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 (11:53 AM)
Good morning everyone. I'm a little bleary-eyed this AM, got home from Yankee Stadium about 3 AM, so bear with me if I make even less sense than usual. I left the park cranky and tired, woke up the same way a few minutes ago, expect to remain this way until mid-November at least. still, we soldier on. Like the players say, I'm going to take this one question --er, game -- at a time. Get started in a few.
larry (Hartford, CT)
A couple of Chats ago you said you would never vote for Arod for the Hall of Fame. Ok Fine, But the hypocrisy coming from sportswriters who claim to be the gate keepers of all things baseball is crazy. How many articles did you write about steroids in baseball prior to 2003? How many times did you ask the tough questions? And dont say you had no idea, Ken Caminiti and Jose Canseco were both talking about the issue long before Congress started looking into it. The baseball writers, you included are a sorry bunch because, you, just like everyone else turned a blind eye to the steroid issue. And now because you FAILED to do your job a decade ago your going to hold it against Arod, Bonds and the rest of them? Get off you moral high horse.
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
First of all, if refusing to condone illegal activity is "riding a moral high horse," then saddle me up every time. And if that's the way you look at the world, I shudder to think what kind of person you are or what kind fo children you are raising, if any. Steroid use is illegal. I'm against it. End of story. Next. you obviously are ignorant of my history. If you searce the archives of the NY post in 1998 you will find quite a few of my columns casting suspicion on the "feats" of McGwire and Sosa. But we have something in this country called libel laws that deter us from making accusations without hard evidence. And I, among others, was stonewalled and shouted down at every turn by MLB and the MLBPA. It was THEIR job to root out and expose the abuse, not MINE. I and my colleague are not cops, we are watchdogs. Get it? What you are doing--making baseless accusations without the slightest knowledge of what you are talking about -- is precisely what you claim me and my brethren should have been doing. Then you would have had a problem with that! Get lost
how come vazquez was sent to the bullpen, and burnett is still a SP? I think burnett lost his stuff, I don't trust him in the rotation for the playoffs
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
Hey, David. A lot of reasons. Mainly, about 50 million of them, which is how many dollars they still owe AJ, so they are committed to making this work somehow because they'll never be able to unload him. And in fairness, when he's on, his stuff is light-years better than Javy's. But for some reason, despite AJs inconsistency and immaturity, Girardi has a lot more patience with him than he does with Javy, probably for the reasons I just mentioned. For some reason, he does not like Javy and keeps him on a very short leash
E (NY, NY)
Any thoughts on why Girardi used the pen the way he did last night? Did Gaudin seal his fate with the performance?
Wallace Matthews (12:10 PM)
Obvious answer was the injury to Robertson and the fact he had used Joba and Javy the night before. His options were severely limited. And the choicves he did make, Ring, Moseley and Gaudin, turned out to be disasters. In hindsight it is easy to say why not K Wood and B Logan and Mitre, but the weather screwed with a lot of things last night, including perhaps the mgr's thought processes
jen Parrish (tigard oregon)
Good morning . my friend . So what does robbie need to do to get mvp this year . He is a lock now with hamilton on bench
Wallace Matthews (12:12 PM)
Hi Jen. I think Robbie's got to finish up strong, as does the team, and he will have a great shot. Although he will have to overcome a certain anti-NY Yankee bias that seems to exist when voting for post-season awards -- A-Rod's MVP in 2007 being the exception, Jeter's 2d place finish in 2006 more like the rule -- in order to win. Seems like the thinking is there's so many great players on the Yankees, no one individual is really all that valuable. In Cano's case, I would strongly disagree
Hi Wally, I never lost faith that Jeter would get his stroke back. Are people saying it's just the adjustment of the toe tapping or is it possible he was just hiding an injury? Call me crazy but did your Twitter account get hacked about a week ago?
Wallace Matthews (12:15 PM)
Hi, Randy. Neither did Jeter, whihc is probably the biggest reason he has come back as well as he has. His self-belief is as strong as any athlete's I;ve ever covered, as strong in its own way as Evander Holyfield's, who always believed he would beat Tyson even when some of his friends feared he would get hurt. To answer your question, I think there have been minr adjustments to make his swing quicker and shorter to th eball, and he has been battling a series of minor but nagging leg injuries. Re Twitter account: I have no idea. If so, I was unaware of it. Should I be?
Matt (New York)
Is Andrew Brackman going to be brought up?
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
Hey, Matt. Brackman will be brought up along with Montero and Dellin Betances, probably be with the club today, but will not be part of the roster. All three will take BP and pre-game drills but then watch the games from the stands. The Yankees do this every year with a handful of guys to give them a feel for what it's like to make it to the show. Also, I suspect, to provide a little more incentive. Once you taste MLB life, you don;t want to go back to the minors
Hey Wally, with the strong Yankee lineup and bullpen, can they overcome a bad performance or two by starters?
Wallace Matthews (12:20 PM)
Hey, Jeremy. Yes. I think we've seen that several times, but it has to happen on nights when everyone is healthy and the bullpen is rested. Last night was the prime example of when they can't with the injury to d-rob and unavialbilty of Joba and Javy. But certainly they have enough talent in the lineup and on the bench to overcome the occassional 3-4 inning outing by a starter. Problem is, in the playoffs, managers tend to use the bullpen more, and with no built-in off-days this year, when are the relievers truly rested?
What's the latest on Nick Johnson?
Wallace Matthews (12:22 PM)
Hey, Joe. Hopefully, alive. Only kidding. Johnson underwent a second wrist operation a couple of weeks ago and to show you how trivialized he has become, Girardi mentioned it as an afterthought one day, didn;t know exactly what was being done or when, and since then, nobody has asked about it. Obv., his second Yankee career has ended. My question is, when did it even start? Tough break, but the Yankees knew what they were getting into when the signed him
jen Parrish (tigard oregon)
I hope red bull is working. So who do you fear more in playoffs rays or rangers.
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
Oh, it's working all right. Check out my answer to the first question!
Steve (Boston, MA)
Wally, you say that larry in Hartford shouldn't be making baseless accusations against you and your fellow media members, right after you say you were writing articles about Sosa and McGwire long before there was proof. I'm confused, aren't you trying to have your cake and eat it to with that argument?
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
What I said was I was voicing suspicions about both. As a former boxer and weightlifter, I am quite familiar with the look of steroid use and saw signs in both of them. But could not make out and out allegations because even at the NY Post, we fear libel suits. Like many, I was frustrated at my inability to write/prove more than I suspected. But that, I maintain, was the fault of MLB and MLBPA stonewalling, not any lack of diligence on media's part. Remember how the commissh himself vilifed the AP reporter who reprted on the bottle of Andro in Mac's locker? That was the environment we were working in. This was baseball's party and anyone who dared question its validity was painted as the bad guy. There's a difference between accusing someone of illegal conduct without proof and pointing out quite rightly that guy's bodies have changed drastically and their numbers have skyrocketed.
What is the best rotation for the Yanks in the postseason?
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
CC, Andy, Hughes, AJ.
Do you see Giradi signing again with the Yankees next year, win or lose in the playoffs? I dislike his bullpen management a lot, being very conservative on their arms by not letting many pitchers pitch in consecutive days. It may just be me, but this whole pitch count and innings limit is being exaggerated.
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
Hey, George. I think he stays here, but its really all up to the Cubs. If they make him an offer that Hal Steinbrenner can refuse, the Yankees will let him go. Then, it will be up to Girardi to decide which job he really wants. The old saying is there are three jobs in sports you never give up -- manager of the Yankees, head coach at Notre Dame, and Yankee beat writer for ESON NY (only kidding) -- but Girardi's midwestern roots and family's reputed preference for Chicago life might make the difference if the money is good enough
Unbiased picks for the World Series?
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
If Sabathia loses game 1 of the ALDS, are the Yankees done?
Wallace Matthews (12:32 PM)
No, but in very serious trouble. As I;ve writen all along, CC is the one Yankee pitcher they depend upon to never give them a bad day, but sooner or later, the odds are he will. They better hope it;s not in a best-of-five
Wallace Matthews (12:32 PM)
Thanks, everyone. Great questions today, and a special thanks to Larry in Hartford for snapping me out of my coma right off the bat. We'll do it again next week