Game 96: Yankees at Rays
ST. PETERSBURG — Interesting read on the front page of the St. Petersburg Times this morning, on the criticism of Tropicana Field and how it affects attendance.
With CC Sabathia starting on his 31st birthday today, I filed a column on his recent stretch, his chances of winning 300 and the possibility that he’s only reaching his prime right now.
CC (pictured right by The Associated Press) said he hasn’t made a decision yet on whether or not to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract (though the popular belief is that there’s no way he wouldn’t, considering how well he’s pitching, how important he is to the Yankees and how slim the free-agent crop of starters will be this offseason).
Asked if he can see himself finishing his career in New York, he said: “Of course. This is definitely one of the storied franchises in baseball, and to be able to be a part of it and win a championship two years ago was great. Hopefully I can continue to be here.”
Asked if he feels the Yankees need to make a rotation addition before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, CC said: “We’re good. Of course, you can always try to do something, but with the way we pitched this year, I think we can be good enough to make the playoffs.”
Interesting lineup prior to the rematch of CC and James Shields. Curtis Granderson is out, as expected, after getting banged up on Wednesday. And Brett Gardner is leading off, with Derek Jeter batting second, as Joe Girardi hinted at prior to Wednesday’s game. The fact Granderson and Alex Rodriguez are both out made that a pretty easy decision.
Only time will tell if Gardner continues to lead off on a consistent basis moving forward, but Girardi did say he has no problem leading him off against a lefty starter now …
Pitching: LH Sabathia (14-4, 2.64 ERA)
Pitching: RH Shields (8-8, 2.60 ERA)
Some other links from last night …
* Yanks-Rays game story on redemption
* Yankees Notebook, on Granderson, Nova, lineups and roofs
* Preview for Shields and CC