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 2 p.m. ET!
Wallace Matthews (1:59 PM)
Good afternoon everyone. Live from beautiful downtown Motown, its the weekly Yankees live chat. Tough loss last night, Freddy tonight, Jeter heating up? Let's go
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Father & Son Combinations has Played for the New York Yankees?
Wallace Matthews (2:00 PM)
Chris, sorry, you asked me this last week, never got a chance to check. will get Mark simon of ESPN stats and info on it ASAP
BrandonL (Akron OH)
Good Day Wally!!! I was wondering what more(less)does Posada have to do to show that Chavez or Andruw Jones should have the DH job?
Wallace Matthews (2:01 PM)
hey, Brandon. I would think a few more baserunnning blunders to go along with that 150 BA would do the trick. Gi Joe was not pleased, to put it mildly, with Posada last night
So what is Jeter going to do? He's had 16 extra base hits (14 doubles and 2 HR's) since July 1st of last year in about 500 PA. His line drive rate is 12% and he's hitting grounders close to 72% now. He's one of my favorite players and I hate to say it, but I think he's done. It's sad because you hate to see the great players struggle.Do you think Jeter steps aside on his own or does Girardi/Cashman do the dirty work when the time comes?
Wallace Matthews (2:03 PM)
Hey, Mat. No way will Jeter step aside on his own. That stubbornness and self-belief is what made him Jeter in the first place. and honestly, I don;t think now's the time to mess with a possibly divisive clubhouse issue. The team is winning. No need to create a situation before it is absloutely necessary. Go to the website to see our Hot Button on this very issue today. Andrew Marchand takes the opposite viewpoint. and when the time comes, I'm sure it will be Cashman, not Girardi
Luke Skywalker (Tatooine)
Happy Star Wars Day! May the 4th be with you.
Wallace Matthews (2:03 PM)
and also with you
Hey Wally any rumors circulating the Yankees as far as making moves to help the pitching staff? Also whats up with Jeter has his age really caught up with him?
Wallace Matthews (2:06 PM)
Hey, Matt. Cashman continues to insist that for now, all answers have to come from within, and so far, they have (Freddy and Bartolo). The GM says nothing is likely to happen until after the June draft and maybe even closer to the trade deadline. As for Jeter, some of the things Kevin Long said yesterday were, I thought, damning. In a nice way, he basically conceded Jeter's bat is slow and has no pop. Jeter, likewise, pretty much admitted he has scrapped a lot of what he and Long were working on. Obviously, Jeter can't escape the aging process any better than anyone else. But I thought his at-bats last night were an indication he might have a few good games left in him yet
Given the uncertainty of the pitching staff, the unreliability of the bullpen and the inconsistenty of the bats, how would you grade the first month of the Yankees season? I enjoy your work!
Wallace Matthews (2:08 PM)
Thank you, Andy. I know it sounds strange for a team with a $200 million payroll, but I would say the Yankees have overperformed so far. Aside from Jeter, Posada, Swisher and A-Rod are not hitting, Hughes is on the DL, the bullpen has been erratic and still, they are playing .600+ ball and have the second-best record in the league. What happens when, or should I say if, those guys begin playing up to their abilities? I think Yankee fans should be quite happy with what they've seen so far
Settle a bet. Which one of us gets booted from the lineup first?
Wallace Matthews (2:09 PM)
You lose, Jorge
Hello. Is it just me or is the starting rotation at least becoming a little bit stable? AJ has been terrific so far and Nova has pitched better and we all know about colon and garcia hasn't killed himself either. I know they'll trade for a big time starter but the rotation looks good so far.
Wallace Matthews (2:11 PM)
The rotation has been better than anyone could have expected. For all the BS about how everyone was sure AJ would bounce back, no one knew for sure. Same goes for Nova, about whom there was more than a little doubt. Freddy and Bartolo were a huge gamble that has so far paid off. The only downer is Hughes, who was pretty much expected by the front office to repeat his 18 win 2010. And I haven;t even mentioned CC. If the two old guys can hold out to the All-Star break, i think they Yankees will have gotten much more than they bargained for
Sammy Jacobs (New York City)
At what point does Joe put Gardner back at leadoff and drop Jeter in the lineup? also when do you start platooning posada jones and chavez at dh? Thanks go yanks!
Wallace Matthews (2:12 PM)
Sammy, go to the website and read the Hot Button topic on whether Jeter should or should not be moved in the lineup. I say no, Marchand says yes. As for Posada, I have the feeling Girardi may be losing patience with him. The other day, he said something like, "We said Jorge would be our DH, but we didn;t say every, every day" Read into that what you like
During last night's game Derek hit three balls that could have easily been three hits. A sharply hit foul ball down the third base line, a shot to second and a shot to first--a foot to the right and they could all have been hits. His swings have been consistently been improving and very strong. The every day analyzing of Derek Jeter is extremely sad-- this player deserves better.
Wallace Matthews (2:15 PM)
agree on all counts, but unfortunately, those are the demands of the media market we work in, dictated in large part by the demands of the fans. Jeter had a good night last night -- see my column on the website off last night's game -- and i for one am embarrassed to have to take his temperature on an almost daily basis. But the fact is, the guy is the face of the franchise and the same way all eyes were on him at his peak, so are they on him in his decline
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When will we see Phil Hughes pitch again for the New York Yankees?
Wallace Matthews (2:16 PM)
Unknown. He's in NY today to consult with team doctor to determine next course of action. But it seems to me that until they figure out what's wrong with him, they can;t even begin to try curing it
Matt (Stony Brook)
Hey Wally. Has the offical move Jeter down in the order talk begun within the team? Two XBH's in roughly 100 AB's is pretty poor. When does it happen, and how does Girardi go about doing it?
Wallace Matthews (2:16 PM)
Matt, see previous posts. Thank you.
Robert Ramundo (Pearl River)
If Jeter's production continues at this rate through this year, can you see him retiring or forcing the Yankees' hand?
Wallace Matthews (2:17 PM)
I do not see him retiring. In fact, he has told friends he expects to get another contract after this one runs out. And the Yankees have forced their own hand, giving him a three-year deal with a player option for a fourth. It's all in jeter's hands now. Yanks can;t do anything unless they want to eat $51 million
Jaden (WPB FL)
Wally, doesn't it seem like we are just getting by now? If Bart or Freddy struggle we could lose alot of games..
Wallace Matthews (2:19 PM)
I wouldn;t say so. A win is a win, wheter by a run or 10 runs. The yankees are playing .630 ball, and what you are saying about Freddy and Bart would be true of any team in baseball if two of their starters suddenly forgot how to win.
How much heat do the Yankees get for signing Jeter (long-term), Soriano, Feliciano? Everyone knows the Mets are the biggest boneheads in town, but the Yanks don't look brilliant these days either.
Wallace Matthews (2:20 PM)
They have gotten their share on these, and deservedly so. Honestly, left to his own devices, I think Cashman would have played harder with Jeter and we know he would not have signed soriano. Feliciano is all on him, but the guy passed the team physical before the signing so it's tough to blame them for not foreseeing his breakdwn. Yes, the guy pitched a ton of games for the Mets, but he seemed healthy. What are you gonna do?
Looks like the captain had a little more mustard on his stroke last night. I haven't seen him hit balls that hard all season. Did he change his mechanics at all or just warming up a bit?
Wallace Matthews (2:22 PM)
Hey, Bruce. i believe he did change his mechanics slightly. Watching a replay of his line out late in the game it looked to me like he strided, which was supposed to be a no-no. I think it's possible all the tinkering put him out of whack and did more harm than good. let's watch him over the next couple of weeks and see if he begins to come out of it
Is it me or is it kind of odd that when Posada and Chavez are in the lineup at the same time, Chavez hits ahead of Posada? If thats the case, why not just start Chavez at DH if you think hes a better hitter, no?
Wallace Matthews (2:23 PM)
Hitting in front of someone doesn't necesaarily mean he's the better hitter. That would mean Jeter is a better hitter than Cano. What I think it means is that Girardi likes Chavez' chances of getting on base better, and having Posada hit behind him with the chance of driving him in. As for starting Chavez at DH, I have a hunch will be seeing more of that if Jorge's bat doesn;t wake up soon
Bartolo Colon for Cy Young!
Wallace Matthews (2:24 PM)
Cy Young of April, anyway
Aaron (East Rockaway, NY)
Hello Wally, doesn't Cashman have a responsibility to tell Girardi what to do if there's a glaring problem on the team? Wouldn't this take the pressure off of Joe and simply put more distance between Jeter and Cashman instead of making for a junky clubhouse problem?
Wallace Matthews (2:25 PM)
Yes, and he does, even if Girardi likes to project the image of being in charge. That is why the manager rarely makes a definitive statement regarding personnel. it's always an "organizational decision," which means he's waiting for the GM to tell him what to do. And when and if the time comes to do somethng with jeter, I'm sure it wil be Cashman, not Girardi, who does it
For every line drive that Jeter has hit this year (4?) hes had double the amount of slow roller infield hits to make up for it. Just saying.
Wallace Matthews (2:26 PM)
we know. we know. just saying
What are the chances Montero comes up to be the "everyday" DH this year? If Posada is hitting under .250 in June, and Montero is hitting well in AAA, do you think they'd make that move?
Wallace Matthews (2:26 PM)
Montero is tearing it up down there but I think the Yankees are more likely to try Chavez/Jones and let Montero continue to develop in AAA before doing what you suggest
jen Parrish (tigard Oregon )
Happy star wars day. Who is your favorite characterand. Movie
Wallace Matthews (2:27 PM)
Hi Jen. Personally, I'm a Darth Vader guy. always go for the bad guys
Ben (New York, NY)
Yogi and Dale Berra was one father-son combination that played for the Yankees.
Wallace Matthews (2:28 PM)
that was so obvious even I should have known it
How important does it become for the Yankees to win all (or most) of CC's starts?
Wallace Matthews (2:29 PM)
it's always been extremely important. I wrote several times last season that he was the one yankee who was not allowed to have a bad day. Ever. This year, some of th eburden has been off him because AJ, Freddy, Bartolo and Nova have pitched so well, but you know that won;t last forver. When the big guy pitches well, the Yankees would be wise not to waste it
Wallace Matthews (2:30 PM)
sorry, guys, time's up. gotta head to comerica. thanks for all the great questions and we'll do it again next week