff and has pitched better than his numbers indicate. Mussina has been ok but can’t get beyond the 5th or 6th innings so he isn’t going to much relief to an overworked pen. Also have to wonder how much longer he can go before breaking down. Rasner had a good start against a weaker team, hopefully he can keep it up. Igawa has been nothing but terrible since the Yanks got him so we can expect to see the same old garbage from him, unfortunatley this team doesn’t have much in the way of alternatives above AA except Steven White who has better stuff than Rasner or Igawa. As for the pen it’s at best decent. Farnsworth has had a good year surprisingly but I’m not buying it yet, and Chamberlain and Rivera are lights out as expect, beyond that the pen is shaky. Traber is no longer with the team after winning a spot in the pen, Bruney is out for the season after a good start, Hawkins has been a disaster, ohlendorf has been up and down so far. This pen is going to need a legit long man otherwise it will burn itself out early in the second half of the season so it’s not really in a good state right now. I just don’t see how anyone can say this staff has made alot of stride from last season when it’s in trouble.

As for the offense, I personally thing it will eventually come around, it’s just too good to keep hitting like it has, but what do you expect when key players in the lineup struggle, and injuries take away key players like Jeter and A-Rod. You add to that it has been a very difficult schedule, and inclimate weather, you have to say the Yanks have been lucky that no one has run away with anything. Anything can happen and most likely will, we as fans need to stay patient and things will themselves out as they did somewhat last season. There is still plenty of time to turn things around.

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Bet you didn’t see that coming.

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Get off Betamit’s back? I don’t think so!!! At best that no-talent is barely a mediocre player. He’s awaste of a roster spot period. This guy can’t even hit so it doesn’t matter how much “pop” he has in his bat, he offers nothing, and he has shown that. I would rather have Ensberg, Duncan, and Gonzalez in the lineup, at least they have talent. Betamit only offers Ks on this team, if given a chance he will strikeout more than Ensberg, Duncan or Gonzalez combined. He barely has a BA and once again we have seen how impotent he is with the bat. He has absolutely no trade value whatsoever, period. Also he has had plenty of chances since coming in the trade with the Dodgers. They absolutely got the better of the deal there.It’s what he does with those chances that count the most. So if he hasn’t had that many opportunities or if they have been inconsistent that’s his own fault. Tells you what kind of player he is. It’s always a mistake to swap a player who has a little offensive ability for one who has absolutely none. Don’t know what player you’ve been watching but Betamit isn’t one who you should be defending swahili or should I say bpark.

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Swahili is remaining faithful. We’ll see if the team is better in the coming weeks. You must have a crystal ball. I’m all for seeing this team become who they are, the Yankees. They aren’t playing like that right now. I don’t see how “time” is going to make a difference. If it does, and the team does “gel”, I’m all for it. I’d like the team to become stable ( A-Rod manning third, Posada catching with his Nike gear behind the “house”. )again and start playing baseball correctly before anything. You’re right about Hughes and Kennedy, but wrong about Duncan. Lack of playng time ( seeing live pitching, fielding ) is what has him struggling. Rasner and Igawa should provide league average stuff, anything better and it’s gravy baby. I forget that the bats are on silent mode too, so we’ll need to score more than “0” runs a game anyway. This team needs to find themselves right now. As I said before, the chemistry sucks. Giambi and Cano NEED to pick it up, soon. They’re both integral parts of the big O, and pitchers are having a picnic with both right now. Dude? Betemit has more upside than Gonzalez and Duncan? I don’t know man, hope you’re right, because Gonzo isn;t here anymore and Girardi is allergic to Duncan. Diddo with Ensberg.

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Perhaps I’m missing something….Yanks, Rays, Blue Jays only a few games behind Red Sox…with 80% of the season remaining…Yanks pitching staff has made. a tremendous amount of progress…Donot discount older/minor league pitcher like Rasner…maintained good command of pitches and composure during tight situaltions…he is hungry for this opportunity and will not let it slip away…Igawa will do well, too…neither do not want to return to AAA. Best thing that could have happen to Kennedy and Huges was their subsequent demotions to the minor…a slap and humility and reality along with refining their deliverys was needed…will be better prepared mechanically and mentally when they return in August. Giambi and Cano will pick up slack in offense….Get off Wilson Betamits back…A-Rod, Abreau, Giambi, et al are leaving too many men on base in scoring position…all are hitting less than .230 with runners in scoring position…Betemit has not been given an opportunity to display the pop in his bat !…Has more upside with the bat than Gonzalez, Ensberg and Duncan….Is also a better fielder than Ensberg and Duncan and can adequately play each infield position. Ensberg should be released and Duncan returned to AAA. This team will jell in the coming weeks…hitting and pitching will match…you’ll be singing a different song, then.

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I can here Knuk on baseball tonight; “The Yankees are done”. You know what he might be right.

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Aussie B will be signing out after tonight’s game, I hope he enjoy the 3 and 5 homestand.

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here’s a text-message for the batting practice screen, Bryan..

“What in the wide wide world of sports is going on, Yankees?”

(from Blazing Saddles)

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I agree Nodigidee. Contrary to the belief of most, these games, you know, the ones we’re playing now, are the one’s that count most. It’s almost like starting out a relay race. You want that first runner to complete his meters as quick as posible so the advantage is great by the time the next runnner grabs hold of the metal. Same thing here, the Red Sox are — in retrospect — running away with this division. They’re already ahead five games. FIVE games, and we’re in May. I could care less about faith, patience… whatever. I’m telling it like it is. This team , right now, is going to struggle to make the Wild Card. First of all, we have this bullcrap of pitching and not hitting.. and then hitting and not pitching. And though we can handle the latter mor ehtan former, we need to pitch enough, and score enough. You see, it all starts out with the team chemistry, and this team is running on fumes in that department. GOD, I mean come on. Wang lost? Three runs, seven strong, and he loses? So who’s going to win for us now. We all knew — like Hank said– that Wang wasn’t going to continue to be perfect, and that we ciuldn’t win ONE out of ever five games. Now that Wang has lost, we don’t even have those odds. This ballclub sucks right now, and it is dissapointing to see the way we’ve been performing. Okay, yeah, Clif Lee was pitching today, but if we score no runs it doesn’t matter who the heck is pitching. Oh yeah, we had seven hits today, same amount the Tribe had. No excuses. This team right now is built poorly, you’re seeing different faces every other day, I mean, how the heck does that look. From fan’s standpoint, it must look embarassing. I’m going to tell you how it feels from a player’s standpoint: Pathetic. Jeter won’ttell you, A-Rod won’t tell, nobody will, but believe me, these guys are pissed off that they feel they’re playing on a merry go round, and not a team. Kennedy was sent, okay, we’ll see Igawa now. Hughes gone, okay, let’s Rasner come back up. Oh what? Betemit, pink eye? So now he’s activated, and Gonzo, a guy who was prving to be useful on the field and drawing great praise from teammates is gone in favor of a ghost?

This team is struggling right npw, and don’ get me wrong, I’m a Yankee fan til death, but I tel it like it is, and this team is looking very pathetic right now. People are laughing at us… and rightly so. We have no stability. We’re like a damsel in distress. Playoffs here we come.

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They swept Seattle…big whoop. They’re supposed to beat Seattle. Now they’re on the verge of being swept by Cleveland and possibly be 6.5 games back. This team is disgusting!!!

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YANKEES MINOR LEAGUE SCOREBOARD May 7, 2008
CORRECTED

Charlotte (White Sox) 1
Scranton/WB 5
W: S. White (3-1, 2.68); L: T. Ohka (0-6, 6.03)
HR: SWB: G. Porter (1).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_05_07_chraaa_swbaaa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Trenton 6
Erie (Tigers) 0
W: P. Coke (2-1, 4.26); L: D. Christensen (0-4, 4.46)
HR: TRE: E. Gonzalez (1).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_05_07_treaax_eswaax_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Tampa 2
Brevard County (Brewers) 1
W: R. Pope (3-2, 2.23); L: D. Hand (3-2, 2.44); SV: J. Valdez (1)
HR: BRE: S. Chapman (6).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_05_07_tbyafa_breafa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Charleston 3
Asheville (Rockies) 9
W: C. Rodriguez (3-1, 1.20); L: J. Hoover (2-1, 4.96)
HR: ASH: J. Cunningham (5).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_05_07_crdafx_ashafx_1&t=g_box&did=milb
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.

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YANKEES MINOR LEAGUE SCOREBOARD May 7, 2008

Charlotte (White Sox) 1
Scranton/WB 5
W: S. White (3-1, 2.68); L: T. Ohka (0-6, 6.03)
HR: SWB: G. Porter (1).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_05_07_chraaa_swbaaa_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Trenton 6
Erie (Tigers) 0
W: P. Coke (2-1, 4.26); L: D. Christensen (0-4, 4.46)
HR: TRE: E. Gonzalez (1).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_05_07_treaax_eswaax_1&t=g_box&did=milb
Tampa 2
Brevard County (Brewers) 1
W: R. Pope (3-2, 2.23); L: D. Hand (3-2, 2.44); SV: J. Valdez (1)
HR: BRE: S. Chapman (6).
Charleston 3
Asheville (Rockies) 9
W: C. Rodriguez (3-1, 1.20); L: J. Hoover (2-1, 4.96)
HR: ASH: J. Cunningham (5).
http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_05_07_crdafx_ashafx_1&t=g_box&did=milb
You may also see http://www.yankeesdaily.com for details.

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bpoop,

Again, in Betamit’s own words, he attributed only 5ABs to his problem with pink eye, and those were at night. He claimed to have have had no problems with seeing the ball during the daytime. So that’s not an excuse. He has never been much of an offensive ball player. The only GM who ever had a crush on him was Cashman and he cost this team a good relief pitcher. Highly doubtful any other GMs had or ever will be high onthat no-talent. I wasn’t all that excited about the Yanks getting Ensberg, but at least he has more talent than Betapuke as does Gonzalez and Duncan. He has no value whatsoever. IF a team wants him they will wait until the Yanks cut him.

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Yeah, that’s what I thought when it came to Clemens and the Olympic team.If that’s the position they are taking with Clemens, you can just imagine what position the Yanks are taking with Clemens and how much of a distraction he is.

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That’s what I have been saying, this team doesn’t have many good pitching options above AA, and no team is going to make any trades this time of year. Betamit has no trade value whatsoever, what GM (other than bpoop) would think that. A GM would have to have rocks in his head to give up any talent whatsoever for a no-talent who can’t even hit .180. If there is one other than bpoop) then he will wait for the Yanks to cut him or just look for another option. Missing out on Betamit wouldn’t be a big loss at all. I’m also for a Clemens filter.

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Looking a Lee’s previous years, this year seems alittle unusual, he had wins total last year. We need Gonzo back, I’d rather let him start while Arod’s not here, it will help if Gonzo ends up on the playoff roster.

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Morgan is not kind of a big deal. That strikeout in the 5th hurts ‘em.

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Wang’s ERA is a hair over 3.0, Lee is .87 Quite remarkable.

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Doesn’t seem to be much of an indication as to why they got into it with a delivery man.

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Please, lets get a Clemens filter on this blog.

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Lee has a .87 ERA, that has to be close to Clemens’ Houston ERA.

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As long as we don’t see Karstens, I guess Igawa could finally show us some return on the large investment.

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Tough to say. Right now you’re looking at a scrap heap of free agents. Teams aren’t going to fall over themselves to trade pitching to help the Yankees out and, as I mentioned in the mailbag, even if a team is inclined to eventually trade pitching … why do it in May? Even a non-contender can get more and still sell tickets if they wait until July.

The Yankees are going to have to sink or swim here on their own. They’re going to give Igawa and Rasner at least two turns to see if they can find the answer from within.

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Why would Spenser do something like that? If he was playing football, Roger Goodell would suspend him for the season.

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Bryan,

As a reporter, you may have some inside info and may decline to share. Kei Igawa seems like the fallback that Andy Phillips, Bubba Crosby and Wilson Betemit were but no one believed Cashman that they were our starters. If Cash is looking to upgrade the position, the 4th or 5th spot in the rotation, what is some names we might hear mentioned in the coming weeks either through limited free agency or trade?

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I’ll always remember Karim Garcia for relieving himself on the side of a pizza shop in Port St. Lucie, Fla. That was the spring Shane Spencer punched the delivery guy. Bad Mets team. Art Howe had no chance.

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One of the best was when Pavano left his car in the Yankee Stadium parking lot for weeks. I mean, it rained on this thing and it got real dirty. Anyway, eventually they painted over the ’45’ for Pavano and replaced it with ’22’ for Clemens, but the car remained. We wrote about it half-jokingly and the next day someone (a fan?) put up there:

Idle, move your car

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Ok Bryan, I got the funniest one and this is a classic, Pedro Martinez “Who the h.e.l.l. is Karim Garcia”, the funny think is nobody really knows now.

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How about leaving a message saying “Honor Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill”.

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Bryan, let us in the Pavano messages.

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Funny movies? Depends on your idea of humor. First Sunday was funny, so was Adam Sandler’s last movie pretending to be a gay fireman to get housing benefit. On a stand up level, I don’t think I have seen better than Tommy Davidson “Illin’ n Philly”.

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We know that ain’t happening unless we get something for him, I’d rather Gonzo play everyday to ARod comes back, he could have got ABs here.

Wang 52 pitchers through 2 and 1/3.

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Ensberg has done his job. I’d much rather see Ensberg than Betamit.

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Can we get rid of Ensburglar and go with Gonzo?

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.91 era and we’re losing.

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