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 p.m. ET!
Wallace Matthews (11:59 AM)
OK, drop the snow shovels, ladies and gentlemen, time to chat some Yankees. Jeter, Joba and where oh where is Andy and what will he do? BTW, weather permitting I'm heading to Foley's on w. 33rd st tonight to assess Brian Cashman;s bartending skills, which may take several, er, rounds to fairly determine. Ready? Let's go
Eric (SI, NY)
Besides Lee (of course) were there any free agents out there that signed with new clubs that the Yankees really should have targeted and didn't? I'm thinking maybe Crawford but really can't think of any others. Can you?
Wallace Matthews (12:03 PM)
Hey, Eric. No I can;t. I have asked Cashman that ques. many times and he can;t come up with anyone, either. Crawford was never on the radar and there weren;t any other SP's the Yankees were interested in (Pavano flirtation came up later out of desperation) It was Cliff lee or bust and the Yankees wound up with bust.
Why does "Hank" not admit that while he is happy to have ARod, he overpaid him by 70-90 million dollars over the course of the contract? It is no secret, is it?
Wallace Matthews (12:05 PM)
Several reasons. Number one, Hank is pretty much muzzled by the organization. Number two, nobody likes to admit they made a mistake of the colossal proportions this one may turn out to be in a couple of years, if not sooner. Three, he thought it was a good idea at the time -- HR no. 800 in pinstripes and all that BS -- but that was pre-steroids, hip injury, etc. etc. It's no secret but Boy George isn;t about to broadcast his folly, either. what purpose would it serve?
Do you think the Yankees have picked up good enough players through the off-season so far? How do you think they will do in the upcoming season?
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
Hey, Tyler. I think the players they have picked up were good signings. I like Russell Martin as s olid defensive catcher and love Soriano as a lockdown set up man. But they desperately needed to add a starter and if Pettitte stays retired, it could severely compromise their season. still, I think they are good enuf for the WC and maybe beter if they stay healthy and add a decent starter
Wally, Lifelong Yankee fan here. I may be in the minority, but I would love to see the Yanks take a chance on Duchscherer. Do you think they are interested? Thanks!
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
I do, since there really isn;t anyone much better out there right now. However, I still think they're waiting on Pettitte before going after a guy like Duchscherer -- or F garcia or K millwood, to name some of the other less than appealing prospects.
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
NEWSFLASH: Yankees solve pitching problem!Yanks just signed Bartolo Colon to a minor-league deal. andy Who?
As they say in Vegas "drawing cards into a bad hand". The Yankees are old, and are going to get older before they get younger. They should stop doubling down on the age thing and bring up the kids. And that also means investing in the draft and the farm. The Yankees should be wildly overspending in both areas, instead of just competing with everyone else.
Wallace Matthews (12:12 PM)
Right plan, wrong team. The Yankees have 50,000 high-priced seats to fill on a nightly basis and we've already seen what kind of a crowd that draws: people who demand immediate results, have zero patience and little interest in watching on-the-job training. That works in Baltimore or St. Louis or Pittsburgh but not in Yankee Stadium. You charge Broadway prices, you can;t put out a high school caliber performance
Tony Versace (Siracusa, Sicily)
Ciao Wally,Do you think New York Yankees will win championship?
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
Buon giorno, paisan. I think there's way to many questions ot be answered and way too many games to be played to make that kind of a prediction, but I feel reasonably assured they will be in contention for the division or wild card. after that, who knows? Ciao
Person with too much time on hands (DC)
Does it seem that Andy's "stalling" is more of an indication that he will decide to pitch? Also, was it not refreshing to hear Hank give his take on the state of the Yankees? Made me nostalgic for his father laying the gauntlet down.
Wallace Matthews (12:16 PM)
Hello, Person. I do. If Pettitte was dead set on retirment, he wouldn;t be making less than definitive statements to Cashman and Girardi, and working out at his hoe "just in case." I think he wants to pitch but for some reason is reluctant to committ (family issues? Clemens trial?) As for Boy George, as a journalist I would love to have him back as a fulltime team mouthpiece. As a fan, I would be wary, esp after his handling of the A-Rod deal
James (A snowy Manhattan)
How often do you think Soriano will be given save opportunities this year, or will Mo get everything going into the 9th? Surely less save opportunities to convert for Soriano will reduce his leverage to exercise each of his (numerous) opt-out options as it will reduce his market value?
Wallace Matthews (12:18 PM)
Hey, James. I think the closer's job is Mo's and rightly so, but we will see soriano pitch the ninth occasionall, prob. after Mo has gone two or three games in a row. As for his leverage, I;m sure Boras the genius factored all this in to his deal. Which, by the way, looks like a great one for the pitcher, not so great for the team
Do you believe the feeling around baseball that Cashman wants to prove that he is a GM capable of running a team instead of putting the latest all star names on paychecks and with his contract up after this year do you see him moving on? I think he is still good for the Yankees because he doesn't just make knee jerk moves ( I still disagree with him on Soriano). The Yankees signed a great Cy Young pitcher..... from 2005.
Wallace Matthews (12:20 PM)
Hello, Darrin. it's tuf to say what motivates Cashman. I do think it bugs him that some think he can only build a team with a checkbook. at the same time, he would be nuts to giveup all the advantages that the GM of the NYY has over his counterparts. I, too, disagree with him on soriano but certainly understand his reasons. With sori's $11M, the Yankees are spending $34 million on the bullpen alone this season. Ridiculous
Jon L (Charlotte NC)
LF would seem to be a better fit for Jeter than CF, right?
Wallace Matthews (12:22 PM)
Hey, Jon. when you consider that their current left-fielder hit five HRs last year, Jeter seems like a huge power upgrade and makes Cashman's statement that he prefers an HR bat at the corners a bit silly. Then again, maybe he plans to add a power bat for LF before he's ready to move Jeter from SS.
James (Utica, NY)
If the Yankees dont give Montero a chance to play everday at C or at DH, there front office should be fired. This kid can flat out rake and they could use his potent bat everyday. What else does he have to prove in the Minors?? He's dominated at every level. He may be a bad defensive catcher but so was Mike Piazza, and that worked out ok. The Yankees are nuts if they start this kid in AAA again. Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
Hey, James. I'll take both your questions now. On Montero, it seems as if something changted in the yankees thinking over the winter. At first it seemed like the starting catching job was his to lose in spring training. Noew, it's Russell Martin's to lose. all i can think is they know more about the player than we do and for some reason have reservations about relying on him behind the plate every day. Cert. Posada/Cervelli cost the Yankees defensively last yr and they don;t want to repeat that.Re Banuelos: Yankee insiders think he has top of the rotation stuff and expect him to crack their staff in 2012. still hasn;t pitched about AA you know
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
Last week you said you thought the team was working to put George?s picture on every dollar bill spent at Yankee Stadium. I was under the impression that the smallest denomination accepted there was a fifty-dollar bill. Which is correct?
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
I believe you are. Unless you have a stack of them, dollar bills are useless at yankee stadium
Rumors are that the Yanks have signed Bartolo Colon to a minor-league deal. So... why?
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
The rumor is fact and the reason is obvious. they need starting pitching and at this point are willing to try anyone. well almost anyone (No Joba!)
Is this what we expect out of the Yankees now: Colon, Mitre, Joba, Pryor. Do you expect the Yankees to get a Big name Starting Pitcher on the trading deadline?
Wallace Matthews (12:28 PM)
Cyrus, i believe that is the plan. But first they better hope to stay close enough to the race to make it worthwhile
Why haven't the Yankees brought back Alfredo Aceves yet?
Wallace Matthews (12:28 PM)
Back injury much more serious than orignailly assumed, wil likely miss much if not all of 2011
It's opening day. Who's the #5 starter? Please do not say Mitre.
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
OK. I won;t say it. Look at the bright side. You don;t need a #5 on opening day
Henry (Bronx NY)
Is there any realistic chance of Joba getting another shot at Starting?
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
Cash and Girardi say no. But as we know, things can change around here in a hurry
Mike (San Francisco)
Why don't the Yankees trade for Scott Kazmir? Also, the Yankees signed Bartolo Colon. Explanation?
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
Uh, because jeff wilpon told htme he wasn;t as good as victor zambrano
Please tell Yankee fans that are panicky that the Yankees are still projected to win 95 games if Pettitte returns.
Wallace Matthews (12:31 PM)
OK. But what if he doesn;t?
Wally, i know that this has been discussed at length, but I'm still having trouble wrapping my head about the Joba reliever thing. Obviously the team knows more than me - but it's been a while since the shoulder thing. And Joba in 2009 (after the injury) wasn't great - but was still better than Mitre is/was - and he was being jerked around. Why not give it a shot? His trade value is destroyed anyway - throw him out there and see what happens.....
Wallace Matthews (12:32 PM)
Howie, I have long been in the camp that says Joba should remain in the pen. However, circumstances being what they are, I tend to agree with you. What do the Yankees have to lose at least trying it again this spring? With the strengthenign of the bullpen, they might even be able to leave him in Florida for a few weeks for a couple of extra starts.
Wallace Matthews (12:35 PM)
Thanks for all the great questions guys and once again, my apologies to those whose questions did not get answered this week. We'll go again next wednesday. Till then, ciao