Chat with Wallace Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Wednesday, 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 Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Wallace Matthews (1:53 PM)
Good afternoon, everyone. I hope you all are recovered from your celebrations, or at least sighs of relief now that we finally know for sure that the Yankees will be playing beyond Oct. 3. There are still plenty of questions to be asked and answered, however, and I will do my best to answer as many of them as I can over the next half-hour. we'll get started at 2, so line em up
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
How do you think the New York Yankees reaction will be when the win the World Series after 3 months after George Steinbrenner has Passed Away?
wallace Matthews (2:03 PM)
Hey, Chris. I'm sure the family will be very emotional about it and the guys who have been here the longest will pay appropriate tribute, but in truth, aside from Jeter, Posada, Pettitte, Rivera and A-Rod, none of these guys really knew The Boss that well so you can;t realy expect it to resonate as much with them. I do expect Brian Cashman to be emotional about it, too
Jon L (Charlotte)
Mr Matthews, do we know yet the rotation for these last 4 regular season games?
Wallace Matthews (2:06 PM)
Hey, Jon. Well, we know Javy Vazquez is going in the throwaway game tonight. after that, it will be some combination of Hughes, Pettitte and Burnett, and the one chosen to pitch Saturday is really the key, because that pitcher will be on regular rest to pitch Games 2 and 5. I believe CC will go in 1 and 4, on short rest. My best guess is Hughes will go Friday, Pettitte Saturday, Burnett Sunday, with Hughes the odd man out in the first round and Burnett pitching Game 3
Matt (Staten Island, NY)
Wally, Do you agree with the statement that Brian Cashman gets a free pass? I know I sound like a spoiled Yankee fan but even with huge resources, his starting rotation is a mess. He has wasted huge money on Burnett and Vasquez, passed on a 22 year old lefty who throws 105 and for every good move seems to make 2 bad ones.
Wallace Matthews (2:08 PM)
Hey, Matt. Actually, I don't. The Burnett deal certainly looks like a mistake today, but if he pitches as well in this postseason as he did in last year;s world series, we'll all forget about his regular season. Cash should have known better on Vazquez and Nick Johnson, and maybe he should have done better with Johnny Damon. But the production from the DH spot has been comparable to what Matsui gave them last year, and I don;t think anyone would argue that someone in the organization made a great call on Kerry Wood and a pretty good one on Berkman.I think overall, he's done a very good job
How much money will it cost the Yankees to miss out on Home Field, and not have a Game 5 and Game 7 in the ALDS and ALCS respectively?
Wallace Matthews (2:11 PM)
Hey, will. The Yankees have never publicized how much they rake in for each playoff game, but we can do the math and come up with some numbers -- roughly 45,000 seats to sell, since there's always thousands of freebies esp. in the post-season, at what, a conservative average of $100 a seat? That's $4.5 million right there. Plus concessions. You've got to figure in the area of $5 million per game
Eric (NY, NY)
Was it more of a sense of joy or relief in the clubhouse last night? Of the vets who have been there for a bit who participated in celebrations and who didn't?
Wallace Matthews (2:13 PM)
Hey, eric. It depended where you looked. The guys who have been there before acted like it. the guys who haven;t showed it. You can fill in the names. In fact, I'll bet most of the guys in the lineup tonight were the guys doing most of the spraying and ambushing last night. I can tell you that I never saw Posada or Rivera, that Jeter, Pettitte and Teixeira were very low-key, and that A-Rod emerged from a back room without a drop of champagne on him. Those guys seemed quite aware that they had taken a step, but a baby step, to where they ultimately want to go.
Steve (The Bronx)
With the Yankees clinching and game 1 not until next week do you pitch CC for a few innings this weekend to keep him fresh?
Wallace Matthews (2:15 PM)
Hey, steve. The idea has been floated that maybe CC would pitch an inning or two out of the pen this weekend, maybe on Friday, which would be his normal throw day between starts, or on sunday, his normal throw day for a scheduled Wednesday start, which is when the ALDS begins. Or Girardi/Eiland might opt to have him throw a hard bullpen on either one of those days. But it's certainly not likely the big guy would sit idle for the next week
Hey Wallace, do you see Burnett of Vazquez pitching any meaningful innings in October?
Wallace Matthews (2:17 PM)
Hey, Matt. Much more likely that Burnett will than Vazquez. Right now, Javy seems so deep in Joe's doghouse his head is buried in a bowl of Alpo. Just wait to see the lineup Girardi sticks behind him tonight. In fact, I'm not even sure he will be on the roster for the first round; the way he pitches tonight may determine it
I keep reading in the chats where readers say that people dont have to goto the games bc of the prices of tickets. These are the Rays not the yankees. I can sit on the outfield wall for $20 compared to $130 that I paid at yankee stadium. The Rays do everything they can to get people into the stands its just that the surrounding area is retirees and the stadium itself is an absolute dump.
Wallace Matthews (2:20 PM)
He, Dangenius, my policy on this issue is I will not tell fans how to spend their hard-earned cash nor will I condemn them for choosing not to spend it at a ballgame. This goes esp. for Florida, one of the hardest-hit areas in the country. And it goes esp. for media members, who get paid to go the games. we are the last ones who should be passing judgment on whether fans should or should not pay for a sporting event. Most of us never do
So how does the pitching rotation shake out after CC?
Wallace Matthews (2:21 PM)
That's the $200 million question, Mitch. For the first round, my guess is CC 1 and 4, Pettitte 2 and 5, Burnett 3
Anthony F. (Orlando, FL)
Mr. Matthews,Don't you think the Yanks would be better off getting the wild card spot, regardless of home field advantage by winning the division? I wouldn't want to face Cliff Lee and his Rangers in a 5 game series. Your thoughts? Thanks.
Wallace Matthews (2:24 PM)
Hey, anthony, that's the question Girardi and his staff have been wrestling with all month, and it appears they are leaning your way by going less than pedal-to-the-metal to win the division. Personally, I think it's a tough assignment either way, because not only do you lose your own home-field advantage, but you give it to the Twins, a team that plays even better at home tan the Yankees do in the Bronx. I have a feeling this is not going to be the roll-over-and-play dead Twins the Yankees have been accustomed to seeing the past few years
Give me an idea of the Yanks playoff rotation.
Wallace Matthews (2:24 PM)
First-round: CC, Pettitte, Burnett, CC, Pettitte.After that, who knows?
Chris (White Plains)
Wally,What's the deal? Is Nova going to get the nod as the 4th starter in the playoffs with Burnett going to the pen and javy as odd man out? Or Burnett #4 and Nova in the pen?
Wallace Matthews (2:26 PM)
Hey, Chris. Don;t think so. Yankees are starting to see Nova as a once-through-the-lineup guy more suited to long relief at this stage of his development. They are also slightly concerned abou his lack of experience. However, they love his live arm which gives him an edge, I belive, over Moseley, Gaudin, Mitre and Vazquez
do you think it should be burnett or hughes to start game 2
Wallace Matthews (2:27 PM)
Actually, I think it should be Pettitte, because the Game 2 starter will also go in Game 5. Minus CC, there's not another guy on the Yankee staff I would trust with that assignment
Jim Clark (NY)
Did George plan his enormous plaque or was it the children who decided to dwarf Ruth, Yogi, DiMaggio, etc? When Charles Dolan dies, what kind of monument goes outside Madison Square Garden?
Wallace Matthews (2:29 PM)
Hey, Jim. Don;t know who planned the plaque but I think it's perfectly appropriate considering that since 1973, no Yankee has been bigger than the owner, whether we like it that way or not. His personality and bluster overshadowed everyone else, even Reggie. And don;t ask me if it is in good taste. It is in rthe kind of taste appropriate to the man it commemorates. as to your second question, I have some thoughts but I prefer to keep them to myself.
Wally, Buster Olney tweeted that the Carl Crawford sweepstakes are expected to come down to the Angels and Red Sox. I though the Yankees have been waiting for him for several years? Gardner has had a good year and Granderson is hot but neither is close to Crawford.
Wallace Matthews (2:30 PM)
He, Chris. Buster has great sources but I think the bidders for Crawford have yet to be determined. Still, the Yankees like what they have seen from both Gardner and Granderson, esp the last month, and might just choose to stand pat with them this off-season
Hi Wally. What kind of effect do you think Mariano Rivera's recent work with Dave Eiland had?
Wallace Matthews (2:32 PM)
Hi, Marcia. Too early to tell but it's a testament to Rivera's work ethic tat not only was he willing to try it, but insisted on doing it several days in a row. Not too many guys at his level would acknowledge the need to make adjustsments now.
Wally, why not pitch Ivan over Hughes this weekend since he is on a innings limit?
Wallace Matthews (2:33 PM)
Hey, Andy; Because we know that Hughes does not pitch well if taken out of his routine, and the Yankees need him to be sharp for his playoff start, if there is one, or relief appearances, which obv. could begin as early as wednesday
Cookies, cupcakes, or doughnuts?
Wallace Matthews (2:33 PM)
Hey, steph You know I'm a chocolate chip cookie guy!
Wallace Matthews (2:34 PM)
Thanks everyone for all the great questions today. Love to take more but must head to the ballpark. Do it again next week? OK