On nights like last night, when the Yankees played Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” in tribute to those affected by the tragedies at the Boston Marathon, the music that comes through the public address system at Yankee Stadium can serve as a poignant tribute. Diamond himself tweeted his appreciation to the Yankees for playing the song, which has become a fan favorite at Fenway Park:
Thank you NY Yankees for playing ‘Sweet Caroline’ for the people of Boston. You scored a home run in my heart. With respect, Neil #OneBoston
— Neil Diamond (@NeilDiamond) April 17, 2013
It’s certainly not on the same emotional scale as what we saw last night, but some of the most common requests I have received over the years via e-mail – and, later, Twitter – have been about player music.
For example, we all know Mariano Rivera’s entrance song is Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” (in case you missed it, check out this story I did in Sept. 2011 about why that is), and will be until the day he hangs up his cutter.
The ‘batting stings’ up and down the Yankees lineup, however, seem to change every year and often more frequently than that. I reached out to the Yankees’ scoreboard department last week to try to organize an updated 2013 track listing for the hitters. I tweeted a few out last night and am pleased to pass the full list along to you here. Happy downloading!
Brett Gardner – “Guitar Slinger” by Crossin Dixon
Robinson Cano – “Started from the Bottom” by Drake
Kevin Youkilis – “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” by Soulja Boy
Travis Hafner – “Symphony of Destruction” by Megadeth
Vernon Wells – “Awesome God” by R. Swift
Ichiro Suzuki – “Drop it Like It’s Hot” by Snoop
Francisco Cervelli – “Pegaito Suavecito” by “Various Artists”
Lyle Overbay – (has not yet selected a song)
Jayson Nix – “No-Leaf Clover” by Metallica
Brennan Boesch – “Blueprint” by Jay-Z
Chris Stewart – “Forsaken” by Skillet
Ben Francisco – “Da Rockwilder” by Method Man & Redman
Eduardo Nunez – “Ella Ta To” by Chimbala
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the families who were affected by the bombings and our respect and admiration go out to the police, medical personnel and first responders who acted so heroically. We stand united with the participants, volunteers, staff and spectators of the Boston Marathon and the people of Boston.
“While we do not comment on safety and security measures at Yankee Stadium, this has always been our top priority and the public can be assured we are working with all levels of law enforcement and our own security personnel to ensure a safe environment.”
To honor those lost and those affected by the recent events in Boston and to pay tribute to the strength and resiliency of the greater Boston community, the Yankees will hold a moment of silence prior to tonight’s game vs. Arizona. In addition, the Yankees will play Fenway favorite “Sweet Caroline” over the PA in between the third and fourth innings.
Here’s a very cool video that is now live on MLB.com, as CC Sabathia, Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano discuss Jackie Robinson’s impact and enduring legacy. Today, as you probably know, is Jackie Robinson Day; on this date in 1947, Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier by taking the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. As Major League Baseball has done since 1997, all players on the field today will wear No. 42 in Robinson’s honor.
There may be no big league baseball in New York on this day, as neither the Yankees or Mets are in action within the city limits, but the Yankees will pay tribute by having all of their players wear No. 42 tomorrow. Joe Girardi said yesterday that the teams don’t necessarily need to be on the field to honor Robinson’s impact.
“I think you can honor Jackie Robinson without playing baseball in New York,” Girardi said. “I’ve talked about taking my kids to see the movie. I mean, that’s honoring Jackie Robinson, because I want them to know what this man went through and what his legacy is, and how important he has been to our country. I think there’s a lot of ways that you can honor someone without necessarily playing a game.”
Judging by the weekend box office numbers, Girardi wasn’t alone in planning to see ’42.’ Having seen it recently, I can highly recommend that idea. It’s an excellent film and any baseball fan would enjoy it.
The Yankees are 3-0 this season in series finales, a record they’ll try to improve tonight as the Yanks and Orioles wrap up their three-game weekend set here at Yankee Stadium.
Robinson Cano is back in the No. 3 spot in the lineup as the Yanks face left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, with Vernon Wells bumped up to the No. 2 spot. Ben Francisco is also taking over for Travis Hafner in the DH spot, stepping into his role as the DH against lefties, but Girardi said he had to keep Lyle Overbay at first base in the lineup because Eduardo Nunez isn’t ready to return from his wrist injury.
If Nunez was in the lineup, Girardi said he would’ve shifted Kevin Youkilis to first base and played Jayson Nix at third base. Hiroki Kuroda is on the hill for the Yanks in tonight’s 8:05 p.m. game, televised on ESPN.
Curtis Granderson is in New York for a checkup on his right wrist and shagged fly balls today at Yankee Stadium, and he’s also taking part in a charity event at a Brooklyn high school tomorrow morning.
We’ll have those updates on Yankees.com shortly, but I wanted to pass along Granderson’s scouting report on Derek Jeter’s progress since updates have become a bit scarce — even Joe Girardi has stopped asking for Jeter’s daily progress report, saying, “I’m not going to actively seek it out every day. It’s kind of a pain in the rear end.”
That seems to suggest that Jeter isn’t close to getting into any games, and Girardi said he didn’t know what Jeter did today. But Granderson offered a more encouraging take on how the captain has looked down at the club’s Minor League complex in Tampa:
“He’s looking good. Our schedules don’t always mix, but the one day which was a physically difficult day for us, he was taking batting practice that day and the ball was going all over the place. He was driving it well to left field, to right field, to center field, and I got a lot of work that day out there shagging when him and his group were hitting. That’s a good sign. In terms of all his throwing and running and all that good stuff, I don’t see that all the time, but I did see his hitting that day and it all looked really good.”
The triple play that the Yankees turned last night was, depending on who you talked to, a thing of beauty, an incredible rarity or a display of poor baserunning by the Orioles.
Actually, maybe it was all three. You just don’t see the old 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 very often — this was the first one in Major League history. It was the Yankees’ first triple play at home 1968, when they turned one at the old Yankee Stadium against the Twins (Dooley Womack to Bobby Cox to Mickey Mantle, hit by Johnny Roseboro). The Yankees also turned one back in 2010 at Oakland (Alex Rodriguez to Robinson Cano to Nick Johnson on a grounder hit by Kurt Suzuki).
Even Joe Girardi’s kids appreciated the rarity of last night’s events, the Yankees manager said.
“I haven’t looked at it on replay. I saw it live so I do remember what happened,” Girardi said. “It’s interesting. My kids commented on it. My son [Dante] said it was awesome when I got home and then my daughter [Lena] said something, my six year old: ‘The triple out was really cool, Dad.’ So, I thought that was kind of neat. They knew that it was a rare occurrence and you’re not going to see it every day.”
Phil Hughes and Jason Hammel are today’s starting pitchers for the 4:05 p.m. ET game between New York and Baltimore, the second game of a six-game homestand.
The Yankees and Indians were rained out for the second consecutive day on Thursday at Progressive Field, prompting Joe Girardi to question how teams’ schedules are set for the early part of the season.
Girardi’s Yankees won the first two games of the series against the Indians before inclement weather forced the postponements of contests on Wednesday and Thursday. No makeup dates have been announced, and this is the Yankees’ only scheduled trip to Cleveland this season.
“I don’t think you can come to cold weather cities [in April] if you’re only going to go there once,” Girardi said. “I think you’ve got to stay within your division first.”
Thursday’s game was scheduled as a 7:05 p.m. ET game and officially announced as postponed at approximately 9 p.m.
“I know teams want night games and I understand that,” Girardi said. “But if you would’ve had a day game today, it gives you a longer window to play the game.”
Girardi said that he expects the two games to be made up as a day-night doubleheader on May 13, a mutual off-day for New York and Cleveland, but that has not been finalized or officially announced.
“I don’t think there’s anything else you can do,” Girardi said.
Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes said he never warmed up on Thursday and will now be assigned to the bullpen for a few days. CC Sabathia will start as scheduled against the Orioles on Friday at Yankee Stadium.
Ivan Nova had been scheduled to start on Wednesday against the Indians and is also will be in the bullpen behind Sabathia on Friday, when more inclement weather is in the forecast.
“We’ll just keep everyone on target as much as we can, as many guys as we can,” Girardi said. “The other two guys, I know it’s tough, but it’s what we’re going to do.”
Hughes said he that will be in the bullpen on Friday and Saturday, and is lining up to pitch next Tuesday against the D-backs in New York. He had no issues with how Thursday’s game was handled.
“We’ve gone through rain delays before,” Hughes said. “You just have to sit it out and wait. Everybody was looking at the radar and it didn’t look good. We were just kind of holding tight and hoping we would get a window in, but obviously that didn’t happen.”
Based upon the weather information the Yankees were getting last night, Joe Girardi seemed to think there was no way that there would be baseball tonight at Progressive Field.
Guess what? The skies seem to be clearing over Cleveland, so Phil Hughes and Zach McAllister may get to pitch tonight as the Yanks and Indians wrap up a four-game series that was shaved to three games by last night’s rainout.
It’s raining, but the Indians say the game is scheduled to start at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET.
Hughes is feeling better after battling a stomach virus yesterday and should be able to get on the mound; if not, Ivan Nova is on call out of the bullpen.
The forecast still isn’t wonderful, but it’s improving, and we’ll keep you posted if they’re able to get on the field. Girardi said that his feeling is “once the rain starts, it’s probably not going to stop,” so we’ll see what happens.
- A few notes to pass along — Curtis Granderson posted a photo to his Facebook page showing that the brace has been removed from his right wrist and that he has been cleared for non-baseball activities. Girardi said that Granderson resumed throwing on Thursday. … Mark Teixeira will have his right wrist looked at by Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser on Friday in New York and believes he’ll be cleared to start swinging a fungo bat. … Derek Jeter had the day off down at the Yanks’ training complex.
The Yankees decided to keep their rotation on track after Wednesday’s contest against the Indians was rained out, naming Phil Hughes as their scheduled starter for Thursday and skipping Ivan Nova.
New York and Cleveland are planning to play their originally scheduled 7:05 p.m. ET contest on Thursday. No makeup date for Wednesday’s postponed game was immediately announced, but manager Joe Girardi suggested that May 13 – an off-day for the Yanks following their road trip to Colorado and Kansas City – could mark a possible return to Progressive Field.
Hughes has been fighting a stomach virus, but his health is improving enough that the Yankees are comfortable planning on giving him the ball for Thursday’s game.
“He feels better,” Girardi said. “If he doesn’t feel good enough to make his start, it will be Nova.”
Girardi said that the plan is to have Nova, who was scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, available to pitch out of the bullpen for a few days and then slot him in to rejoin the rotation next week.
“I know that CC [Sabathia] and company have to pitch every five days,” Nova said. “I understand that part and I’ve just got to be ready when they tell me to go out there.
“I feel really good when my day to pitch is coming. All I want to do is go out there and pitch. Now I’ve got to wait five more days. It’s going to be like, for me, a month.”
The Indians are planning to start Zach McAllister as originally scheduled in Thursday’s game.
Girardi said that he did not want to push his rotation back because Monday’s off-day would create a scenario where Andy Pettitte would receive seven days of rest. Girardi acknowledged that Thursday’s forecast for the Cleveland area is also ugly.
“We’re going to probably get banged tomorrow too,” Girardi said. “Hopefully we don’t.”
Robinson Cano connected for his third home run in the last two games and Indians starter Carlos Carrasco was ejected after drilling Kevin Youkilis in the back as the Yankees opened up an early seven-run lead on Tuesday at Progressive Field.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona didn’t appreciate the ejection and made that clear to home plate umpire Jordan Baker, but there’s not much they can do about it now. The way Carrasco was pitching, he wasn’t long for this one anyway.
Ichiro Suzuki also has a home run and Brett Gardner picked up a two-run single for the Yankees, who are leaning on Andy Pettitte to hold the big advantage and deliver New York’s third consecutive victory. There’s a much smaller crowd on hand here in Cleveland after yesterday’s Opening Day festivities, and the way things are going, the tally of those in attendance will probably thin a little bit more as we head into the late innings.