Chat with Wally Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Wednesday, New York Yankees beat writer Wally 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 noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (11:53 AM)
Greetings, everyone and welcome to the final Yankee live chat of 2010. (I'll be away on vacation next week; we'll resume in early 2011). I must say I enjoyed my first year on the Yankee beat immensely even if at times I felt busier than a one-armed paperhanger with the itchies. Still, the club is a never-ending source of fascination and material and the fan base is as passionate as any I've ever dealt with. It's been a pleasure and I look forward to Opeing Day 2011, which incredibly is just around the corner. We'll get underway at high noon so bring your A game for the last chat of the year
Justin (Tallahassee, FL)
I FINALLY made Wally! Happy to join to party... better late than never I guess! Anything in particular we are discussing?What are your thoughts on the "messy" Jeter talks going forward, in terms of impact on the team? Obviously saying a rebound year for AJ is essential would be a tremendous understatement... We all know he is capable of doing it, what do you see happening there? Thoughts on Pettitte? I think Russell Martin is a decent addition to the team. If the plans are to keep Montero, Jorge can have more time to play the role of mentor with him to get him more "big league ready"... I also think this will be a year where we see the Yankees much more active in July at the trade deadline than we have in years past. I could see the pick up of a few more people before opening day... but honestly, I just don't know who they'd be.
Wallace Matthews (12:03 PM)
Hey, Justin, you're today;s leaoff hitter. Anything goes here, so we'll start with Jeter. if he has a good year, the talks will have no impact. if he doesn;t, he will hear all sorts of insults and catcalls from the fans and endure all manner of criticism in the media. thats just the way it is. Already, a lot of fans were grumbling last year before the contract negotiations and the perception by some that he was being unreasonable by holding out for more than 15M/season. As for AJ, no more needs to be said. Martin is an excellent pickup but not a team changer. And I agree, Cashman is not only planning to be very active at the deadline, he seems to be counting on it. Thanks man and happy holidays
Person who sits next to Zach (D.C.)
Shouldn't the Yankees consider signing Rafael Soriano, which, in turn, would make Joba Chamberlain expendable in a trade for a frontline starter?
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
hey, Person: You would think so but when I asked a Yankee official about any interest in him in a text message, the person replied, in CAPITAL LETTERS: NOT NOW AND NOT LATER. Why, I don't know for sure, but they think the price is too high for the level of performance
Hey Wally... with the Yanks currently looking for starting pitching, why haven't we heard anything at all about Brandon Webb. For a team with more resources than others, why not roll the dice on what would seem to be a low-risk, high-reward, former Cy Young?
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
Hey, Shane. The only thing I can come up with on that is they don;t like what they see on the X-rays. The Yankees, like most teams, request medicals on every available free agent and no doubt took a close look at Webb's records following rotator cuff surgery. And I know for a fact that the Yankees, like most teams, tend to shy away from guys with shoulder injuries much more than say, guys with elbow injuries. Tommy John surgery they can live with; shoulder surgery they can;t. Webb would seem to be worth the risk but obviously the Yankees must think they know something about his physical condition that causes them to pass
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
With his brilliant signing of A-Rod, will Hank's eventual monument be bigger than George's?
Wallace Matthews (12:10 PM)
hey Michael. The question is, will his bank account be bigger than A-Rod's by that point. Seriously, that contract was a disaster when they aigned it and it will only get worse, and it certainly was part of the reason the Jeter talks nearly spun out of control. As it stands, the Yankees have at least five contracts -- A-Rod, CC, Burnett,Tex and Jeter -- that could blow up in their faces, which is one reason to console yourself that they didn;t lock into seven years on Cliff Lee
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will the Yankees have very bad starting pitching in 2011 if they do not sign Andy Pettitte & Pettitte decides to Retire?
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
Hello, Chris: The possibility is the Yankees will have subpar or even bad starting pitching for part of 2011, although I can;t imagine this club allowing a situation like that to go uncorrected throughout the season. At best, the rotation will be very unsettled even w/pettite, since AJ has a ton of work to do to become an effective pitcher again, Hughes might or might not live up to 2010, and Nova to me is still a question mark, esp the more major league hitters see of him. The possibility is all of them, even AJ, will come through and everythign will be fine. It is just as likely the exact opposite will happen and the Yankees will be scrounging for pitching come the trade deadline
Wally, I agree Cashman has currently has no choice but to be patient but if the Yankees are counting on Burnett to be their number 2 starter with Nova and Mitre as 4 and 5, they are setting themselves up for a VERY disappointing season and with a $200 million payroll, I'd say Cashman has screwed things up royally. Do you agree?
Wallace Matthews (12:16 PM)
Hey, Chris. I would not say yet that Cashman has screwed things up -- you can;t blame him if pettitte decides to retire and it seems as if there was no way the Yankees were getting Lee away from Philly, which was a fear of theirs all along -- but I would say he's taking a tremendous gamble going into the season with the staff he's got now. I wouldn;t rule out the Yankees adding a SP between now and spring traiing, maybe Freddy Garcia, and you know they will be swooping down on teams out of contention come the trade deadline. they will gladly do rental deals if that;s what it takes in July
Gustavo S. (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Was the Russell Marting signing a good deal with the emergence of defensive minded catching prospect Austin Romine?
Wallace Matthews (12:18 PM)
Hey, Gustavo. It's a good deal because it's only for one year, which takes some of the pressure off Romine and Montero to be ML ready this year. And if things get desperate enuf, it gives the Yankees a powerful chip --everyone seems to want Montero -- if they absolutely must make a deal for a top-line starter at the trade deadline
The Mick (You Know Where)
I still think the Yankees finish better than the Red Sox this year, even after all the moves they made. or am i just a die hard crazy Yanks fan
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
Hey, Mick. Is it hot down there? You know as well as anyone that nothing gets won in December or january or February. The Red Sox made some splashy moves and their pitching looks great. But a lot of things happen between april Fool's Day and Halloween, and I would bet the Yankees will be in in right up to the end.
Andy P. (Texas)
So, if I decide to retire who are the Yankees able to sign to round out the rotation?
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
hey, Andy. I understand Jimmy Key is thinking about coming back
I saw that Buster Olney wrote that by this time of the year Andy is well into his workout routine and he has basically not touched a baseball. I still find it very hard to believe that he's not coming back for another year where the money has to start at $16 million. If he doesn't, we'll need AJ to be CY.
Wallace Matthews (12:24 PM)
Hey, Randy. I tend to agree with you, the money seems too good to pass up. But speaking with Andy repeatedly throughout the season, I got the feeling he was serious about retirment this time. he and I have a son around the same age, 15, and we both know that these are the last years before they go off and make their own lives. I think this weighs heavily on his mind and is pulling him toward home. and yet, anyting can happen and that paycheck might prove too much to resist. And BTW, almost anything can happen. AJ ain;t winning no CY in my lifetime or his
The Yankees have been linked to all of these low risk, high reward pitchers, Freddy Garcia, Jeff Francis, Chris Young, etc. What's the status of Chien-Ming Wang? I know the fans would love to see him try to make a come back in pinstripes!!
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
hey, George. Wang is now the property of the Wash Nationals -- he signed a 2-yr deal -- and is said to be healthy again. For a guy who won nearly 50 games for them in 3 seasons, the Yankees sure seemed tohave given up on him quickly, didn;t they?
St. Charles MO [via mobile]
Why do the yankees put so much money on players for so many years like a rod and then doesn't perform as good as they get paid for. They start to slack around and nothing happens to them
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
St. Charles, hello. (I feel like Larry King). What you are mentioning is the essential curse of free agency, the sense of complacency that a long-term contract provides. Also, the way the system is set up practically assures that most FAs will score that big contract when they are past their prime, meaning teams will be paying for what a guy has already done for someone esle rather than what he will do for them (i.e. Carlos Beltran). But stiil even by FA standrads, the A-Rod deal was a megadisaster that will only get worse over time
Mac McCray (San Diego, CA)
Finally, Mr. Matthews has come BACK to the chat room! Love your chats. All things equal, isnt safe to say Yanks will make a move around the deadline and be fine for the stretch run? Im a Yankee fan with a realistic picture of the business, as long as the wildcard is there, looking at our prospects as the 4/5 starters for the first couple months of the season is a great to see what kinda of poise they have. What do you think?
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
Mac, I agree with everything you say. I wrote a column about this last week, about how the economics of the game not only allow the Yankees to excel, but in essence force them to because they need to fill their ballpark to remain financially healthy. Consequently, they will do everythign necessary to remain in contention every year. I would be shocked if this year turns out to be any different
Wallace Matthews (12:33 PM)
So many questions, so little time. Thanks, everyone, for all the great questions. Have a happy and safe holiday season and I'll chat with you all the first week of 2011.