Chat with Wallace Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Friday, 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 Friday at noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (12:00 PM)
Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to the Friday chat. Not much to about today, right? Yeah, right. We'll get started momentarily so fire up the best you got, and let's have some fun.
Jim McDonald (Mt. Pleasant, Michigan)
What will the Yankees do at the trade deadline? Pitching? Bullpen? Bench strength? All of the above?
Wallace Matthews (12:05 PM)
Hey, Jim. Theoretically, the Yankees could use help in all three areas, but what team couldn't? I think Girardi gave a clear indication of what he would like to see under his trade deadline tree when he mentioned a right-handed bat off the bench, and preferably an outfielder. He also made a great point that I think a lot of us forget about when immersed in the daily micro-coverage of this fascinating team and that is, in spite of all their "flaws," the Yankees still have the best record in baseball. I don;'t think theyre going to go crazy at the deadline. I think after the Cliff Lee deal fell through there's really no SP out there that makes them drool, although I wouldn;t be shocked f they came up with an Oswalt or a Harden, but only if the price is abslutely in their favor. Best bet: an OF somehwere between the level of a Bobby Abreu and an Eric Hinske, to name two deadline acquisitions of the recent past
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
How did you feel when you heard that the Yankee Family Passed Away which included Ralph Houk, George Steinbrenner & Bob Sheppard?
Wallace Matthews (12:08 PM)
Hello, Chris. Obviously, I felt for the families of the deceased men, all of whom had lived long, full, rewarding lives. I never met Houk and didn't really know Sheppard, but had known and dealt with the Boss numerous times over the past 20 years so that one hit me the hardest. even though he hasn;t been actively involved in the team for the past three years or so, the reality that he is really, truly, finally gone is one that took a while to sink in. and I think the ripple effect of that has yet to be fully felt or understood by people inside or outside the organization
Why does Girardi let his starters begin the 7th or 8th with 100+ pitches only to pull them after they walk a batter or two? Last night CC got the first out and then walked two guys. Why let CC face that third batter? Robertson then had to come in and pitch from the stretch with 2 aboard...
Wallace Matthews (12:10 PM)
Hey, Doug: I was thinking the very same thought sitting in the Stadium last night, and the only conclusion I can come to is that he has as little faith in his bullpen as many of the fans, and wants to avoid pulling a starter for as long as possible, until he literally has no other choice. He even emphasized before the game that he had a ful complement of rested arms in the pen for last night's game, so clearly his concerns were over quality, not quantity. On the bright side, Robertson did a helluva job in a very difficult situaion with little room for error. The question is, why hasn; the been officially designated the eighthinning guy over Joba?
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear WallaceCould you see President Obama helping with bring Baseball back in the Black Community?
Wallace Matthews (12:12 PM)
Hello Chioke. as noble a goal as I believe that is for baseball, Pres. Obama's got bigger things to worry about than the demographic makeup of Major League Baseball. That one, the owners and GMs are going to have to sort out for themselves
If A-Rod hits one tonight, it willl be off the guy he tagged fpr #500.
Wallace Matthews (12:14 PM)
Hey, Matt. actually, that's tomorrow. Tonight he gets Brian Bannister, off whom he's already hit three HRs in 7 ABs. Chances are by the time he gets to Kyle Davies, he'll be going for 601. Or 602 or 603.
Wally, do you think Andy will stick around and try to get to 300 wins. While he used HGH, it was only to heal, so it won?t be tainted like everything A-Rod does. Does Pettitte get into the Hall with around 275 wins or so?
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
Hello, Steve. I can;t imagine Pettitte stcking around long enuf for 300, considering how he goes through his own Brett Favre/Hamlet routine every off-season, although I must say I believe Pettitte's is sincere. and this latest injury seems to have him thinking retirement again, when he said, "I don;t want to go through this again," meaning another rehab. The question of whether he goes into the H of F s a tough one because of the HGH admission. No matter why a player uses it, the effect is th esame and there's no doubt that at around that point of his career, his velocity increaed from 89-90 to 91-94. Plus, on the numbers alone his career is borderline HoF. as much as I like and admire him, I'm going to have to think long and hard about that one before I give him my vote
Wally, how historic do you think A-Rod?s 600th* HR is? I think it?s just going to be more stat padding in a career of selfish number collecting.
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
Hey, Steve. I think the No. 600 is still historic, even if it doesn;t mean what it once did, the same way 500 seems almost ordinary nowadays, which is a shame for the guys who achieved it the right way. And I think every number A-Rod puts up from here on has to be suspect, just as every number preceding it now that we know for a fact that he used steroids. He admits to three seasons; wo knows how for how long he really did them. and here's a fact to throw into the mix--prior to this seaosn, he hit a HR about once every 14 ABs. This year? Every 21.5 ABs. If he's playing clean, that's about as damning a piece of evidence as you can find to explain the effect of PEDs on his career
CARLOS (NEW YORK)
DO YOU THINK CC CAN WIN 300 GAMES I DO CAN YOU GIVE ME YOUR OPINION
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
Hello, Carlos. For CC to do that, he would have to duplicate the first 10 years of his career for the next 10, at the end of which he will be 39. Certainly it's possible, esp. if he finishes up his career here or wth a comparable team offiensively, but a lot has to go right for him, especially his health. Possible, definitely. Likely? Don't think so, but ask me again five years from now
I'm not a yankee fan at all, but it seriously baffles me how they can justify not having Gardner leading off. I suppose they cite loyalty to Jeter's role, but Gardner is the best speed player in baseball right now and could make the line-up that much more dynamic.
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
Hey, Matt. Two words: Derek Jeter. Moving the captain out of the spot where he clearly is most comfortable and that has become part of his Yankee identity would not only be a public embarrassment to the player who has been the face of this franchise for 15 years, but an admission by the Yankees that at 36, he is in fact slipping. I agree with you that it is the right mve, but I think the Yankees will avoid it until they absolutely have to do it.
Brian (Richmond, Ky.)
Does it matter how many HRs Rodriguez hits, considering we know he did steroids? We don't care how many Bonds hit.
Wallace Matthews (12:28 PM)
Brian, excellent question. But I'm sure you understand the psyche of the sports fan as well as anyone. Nobody cares about Barry Bonds' HR #s, it seems, except for fans of the SF Giants. Same goes for McGwire in StL, Papi in Boston, and of course, A-Rod in NY. Fans can be very selective in their prosecution of cheats depending upon which team the cheat plays for. Personally, I refuse to recognize the numbers of any player proven to my satisfaction to have used PEDS. If it was up to me, Aaron and Maris would still be the HR kings
Jorgie Hernandez (Linden, NJ)
Hey Wallace, Me and you spoke last night on Twitter how Robertson should be main setup guy over Joba, with that being the case do you think they can avoid going after bullpen help at the deadline, and going after a solid DH-type hitter? Adam Dunn?
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
Hey, Jorgie. I think you're right about the bullpen - there just aren;t tat many good available arms out there to be had right now -- but I'm not sure about Adam Dunn. Strikes out too much, costs too much, and hes a lefty. Girardi specifically said yesterday the Yankees needed a RH bat off the bench
Do you ever see the Yankees bringing Clemens back for an Old Timer's game? I'd love to see it. He was a big part of our dynasty and did win 2 rings.
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
Hey, randy. Not unless there is a favorable resolution to all the steroid and HGH allegatiuons and the lawsuit between him and Brian McNamee. Right now, the Rocket is radioactive and I can;t see the image-conscious Yankees having anything to do with him. Same goes for Jim Leyritz
Yankees wouldn't drool over Greinke?
Wallace Matthews (12:32 PM)
Geez, what a thought. Didi I use that word? (LOL) Cashman said that to him, no pitcher on the market is anywhere close to Cliff Lee. We'll find whether he means it in a week or so
Wallace Matthews (12:33 PM)
Thank you, everyone, a ton of great questions today and I'm sorry I could only get to a fraction of them. We'll do it again next Friday when I'm in Tampa for the 3-game series with the Rays.