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 (11:56 AM)
Happy Thursday, Yankee fanatics. Off day today but still plenty going on. Pettitte pitching tonight in Trenton, Posada getting on the plane to Texas, six big games coming up with Rangers and Rays this weekend/next week. We'll get started in a minute or two
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Is the Best & the Worst MLB Stadium that you have Been to?
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
Hey, Chris: My favorite is Angel Stadium because the press box is low and open, the weather is always beautiful, the food is good, the people are exceptionally nice and it is easy to get from the press box to the clubhouses and back again. Also like Dodger Stadium, Camden and even tho some people think it's too sterile, the new Yankee Stadium. Don;t particularly care for Comerica (or whatever they call it now) Oakland Coliseum or CitiField. And the ballpark at Arlington is just way too hot.
Kei Igawa (Scranton WB)
I hear the Yankees could use some rotation help...
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
Yes, but not from you. Besides, you;re pitching in Columbus tonight, where you belong. now go get ready
Chioke Hassan (Baltimore,Md)
Dear WallyCould you see Thurman Munson making the Hall?
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
It's possible Munson will get in via the Veterans committee at some point but in his 15 years of eligibility, he never got more than 15% pf the vote (60 votes, IIRC) and by 1995, his last year, support had dwindled to like 30 votes. The problem is not only the brevity of his career, which of course was not his fault, but his numbers fall significantly short of the average Hall of Famer. He may belong in Monument Park, but IMHO, not in Cooperstown
Wally (The Monster)
If Pettitte is ready who do you see as the Yankees rotation for the playoffs?
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
Hey, nice name. Assuming Pettitte passes his test tonight, it'll be CC, Andy, AJ (yes) and probably Hughes, although it is possible Girardi will use Nova as his 4th with Hughes coming out of the pen. But everything is subject to change over these final three weeks
With all the big names on the roster, has last years fourth outfielder to start the season, Swisher, been the most unreplacable this year?
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
Hey, Benny. Swisher has had the kind of year not even the Yankees could have expected from him this year. he's even toned down his sometimes obnoxious clubhouse schtick. For a guy who was expected to play behind X Nady, he has paid huge dividends for them. And as I'm sure you know has become a huge fan favorite. He made Randy Winn expendable within three weeks of opening day. Can't imagine the Yankees doing as well this year with, say, Gardner in right and Thames in LF, or Austin Kearns. And obv, his stock has never been higher than it is today after yesterday;s walk-off.
Of all the Yankees who are free agents this year do you see all coming back or going elsewhere/retiring?
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
Hey, Bob. Tough but interesting question. Jeter, of course, is coming back. Pettitte is likely to retire, esp. after the frustration of starting the season 11-2 and then spending two months on the DL. He has said several times, I';m not going through this again, meaning rehab. Mariano will be back on a one or two year deal. Javy, obviously, is gone and as good as he;s been, I don;t think Yanks will pick up the $11M option on K Wood. Yanks will bring back Thames and maybe Mitre. Austin Kearns is probably gone. Chad Gaudin? Outta here, I think. did I miss anyone?
Mike (Saratoga NY)
Do you agree they need to stop babying Hughes like they did Job they screwed him up irreversibly?
Wallace Matthews (12:19 PM)
Hey, Mike. I don;t know if he;'s hurting Hughes but he sure isn;t making him happy. Hughes did not pitch well the last time they skipped him and it will be intersting to see how he does this time. The Strasburg injury to me points up the futility of pitch count/innings limits -- no one was more protected than he -- altho Girardi took it as evidence that they are necessary, somewhat illogically, I thought. Hughes says he is fine and can easily take his regular turns. If it were up to me, he wouldn't be skipped
jen Parrish (tigard oregon)
good afternoon wally. Hey with the way aj has been struggling who do you think we put on post season roster as number two and how do we turn aj around, Have a great day
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
Hey, Jen. I think AJ will be No. 2 on the PS roster for several reasons. The first is $16.5M a year. the second is he did the same thinng last year and then pitched well in October. Girardi is banking on that happening again this year. he's mentioned it several times. So there's no getting aroound it. He's pitching in the playoffs
Greg (Milford, MI)
It is hard to hear all the Jeter bashing these days...I've been a big fan for years. But I can't help but wonder what the Yanks' record would be and how many games up on the Rays they'd be if he was even hitting somewhere in the .280's and not the .260's...Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
Hey, Greg: I agree it seems ungrateful and harsh to bash Jeter after all he;s meant to the franchise for the past 15 years. However, if you forget WHO he is and juts look at what he is doing, it is clear he has dragged down the offense at times. He can;t seem to hit line drives anymore, perhaps because he's cheating on the FB to compensate for lost bat speed. Whatever the reason, he's rolling over everything which is why so many DPs and groundouts. Still, he is not the only reason this race is so close. There's AJ and Javy, A-Rod and Posada having down years, Cervelli not really an everyday catcher, and oh yeah, the Rays are pretty damn good
What do you see them doing with Nova? Rather see him out there then Vazquez, Mosley, or Mitre....thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
Hey. Mitch. Nova is clearly being groomed to be the No. 4 or 5 starter next year, and possibly higher if Pettitte retires as expected. And I guaranteed you will see him starting the remainder of this year ahead of Moseley and Mitre, and maybe Javy too depending on how he does in his last chance tomorrow night
Wally, what were your thoughts when the Yankees first got Swisher? I know a lot of people bashed the move as trading for a .219 hitter, but it?s clearly been a great trade for the Yankees.
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
Hey, Steve: When Swisher came here I thought he had a lot to prove after what happened in Chicago. Didn't know if we had seen the best of him in Oakland, and if it was his fault or Ozzie's that things when bad in Chi. I must say I've been pleasantly surprised on all counts. He has fit in well here, on field and off. When we bash the GM for moves like Nick J and Grandy and AJ, remember moves like this one and K Wood and a bunch of other (B Logan)
mike, ny [via mobile]
how come you dont like citi field?
Wallace Matthews (12:28 PM)
Difficult to work, lousy food, very gimmicky outfield and distracting billboards everywhere. Looks like a shopping mall from the outside. Big disappointment
Jacob W (NYC)
Do you see Montero with the big club next year?
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
Hey, Jacob. Good possibility since although I think everyone admires Cervelli's hustle and attitude, I don;t think anyone is satisfied with his play at bat or behind the plate
Wally, CC has pitched almost identical to last year but should end up with more wins. Do you think he?s done a better job of getting his teammates to rally around him, leading to more wins?
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
Hey Steve: Better run support, going deeper into games, keeping score close enough for team to come back and win on days he doesn;t have his best stuff. He's a workhorse who saves the bullpen and keeps some of the sketchier guys out there off the field
Jim Clark (Dolan Island, NY)
Several years ago there was speculation that when George died, the family would sell the Yankees. With him gone to wherever he is now, is it definite that the Young Elephant Steinbrenners will keep the Yankees and YES?
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
Absolutely. And move from that miserable place, please
Is Willie Joe's replacement in your mind?
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
No way. For reasons I can;t divulge (sorry) the Yankees will not hire Willie Randolph as their manager.
Tom (New England)
Carl Crawford? Clif Lee? Yes? No? Why?
Wallace Matthews (12:32 PM)
Crawford, yes. Because they love him and aren;t happy with Grandy. Lee, maybe. Back issues make him a big risk
Cody Ladison (Canton)
Do you think A-Rod will make it to the hall of fame?
Wallace Matthews (12:32 PM)
Not on my ballot. No admitted steroid user gets my vote, regardless of the #s
Wallace Matthews (12:33 PM)
Ladies and gents, thanks for all the terrific questions today. you kept me hopping. we'll do it again next week. Meanwhile, enjoy