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    Tales from the start of a road trip

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011, 3:35 PM [General]

    1. Mark Teixeira said on the field Monday night that he was determined to score from second on Nick Swisher’s single to center field. And he braced himself for a possible collision at the plate, if necessary. (It wasn’t.)

    So we followed up with third base coach Rob Thomson in the clubhouse, asking if sending Teixeira was an easy decision.

    “You look at the way (Austin) Jackson caught the ball, “Thomson said. “He was back a little on his heels.”

    The ball played him?

    “The ball played him,” Thomson said. “That’s when I knew I’d send Teix.”

    And Teixeira scored the winning run.
     
    2. Robinson Cano told us after the game that he is hoping to be available tonight. His left hand, however, was sore. And he said gripping a bat was difficult.

    “I hope,” Cano said, when asked about the prospects of playing Tuesday against the Tigers. “But I don’t want to make it worse.”

    There is a friendly disagreement between Cano and Ivan Nova on the throw that caused the bone bruise on the palm of Cano’s left hand during Sunday’s game.

    They do agree on this: Nova’s pickoff throw to second in the third inning was to blame.

    “I thought I threw it straight,” Nova said.

    “It was a sinker,” Cano said. “Not straight.”

    “I said I’m sorry,” Nova said.

    Both players were smiling as they recounted that conversation.
     
    3. Before Monday’s game, Curtis Granderson wasn’t sure how he would be welcomed by the Detroit fans. He got his answer in the first inning. Some colleagues described the greeting as “polite applause,” and we would mostly agree. There was also a good deal of indifference, which might be a sign of how Tigers fans feel about baseball in general at the moment.
     
    4. The more we hear Yankees talk about Justin Verlander, the more we think he is on the very short list of pitchers for whom their clubhouse has universal respect. And that’s whether they beat him or not.
     
    5. Under his uniform, Russell Martin often wears a shirt that bears a picture of Derek Jeter in uniform. It’s a large image, covering the entire front of the shirt, which is skin-tight and appears to be made of some sort of dri fit material.

    He was wearing the shirt Monday night and we asked why. (We had to.)

    “’Cause it’s got a lot of hits in it,” Martin said. “There are lots of hits in that shirt.”

    Martin said Nick Swisher was wearing an identical shirt during Spring Training.

    “There was one more in the back,” Martin said, “so I grabbed it.”
     
    6. Eric Chavez sat down for our “Innerview” which will air on “Batting Practice Today” (YES, 6 p.m.). Like Martin, Chavez is a perfect fit as a Yankee.

    After the interview, which probably lasted five minutes, our Detroit-based cameraman, Scott, said, “That seems like a guy you’d want on your team.”

    That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?
     
    7. Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers' slugger, has 38 hits, 10 home runs and 24 RBIs in 27 career games against the Yankees. He has the highest batting average vs. the Yankees -- .388 -- of any active player with at least 75 at-bats.

    In the eighth inning Monday – and with the bases empty -- Joba Chamberlain threw Cabrera four consecutive sliders and gave up a single, Cabrera’s third of the night. After the game, Chamberlain said he was determined not to give Cabrera a pitch he could hit out of the park. And he seemed genuinely relieved that he didn’t. Chamberlain struck out Brennan Boesch to end the inning.

    Earlier, Bartolo Colon gave up a two-out single to Cabrera that scored Ramon Santiago from second. Especially with first base open, we would have walked Cabrera there. (There’s a chance we’d always walk him.) In explaining the decision to pitch to Cabrera in that spot, Joe Girardi noted that Boesch has hurt the Yankees, too.
     
    8. Before we interviewed Colon, he and Chamberlain were engaged in a conversation in Spanish that both players seemed to enjoy.

    Among the few words we understood was “Santiago,” as in the Tigers second baseman. Chamberlain retired him on a groundout; against Colon, Santiago went 3-for-3.

    A few minutes later, Colon told reporters that no matter what he throws, Santiago gets a hit. Santiago is 11-for-20 in his career against the veteran right-hander.
     
    9. In closing out the win, Mariano Rivera got Ryan Raburn to ground out to second. As Raburn’s bat splintered into about six pieces, some shot into the air like fireworks.

    On the team bus, we asked Rivera about the broken bat. He didn’t flinch. Or initially respond.

    Finally, he said, “I don’t think about broken bats. That’s for you to worry about.”

    Thank you.

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

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Nine questions with Derek Jeter

    Monday, May 2, 2011, 11:37 AM [General]

    We’re back! We’ve missed you and missed writing, and decided to do something about it.

    Hello, “Nine.”

    Our blog has returned (after a year of neglect) in a slightly altered state. For starters, the new name suits a blog that is (mostly) about baseball. And the goal is a bit different this time around: to give you insight into the players you love to watch and, at times, into the job we do in covering them.

    Hopefully, everyone will be happy. (That’s another goal.)

    Anyway, for the grand re-opening, we went to Derek Jeter, who agreed to a Q&A that features nine main questions. Here’s our unedited conversation, conducted at Jeter's Yankee Stadium locker:
     
    1. When you go back to Michigan – and you’ve gone back often (as a Yankee) -- is there a favorite childhood memory that comes to mind?
    DJ: I don’t really go back as much; it’s usually every other year for my (Turn 2) Foundation.
    KJ: But when you go back to play the Tigers?
    DJ: Do I have a favorite childhood memory from playing against the Tigers?
    KJ: You’re so difficult.
    (laughs)
    DJ: It’s different. It’s different when we go back to play because when I was a kid I went to old Tiger Stadium. Now you’re going to the new stadium, so it’s a little bit different. But I mean, I remember going to the Tigers games when they were playing the Yankees. So it’s kind of cool that now I’m playing for them.
    KJ: Who did you root for?
    DJ: Yankees, of course.
     
    2. The new book about you (“The Captain,” by Ian O’Connor) – will you read it or will anyone close to you read it and tell you what’s in it?
    DJ: I’m sure someone close to me will read it. But it’s a book of hearsay, like I’ve said. A lot of things are exaggerated and factually untrue.
    KJ: Obviously you’re a public figure. Do you ever become comfortable with the idea that things are written about you all the time, whether it’s gossip items, a book, things that are outside the realm of day-to-day baseball?
    DJ: Ah, I’ve gotten used to it now. You know, when you’re younger, it’s a learning process. But you never really get used to it.
    KJ: Do you want to clear up any of the things you say are exaggerated?
    DJ: I don’t know because I haven’t read it.
    KJ: You’re assuming?
    DJ: I don’t have to assume because people have told me what’s in it. And some of them have laughed at some of the things.
    KJ: Want to give me one?
    DJ: (smiles) No.
     
    3. When you’re finished playing, would you ever write an autobiography where you put everything on the record?
    DJ: No.
    KJ: Why?
    DJ: I’ve always been private. I’ve always tried to keep things out of the media. But if I do I’ll call you.
    KJ: I’ll hold you to that.
     
    4. Is there a Yankee in history – one of all the greats – who you wish you could have played with?
    DJ: Hmmm. That’s a good one. There’s probably a few; I don’t know if there’s just one. Gehrig, Babe Ruth obviously, the list goes on and on. I would have liked to play with a bunch of them. Yogi, to see what he was like. Mickey, DiMaggio. I’d sort of have an All-Star team, I guess.
     
    5. What do you think of this version of Bartolo Colon as your teammate?
    DJ: I wouldn’t necessarily say “this version.” Bartolo always knows how to pitch. He’s always pitched well. The thing with him has been his health. When he’s been healthy, he’s been successful everywhere he’s gone.
     
    6. Is there a young player in the game – not a teammate – who you really enjoy watching?
    DJ: A lot of people. There’s a lot of guys I enjoy watching. For me, it’s not just someone who has talent but knows how to handle himself. That’s another one where it’s hard to pick just one. But know that, for me, it’s not just the numbers you put up, it’s how you handle yourself.
     
    7. Is there a difference in your mind between an infield hit and a drive to the outfield for a single?
    DJ: Nope, none whatsoever. The job is to get on base.

    8. People ask me this. Do you still follow American Idol?

    DJ: I do.
    KJ: And who’s your pick this season?
    DJ: I like Lauren. Lauren Alaina. She’s pretty good.
     
    9. Are you as superstitious -- the jinxes, the black cats, all that stuff -- as you seem?
    DJ: Well, when it comes to you, I don’t have much of a choice (laughs). It seems like every time you say something, the complete opposite happens. I’m waiting for you to tell me something bad. Maybe then, something good will happen.
    KJ: I won’t bother to defend myself. Thank you for helping me re-launch my blog.
    DJ: All right. 
     
    To reach Kim or comment on the blog, go to @YESKimJones on Twitter.

    4.6 (4 Ratings)

    Live chat this Thursday

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 12:50 PM [General]

    Kimberly Jones talked baseball with Yankees fans prior to the start of Thursday's game. Here is the transcript:

     

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Andruw Jones speaks with Kim Jones

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 10:49 AM [video]

    Kimberly Jones recently sat down with Yankees outfielder Andruw Jones to talk about his defense prowess and the elusive World Series championship. Click the image below to watch the video:

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

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