Results tagged ‘ All-Star Game ’

Jeter plenty rested for Wednesday night game

Do not panic, Yankees fans. Derek Jeter’s absence from the lineup in Wednesday night’s matinee portion of the split-admission doubleheader against the Cubs was not injury-related. Jeter did not play Saturday or Sunday night against the Red Sox while resting a tight right quad. The Captain was not in the lineup for the afternoon game because manager Joe Girardi wanted to limit him to one game and preferred to start him in the night game against a lefthander, Travis Wood.

Girardi has made no secret of being cautious with Jeter, who at 39 and coming off an injury-riddled 2013 season is past the time when he can be expected to play every day. Jeter has not lost his sense of humor. The Yankees had their first off day Monday and with Tuesday’s scheduled game rained out Jeter said he felt that with four straight days off it was like an early All-Star Game break.

The Cubs were playing at Yankee Stadium for the first time since 2005 and became the 25th different opponent to play in the current Stadium. The Yankees are 19-5 in an opponent’s first-ever game at the Stadium since its opening in 2009. They won all three such contests in 2013 — April 16 over the Diamondbacks, 4-2; June 19 over the Dodgers, 6-4, and Sept. 20 over the Giants, 5-1.

The Yankees and Cubs will play each other again at Wrigley Field May 20-22 as a part of a weeklong trip to Chicago that includes a stop at U.S. Cellular Field May 23-25 against the White Sox.

The Yankees played their first doubleheader of the season today. They swept one doubleheader and split two last year. Since 2000, the Yanks have swept 15 doubleheaders, split 18 and were swept once (Sept. 17, 2006 by the Red Sox at the Stadium.

Matsui gets early trip to Cooperstown

Former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui will be among players representing all 30 major-league teams May 24 at the Memorial Day Weekend’s 2014 Hall of Fame Classic at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Phil Niekro, who earned his 300th career victory during his time pitching for the Yankees, will be one of six Hall of Fame members who will serve as managers and coaches for the sixth annual Classic. Roberto Alomar, Andre Dawson, Rollie Finges, Eddie Murray and Ozzie Smith will also participate in the event.

To date, the lineup for the 2014 Hall of Fame Classic features players who combined to collect two Most Valuable Player Awards, three World Series MVPs, two All-Star Game MVPs, 56 All-Star Game selections and 18 Gold Glove Awards.

In addition to Matsui and former Yankees pitcher Carl Pavano, the rosters include Livan Hernandez, Jeff Conine, Brad Lidge, David Eckstein, Luis Gonzalez, Ivan Rodriguez, Steve Garvey and Jim Thome. Roster additions will be announced throughout the spring.

The Cooperstown Game Day Parade starts at 12 noon leading up to the Home Run Derby at 1 p.m. followed by the Classic at 2:05 p.m.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame Classic are $12.50 for first and third base seats and $11 for general admission outfield seats. Tickets are currently available via phone or online.

Two ticket packages for the Hall of Fame Classic and Night at the Museum are now available, but limited in quantity:

Classic Connection will feature Hall of Fame Classic ticket and a one-day museum admission pass for $12.50, a savings of $19.50 off the regular rate. Legendary Twinbill features a Hall of Fame Classic ticket, a one-day museum admission pass and a ticket to A Night at the Museum for $50.

Call 877-726-9028 or order online at baseballhall.org.

Yanks ride rollercoaster to victory

The momentum swings in Tuesday night’s game resembled the rollercoaster at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park across the highway from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Yankees went up to a 3-0 lead, then down to a 4-3 deficit and then up again to a 5-4 victory.

Just a week after getting a save in the All-Star Game where Mariano Rivera served as his setup man, Joe Nathan sustained only his second blown save in 33 opportunities this year as the Yanks staged a dramatic rally that sent Texas to its first loss in 52 games this season when the Rangers were leading after eight innings.

To finish things off, Rivera returned to his normal role and got his 32nd save of the season and 640th of his career with a 1-2-3 ninth featuring two strikeouts, a perfect end to an absolutely startling comeback for the Yankees, who appeared down for the count against the Rangers’ impressive bullpen.

Texas relievers recorded 10 consecutive outs before Nathan walked Vernon Wells with one out in the ninth. Nathan further improved the Yankees’ condition with a wild pitch that not only advanced Wells to second base but also forced the Rangers to bring their outfielders in shallower for a possible play at the plate.

Eduardo Nunez benefitted from the altered defense with a drive to the wall in left-center for an RBI triple, the Yanks’ first hit since the fourth inning. The run scored by Wells ended a streak of 25 2/3 scoreless innings by the Texas pen dating to July 11. Brent Lillibridge then atoned for an earlier damaging error with a single to left that scored Nunez with what proved the winning run.

Phil Hughes has had somewhat surprising success at Rangers Ballpark despite its being a hitters’ paradise. Tuesday night it appeared that success would continue as the Yankees gave Hughes an early lead and he was doing a good job at protecting it. For five innings anyway.

Everything fell apart for Hughes, however, in the sixth. An error by Lillibridge at third base with one out opened the door for the Rangers, who came back from being down 3-0 to take a 4-3 lead. Adrian Beltre followed the error with a double for Texas’ first run. Hughes got the second out on a fly to center by A.J. Pierzynski but gave up a single to Elvis Andrus that got Texas to 3-2.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi made a quick hook of Hughes (80 pitches) for lefthander Boone Logan, who faced left-handed batting Mitch Moreland, who drove a home run over the center field fence. Only one of the three runs charged to Hughes was earned as his ERA at Rangers Ballpark fell to 1.90 over 23 2/3 innings.

The Yankees also had an exceptional defensive game with second baseman Robinson Cano making one of his patented across-the-body throws to first on a far-ranging play to his right in the seventh and center fielder Brett Gardner belly-flopping in right-center to haul down a drive by Andrus.

Cano knocked out of All-Star Game; Mo honored

How bad has the Yankees’ luck been this year? In terms of health, I mean. The disabled list has been almost as crowded as the dugout. Even in the All-Star Game, the Yankees could not stay healthy.

Robinson Cano, the American League second baseman and one of the few Yankees regulars to stay on the field all season, made an early exit Tuesday night from Citi Field. Cano, the second hitter in the AL order, came up after a leadoff double by the Angels’ Mike Trout and was struck on the side of his right knee by a 96-miles-per-hour fastball from Mets righthander Matt Harvey.

Cano winced in pain and tried to stay in the game. He went to first base but after Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera struck out Cano came off the field and was replaced by pinch runner Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox. As Cano walked off the field, he had a friendly exchange with Harvey.

“He said, ‘My bad,’ ” Cano said. “I said, ‘No problem.’ I know he don’t want to hit nobody. It’s part of the game, so what can you do?”

This is just what the Yankees did not need. Managers across baseball watch the All-Star Game with trepidation and hope one of their players does not get hurt. Harvey, the National League starting pitcher who pitched two scoreless innings, said, “I feel bad. I didn’t mean to hit Cano.”

X-rays on Cano’s knee were negative.

“It’s a little tight, but I’m walking good,” Cano said. “You want to play the game and enjoy the nice city in New York with the fans, but that’s part of life. Got to get it better and take it easy. Yeah, I’ll be good for Friday.”

“Obviously, the last thing I wanted to do was go out there and possibly injure somebody,” Harvey said. “As [Cano] was walking by, I was trying to get his attention as he was going to first. He then came off the field, and I apologized and made sure that he was okay. I think he understood that it wasn’t intentional.”

Cano had been enjoying himself at the All-Star Game as opposed to a year ago at Kansas City when he was the target of booing from local fans because as captain of the AL Home Run Derby squad he did not name the Royals’ Billy Butler to the team. Cano got revenge Monday night as a player he promoted for the Home Run Derby team even though he was not on the All-Star squad, Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, won the competition.

Not surprisingly considering the Yankees-Mets rivalry, Cano was booed by most people in the Citi Field crowd in pregame introductions. Conversely, Mariano Rivera was accorded a healthy ovation. In a lot of ways, Mo is his generation’s Yogi Berra, the one Yankee that even fans who hate the Yankees like.

The best was yet to come for Mo. To guarantee that Rivera would pitch in the game, AL manager Jim Leyland of the Tigers put him in the game in the eighth inning. After all, if the NL had gone ahead in the bottom of the eighth and held the lead then there would have been no bottom of the ninth.

Rivera was treated with another standing ovation as he trotted to the mound to his usual entrance song, “Enter Sandman,” by Metallica. When he reached the rubber, Rivera was the only player on the field as the players from both sides stood on the top steps of the dugouts and joined the crowd in showing their appreciation to the game’s all-time saves leader who is calling it a career at the end of this season at the age of 43.

It was quite a sight. Mo acknowledged the applause by removing his cap and waving to each portion of the crowd. Mariano retired the side in order and was given the game ball by first baseman Prince Fielder after the third out of the inning. It was a more pleasant final appearance at Citi Field than the May 28 Subway Series game when he sustained his first blown save of the season in a stunning loss to the Mets.

Mo Mariano Rivera (USA Today photo)

“I wanted to pitch in the game and in baseball anything can happen,” Rivera said of pitching in the eighth instead of the ninth. “The plan worked out perfectly. This was right up there with winning the World Series. To do this in New York with all the fans here and all the players and the coaches and the managers standing in the dugouts. . .that was priceless.”

There turned out to be a bottom of the ninth inning as the AL had a 3-0 lead. Rangers closer Joe Nathan worked the ninth and can always say he earned a save in a game after Mariano Rivera had pitched, which had not happened since 1996 when Mo was the setup man for Yanks closer John Wetteland.

Rivera was voted the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player and was able to thank the fans and told them it was a “privilege” to pitch in front of them all these years. Let’s face it, fans, the privilege was ours to watch him.

Fans have chance to make D-Rob and All-Star

With Robinson Cano elected as the starting second baseman for the American League and Mariano Rivera named to the pitching staff, the Yankees have only two representatives in the All-Star Game for the first time in 20 years. Back in 1993 for the game at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Wade Boggs started at third base for the AL and Jimmy Key was on the staff and pitched in the game.

Yankees fans can rectify this by getting a third Yankees representative on the AL squad. Relief pitcher David Robertson is one of five candidates for Major League Baseball’s “Final Vote,” which will decide who receives the last AL All-Star roster spot through of online fan balloting at yankees.com.

On being picked by the fans to start in the 2013 All-Star Game July 16 at Citi Field, Cano said, “It feels great. I want to thank God and the fans that dedicated their time to vote for me to start this year’s All-Star Game. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. There are a lot of great second basemen in the American League. I am thankful to the fans for voting and appreciating the way that I’ve been playing this year. It makes it that much more special that the game and the events surrounding it are being held here in New York City.”

“It’s wonderful to be named an All-Star again, especially with the game being here in New York,” Rivera said. “New York fans are the best, and they deserve it. I know that they will put on a great show and hopefully we’ll do a good job.”

In a nod to his old-school style of wearing his socks high and showing them off, Robertson’s social media campaign has been given the hash tag of #HighSocksForVotes. The hash tag is also a play on the name of Robertson’s nonprofit charitable organization “High Socks for Hope,” which he and his wife Erin founded after tornadoes ravaged his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 2011. The online polls are open from now through 4 p.m. Thursday, July 11. Fans who vote for D-Rob will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes for a meet-and-greet with him along with free tickets to a Yankees game.

With a full slate of home games until the vote concludes, the Yankees strongly encourage fans to show support for Robertson by wearing their own high socks to Yankee Stadium. The Yankees official Twitter account @Yankees will re-tweet photos of fans proudly displaying their high socks like Robertson.

Fans should note that beginning at 10:00 a.m. Thursday – the final day of voting – all tweets that include Robertson’s official hash tag of #HighSocksForVotes will count as a valid vote for him.

“I feel excited and hopeful that I’ll be selected to go to my second All-Star Game,” Robertson said. “I know there are four other guys in the mix, but hopefully I can get enough votes. To be able to sit alongside Mariano in that bullpen in his final All-Star Game appearance would be an awfully special moment in my career. Yankees fans are the best, and I know that they will make every effort to send me to Queens.”

Robertson made one prior AL All-Star team in 2011 when he pitched one scoreless inning at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Derek Jeter began an injury-rehabilitation assignment Saturday night with Triple-A Scranton and was 0-for-2 with a walk and played five innings at shortstop against Lehigh Valley. Michael Pineda started that game for Scranton and allowed two runs, four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in five innings. . .Alex Rodriguez continued his rehab for Class A Tampa and had 1-for-2, was hit by a pitch and scored a run in a six-inning stint at Viera, Fla.

In a moving ceremony prior to Sunday’s game at Yankee Stadium, a list of the victims of the Sandy Hook killings in Newtown, Conn., were displayed on the centerfield video board during a moment of silence. The Newtown Youth Voices performed a lovely version of the Star Spangled Banner with a joint color guard from the Sandy Hook Fire Department and the Newtown Police Department. Approximately 4,000 Newtown residents were guests at the Stadium and received food and beverage vouchers courtesy of the Yankees and Legends Hospitality Management.

Bottom of order plus Cano a nice combo

On the same night that Alex Rodriguez began his injury-rehabilitation assignment with a three-inning stint at Charleston, S.C., the Yankees finally ended a slump by their third basemen that had lasted for a week and a half. The weak hitting of Yankees third baseman of late amplified the season-long loss of A-Rod, who is recovering from off-season left hip surgery.

When David Adams singled to center field in the fifth inning, it stopped a hitless string of 32 at-bats by Yankees third baseman over the past 11 games. The hit helped fuel a three-run rally as the Yankees came back from a 1-0 deficit to take a 3-1 lead on the way to a 7-3 victory over the Twins. Adams had gotten the previous hit for a Yankees third baseman, an infield single in the fourth inning June 21 against the Rays at Yankee Stadium.

The way Samuel Deduno was pitching on his 30th birthday in the early innings it appeared that more than just third basemen for the Yankees might have a night of 0-fers. The Yanks went out in order in each of the first three innings with all nine outs coming on infield grounders. Robinson Cano continued his torrid trip with the Yankees’ first hit, a one-out single in the fourth following a walk to Ichiro Suzuki but the Bombers couldn’t capitalize on it.

The bottom of the fourth may have been the turning point of the game. Phil Hughes gave up a leadoff walk to Trevor Plouffe and a double to rookie Oswaldo Arcia. Second and third, none out, and Hughes went to work. The Yankees played the infield back, conceding a run if a Twins hitter made contact. Hughes had other ideas. He struck out Chris Parmelee on an inside fastball, punched out Aaron Hicks on three straight curves and retired Pedro Florimon on a weak ground ball to shortstop.

The Yankees rewarded Hughes with that three-run fifth. Adams’ single came one out after Lyle Overbay led off with an infield hit. Alberto Gonzalez, playing shortstop Tuesday night but also part of that long 0-fer by Yankees third sackers, doubled to right field to give Hughes the lead. After Gonzalez took third on a chop to the mound by Brett Gardner, Suzuki was credited with a single on a roller along the first-base line mishandled by Deduno for another run.

Just as they did Monday night, the Yankees pounded Minnesota’s bullpen for late-inning runs. Adams with a double and Gonzalez with a single combined for another run in the seventh off reliever Anthony Swarzak, who later gave up a single to Ichiro and a three-run homer to the red-hot Cano.

The All-Star second baseman seems to be warming up for the Home Run Derby the night before the All-Star Game July 16 at Citi Field. On this trip alone, Cano has four homers in five games. The seventh-inning bomb was Cano’s 20th home run this season, the fifth straight year he has hit at least that many. The only American League second baseman with more 20-homer seasons was Hall of Famer Joe Gordon with seven. Gordon spent seven of his 11 seasons in the majors with the Yankees and was the AL Most Valuable Player with them in 1942.

Cano has 12-for-21 (.571) on the trip with five straight multi-hit games, eight runs and eight RBI. Since leaving New York after last Thursday’s game, Cano has raised his season batting average from .276 to .295. He is far and away the Yankees’ RBI leader with 54.

Hughes, who pitched well in his previous start that same Thursday against the Rangers but was victimized by Derek Holland’s two-hit shutout, ended a personal three-game losing streak. His assertiveness in the fourth inning was the centerpiece of his seven-inning outing in which he gave up one run, six hits and two walks with three strikeouts.

Cano’s home run loomed large when the Twins rallied for two runs in the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate. Back when the score was 7-1 it did not look as if Mariano Rivera would even have to warm up, but he got himself ready and recorded the final out for his 27th save.

Down in Charleston, A-Rod grounded into a double play and was called out on strikes in his two at-bats. He will likely be sore today, but it is a beginning.

Target Field has been friendly to Yanks

If ever there was a time that the Yankees needed to find a soft landing that time is now. They are in the throes of a five-game losing streak as they begin a four-game series against the Twins Monday night at Target Field. The Yankees have had 11 consecutive non-losing season series against Minnesota dating to 2002. They won the season series last year, 4 games to 3.

The Yankees have won 21 of their past 28 regular-season games against the Twins and 27 of their past 34 overall games. The Twins like the Yankees are in fourth place in their division, the American League Central, but have a record that is six games under .500 (36-42). Meanwhile, the fourth-place Yankees of the AL East are still above par for the season with a 42-39 record halfway through the schedule.

The Yankees took two of three games at Target Field in 2012 and have won 10 of their past 13 games there, plus 25 of their past 39 games at Minnesota in regular season play. They have won four straight road season series there and five of their past six.

Monday night’s starter, Andy Pettitte, enters the game undefeated over his past 12 starts against the Twins (regular season and postseason combined) since May 2001 with a 10-0 mark and 2.53 ERA covering 81 2/3 innings. Over his past 17 regular season and postseason starts against the Twins since 1999, Pettitte is 13-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 117 innings and has held Minnesota to three runs or less in all but three of those outings.

There is only a week remaining in the Major League All-Star voting for the July 16 game at Citi Field in Flushing. At this point, Robinson Cano, who has a commanding lead at second base, appears to be the only Yankees player who will be elected to the starting lineup. The Yankees have no players ranked in the top five at any other position with Ichiro Suzuki 15th among the outfielders.

Mariano Rivera will almost certainly be selected for the AL pitching staff. Manager Joe Girardi has expressed hope recently that the league will choose Brett Gardner as one of the outfielders.

Cano to captain AL Home Run Derby squad again

Robinson Cano probably won’t run into the same problem next month that he had a year ago in Kansas City when he was the captain of the American League team in the Home Run Derby the night before the All-Star Game. You may remember all the booing Cano endured throughout the competition when he was shut out trying to reach the fences.

But that was not why Cano was the object of scorn for fans at Kauffman Stadium. The Yankees second baseman was targeted because he did not include the Royals’ Billy Butler on the squad. Cano’s selections in addition to himself were Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder and Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo. It was a pretty strong group, but the KC faithful were unforgiving to the point that Cano was still booed last month when the Yankees played at Kauffman Stadium.

“You play for the Yankees, everywhere you go you get booed,” he said.

A similar situation should be avoided this year. Once again, Cano has been named AL captain for the Home Run Derby that will take place July 15, the night before the All-Star Game at Citi Field. The venue this time, however, should keep Cano from getting hammered by fans except, of course, for the usual Bronx cheers reserved for Yankees players from Mets fans. Those who cheer for the Mets cannot get on Cano for his choices, however, because their favorites are in the other league.

The choice of Mets third baseman David Wright as the National League captain takes care of the possibility that the host team will be snubbed at the Home Run Derby. This was a good call by the powers that be in Major League Baseball. Wright is among the most popular players in Mets history and one of the truly good guys in the game. Whatever he decides will win approval from the Mets faithful.

Each captain has the task of selecting three other hitters from his league to compete in the Home Run Derby. Though the event is an individual competition, the leagues are pitted against each other in teams of four. Cano did not clear the fences himself last year, but his AL team clobbered the NL overall, 61-21. The individual winner was Fielder, once of Cano’s picks. Cano won the competition in 2011 at Chase Field in Phoenix. Cano entered play Tuesday night with 15 home runs, tied for fifth in the AL. Wright had eight with only one coming at Citi Field May 27 against the Yankees off Phil Hughes.

Fans may once again participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. You will have the opportunity to select three players in each league. All-Star voting is also still underway. Cano is currently the leader among AL second basemen. Wright ranks second at third base behind the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval. Fans may submit 25 online ballots during the voting period and can earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots.

To access additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, visit http://www.mlb.com and register in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.

Yanks keep winning except on All-Star ballot

Yankees fans need to hit the ballot box on a regular basis if they want the team to have a heavy representation in the All-Star Game July 16 at Citi Field. One of the drawbacks of the current, 10-game trip to the West Coast is that voting at Yankee Stadium is suspended for another week. Fans need to make their choices on Yankees.com or MLB.com while the team is away.

In the latest tally of votes, only one Yankees player is leading at his position, Robinson Cano at second base, and only one other, disabled shortstop Derek Jeter, is in the top five at his position. The injuries to first baseman Mark Teixeira, third baseman Kevin Youkilis and outfielder Curtis Granderson has hurt their chances to garner support.

A testament to Jeter’s popularity is that even though he has yet to play a game as he recovers from off-season left ankle surgery the Captain has received the fifth highest vote total among shortstops with 529,234 as of Saturday’s announced count. The current leader at the position is the Orioles’ J.J. Hardy with 1,231,843 that gives him a 185,958-vote lead over runner-up Elvis Andrus of the Rangers.

Since it was known at the start of the season that Alex Rodriguez would be out until after the All-Star break while recovering from left hip surgery he was not placed on the ballot at third base. Jeter had been expected back earlier in the season but sustained a crack in another area of the ankle that has extended his recovery period.

At second base, with 1,851,371 votes Cano has a lead of 744,422 over the Red Sox’ Dustin Pedroia. The other position leaders at this point are the Twins’ Joe Mauer at catcher; the Orioles’ Chris Davis at first base; the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera at third base; the Red Sox’ David Ortiz at designated hitter and the Angels’ Mike Trout, the Orioles’ Adam Jones and the Tigers’ Torii Hunter in the outfield. Among the outfielders, the best the Yankees are doing so far is Ichiro Suzuki in 15th place with 477,870 votes.

Brett Gardner should have raised some attention with voters with his four-hit game Sunday in the Yankees’ 2-1 victory over the Mariners, always a plus in a game started by Felix Hernandez. The 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner was not the losing pitcher. He left after seven innings with the score 1-1 as David Phelps, who went six innings for the Yankees, dueled him to a draw.

The finale of the four-game set in which the Yanks won three times ended up in the bullpen with the Bombers’ relief corps being superior, which is often the case. Boone Logan pitched a perfect, two-strikeout seventh. David Robertson (4-1) withstood a leadoff double and a sacrifice to post two straight strikeouts and strand the potential go-ahead run at third base in the eighth. After the Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth, Mariano Rivera handled the bottom half for his 23rd save of the season and career No. 631.

With the muscle part of their order coming up small, the Yankees got major contributions from top and bottom. Cano, Teixeira, Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells, the 2-through-5 hitters, combined to go 0-for-14. Tex wore the golden sombrero (four strikeouts) but made an excellent defensive play in the ninth to get a key double play for Mo.

Suzuki, who was also hitless, walked to start the winning rally off Yoervis Medina. A textbook sacrifice bunt by Jayson Nix got Ichiro to second base from where he scored on a two-out single to left by Chris Stewart.

The Yankees’ run off Hernandez in the second inning was driven in by one of Gardner’s four hits. His quartet of knocks followed a three-hit effort Saturday night and topped off a big series for the center fielder. He had 9-for-17 (.529) with four doubles to raise his season batting average to .284, which leads the team. Gardner drove in one run and scored three. He has hit safely in 15 of his past 17 games, a stretch during which he has batted .365 in 63 at-bats.

Gardner’s hit scored Nix, who had a leadoff single and stole second base. Nix is also on a strong run. He has hit safely in 12 of his past 13 games that he has had an at-bat and is hitting .340 in 47 at-bats over that stretch. Nix, who is 8-for-8 in stolen bases, is batting a team-high .310 on the road with 12 runs and eight RBI in 26 games and 84 at-bats.

Andy Pettitte became the 45th pitcher in major-league history to get to 250 career victories (and the 24th in 70 seasons dating to 1944) with Saturday’s winning decision. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only six of that latter group of the most recent pitchers to enter the 250-victory circle did so with fewer losses than Pettitte, whose record is 250-145: Randy Johnson (250-130), Roger Clemens (250-136), Greg Maddux (250-140), Jim Palmer (250-142), Tom Seaver (250-142) and Mike Mussina (250-144).

Yanks, Manchester FC get MLS franchise

The Yankees are enhancing their commitment to big-time soccer. Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber announced Tuesday that a partnership of global sports powers, the Yankees and Manchester City Football Club, has acquired the League’s 20th expansion club. The team will be named New York City Football Club and expects to begin play in 2015.

“We proudly welcome two of the most prestigious professional global sports organizations to Major League Soccer,” Garber said. “This is a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights in this country. The New York area is home to more than 19 million people, and we look forward to an intense crosstown rivalry between New York City Football Club and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city.”

“New York is a legendary sports town, as well as a thriving global city with a rapidly expanding soccer fan-base,” said Manchester FC chief executive officer Ferran Soriano, who will oversee the process of filling top New York City FC leadership positions in the weeks to come. “We are thrilled to contribute to the energy and growth of New York City Soccer. In the Yankees, we have found the absolute best partner for developing a world-class sports organization and a winning team that will carry the New York City Football Club name with pride.”

Manchester City will be the majority owner of the new Club. As an investor, the Yankees will be an active member of the ownership group. The Yankees and Manchester City Football Club have an existing commercial relationship through Legends Hospitality, LLC, an international entertainment, hospitality and marketing organization. Yankee Stadium will be the site of a “friendly” match Saturday between Manchester City and Chelsea FC.

“We are pleased to be associated with this major move by MLS to increase its presence in the New York market and to enhance the opportunity for New York soccer fans to enjoy high-level play in their own city,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “We look forward to the opportunity to work with Manchester City to create something very special for the soccer fans of New York and to bringing another terrific team to this city for all sports fans to enjoy. Randy Levine, president of the New York Yankees, will be the point person in leading the effort to launch and establish the team on behalf of the organization.”

The New York/New Jersey area is one of North America’s most vibrant and proud soccer communities. The region has filled stadiums for countless marquee soccer events including the 1994 FIFA Men’s World Cup, the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, three MLS All-Star Games and numerous international exhibition matches. NYCFC will become the first MLS club whose home will be located within the five boroughs, joining the Red Bulls as the second MLS club in the metropolitan area.

“Soccer is one of the world’s most exciting and popular sports, and it should be played on the world’s biggest stage – in New York City,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said. “New Yorkers are the greatest sports fans in the world, and they will welcome a Major League Soccer franchise with the full-throated and loyal support they are famous for.

“Manchester City has a great reputation for both winning teams and serious community investment, and that will help them fit in well with the excellent leadership of New York City’s other professional sports teams. Increasingly, sports events and activities from the NHL playoffs to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game to the Super Bowl are spurring economic growth as our investments in new arenas and infrastructures are paying off.”

New York City FC is committed to seeking a new permanent stadium in New York. Until that time, the new team is arranging to play in an interim home beginning in its inaugural MLS season in 2015. Over the past year, MLS began discussions with the City of New York and other stakeholders about the possibility of constructing a new stadium in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. The Club’s new management will continue these discussions with local government officials, community residents and businesses, soccer leagues, and MLS. The Club will continue to review other potential sites as well.

“New York City FC will have a permanent home in the City in the great traditions of New York sports and world soccer, a home that must be a sports, commercial and civic success,” Soriano said. “But in considering any stadium site, we will listen first. This is what we have always done in Manchester and what we will do in New York. Only in this way, can the Club truly represent the City whose name it will carry.

Manchester City is a leader among sports organizations in its charitable efforts, with one-sixth of its staff fully dedicated full-time to community outreach. Building on this tradition of community outreach, New York City FC will expand and enhance the grassroots youth soccer program “City Soccer in the Community,” which it has been running in New York since 2010.

The program, now headquartered at PS 72 (Lexington Academy) in East Harlem, which boasts New York City’s only rooftop soccer field, provides quality soccer instruction and programming to thousands of children in 20 city public schools each year. New York City FC plans to expand its community outreach to bring soccer to thousands of more kids throughout the five boroughs.

Manchester City has funded the construction of soccer facilities for youth in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington, D.C. Since new ownership took over five years ago, Manchester City has gained its place as one of England’s most successful football clubs and one of the fastest growing clubs in the world. Last spring, Manchester City won the 2012 Barclay’s Premier League Championship. This year it finished second in the League and was the FA Cup runner-up. Manchester City FC is wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group.

The Yankees, of course, are baseball’s most storied franchise with 27 World Series titles and 40 American League pennants.

Headquartered in New York, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in North America. MLS’s 18th season features 19 clubs each playing 34 regular-season matches. The clubs are Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo; 2012 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy, Montreal Impact, New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution, Philadelphia Union, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City, Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.