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Yankees Daily Briefing 05/25/11

In his first start against the Blue Jays in 2011, Freddy Garcia pitched five innings of three run baseball, and took the loss. With the exception of his first game of the year -- when he came in from the bullpen -- the April 29th game was Garcia's shortest appearance of the season. On Wednesday, Garcia will be on the mound for the Yankees as they try to win the rubber game versus Toronto; Jo Jo Reyes (0-3, 4.07) will start for the Blue Jays; Reyes has not faced the Yankees in 2011.

1) Two of the three affiliates in action Tuesday won their games.

Triple-A Scranton beat Indianapolis 5-1.

Jesus Montero had one hit in four at bats and struck out once. Jorge Vazquez hit his league-leading 17th home run of the season.

Double-A Trenton beat Reading 5-2.

Warner Madrigal was officially activated; Naoya Okamoto was sent to the disabled list as the corresponding move.

High-A Tampa lost to Fort Myers 5-4, while Low-A Charleston had a scheduled off day.

2) Johnette Howard writes that Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman was right to oppose the signing of Rafael Soriano. Howard cites that Cashman's issue was never with Soriano's talent, but rather Soriano's contract, and here it is hard to disagree.

It's bad enough that Soriano has been terrible in 2011 when he has pitched, but on Wednesday the news broke that Soriano would head to Florida to meet with Dr. James Andrews. Soriano has no shortage of past arm injuries, and if those warning signs weren't reason enough to be cautious, the Yankees should have remembered their previous experience signing oft-injured relievers to multi-year deals.

3) Mike Mazzeo writes that Tuesday's win was reminiscent of the Yankees' 2009 season. Of course, the 2009 regular season for the Yankees is perhaps best known for their 15 walk-off wins, and as the success of that team is so closely associated with the late inning come-from-behind-wins, there might now be an association between the Yankees' ability to mount late-inning rallies (they're now 2-18 when trailing after eight innings in 2011) and their success in the standings.

4) Allen Barra writes that while the case against Roger Maris getting into the Hall of Fame is strong, he should be considered a special exception.

As Barra notes, Maris' career statistics are not Hall of Fame quality; in fact his career OPS of 0.822 wouldn't rank in the top 40 of major leaguers this season, and 2011 has not been an offense-friendly season. That said, as Barra argues, Maris' 61 home runs in 1961 -- 2011 is the 50-year mark -- is such a unique achievement in baseball history that there is an argument to include Maris despite his overall numbers. Maris' 1961 record stood until 1998, a span of nearly 40 years, but there are those who will argue that if you make an exception for Maris, it might be hard down the line to draw a line between the truly historic achievements and those which are not as important in hindsight.