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 ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Wednesday at noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (11:59 AM)
Good morning, everyone. The Yankees can't possibly be as bad as they looked on Monday. the Question is, how much better can they be as currently constituted? we'll discuss that and anything else on your mind when we start in about a minute
Person who stays to the final out (Washington, DC)
Who is the first person traded off the team.....Granderson or Chamberlain?
Wallace Matthews (12:01 PM)
My guess would be Joba, because I think they're going to need whatever power Grandy can provide when he gets back
jim va.beach [via mobile]
Alot of guys on espn NY in the comment section keep calling you a doomsayer after one loss. Your not that are you? Thanks.
Wallace Matthews (12:02 PM)
I don't think so. i prefer "realist" Besides, I only wrote one story off Opening Day, and that concerned CC's lack of velocity, which is impossible to dispute. I consider the comments section to be a place for fans to vent and I don;t take what they say personally
Wally, time to beat the dead horse. In 1998 - 2000 Brian Cashman basically won the WS with players from the Stick Michael and Bob Watson era. In 2002 he started reshaping the team in his image (I'm sure the Boss had some input). What have we gotten since 2002? A payroll in the billions, one trip to the WS and one WS victory. What particularly galls me is that while the Arod deal was a horrible one, the Yanks wouldn't have won in 2009 without him, Brian's only victory that he should get credit for. I believe he is a less than average GM, who has little or no expertise at picking pitcher's, his farm system has done little or nothing (who evaluates these prospects) and now we have an aging ballclub with help at single A possibly. Where am I wrong?
Wallace Matthews (12:06 PM)
Wow. First of all, let's understand that despite the Steinbrenners' insistence that Cash has autonomy, it's no secret that he was against the A-Rod deal and it was forced upon him by higher authorities. He was also against the soriano deal on the grounds that you don;t pay a setup man 13.5M. (Sori, of course, wound up being an emergency closer, so that worked out despite his quite correct objection to the deal). So the thought that Cashman is behind the huge spending sprees is, I think erroneous. In fact, I think he would like to prove he can buld a winner without the Boss' checkbook. agreed, the AJ Burnett deal was a flop -- but you can argue the Yankees don;t win the WS in 2009 without his help -- and the less said about Kei Igawa, the better. But on balance, how many other GMs can say their tream has been in the playoffs all but one of the last 17 seasons and won 4 WS?
Good Morning, What are your thoughts about Sabathia decline in velocity? What is the mood in the clubhouse? Do the players get along well? I truly believe the Yankees will regret not resigning Chavez, Martin, Ibanez and Soriano. I realize only one game has been played, but the team did not look good at all. Thank you.
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
On CC: It bears watching but is not necessarily a sign of permanent decline. Not yet, anyway. From wha I can see, and I spend a lot of time in the clubhouse, the players get along fine. Not many standout personalities in the room now that swisher's gone, aside from Joba and he is pretty much tolerated. They may well regret the players the allowed to leave, esp Ibanez and Martin, but let's not jump off a bridge off one game
Wally. Lets not cancel the Yankees season after one game. The Starting Pitching and Bullpen despite the weakened lineup can tread water until the first couple weeks of May. Until Tex, Granderson, and Jeter should be back. Yankees typically don't take off until Late May anyway.
Wallace Matthews (12:08 PM)
OK. I doubted I had the power to cancel the season anyway
Ed (Queens Village)
What percent does Joe Girardi get fired during season if they struggle?
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
I'd say 25%. i refer you to the Hot Button debate Andrew and I did last week. If you can Girardi, who are you replacing him with? It's not that simple and I don;t think he will be to blame
A belated Happy Opening Day Wally. Cano high for walks is only 61, which was last year. How many does he get this year?
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
Thank you and same to you. I would say he gets more, only because it will be a lot easier for opponents to pitch around him with nothing much to fear in the lineup behind him
with the AL east as strong as it is from top to bottom, can the Yankees get by until the cavalry arrives - I am not very sanguine that happens unless we get light's out pitching from those old arms
Wallace Matthews (12:12 PM)
I believe they can if only because there's so much parity in the East, these teams could take turns knocking one another off, as we saw last night with Balt/TB and by the way, should they be panicking in Toronto when their Cy Young acquisition got beat in his first start? Too early to go nuts yet
Why is Chamberlain wearing a mustache? Doctor?s excuse?
Wallace Matthews (12:12 PM)
I suppose he thinks he looks handsome with it
Chris (Cape Cod)
Has anyone asked Cashman why they had to take on 13m for Wells as a 6-week fill-in for Granderson when Rivera could've done the same job for the league min? Still can't believe they are giving Ichiro and Wells 13m combined for the next 2 yrs.
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
I don;t think they liked Rivera's glove in OF or at 1B, and I do think Cash and the Yankees are gambling that Wells will return to the kind of form he showed in Tor in 2010, which is a lot better than what Rivera could do
Don't want to sound like a pessimist but shld the Yanks be out of contention by trading deadline, would there be a scenario where they should be looking to trade Hiroki Koroda or even Phil to the rangers to get their top SS prospect?
Wallace Matthews (12:14 PM)
Honestly, I can;t imagine the Yankees pulling the plug on a season at the deadline. Too many games left, too many high-priced seats to sell.
Hi Wally! Let's say that the Yankees make the playoff. Do you think they would have a real shot at the World Series if they get there with Tex, Grandy, and Arod at full strength (and each of them having played many less games than usual during the regular season)?
Wallace Matthews (12:15 PM)
I think any team that gets into October has the chance to come out of it with the goods, provided they are healthy and the players perform to their capablilities, which is the opposite of what happened to the Yankees last October
Allan R (The Bronx, NY)
I know it's still early in the season, but do you expect the Yankees to be actively shopping players before the July trade deadline?
Wallace Matthews (12:16 PM)
No. I can;t see the Yankees as sellers, only buyers. But let's see how the next three months play out
Small Ball Hal (Owner's Box)
Wally, what you do for all of us is big-time. We get to complain to you and you are a psychologist. That said, how do the Yankees get trough April with less talent than they have had since the 1980s?
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
Thank you. If only I could charge a psychologist's hourly rate. And the answer to your question is pitching, pitching, pitching Because it doesn;t look like they're going to do much at the plate
Who is still on this team in a month - Francisco, Overbay, Boesch, or Wells?
Wallace Matthews (12:19 PM)
Definitely Wells, because they owe him a lot of money. Unless he's a complete bust, Overbay, too, because they'll need a backup 1b when Tex comes back. Ben Francisco is as good as gone when Granderson comes back, if not sooner. Not sure yet about Boesch. being a LH bat may help because of the short porch. Or it may hurt bec. the Yankees already have too many of them
If cervelli or stewart get off to a cold start. And romine gets off to a hot one. Whats the likely hood he gets the nod? I really wanna see this guy play.
Wallace Matthews (12:20 PM)
It's possible, but I must tell you I was surprised at how little playing time he got in ST, which says to me the Yankees don;t think he is ready yet. Clearly, he doesn;t even have enough bat to beat out cervelli or Stewart and it's no secret the Yankees think all their young catchers stil need to improve defensively
Seeing that Opening Day lineup made me feel like I was back in the late 80s, early 90s when the Yankees were awful. Are you taking the over or under for 85 wins this season?
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
In my preview column I pegged them at 88 and so far, I'll stick with that
why are the yankees so loathe to rebuild? if they trade upcoming free agents like cano, granderson and hughes to build to the prospect base come 2015 they would be dominant again.
Wallace Matthews (12:22 PM)
two simple reasons: High prices, demanding and somewhat spoiled fan base. I don;t think the Yankees would ever write off a season or two for future payout. they are a win-now organization and frankly, the way they've set the bar in various categories, they have no other option
Ryan (Manchester, CT)
I'm going to Old Timers Day! Wondering what the Yankee roster / lineup will be in two month?
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
every day is Old Timers Day at the new Yankee stadium!
Edward Dudley (Grand Rapids)
How has Phil Hughes looked lately?
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
Haven;t seen him since last week in Tampa and he looked OK
Gary Ireland (Hopewell)
Joel Sherman predicted that the Yankees would trade Mason Williams and another piece for Andre Ethier. Please tell me this won't happen.
Wallace Matthews (12:24 PM)
the only thing I hate more than making predictions is making a prediction about another guy's prediction. Joel Sherman is a good reporter so I wouldn;t write it off, but I know the Yankees have high hopes for Williams
For Joe Girardi: How can your team hold up for this season when only 2 players in last year's opening day lineup returned to this year's lineup, and as of today 81% of last years homeruns have been lost to the DL and Free agency?
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
I will submit this to the manager for his perusal but I will say that to his credit, Joe Girardi firmly believes in the abilities of the NY Yankees no matter who is wearing the laundry. Irrational, maybe. But what else can he say?
Edward Dudley (Grand Rapids)
Even though Jayson Nix played some good defense, this offense needs some offense. Any chance they bring up Ronnier if the Yankees continue to struggle scoring runs?
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
I know they love Musty's bat but he really is a guy without a position. his best spot seems to be 3B and with Youkilis out there now and A-Rod expected back, there doesn;t seem to be a spot for him in the field right now. he's really not much of an OF
What does Heathcott have to do this year to get up the bigs? Why can't they just let him and Austin come up and play? Wells and Hafner are not the answers.
Wallace Matthews (12:28 PM)
he's got to stay healthy, for one thing. He appears to be a bit injury prone -- in ST he got hurt in the collision with Musty and also jammed a thumb -- so he may not be ready to pu tin a full season;s work. But I will tell you this -- the guys is built like a young Mantle, if Mantle was covered in tattoos, and his potential seems very high. But as you know, the Yankees do not do on-the-job training. Girardi and Cashman alwasy trust the vets over unproven kids
Benny Blanco from the Bronx (NYC)
Does this management move by Cano pretty much seal the deal on him being a Yankee for life. I can't overlook the NYC-Jayz connection.
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
I wouldn;t say so. Even though Jay-Z is a well-known Yankees fan, presumably he's not an idiot and wil get his client the best possible deal, which may not come from the Yankees. Besides, he's just the front man; cano's actual agent is an experieced player rep who I would assume will go about his business roughly in the manner Boras would have
Craig (Cherry Hill, NJ)
Hey Wally, From what you saw this spring, which prospect should we be most excited for when he gets to the Bigs?
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
I loved Musty. Big bat, exciting, full-tilt player, but fair-to-poor defensively. Also was impressed with Heathcott when he could stay on the field. Mesa is a good defensive OF, not much bat. Zoilo almonte was impressive in very small samples
Wallace Matthews (12:32 PM)
Thank you , everyone, that half-hour went fast and I know I didn;t get to everyone. we;ll do it again next week from Cleveland.