Notebook: Rothschild talks Zambrano, plus Grandy making a case for AL MVP

Larry Rothschild used to tutor Carlos Zambrano when he was a pitching coach with the Cubs.

That’s why Rothschild called the whole Zambrano retirement fiasco “sad” on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s sad,” Rothschild said. “But I’m not there, so there’s not much I can say.

“You hate to see (this happen) because a lot of years he pitched really well for that franchise. Who knows what comes of it now, it’s just too bad.”

Rothschild would not expand upon his comments because he “didn’t know the whole circumstance.”

The Cubs put Zambrano on the disqualified list Saturday and he’ll go 30 days without pay and without team contact, the Cubs announced.

Zambrano cleaned out his locker and said he was retiring after he gave up five home runs and getting ejected for throwing at Chipper Jones in a 10-4 loss to the Braves on Friday night.

Rothschild was hired as the pitching coach of the Cubs in 2002, and remained in the capacity until moving on and signing on in the same role with the Yankees prior to the start of this season.

• Let the Curtis Granderson-for-AL-MVP-talk begin.

Granderson went 2-for-4 on Saturday afternoon and hit his fifth homer in as many games.

He currently leads the AL in both RBIs (94) and runs scored (107) and is tied with Toronto's Jose Bautista for the junior circuit lead in home runs (33).

Granderson has hit 47 homers since aug. 14, 2010, the second most in the majors during that span behind Bautista’s 51.

He has already scored 31 more runs than he did all of last season, and there’s still six weeks remaining in the 2011 campaign.

Granderson is 15 runs shy of his career-high of 122 set in 2007 with Detroit.

Derek Jeter, who went 2-for-5 on Saturday afternoon, is batting .313 in 33 games since coming off the disabled list on July 4. He began the season batting .260 in his first 62 games before being sidelined.

• The Yankees have now won three of their last four games and 11 of their last 15. They improved to 27-12 over their last 39 home games since May 21.

• At 72-46, the Yankees matched their record through 118 games last season, and are only two games shy of their pace in 2009 (74-44).

• The Yankees are 6-5 against the Rays in 2011, 3-2 at Yankee Stadium.

• They are a major-league best 33-8 (.805) in day games in 2011. Their pitchers own a 2.99 ERA during the day (370.2 IP, 123 ER).

• Six Yankees recorded multi-hit games, including each one of the first five batters in the lineup. Their 15 total hits marked their most since recording 23 on Aug. 3 at Chicago. The only Yankees starter who failed to record a hit was Nick Swisher (0-for-2, three walks).