Jays @ Yankees - April 2nd
5:58 - As we left the pressbox directly after last night's game, we saw a few cops moving double time to get through the fans leaving the game. I thought it probably had something to do with the 48,000 gallons of beer consumed by the Yankee fans (I meant that to be a fictitious, ridiculous number, but it's probably less than the actual amount).
In fact, it was way, way worse, as I read in today's New York Post. I should be getting danger pay coming up here or something.
5:14 - So no Matt Stairs again. He was due to get a workout before the game. If he's still can't pass muster, he's going on the 15-day DL. That would put his return on the (off-day) 7th, just ahead of the home series with Oakland.
Also, Rod Barajas replaces Gregg Zaun. Jays manager John Gibbons said Zaun is fine (hmmm) and that he made the decision because of Barajas' numbers against Yankee starter Mike Mussina - 4-for-14 with a couple of home runs. We'll see how this pans out over the next few days.
1 - David Eckstein - SS
2 - Shannon Stewart - LF
3 - Alex Rios - RF
4 - Vernon Wells - CF
5 - Frank Thomas - DH
6 - Lyle Overbay - 1B
7 - Aaron Hill - 2B
8 - Marco Scutaro - 3B
9 - Rod Barajas - C
P: A.J. Burnett
Remember that Burnett got pretty banged up in his last spring start against A-ball players back in Florida a few days ago. The club blamed that on the unusual number of curveballs he threw in wonky counts, 3-2 and the like. Again, we'll see how he comes out firing tonight.
I should also add this, glimpsed in the Yankee clubhouse by Rich Griffin. On a greasepaint board in front of New York utilityman Morgan Ensberg's locker, the following message is written:
"One year contract with the New York Yankees: $1.75 million
White Range Rover: $75,000
Getting 50 dollar cell phone ticket in Harlem: Priceless
So much for the Yankees getting special treatment in this town. I have no doubt the exact same thing would have happened to Derek Jeter. Er.
2:33 - Usually arriving early at the ballpark is just a chance to swill free pop in the press box (That's why you see the 4L jug in my bag).
But Yankee Stadium is always buzzing. Plus, the New York media stay out of the pressbox until mere seconds before first pitch, so you're usually alone up here. A chance to sit back and take it in - while they power hose the seats below you.
A couple of minutes ago, Lyle Overbay and his wife were out in left-field tossing the ball to their two young boys. Those kids are like Overbay clones, the resemblance is so striking. And they've got pretty good arms for little guys.
Then Roy Halladay and his personal trainer (and the Jays strength coach) Donovan Santas came out from behind the bullpen, where they'd obviously been working out.
Now third base coach Marty Pevey is sitting in the duguout doing arm stretches.
Jays clubhouse doesn't open for another hour yet, but I'm off down to the cafeteria to grab a coffee and check out the chalk-written line-ups (Yankee Stadium has by far the best cafeteria in baseball. Between that and the hot dog stand inside the press box, I'm going to need pregnancy pants soon). Curious to see if, as was strongly hinted, Matt Stairs is ready to make an appearance today.