Results tagged ‘ Eric Hinske ’

Breaking up the Yankees

One of the realities of that great parade down the Canyon of Heroes was that it was probably going to be the last time these 2009 Yankees were together as a group. That was confirmed yesterday when Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon, two of the biggest keys to the World Series title, officially filed for free agency.

Jose Molina, Xavier Nady and Eric Hinske also officially filed on Monday, one weekend of celebration after rolling down Broadway on a float.

Brian Cashman said
yesterday that he does not expect to lock up any of his seven free agents before they splash onto the open market, which means that none of those five are likely to get a quickie deal, along with Andy Pettitte and Jerry Hairston, Jr.

What I keep telling people who ask is this: If you’d asked me at the All-Star Break who the Yankees would be more likely to keep, Damon or Matsui, I would have said Damon. But then Damon tailed off in the second half and Matsui was a monster, and now I really can’t be so sure.

The fact that the Yankees don’t see Matsui as anything but a DH hurts his chances, because the idea of a revolving-door DH between guys like A-Rod, Jorge Posada, Mark Teixeira and company is appealing and makes sense.

As for Damon, he was a great Yankee, which I wasn’t sure he’d be when he was shaving off his Red Sox scruff. But the moment I truly believed the Yankees were going to win the World Series was his dash in Game 4. People don’t understand how incredibly smart of a play that was.

So Cashman vows he does not do things for sentimental reasons, and I believe him on that topic.  Just because a guy was the World Series MVP doesn’t mean you have to bring him back. Heck, the Yankees did it in ’96 with John Wetteland.

As for the other three guys in that group, Molina brings a lot to the clubhouse in  terms of relationships and wisdom. If the cost isn’t crazy, a return isn’t out of the question, and if not they can entrust the backup catcher job to Francisco Cervelli – who really did seem ready for it.

Hinske never really got as many at-bats as I thought Joe Girardi would give him down the stretch — it almost seemed at times that they forgot he was on the team — and Nady will be permitted to leave as a free agent, since it’s difficult to
count on a guy who is coming off his second serious surgery.

Should be a good Hot Stove. Who said baseball has an offseason?

Sticking with two lefties for the Halos

Today Joe Girardi discussed his decision to keep lefty Damaso Marte on the roster for the ALCS instead of bringing Brian Bruney up from the workout camp in Tampa:

“We decided to stay with Marte, looking at (Kendry) Morales as a guy you like turning around,” Girardi said. “(Chone) Figgins is a guy you like turning around. On a day like today, when Bobby (Abreu) follows Figgins, that scenario might come up.”

Girardi said that Eric Hinske was disappointed when he was told that he had been replaced by pinch-runner Freddy Guzman for the ALCS.

“He was, but Hinske’s a pro,” Girardi said. “I told him, ‘We’re going to keep you here and we’re going to keep you going, because we want you ready in case something happens or in the next round.”

Starting it back up at Fenway Park

ted.jpgHere’s the statue of an 8-foot-tall Ted Williams placing a Red Sox cap on a cancer-stricken boy outside Fenway Park, which coincidentally happened to be where my taxi cab dropped me off this afternoon.

Some 11 hours after leaving, we’re back at here in Boston, where the Yankees and Red Sox will try to find some pitching after last night’s slugfest. I wouldn’t expect Johnny Damon to be in the lineup this afternoon for the Yankees, as he said his right knee was probably going to swell up considerably overnight. We’ll check on that downstairs but I’d expect Eric Hinske would be in.

It got lost in the frantic scoring last night, but Brian Bruney might have evaporated all of the trust he’s built with Joe Girardi over the last few weeks. The fact that Bruney came in and couldn’t throw strikes with an 11-run lead is troubling. When he fell behind 2-0 on Alex Gonzalez, both Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez sprinted to the mound and got in Bruney’s face, as if to say, “It’s Alex Gonzalez – get the ball over the plate!”

Damaso Marte did what the Yankees paid him $12 million over three years to do … get David Ortiz out. Sergio Mitre didn’t look sharp in a ‘just-keep-it-close’ appearance, but you’d figure he stays in the rotation when we get back to New York.

I wasn’t here for the ’99 All-Star Game, wish I had been. But I do have a quick Ted Williams story for you — back in my baseball card collecting days, I pulled what would become the unchallenged prize of my collection one day (for you Rocklanders, a shout-out to T.J.’s in Suffern, N.Y. Anyone know if it still there?). Stowed within a pack of cards was a Ted Williams autograph, serially numbered at No. 6 of 406.

While I very rarely go through those cards anymore, I know that I still have it, sealed in thick plastic. Someday I know I’ll pass it on, and it remains the most valuable card I’ve ever owned …unless someone wants to gift me a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, which would be just fine. I promise I’d give it a good home. 

8/4 – Yankees at Blue Jays

Not much news here at Rogers Centre, but plenty of talk about this series and the problems it presents for the Yankees — chief among them the presence of Mr. Roy Halladay. The Yankees have struggled against him historically, but then again, so has everybody else. And more problems await Wednesday, when the Yankees don’t know what they’ll get out of Sergio Mitre. Stealing a victory from Halladay tonight seems pretty important at this point.

Here are the lineups with the roof closed and the rain coming down in Toronto:

YANKEES (63-42)
yankslogo.gifJeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Cabrera CF
Hinske RF

Pitching: Andy Pettite (8-6, 4.51)

BLUE JAYS (51-54)
bluejays.gifScutaro SS
Hill 2B
Lind DH
Millar 1B
Wells CF
Rios RF
Encarnacion 3B
Barajas C
Bautista LF

Pitching: Roy Halladay (11-4, 2.68)

NOTES: Damon leads all Major Leaguers with 30 career hits off Halladay. He is 30-for-86 (.349) in his career, with five doubles, a triple and two home runs … with a win, Pettitte will tie CC Sabathia with 16 wins in the month of August since 2005, tops in the bigs … Damaso Marte struck out two, walked one and allowed a hit in 0.2 scoreless innings of a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton on Tuesday … Joba Chamberlain threw an extra bullpen session in preparation for his start Thursday, which will come on seven days’ rest … Eric Hinske started in right field Tuesday in place of Nick Swisher, who is 2-for-14 lifetime off Halladay. Hinske is 6-for-24. “If your numbers are OK against Roy, you’re doing all right,” Girardi said.”

TWITTER: Don’t forget to follow along on Twitter this week @anthonydicomo.

–Anthony DiComo

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