It may be safe to erase that image from your mind’s eye of Robinson Cano suiting up in Dodgers blue and becoming the next Hollywood star. Magic Johnson said it isn’t going to happen.
Johnson held court with reporters before Los Angeles’ National League Division Series game in Atlanta last night and said that while Cano obviously has the talent to bring down a huge deal in free agency, the Dodgers have another pressing need to attend to — re-signing ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw.
“I can’t talk about the other guy (Cano),” Johnson said, “but you already know that guy in New York is going to be paid. Not by us. But he’s going to get paid.”
Johnson expanded on his thoughts when specifically asked about Cano by the New York Post:
“You can’t have two guys, I mean, come on man, anybody who knows numbers. A year from now, two, here comes Hanley [Ramirez]. We’ve got guys we need to keep. When it is all said and done the numbers probably don’t add up.’’
Cano and his representation group, the Jay-Z founded Roc Nation Sports, will obviously be looking to make a splash in free agency this winter. For baseball and marketing purposes, it has been difficult to imagine a scenario where the group would steer Cano away from New York. L.A. might have been one option, but without the Dodgers planning to bid, it continues to be the safe bet that the Yankees and Cano will eventually hash out an agreement.
NEW YORK — The Yankees hope to retain Joe Girardi as their manager and are set to open negotiations on a new contract, general manager Brian Cashman said on Tuesday.
Cashman said that he met for coffee with Girardi on Monday and has scheduled a meeting for Wednesday with Girardi’s agent, Steve Mandell. Girardi’s three-year, $9 million pact is set to expire in November.
“I’m not speaking for Joe, but I think if you’re good at what you do, you’ll have opportunities to stay,” Cashman said. “He’s definitely going to have that. We’re going to give him a real good reason to stay. He’s earned that.”
The 2013 season marked Girardi’s sixth at the helm of the Yankees. Over that span, Girardi has compiled a 564-408 regular season record, winning one World Series but also missing the playoffs twice.
Girardi said during the Yankees’ season-ending series in Houston that he has loved his time with the organization, but that he has not made up his mind about managing in 2014.
“It comes down to family,” Girardi said on Sunday. “They are first, and whatever is best for the group of us – not one individual, not me or just my wife or just one of my children – whatever is best for us as a group, that’s what we’ll decide to do.
“And that’s something I’ve put some thought into and I’m going to have to think about a lot of the next few days. But that’s a decision that we’ll sit down and make and decide what’s best.”
He has been mentioned in media reports as a candidate for the Cubs’ managerial vacancy, as Chicago parted ways with Dale Sveum this week, but Girardi said on Sunday that his connections to the Windy City are not as strong as they once were.
Asked if he would grant the Cubs permission to speak with Girardi, Cashman declined to comment.
“We can’t control what other options or interests may be out there,” Cashman said. “If you’re good at what you do, people are going to have some interest. You can’t predict the future on that; you can only control your side of it. I feel we hired a good one.
“He’s been a world champion player for us, a coach, a broadcaster, and obviously a world champion manager. We’ve benefited from having him and we’d like to do that going forward. We’ll have to stay tuned and see how it plays out.”
Cashman said that if Girardi returns, the Yankees would also be interested in retaining the entire coaching staff: bench coach Tony Pena, hitting coach Kevin Long, pitching coach Larry Rothschild, infield coach Mick Kelleher and outfield coach Rob Thomson.
“They’re not technically free agents until Oct. 31,” Cashman said. “If Girardi comes back, I would like to have our coaches back, and I think Girardi feels the same way. But ultimately because of the way the process needs to work, the manager has to be decided first and then you can focus on the coaches.”
Though the Yankees posted only 85 victories in 2013, their lowest total since 1988, Cashman said that Girardi has been “consistently tremendous” in making the most of his roster and keeping the club motivated.
“This year was unique in a lot of different ways and he was able to still maintain that leadership, keep these guys hungry and motivated and not give up,” Cashman said. “They never did. I never saw that. Thumbs up. I thought he did a great job, him and his staff.”
Mariano Rivera just closed his playing career with yet another classy gesture, apologizing to the Astros organization, players and fans for not participating in this season-ending three game series at Minute Maid Park.
“I want to make sure to apologize to the Houston Astros players and the great fans in Houston, because I couldn’t compete my last three days of the season,” he said. “I apologize for that.
“I want to leave with the game I played at Yankee Stadium on Thursday — I want to keep that memory of mine. For that, I apologize. You guys deserved more, but I’m being a little selfish.”
Rivera was honored in a pre-game ceremony here in Houston, one attended by former Yankees manager Joe Torre as well as Rivera’s former teammate Roger Clemens. The Astros presented Rivera with a 13-panel painting by a local artist, depicting moments from Rivera’s life, including a scene of a fisherman and his son on a boat in Panama.
In his brief remarks, Torre said, “You don’t get the chance to manage 12 years for George Steinbrenner unless you have someone like this coming out of the bullpen.”
Clemens added: “We’re going to miss that cool jog coming in from center field. There’s not too many sure things in this world.”
On Saturday, Rivera announced that he did not plan to play in this series, saying that the Yankee Stadium ending had been too perfect. He also revealed that he has been dealing with soreness in his right forearm and right knee for quite some time.
Rivera and Andy Pettitte brought out the lineup card for the Yankees. Manager Joe Girardi said before the game that he’d ask Rivera and Pettitte if they wanted to manage the game; it looks like they might accept that offer.
Mariano Rivera has thrown his final pitch. The all-time saves leader said on Saturday that he will not take the mound during this series against the Astros, instead letting his Yankee Stadium finale serve as his final Major League appearance.
“I’m done, guys. I’m done. I gave everything that I have,” Rivera said. “I think Thursday was the game that I left everything on the field.”
Rivera said that he has been pitching with “tremendous soreness in my arm,” and that “I was giving everything. I left it there.” He said that giving the ball to Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter at the conclusion of Thursday’s appearance against the Rays gave him complete closure.
“I know it was the perfect moment. It was something I would have never expected,” Rivera said, adding, “I think I squeezed every ounce of fuel out of my tank. It is empty. I have nothing left.”
HOUSTON — Alex Rodriguez said that he is “excited” to begin his appeal of the 211-game performance-enhancing drug suspension levied in August by Major League Baseball.
Rodriguez said that he to be present for each day of the proceedings at MLB’s offices in New York, and expects the appeal process to take five days.
“This has been a burden; a big burden. Let’s get it on,” Rodriguez said. “It starts on Monday. Better to face it head on.”
Rodriguez is not expected to play this weekend against the Astros. He will complete the season batting .244 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs in 44 games, and now can turn his attention to his battle with MLB.
“I’ll be there every day,” Rodriguez said. “I’m fighting for my life and my whole legacy. I should be there. I hope everyone’s there.”
HOUSTON — Mariano Rivera’s playing career may have ended with that tearful embrace on the mound this week at Yankee Stadium.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he has given Rivera the option of pitching in any of the club’s final games against the Astros here at Minute Maid Park. Rivera told Girardi that he is unavailable again on Saturday, and though Rivera has the right to change his mind, Girardi seems to believe that Rivera will not pitch in Houston.
Rivera’s memorable exit in the Bronx, Girardi said, created a perfect way to go out.
“I think that’s a big part of it,” Girardi said. “That was a special night for him, the way it unfolded. I think he wants it to end that way. But you know, if he changes his mind, it’s OK. Whatever he wants to do.”
Girardi also said that he does not believe Rivera will play center field in Houston; again, his choice. Rivera has long pined for that chance, but seemed to have backed off of his desire earlier this week when Girardi said he was “absolutely” considering it.
“I don’t think we’re probably going to see that as well,” Girardi said. “At least I gave him the opportunity. It’s his decision.”
Rivera is expected to speak to reporters at the conclusion of batting practice.
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (82-75) and Rays (88-69) play the second game of a three-game series here at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees still have a mathematical chance of securing a playoff spot, but the tragic number is at one. Realistically, this is going to be a dark October in the Bronx.
The Yankees’ clubhouse was filled with cardboard boxes and that ripping sound of packing tape this afternoon. That pretty much tells you everything that you need to know.
“You still have a shot, but it’s really remote obviously,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “You have to win every game and the other teams can’t win games. As I talked about yesterday, we had the tough loss on Sunday and we didn’t swing the bats yesterday, and it’s difficult because you work so long to have an opportunity to make the playoffs, and we really hurt our chances.”
David Price (8-8, 3.43 ERA) is getting the call for Tampa Bay, and this could be the final Yankee Stadium start for Phil Hughes, who will try to finish his terrible season (4-13, 5.07 ERA) on a strong note.
“He’s had some good times and some rough times,” Hughes said. “It’s a guy that had a couple big years as a starter, had a big year out of the bullpen. He’s struggled this year. This year has been a struggle for him, and from a personal standpoint, if you’re going to pick a year to struggle as a player, this is not the year to do it.
“For that, I feel bad for him. I know how bad he wants to do well and be successful for this club and this franchise; he loves it here. I feel bad for him. He was a big part of our success in 2009, what he did in that bullpen, he secured that bullpen and us getting to the playoffs the next couple years. He had some big years for us.”
Here are the quick hits:
- The Yankees are holding a 6:50 p.m. ceremony on the field to honor Andy Pettitte. He’ll receive a gift from Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera on behalf of the organization.
- Girardi said there is “probably a good chance” Rivera will pitch on Thursday against the Rays, which would be his final Yankee Stadium appearance.
- Travis Hafner was activated from the disabled list this afternoon. Girardi said he might use Hafner as a pinch-hitter.
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (79-68) and Red Sox (89-59) get set to kick off a three-game weekend series here at Fenway Park.
Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.99) has the ball for the Yankees, and John Lackey (9-12, 3.48) goes for Boston. It was raining here this afternoon, but the tarp is off the field and we should start on time. Temperatures are right around 70 degrees, dropping as the night goes on.
- Bad news, if not completely unexpected, for Brett Gardner. Gardner has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his left oblique, and as you know, obliques are a tricky injury to figure out. Joe Girardi acknowledged that it is possible Gardner has played his last regular season game. There is some hope that Gardner could return as a pinch-runner before he can be a full player, but that depends on how this all heals. Girardi said that he wouldn’t expect to have Gardner back for the upcoming Blue Jays series, but he could be back for the playoffs if the Yankees get that far.
- Curtis Granderson is taking over for Gardner in center field, and he’s hitting leadoff tonight. Girardi said that he can move that around as the weekend goes on, but Granderson has had the flexibility to hit in seven different lineup spots this season so it’s not really anything new. Granderson has homered in two straight games, sending rockets out to Eutaw Street in Baltimore the last two nights.
- Austin Romine took some swings today and felt OK, but they’ll be very cautious bringing him back from a concussion. It’s possible Romine won’t be available to play all weekend.
- Boone Logan may have turned a corner in his rehab of a left elbow injury, as Girardi said that Logan felt better and wants to try playing catch again. It didn’t go well yesterday, as Logan said he shut down the session after about five tosses.
- Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to play third base tomorrow. He’s DHing tonight. Girardi said that once he gets A-Rod back to third base, he could go either way with Eduardo Nunez or Brendan Ryan at shortstop.
- Who’s closing tonight? That’s a “great question,” Girardi said. It won’t be Mariano Rivera or David Robertson, apparently, though I guess you can never say that for sure. Rivera has pitched in four of the Yanks’ last five games but didn’t rule out campaigning to pitch if needed.
- Girardi on the Baltimore scorer’s decision to credit Rivera with a win instead of a save last night: “I’d like to see him get a save, but when I woke up this morning, it didn’t change my life.”
My Beat The Streak picks today: Doubling down with Ichiro Suzuki (33-for-110 vs. Lackey) and Lyle Overbay (11-for-30 vs. Lackey). The streak is at zero, and you know what? I’m beginning to think that a run at Joe D. isn’t happening. There’s always 2014.
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (76-67) and Orioles (76-66) get set to kick off a four-game series here at Camden Yards. CC Sabathia (13-11) has the ball for New York, while the Orioles counter with Chris Tillman (15-5, 3.71). It’s a nice September night here in the Inner Harbor, temperatures in the 70s and – somehow – low humidity. That won’t last all week, so let’s enjoy it while we can.
Alex Rodriguez is hitting second tonight, the first time he has done so since Aug. 26, 2006, when Joe Torre tried him there in a 12-7 loss to the Angels. Joe Girardi said that since Alfonso Soriano has been productive hitting behind Robinson Cano, he wanted to keep that alignment intact.
“[Rodriguez has] done a really good job of getting on base against right-handers and swinging the bat well against right-handers,” Girardi said. “I’m trying to break up our left-handed hitters.”
Hey, was that Derek Jeter? It was — briefly. Jeter stepped out of the trainer’s room for only a moment, and did not return the rest of the time that reporters were allowed in the clubhouse. Jeter hasn’t spoken publicly since he left Saturday’s game to have a CT scan performed.
Girardi said that he wanted to keep Jeter from doing any baseball activity on Monday, but added that Jeter could be pressed into duty on his sore ankle if anything happened to shortstop Eduardo Nunez.
“I might use him in an emergency if I had to use him tonight,” Girardi said. “That’s kind of the situation we’re in. It’s not like I have a number of shortstops lying around.”
Where have you gone, Reid Brignac? Oh, right.
The team forwarded Jeter’s CT scan results to Dr. Robert Anderson – who performed Jeter’s ankle surgery last October – but Brian Cashman said that Anderson has not yet responded with his diagnosis. Cashman added that there has been no consideration given to the idea of shutting Jeter down for the rest of the 2013 season.
“No, no, no, no,” Cashman said.
David Robertson was scheduled to play catch on Monday, testing his right arm after he was diagnosed with shoulder inflammation last week. He’s considered ahead of Boone Logan, who had a a cortisone injection administered over the weekend. Girardi seemed to be doubtful that Logan would be available until Friday against the Red Sox, but they’re hopeful Robertson could pitch in the Orioles series.
Chris Stewart is “probably not” available to play, according to Girardi. Stewart sustained a left foot contusion when he was hit by a pitch in the third inning of Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Left-hander David Huff continues to be listed as the Yankees’ probable starter on Thursday against the Orioles, though that seems less than a certainty after Huff allowed nine runs in 3 1/3 innings to the Red Sox on Saturday.
“We’re going to get through these three days and see where we’re at,” Girardi said. “I’m not saying I’m changing anything, but if we need Huff [in relief], we need Huff.”
Phil Hughes, who lost his rotation slot to Huff, could be reinstated to starting duty under that scenario.
Cashman’s state of the Yankees: “Well, I certainly don’t like where we’re sitting because you want to be in the driver’s seat and we’re not in the driver’s seat, But I know we’re going to fight and give it everything we’ve got, as simple as that.
“We’ve been fighting for this thing all year long and they’ve put themselves in a position to kind of see a line that crossable. But we’re all bunched together here, so this is a big series. It’s the obvious thing to say but it’s true.
“We’ve caught enough breaks this year. Like anything else, every time someone has a problem it gives an opportunity to either take advantage or not. It’s hard to find anything at this time of year now.”
My Beat The Streak pick today: I’d better start doubling down if we’re going to make this streak respectable — forget matching Joe D., I can’t even get to Wee Willie Keeler with just 19 games left. So let’s make two picks tonight: A-Rod (4-for-7 lifetime vs. Tillman) and Cano (11-for-22 lifetime vs. Tillman). The streak is at one after Ichiro Suzuki had two hits in yesterday’s win.
Here are the early notes as the Yankees (75-67) and Red Sox (86-58) prepare to meet here at Yankee Stadium for the finale of a four-game series. Hoping to avoid the sweep, the Yankees give the ball to Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.99), while the Red Sox counter with Jon Lester (13-8, 3.88). It’s a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in the Bronx; partly cloudy and temperatures in the low 80s.
We haven’t yet heard from Derek Jeter, but Joe Girardi said the working plan is to shut Jeter down for at least two days due to a sore left ankle. The CT scan came back negative and that’s an encouraging sign, so the Yankees haven’t yet given any thought to shutting Jeter down for the rest of the season.
He hasn’t looked quite right on either side of the ball, though, so Dr. Robert Anderson is taking a look at the scan results down in Charlotte. Bottom line for Jeter: the ankle problem is something that is continuing to linger. No wonder he called this season a “nightmare” last month.
“[This season is] probably his worst one ever for him, to have to live through this, and you can probably go back to when he started when he was six years old,” Girardi said. “He loves to be out there and he loves to compete. And this is the time that he probably loves being out there more than any. It’s been difficult.
“… He’s been dealing with it. He understands. I know he’s frustrated and he wants to be out there. It’s tearing him up inside. As much as he doesn’t like it and he wants to be out there, I think he understands our point of view about trying to give it a couple of days to calm down.”
Brett Gardner is on the bench today, but there’s no injury problem with him. Girardi said he is sitting Gardner because he is 2-for-11 lifetime vs. Lester.
Shawn Kelley is available in the Yankees bullpen today. David Robertson and Boone Logan are not; they feel better but aren’t able to play catch yet.
The Yankees have not made any changes to their rotation, so for the moment, David Huff is still on track to start Thursday against the Orioles in Baltimore.
Girardi’s take on the Red Sox’s improvement in 2013: “They’re healthy. That’s the biggest difference. They’re healthy. They had to deal with a lot of injuries last year to all parts of their club. It wasn’t like, when you look at them offensively, they had guys who forgot how to hit. You had guys that were not in the lineup a lot, and that’s the biggest difference.”
As noted yesterday, the Yankees have lost three straight games in which they have scored seven or more runs for the first time in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Here’s some more historical factoids, if you can bear them, as provided by the Yanks:
PITCHING NOTES: The Yankees have allowed at least 12R in consecutive games for the first time since 7/17-18/96 (12R on 7/17 at Boston and 16R on 7/18 at Milwaukee) and in back-to-back games vs. one opponent for the first time since 8/27-28/88 at California (12R on 8/27 and 13R on 8/28)…have done so in consecutive home games for the first time since 8/3-12/60 (12R on 8/3 vs. Detroit and 12R on 8/12 vs. Washington)…marks the first time doing so in consecutive home games on the same homestand since 8/4-6/29 (14R in Game 2 on 8/4 vs. Cleveland and 13R in Game 1 on 8/6 vs. Washington)…since the Yankees began calling New York home for the 1903 season, the only other time they had allowed at least 12R in consecutive home games to the same team in the same series was 6/28/1907 (16-5 loss) and 7/1/1907 Game 1 (16-15 win) vs. Washington.
My Beat The Streak pick today: Ichiro Suzuki, who is leading off today and is 14-for-41 (.341) lifetime vs. Lester. The streak is at zero after Curtis Granderson went hitless yesterday.