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    Jason Zillo discusses HOPE Week

    Monday, July 25, 2011, 9:55 PM [General]

    Jason Zillo, the Yankees Director of Communications and Media Relations, joins Kim Jones to discuss HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel), a unique week-long community program that will bring to light five remarkable stories intended to inspire individuals into action in their own communities.

    Initiated in 2009 and now in its third year, HOPE Week is rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture.

    Each day from Monday, July 25, through Friday, July 29, the Yankees will reach out to an individual, family or organization worthy of recognition and support. Though each day’s honoree will ultimately be celebrated at Yankee Stadium prior to a game, outreach will also take place away from the Stadium in various locations around New York City, allowing the Yankees to personally connect with individuals in settings that highlight their tremendous accomplishments.

    One of the most unique aspects of HOPE Week is that every player on the active roster, general manager Brian Cashman, as well as manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff, will participate in the outreach for the five events.

    Equally significant during HOPE Week is gaining publicity for the highlighted causes and organizations. The greatest challenge facing many not-for-profits is generating interest, awareness and funding for their missions.

    You won't want to miss this! WATCH HERE>

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    Innerview: Talking with Sam Fuld

    Thursday, July 21, 2011, 8:57 PM [General]

    Kim Jones speaks with Rays left fielder Sam Fuld, who has taken the baseball community by storm in 2011.

    Standing 5-foot-10 inches tall, Fuld will never be the biggest man in the big leagues. Despite this fact, his superlative work ethic, exceptional baseball acumen and fearless style of play have allowed the former Stats Inc., intern to quickly become one of the Majors’ most popular players.

    You won't want to miss this! WATCH HERE>

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    Innerview: Talking with Dick Groch

    Thursday, July 7, 2011, 9:58 PM [General]

    For some scouts, seeing a player succeed in the Major Leagues is refreshing. When you happen to be the scout that spotted Derek Jeter, it's life-affirming.

    Kim Jones speaks with Dick Groch, the man who recognized Jeter's talent long before the rest of the world comprehended it, about the All-Star and future Hall of Famer's success as he approaches 3,000 hits.

    You won't want to miss this! WATCH HERE>

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Kimberly Jones Live Chat on Friday at 6:45

    Thursday, June 9, 2011, 2:58 PM [General]

    Yankees clubhouse reporter Kimberly Jones will chat live Friday night at 6:45.

    Be sure to check back here to talk Yankees baseball with Kimberly prior to the start of the four game series between the Yankees and Indians.

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    A visit to Tuscaloosa

    Wednesday, June 8, 2011, 11:30 AM [General]

    The tornado that devastated Tuscaloosa, Alabama, hit Yankees pitcher David Robertson hard. Kimberly Jones recently visited Robertson's home town to share the story of how the people are determined to recover, and what Robertson and his wife, Erin, are doing to help raise awareness (WATCH).

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    Getting caught up with Phil Hughes

    Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 1:50 PM [General]

    Phil Hughes has been on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation since April 15. Since then, he’s received a cortisone shot, started a throwing program and watched the Boston Bruins eliminate his beloved Tampa Bay Lightning from the NHL playoffs.

    Hughes’ throwing program to date has included a lot of playing catch and two bullpens. He’s scheduled for another bullpen Wednesday and could face hitters by the weekend. Joe Girardi said Monday that Hughes’ return won’t be until “realistically, sometime in July.”

    After our first interview with Hughes was ruined by an eight-year-old tape recorder that didn’t record, we caught up again with Hughes, who answered nine questions for Nine.

    1. Are you excited that I’ve moved into this new age? My first digital recorder and you’re my first interview with it.
    PH: Yeah. You seem so much more official now (laughs).

    2. You were on a mound (Friday) for the first time (since going on the DL). How much progress does that represent to you?
    PH: We’ll, I feel like a pitcher, for one thing. That’s always a good step. To (just) play catch all the time, I felt like someone who won a contest and got to go on the field. So it’s a step in the right direction. If all goes well, I’ll pitch in some sort of Minor League game in a couple weeks. That’s when I’ll feel like I’m really one step away. I’m excited about that.

    3. How would you describe the way your arm feels “better” now?
    PH: Before I got the cortisone shot, it took me a lot longer to get loose. Everything kind of feels looser, more free (now). That’s a positive sign. If everything felt the same as before, it would almost seem like I’m just going down the same path and I’m going to continue to fight the same issues. But it has felt different, so that’s a good thing.

    4. With the Lightning eliminated from the NHL playoffs, what will you watch?
    PH: Um, I’ll watch the finals and hope that Boston loses (laughs).
    KJ: As usual.
    PH: Yeah. Exactly. (The Lightning) had a great year, though. Game 7 Eastern Conference Finals. What more could you ask for? And it’s not like they laid down; they played a good game. Maybe I’ll watch the NBA Finals. I don’t know.

    5. When did you become a big Lightning fan?
    PH: Two years ago. We were in Tampa and started going to games. They weren’t very good and didn’t go to the playoffs the last couple years. But that makes it more gratifying when you follow a team that stinks for a while then goes on a great run.

    6. You’re friends with a bunch of those Lightning players. Could your athleticism have translated to hockey?
    PH: (laughs) Maybe goalie. I’m big, just get in the way. I’m decent with the glove, maybe I could try to snag some pucks out of the air. No, those guys are a different breed. I don’t think I could take a slapshot to the face and come out and play.
    KJ: Can you skate?
    PH: No. That might be one problem. I could be a goalie with shoes on.

    7. In the midst of a 10-day, nine-game trip, do you like being on the West Coast?
    PH: Yeah, it’s great. I love the West Coast. It’s funny because I’ll tweet, “Glad to be back home” or “Love it out West” and Yankees fan will hate on me because, of course, New York is the best place in the world and how dare I say the West Coast resembles anything even decent. But I do like it out here. The time change is nice. You get a little extra sleep.

    8. Will we see your parents, Phil and Dori, in Anaheim, even though we know you’re not pitching?
    PH: I think we will, yes. My mom doesn’t like baseball and my dad is really into it (laughs), so he’ll drag her along. I’ll wave from the dugout.

    9. It’s always nice to be home, isn’t it?
    PH: I love going home, it’s great. I get to see everybody. It’s actually a little easier when you’re not pitching in the Anaheim series, just from the tickets and pressure and all that stuff. You don’t want to have a dud with all your family watching. Nonetheless, they love me, even if I’m on the DL.

    To reach Kim or comment on the blog, go to @YESKimJones on Twitter.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Chat tonight at 6:45

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011, 12:22 PM [General]

    Yankees clubhouse reporter Kimberly Jones will chat live tonight at 6:45.

    Be sure to check back here to talk Yankees baseball with Kimberly prior to the start of tonight's Toronto vs. New York game.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Chatting with Joba and Robertson

    Friday, May 20, 2011, 3:45 PM [General]

    Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson are always game for a great interview. The two of them sit down with Kim Jones before the Subway Series (click the image below to watch).

    In the interview, both relievers talk about their experiences playing when they were younger, what it was like to NOT pitch in that 15-inning game and Robertson's new reputation as the "Houdini" of the Yankees' pen. Lots of lightheardedness awaits!

     

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    Posada drama highlights series with Red Sox

    Sunday, May 15, 2011, 10:16 PM [General]

    1. The dramatics of the past 24 hours began with Jorge Posada believing that he’d been wronged and ended with his admission -- apologies all around -- that he was wrong. Case closed. Or so we’ve been led to believe.

    In the first inning of Sunday’s game, media relations guru Jason Zillo read a statement to reporters: Posada, who’d already apologized to Joe Girardi, met with Brian Cashman and apologized to him, too. Cashman then briefed Hal and Hank Steinbrenner and Randy Levine. The apologies were accepted. No disciplinary action will be taken. “They consider the matter closed,” Zillo said.

    2. Derek Jeter, Posada’s best friend, reacted publicly pregame Sunday for the first time. He had his buddy’s back. “He’s like a brother to me,” Jeter said. “If I thought he did something wrong, I’d be the first one to tell him.”

    Jeter essentially said there is no shame in “needing a day” and Posada had “no reason to apologize” to teammates.

    “He said he had to clear his mind,” Jeter said, surrounded by dozens of reporters at his locker. “I think everyone in here can understand that.”

    At one point, Jeter was asked if he ever needed a day.

    “Yeah, I need a day right now, talking to you guys,” he said. Laughter all around.

    Later, in typically concise Jeter fashion, he summed up his take on the whole melodrama: “It’s over, it’s done.”

    3. During his Saturday postgame with the media, Posada came across as angry, edgy, and frustrated. During Sunday’s pregame, he struck a conciliatory tone -- one that suggested chagrin -- and seemed on the verge, at times, of becoming emotional. His eyes appeared to glisten when he described Saturday as “one of those days you hope you can take back.”

    It’s as if he knows this weekend is forever part of his Yankees resume.

    “I’ve learned from this,” the 39-year-old said. He answered every question. Posada reiterated Sunday that “batting ninth had nothing to do with it,” when he asked out of Saturday’s lineup. Posada has been steadfast on that point.

    Another of Posada’s cathartic moments came when he mentioned Yankees fans, saying he wanted to “let the fans know I’d never back down from a game.”

    The bleacher creatures greeted Posada on Sunday night by incorporating him into their roll call. Nice touch. Posada acknowledged them from the dugout.

    4. Girardi’s press conference Sunday was one of his more interesting sessions. Particularly, when he talked about the challenge of managing great Yankees in the twilight of their careers. “There’s no manual I can go to,” Joe said.

    “None of us ever wants to hear that we’re getting old,” Girardi also said, alluding to whispers he heard as a player and ones Posada is likely hearing now. “…You want to play forever. I told Jorge it’s important that you enjoy your career.”

    5. Their careers overlapped, with Girardi admitting it was difficult for him as Posada supplanted him at catcher. “I told him I watched him take my job and I didn’t like it,” Girardi said, relaying part of his conversation with Posada. “I knew he was a better player than I was.”

    Girardi also told Posada that he understands a player’s struggles.

    “I know you’re going to get through this,” Girardi told Posada. “And this” -- the .165 batting average, in particular -- “doesn’t define who he is.”

    You get the distinct feeling that while neither Girardi nor Posada would want to relive the events of Saturday, their Sunday conversation was good for both of them -- as manager and player, and as men.

    6. A tidbit, courtesy of Chad Jennings of the Journal News and his digital recorder: Posada spoke to the media for 8½ minutes Sunday. Jeter spoke about Posada for 12. That’s a long media gathering for Jeter. Just ask him.

    7. We were in Trenton at the home of the Thunder this morning -- with senior associate producer Christa Robinson -- to interview Manny Banuelos, Melky Mesa and Austin Romine for upcoming features.  It’s fun to check in with Yankees prospects. We’ll keep you posted on when those features will air. Only on YES.

    8. Rafael Soriano’s elbow issues haven't gone away, though Girardi said the current discomfort is “tightness” as opposed to the previous “stiffness.” Whatever that means. It’ll be interesting to see if Soriano is available to pitch the eighth inning against his former team, the Rays, over the next two days.

    9. Phil Hughes is continuing his throwing program. Asked for an update, a slightly (and good-naturedly) exasperated Girardi said, “I don’t know. I’ve had a busy day.” We’ll try to corral Hughes in the near future for a report. Thank you.

    To reach Kim or comment on the blog, go to @YESKimJones on Twitter.

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    Mariano Rivera is born ready

    Saturday, May 14, 2011, 10:38 AM [General]

    Mariano Rivera will be known for a long time as baseball's best closer, but people may not know all his special routines for shutting the door on opponents. Fortunately, he's willing to reveal a few secrets to his recipe!

    Some hints:

    He always throws 10 to 12 pitches in the bullpen.

    He takes two to four steps out of the bullpen before jogging to the mound.

    Sometimes he doesn't even need eight pitches on the mound to get ready.

    He usually knows which batters he's facing, but not always.

    Watch the whole video to uncover it all!

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Yanks return home after Detroit, Texas trips

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 3:53 PM [General]

    1. Joe Girardi had a message for his players in the clubhouse after Sunday’s 12-5 win in Texas: “You’ve got to stop making it so hard on yourselves.” Girardi was reacting minutes after the last out was recorded on a 3-4 road trip that featured plenty of blunders. Most obviously, the Yankees committed nine errors, all in the last four games. When asked, Girardi wouldn’t elaborate on his message. But clearly, he intended to give the Yankees something to think about going into yesterday’s off day. And before the homestand begins today.

    2. Also on the road trip -- we’re cleaning out the notebook here -- A.J. Burnett and Ivan Nova continued to forge a nice relationship. Or, as Burnett put it, “I was dragging him with me every day.”

    Burnett is referring to his early arrival at the ballpark when the Yankees are on the road. He convinced Nova to go with him -- “I don’t do anything at the hotel, anyway,” a smiling Nova told us -- as early as 1 p.m. for games that began six hours later. The two ran and did other conditioning work. They also lifted weights.

    Burnett believed the extra work would help Nova extend his outings into the later innings. “Don’t give them a reason to take you out of a game,” were A.J.’s words to the rookie.

    In his last three starts, Nova has pitched into the seventh inning twice and the eighth once, against the Tigers. Before that start, Burnett told Nova he’d talk to him afterward. After Nova left the game, Burnett hugged him in the dugout and told him, “All that hard work is paying off.”

    Burnett said early in his career with the Marlins, Ron Mahay and Matt Mantei served as mentors for him. Now, he seems to be doing the same for Nova.

    “Yeah,” Burnett said, “I guess that’s what it is.”

    3. Not surprisingly, pitching coach Larry Rothschild loves to see his pitchers bond. As for Burnett’s mentoring of Nova, Rothschild said, “I think it’s great, especially for the younger guy to see that someone cares and to have that kind of relationship. And I think A.J. gets something out of it, too. Because he hears what he’s telling Nova.”

    4. The Texas lineup looks dramatically different without Josh Hamilton. And it’s a shadow of itself without Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. Hamilton plans to take batting practice Friday. The Rangers visit the Stadium next month.

    5. Loved seeing the players Sunday with their pink bats, ribbons and even cleats. The interviews that are always easiest: When you ask guys to talk about Mom.

    6. Little Karter Chamberlain, who’s five years old, was in the Yankees' clubhouse over the weekend as he visited his dad, Joba. After Sunday’s game, Karter asked CC if the game was a long one. CC explained that it was, lasting basically from 1 p.m. to almost 5 p.m. local time.

    Karter then said, “Your team hit a lot of home runs, right?”

    “Yes,” a grateful CC said, “five.”

    Cute watching CC, a father of four, interact with Karter. When we asked Joba if we could blog about his son, he said yes, with one provision: “Spell his name right.”

    7. In-stadium voting for the All-Star Game begins today. The Yankees had eight All-Stars last season.

    8. The Yankees' leadoff hitter seems to be doing just fine in that role, by the way. According to today’s Yankees notes, Derek Jeter is batting .409 (18-for-44) with two home runs, three walks and a .447 on-base percentage to lead off innings this season.

    9. Should be fun to see the Royals, one of the early surprises of the season, at the Stadium for three days. Melky Cabrera told the Kansas City Star he wasn't sure how Yankees fans will receive him. We're guessing it's with a cheer. See you soon! And thank you.

    To reach Kim or comment on the blog, go to @YESKimJones on Twitter.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    A-Rod practical, Leyland’s idol, skinny mirrors

    Thursday, May 5, 2011, 2:47 PM [General]

    1. Two slightly different reactions from Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, neither of whom was in the Yankees lineup when it was posted today.

    Rodriguez said he knew Wednesday night that he wouldn’t be in there. Also said he believes Joe Girardi will be smart when it comes to his playing time, knowing that 145-150 games played is the goal this season.

    Rodriguez, 5 for his last 40, said he wants to play every day (of course), but particularly wants to be out there when he’s not swinging the bat well. And he was critical of himself for that ninth-inning strikeout last night, when he tried to check his swing.

    “I should have taken the walk,” he said, “shouldn’t have ever offered at that pitch.”

    Immediately after speaking with Rodriguez, the media turned to Jeter’s locker. Jeter said he was “surprised” not to be in the lineup.

    “There is no (hip) injury,” he said. “I had no treatment today.”

    Jeter also said he did not talk to Girardi about the hip or day off – not last night and not today.

    Eric Chavez tripled but left the game with an injury in the fourth inning. Rodriguez replaced him. So much for that day off.

    By the time the game ended, Eric Chavez already was on a flight back to New York, where he will be seen tomorrow by Yankees team physician Christopher Ahmad.

    Chavez had an X-ray at Comerica Park, which indicated a fracture of the fifth metatarsal, the long bone that connects to the little toe on the outside of the foot.

    2. One (slightly) funny moment, as Rodriguez talked about the offensive struggles.

    “We have guys swinging the bat well,” he said. “(Like) Teixeira.”

    Then he paused, came up with no other name, nodded and said, “Teixeira.”

    3. Two cool things about Jim Leyland: His boyhood idol was Yogi Berra and he still talks to Don Zimmer every day.

    4. After Max Scherzer finished shutting out the Yankees for eight innings on Wednesday night, he and Leyland had an animated conversation in the dugout.

    “I bet you thought he was mad at me for taking him out,” Leyland said before today’s game.”

    Not necessarily. But what was it about?

    Seems that on Tuesday night, Leyland told Scherzer his only chance against the Yankees was to “not nip and pick. You’ve got to be aggressive.”

    Scherzer vowed he would be. After the outing, manager and pitcher were reminding each other about that conversation. Both, obviously, were very pleased with the approach. And the results.

    5. Six-year-old Victor Jose Martinez, son of Victor, has already made a big impact in the Tigers clubhouse. “He’s like one of the guys,” Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge said. “He talks to you like he’s an adult. It’s amazing.”

    Little Victor – a favorite of Terry Francona’s last year in Boston – can rake. And he’s already a switch-hitter.

    6. Through 3 1/2 games of this series, Girardi has to be happy with the way his pitchers have approached the dangerous Miguel Cabrera. He's gotten his hits, RBIs and taken his walks, but he hasn't done game-breaking damage or hit one out of the park.

    And that's saying something. Inge sees Cabrera hit every day and still marvels at batting practice sessions when Cabrera sprays home runs all over the field.

    “He’ll say right field, then hit them out to right,” Inge said. “And he works his way to center and left. He hit one to center, at least 600 feet at Target Field. It’s crazy.”

    Inge went on to laud Cabrera as “a great guy. One of the best teammates I’ve ever had.”

    7. We’ve asked around about the Freddy Garcia reaction after the third inning last night, when he seemed to be agitated in the dugout and appeared to exchange words with catcher Francisco Cervelli.

    (Garcia said he was simply upset at the pitch Magglio Ordonez hit out. Cervelli said he didn’t hear Garcia address anyone. And Girardi said he saw nothing.)

    Anyway, we’re told that Garcia is such an easy-going guy that it’s hard to imagine him having conflict, let alone initiating it.

    “Once he got over throwing a bad pitch, with Freddy it was over,” a teammate said.

    He also settled in on the mound. After giving up four early runs, Garcia finished his outing with four scoreless innings.

    8. The hotel in the Detroit area has skinny mirrors. Thank you.

    9. And, as a particularly relevant follow-up to the previous note, the media dining room in Detroit might have the best soft-serve ice cream in the majors. Again, thank you.

    With Chavez headed to the DL, the Yankees will make a roster move before Friday’s game. We’ll have more between now and the opener Friday night against the Rangers.

    It’s time to fly to Texas now.

    To reach Kim or comment on the blog, go to @YESKimJones on Twitter.

    0 (0 Ratings)

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