Chat with Wallace Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Thursday, New York Yankees beat writer Wallace Matthews will stop by to take your baseball questions.
Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He joins ESPNNewYork to cover the Yankees, which he's done since the days of Stump Merrill, having worked for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and 1050 ESPN Radio.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Thursday at noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (12:02 PM)
Good afternoon, everyone and welcome to the first chat of the second half of the baseball season. More importantly, it's the first chat of the post-Steinbrenner era, an era that holds some degree of uncertainty for the Yankees. We'll discuss that as well as what;s ahead in the rest of the season for the Yankees, so fire up the questions and we'll get started in a few minutes
Jason @ IIATMS (Westchester, NY)
Wally, seems that the Sheppard patch came out perfect but the GMS patch looks hastily created. Too much text on it, no?
Wallace Matthews (12:05 PM)
Hey, Jason. I guess it's easier to design a patch to commemorate a PA announcer than it is an owner. I mean, a microphone is obvious and appropriate. But for a boss, i mean Boss, what can you do? Recreate a large open mouth screaming at employees? I kinda think the GMS patch is OK, all business, no nonsense, rather stark and almost intimidating, just like the man himself
Wally, do the Yankees have any viable internal options for the bullpen (Albaladejo, Nova, Sanchez, Brackman), are they expecting the guys they have to turn it around or do you expect some trades?
Wallace Matthews (12:08 PM)
Chirs, great question. Albaladejo is having a great year in AAA but has never been able to match those results in the majors in an admittedly small sample. I think the Yankees will give him another shot, although personally I dread it because I have trouble spelling his name. (Only kidding) Nova and Sanchez were up earlier in the year and both showed promise, but I doubt if the Yankees will entrust any of the crucial second half games to them, esp. with TB sitting just two games back and the Red Sox only three behind them. My understanding is Brackman is still a year away. If there is going to be any trading deadline activity it will probably be in the this area, as well as trying to shore up the bench
Wallace, when Albert Pujols didn't play in the ASG when Larussa was his manager, they had a nice, not so friendly, back and forth in the press. We all know Pujols is much more of a team guy then A-Rod, so are you just waiting for A-Rod to run his mouth on the subject? It's bound to happen, right?
Wallace Matthews (12:10 PM)
Hey, Steve. I would love for that to happen because that kind of stuff is gold to a baseball columnist, but I think A-Rod is smarter than that now. In the past, maybe, but now he seems to choose every word extremely carefully, even if he can;t help himself from occiassionaly saying something that put him in a bad light (i.e., Dallas Braden situation). So far this year, it's been "whatever skip says," and frankly, I'd be surprised if that changed at all.
What's your take on the whole A-Rod incident? Do you think Girardi had a bone to pick or A-Rod is hurting?
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
Hello, Shaya. I suspect Joe was just being Joe. That is, super-cautious with his guys and not about to risk one of them in an essentially meaningless game. (You would have loved to have him as a parent when you were in school; probably would have kept you home a month with a sore throat). There's no doubt A-Rod was hurting a little; Brian Cashman confirmed it to me yesterday. So knowing Girardi and how he deals with injured players, it's really not too surprising that he held him out of the game even though he had a perfect oppty. to use him. If it had been a reg. season Yankee game, I'm sure A-Rod would have hit in that spot
C Lee (Texas)
What are my chances of being a Yankee by this winter?
Wallace Matthews (12:14 PM)
Depends. what's the C. stand for?
Lenin (Columbus, Ohio)
hey Wally do you have any great George Steinbrenner Memory?
Wallace Matthews (12:16 PM)
I have several but my favorite is of my first encounter with him, probably back in the late 80s or early 90s when I was writing a column for Newsday on LI. I asked him a question and, being an unfamiliar face, he unapologetically grabbed the credential around my neck, read my name and affiliation aloud, thought about it for a second -- and then asnwered the question, which of course, I;ve forgotten by now. Anyway, I felt as if I had just been subjected to a rite of passage and thereafter, we always enjoyed a cordial professional relationship
Matt (Holmdel, NJ)
Wally, Has Brett Gardner played himself into a future with the Yankees since they're sure to be heavily interested in Carl Crawford after the season or do they view him as rmore of a 4th outfielder type?
Wallace Matthews (12:19 PM)
Hey, Matt: I think Gardner has opened some eyes with his ability to hit consistently while playing virtually every day, his talent for creating chaos, and runs, on the base paths, and the occasional pop he has shown in his bat. still, I can;t imagine they will be able to resist the lure of Crawford when he becomes available. Certainly, they would not have when the Boss was alive and running the show; If the new regime being run by Hal chooses to pass on Crawford, that will be to me a strong indication of how future Yankee business will be conducted.
Josh S. (Philly)
Better chance at making the playoffs: Mets or the Knicks?
Wallace Matthews (12:20 PM)
In whose lifteime--mine or yours? Either way, it's gotta be Mets
Randy (New York)
With the surprising success of Gardner, do you still see the Yankees going after Crawford next season? My guess is absolutely.
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
Hey Randy: just answered this question in another form. I think they will and if they don;t, it will be a clear indication that Hal steinbrenner is going to do things differently than Geo. Steinbrenner
Todd Bloomer (San Antonio, Texas)
Wally -- Who do you see as the stanrting outfield for the Yankees next year? Free agents make impact in outfield next year?
Wallace Matthews (12:22 PM)
Hey, Todd; From this vantage point, I would say Granderson, Crawford, Swisher. But I'm not sure the Yankees are entirely in love with Granderson so far.
Why does everyone think A-Rod is going to get 800 HR's? He's already 35, and with no PED's in the game, we're starting to see a trend of veterans struggling as they get into their upper 30's. I don't even think he's going to break Barry's record*
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
Ney, Bryan: I think that line of thinking has gone the way of "Tiger Woods will win 50 majors." Even with years of PED use, it;s obviously not so easy to hit 800 HRs, or even 700 (which, BTW, renders the accomplishments of Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth that much more impressive, since both did it, I am reasonably sure, clean). We're already seeing a dropoff in A-Rod's power and it is quite possible that from here on, instead of being a 45-55 HR guy, he might be a 25-30 HR guy. Which, of course, reduces his chances of reaching 800 to almost nil. Incidentally, love the *
C Lee (Texas)
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
In that case, see you in December
is robinson cano mvp caliber
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
Hello, Jack. I believe he is, but as we've seen over the past 15 years, it's very difficult for a Yankee to receive much support in the MVP voting because of the quality of the surrounding cast. I thought Jeter deserved it in 06 when it went to Morneau, another good candidate. That being said, Cano has to keep up his first-half production the rest of the way to even be considered, and the Yankees have to keep up their end of the bargain, because how much value can a player have had if his team doesn;t make the playoffs?
Do you think Cash would admit defeat, trade Granderson and have an outfield of Crawford, Gardner, Swisher?
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
No. I don't think the Yankees would committ to Gardner as their everyday CF, and as for admitting defeat, I can answer that in two words: Kei Igawa
Todd (San Antonio, Texas)
Another question Wally -- can you tell me your thoughts on twitter and social network sites as to reporting yankee information and news overall?
Wallace Matthews (12:32 PM)
I think they;re a great way not only to get your news out there, but to see what everyone else has or is workign on. I was admittedly resistant to them at first -- must be a generational thing -- but now I find them, esp. Twitter, indispensable
Wallace Matthews (12:32 PM)
Thank you, everyone, for the great questions and I apologize to those I did not get to. We'll do this again next week, probably on Friday, Have a good one