Results tagged ‘ New York Post ’

Yanks not hiking prices for Jeter Day tickets

The Yankees want it to be know that there is some confusion out there about spiraling ticket prices for the Sept. 7 game against the Royals at Yankee Stadium that Friday night was designated as Derek Jeter Day.

An article in Sunday’s editions of the New York Post claimed that the Yankees “hiked the cheapest tickets on its Web site a stunning 1,250 percent – from $16 to $250,” an assertion the club said in a statement “is absolutely and categorically untrue.”

The story confuses the primary ticket market with the secondary ticket market; that is, tickets that are being sold by fans who already purchased the tickets. There are numerous resale markets including StubHub, Craigslist, Yankees Ticket Exchange, and VividSeats, where fans and brokers post tickets to be resold. There has been no change in prices of tickets being sold for that game by the Yankees.

McCann unhappy with start, happy with New York

As if he did not have enough to deal with, Brian McCann had to respond Tuesday to a New York Post article in which his former hitting coach, Terry Pendleton of the Braves, questioned the catcher’s decision to leave his home-state team to sign as a free agent with the Yankees.

“New York is not Brian,” Pendleton said during an interview at Citi Field where the Braves were scheduled against the Mets. “That’s my opinion. I knew if he chose New York, there would be more than he expected or knew about. He’ll never be comfortable with that. Going from Atlanta to New York is a different animal. Brian McCann is going to put more heat on himself and for him, trying to do more is the worst thing for him. I’ve learned that. That money is hanging over his head. A lot of guys say, ‘I’ve got to live up to that,’ instead of, ‘They signed you to play your game.’ ”

McCann took the high road, which is consistent with his nature. He praised Pendleton for his past help during his time in Atlanta and then gently disputed his opinion. In the article, Pendleton, a former National League Most Valuable Player (1991 with the Braves), added that McCann would have been better off if he was leaving Atlanta to go to Texas rather than New York.

“I read the article; I disagree,” McCann told reporters in Cleveland where the Yankees are amid a four-game set against the Indians. “I absolutely love it here [New York]. I’ve got off to a slow start, but I absolutely love it here. It’s his opinion. That’s all I can say, it’s his opinion on it.”

McCann has struggled in the first half with a batting average some 40 points below his career mark, but there have been signs lately that despite a sore left foot he is coming around offensively. He returned to the lineup Monday and had three hits. His third-inning single Tuesday night was his ninth hit in his past 22 at-bats, a .409 pace.

“I really haven’t noticed a big difference,” he said. “It’s still baseball. It’s still you put a uniform on, you go out and put your best foot forward. That’s what I’m doing. It just hasn’t gone quite like I wish it would, but at the same time, we’ve got a whole half of baseball left. We’re in a pennant race and those are the things that I’m focused on.”

“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Sometimes it takes people a little time to adjust. I think people are just looking at his average when they’re talking about his numbers. From a production standpoint he has been pretty decent. He has done a great job behind home plate with our pitching staff. You put all those things together and yeah, he’s not hitting .280, but he’s played pretty well. I think he’ll be fine. I don’t think it will be an issue. I think he loves it here. I think he enjoys playing here. And I think Brian expects a lot from himself. So people expecting a lot from him is not going to bother him.”

Hall for Col. Ruppert; knife for A-Rod

NASHVILLE – There was good news and bad news for Yankees fans coming out of baseball’s Winter Meetings Monday at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

First, the good news; another person associated with the Yankees was elected to the Hall of Fame. The Pre-Integration Era Veterans Committee elected former club owner Jacob Ruppert to the Hall, along with 19th-century catcher-third baseman Deacon White and umpire Hank O’Day.

Among Ruppert’s many contributions to the Yankees in his time as owner was the design of their pinstriped uniforms, the purchase of Babe Ruth’s contract from the Red Sox and the construction of the original Yankee Stadium, a palace among baseball parks in the 1920s. Ruppert’s nickname was “The Colonel,” even though his time as a colonel in the National Guard was short, certainly less than his four terms as a United States congressman from the Democratic Party.

“The election of Jacob Ruppert to the Hall of Fame is a great honor for the Yankees organization,” managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “Under his leadership, the Yankees became the most popular and successful team in baseball, setting the standard which we try to uphold today.”

Ruppert becomes the 48th individual enshrined in the Hall to have played, managed, coached, owned or been a general manager for the Yankees. He joins Ed Barrow, Larry MacPhail, Lee MacPhail and George Weiss among Hall of Famers who had ownership stakes or were general managers of the Yankees but never played for, coached or managed the club.

The bad news, however, is quite grim. Alex Rodriguez will require surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip and will likely miss at least the first half of the 2013 season. The news, first reported by George King in the New York Post, is a severe blow to the Yankees but also serves to explain in part why the third baseman may have struggled so much during the past postseason when he hit .120 with 12 strikeouts in 25 at-bats.

“I do think that it’s a likely scenario that the struggles we saw in September and in October are more likely than not related to this issue,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said during a press conference here. “Clearly Alex was dealing with an issue that although he might be asymptomatic but the lower half and the way the mechanisms work, he wasn’t firing on all cylinders. There were times that we thought watching him that he was all arms and no legs, but again, there were no complaints, no pain, and then in the playoffs when he got pinch hit for, he did have a complaint that he felt his right hip wasn’t working right, and that was all clear.”

According to Cashman, Rodriguez told manager Joe Girardi in the dugout the night of Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Orioles when A-Rod was lifted for pinch hitter Raul Ibanez, who hit a game-tying home run, that his right hip did not feel right. Rodriguez had an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) exam after the game at New York Presbyterian Hospital that did not reveal any damage.

Rodriguez had a checkup during the offseason in Vail, Colo., which showed a tear in the left hip that was confirmed in a second opinion by Dr. Bryan Kelly, who will perform the operation at the Hospital for Special Surgery after A-Rod completes a four- to six-week pre-surgery regimen. The procedure is expected to require four to six months for recovery.

With the surgery likely to be scheduled in January, the earliest Rodriguez could be expected to play would be June and more realistically after the All-Star break in July.

So what do the Yankees do about third base for the first half of next season? Cashman all but ruled out the possibility of Eduardo Nunez playing there (“We see him as a shortstop,” the GM said) and pointed out that the club got through 2012 with several players in left field filling in for injured Brett Gardner.

Jayson Nix, who has re-upped with the Yanks for 2013, could be used in part of a platoon. Eric Chavez, who played in 64 games (50 starts) at the position last season, is now a free agent.

“My sole interest is just improving the entire club,” Cashman said. “Whether we solve any issue specifically at that position of third base, I can’t really answer.”

Blood clot complicating Mo’s condition

Well, you could call a blood clot a complication. George King reported in the New York Post earlier in the week that the agent for Mariano Rivera said there were “complications” Monday when doctor examined the all-time saves leader damaged right knee. My first thoughts were maybe a hernia or a groin injury. Mo clarified the situation before Wednesday night’s game at Yankee Stadium by announcing that he is undergoing treatment for a blood clot in his right calf and must delay reconstructive surgery on his knee until the condition is healed.

“I told the doctors my right calf was sore and painful,” Rivera said. “They told me they had to check it to make sure I did not have a blood clot. I have a blood clot. I was scared at first, but now I am taking medicine and hoping it will clear up in a week or two.”

The blood clot is related to the trauma of the injury Rivera suffered last Thursday night at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium when his knee buckled on the warning track while he was shagging fly balls during batting practice, a daily routine for the game’s greatest closer. Once the blood clot is clear, Rivera will have the surgery and is determined to pitch again in 2013.

All spring, Rivera had reporters guessing about whether he would play beyond his contract that runs out at the end of the season. Many felt that Mo had decided this year would be the end. I had my doubts but nothing really to back it up. It turns out he had every intention of continuing his career beyond 2012.

“I was leaning towards coming back,” Mo revealed. “The travel, I hate it. The play, I love it. It’s the love and passion I have for the game.”

Rivera, a deeply religious person, added that the only obstruction from his return path was if he perceived that it was not God’s will, which he would gauge during his recovery. Meanwhile, he is getting a taste of retirement watching Yankees games on television. So far, it is traumatic.

“I was screaming at Robbie on the TV,” he said, referring to designated closer David Robertson, who got his first save of the season Tuesday night.

And when Mo does return, he expects to shag during batting practice.

“Oh, yes,” he said. “I don’t know what the Yankees will do. They may want to tie me up.”

Yanks clinched trying to clinch

For so long we heard about how the Yankees were playing not for the American League East title and not just to clinch a post-season berth, which seemed inevitable only four short days ago. Mariano Rivera was even quoted in the New York Post as saying that the players would not celebrate clinching a playoff spot but to wait until they had clinched the division title.

It is beginning to look as if they wait that long the Yankees would sip any champagne at all.

That was the situation they found themselves in Saturday night after a second straight loss to the Red Sox following two straight losses to the Rays, who have overtaken the Yankees for the AL East lead and are amid playing a string of games against last-place teams while the Bombers are matched against their hated rivals this weekend and next with a stop in unfriendly Toronto in between.

Saturday’s game followed the same pattern as Friday night’s. The Yankees fell behind by a lot early and had to claw back into the game while counting on the second tier of the bullpen to keep matters close. It didn’t work either time.

Not even a pep talk from Tony Dungy could help. I must say that I was a bit skeptical about that. Yankees manager Joe Girardi is a long-time admirer of Dungy and was gratified to have the former NFL coach and current TV analyst say a few words, which centered on the attributes of family, faith and sticking together as a team when the going gets rough.

I admit I don’t know all that much about pro football, but I seem to remember that Dungy was the coach of a Colts team that had a chance to run the table a few years ago but tanked the last game to have players fresh for the playoffs. Was that justified when they won it all? Not to me. Did the Colts win the Super Bowl because they had rested players or BECAUSE THEY HAD PEYTON MANNING?

At least Dungy’s Indianapolis football players had their playoff berth clinched before taking a blow in the final game. The Yankees haven’t clinched anything, although we all know it would take a miracle for the Red Sox to get back into the wild-card mix. Despite winning the past two nights, they are still 5 games behind the Yankees with eight to play.

Yet the reason for that partially has been the Yankees’ lack of going for the jugular by using lineups minus resting veterans and not over-taxing bullpen arms. Sunday’s starting pitcher is Dustin Moseley, not Phil Hughes. Girardi defends his maneuvering by saying that he has managed the same way all season. On that score he is correct, and on that defense the Yankees’ case rests.

Yankees fans surely remember the September collapse the team had in 2000 when a pitching staff breakdown led to their losing 15 of their last 18 games and wheezing to the playoffs with 87 victories. That they ended up winning the World Series has been used as a sign of encouragement for the fans.

But this is a different team – older at many of the positions and a pitching staff with as many growing question marks. The wild card may not be the Yankees’ only ticket to the post-season, which would mean needing to have CC Sabathia win two games on the road rather than giving him the luxury of starting at Yankee Stadium where he has been mostly dazzling for two years.

CC won’t like this, by the way, but Red Sox lefthander Jon Lester improved his Cy Young Award credentials with seven shutout innings in improving his record to 19-8 with a 2.96 ERA.

What seems missing in this series from the Yankees is the passion and grit of a team trying to nail down a playoff spot.

Who knows? Maybe it’s contagious. In the seventh inning, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli leaned over the railing of the Red Sox dugout to try for a foul ball. Cervelli would have crashed to the floor but was held up by Boston pitching coach John Farrell, catcher Victor Martinez and outfielder Daniel Nava. Martinez then lifted Cervelli back onto the field unharmed.

Somehow, I don’t think the Red Sox of old would have done that for Thurman Munson.

In other news. . .

Oh, that’s right. The Yankees played a game Wednesday. It wasn’t as if Alex Rodriguez was out there alone trying to homer himself into history. The other Yankees had a job to do, too, which was to avoid what would have been their first four-game losing streak of the season.

That was the most satisfying aspect of Rodriguez’s 600th career home run. The two-run shot came in the first inning and gave the Yankees a lead that they would not relinquish. Derek Jeter scored ahead of A-Rod on what would be a four-hit day for the captain. Phil Hughes, battling a cold, gutted his way through 5 1/3 innings and allowed one run. Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera combined for 3 2/3 innings of scoreless, 1-hit relief. Mark Teixeira drove in three runs with a double and a single, and the team was flawless in the field.

“We needed to win a ballgame,” Rodriguez said afterwards.

Sure did. A-Rod’s march to 600 had become a gauntlet, and the Yankees skidded along with him, dropping five games in the American League East standings and out of first place.

“It hadn’t been a lot of fun,” Rodriguez said. “I had found a niche in that clubhouse, to let my bat do the talking instead of talking so much to you guys [press]. The last 10 days have been the opposite. I was pressing because I wanted to get it out of the way I don’t like to talk that much about myself. That’s the old Alex. So much has changed – my place on in the clubhouse, my relationship with my teammates. We’re about winning and checking our egos at the door. No personal achievement can top celebrating on the mound as the last team standing.”

After another hitless game Tuesday night, Rodriguez hung around the clubhouse late and had a long talk with his captain. Jeter went through a similar challenge last year in pursuit of Lou Gehrig’s franchise record for hits. Derek centered on A-Rod’s 0-for-17 slump more than the 46 at-bat homerless stretch and told Alex he needed to relax and just get a hit, bunt if you have to.

The funny thing is that when Rodriguez came to bat with Jeter on first base and two out in the first inning, I turned to my friend Kevin Kernan of the New York Post and said, “He ought to lay one down here. The shortstop and third baseman are in left field. Give Robinson Cano a shot to drive in some runs.”

Alex had other ideas, of course, but Jeter had not forgotten the previous night’s conversation. When he embraced A-Rod at the plate, DJ said, “I guess I can forget about that bunt.”

The collective met the personal for A-Rod, who last year learned the importance of teamwork in earning his first World Series ring. The Yankees’ 27th championship came at the end of a 2009 season that began with Rodriguez’s admission of past use of anabolic steroids, a stain he knows he must live with the rest of his career.

“I said last year that there were things in my life I wish I could change,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve often said things in the past that had been hot air, and I didn’t follow through. I learned that you have to walk the walk.”

“Congratulations to Alex on this great achievement and on adding another highlight to Yankees history,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “We are especially proud he accomplished the feat as a Yankee and here before the most loyal fans in baseball.”

Rodriguez was the second player to hit his 600th home run in a Yankees uniform. The other was Babe Ruth, who once held the record for career home runs. That now belongs to Barry Bonds at 762. Can A-Rod catch him?

“It took three years to the day for me to hit 100, so that’s not on my radar now,” Rodriguez said.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston was playing for the Padres in the game 40 years ago when Willie Mays got his 600th home run in 1970 at San Diego.

“Not too many people can say that they’ve seen that twice,” Gaston said. “I think that if Alex stays healthy he can get to 700. I don’t know if he’ll pass Hank [Aaron, who had 755] or Bonds. What’s interesting to me is that he hit his 600th on the same date that he hit his 500th three years ago. You do the math, and he’d be around 700 at around 38. He has to stay healthy.”

Alex was able to get the ball because it did not go into the stands and was retrieved by a security guard who climbed onto the netting above Monument Park beyond the center field fence at Yankee Stadium. Frankie Babilonia of lower Manhattan became a part of the story just doing his job was rewarded with a bat from A-Rod

“It’s definitely a special number, and I’m certain certainly proud of it,” Rodriguez said. “Maybe years from now I can reflect on it a lot better.”

For now, he will remember that it came in a victory that his team really desperately needed.