Chat with Wallace Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Wednesday, New York Yankees beat writer Wallace 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 (2:02 PM)
Good afternoon, Yankee peeps, from Yankee Stadium. Simulated game is over; AJ Burnett, Javy Vazquez and Chad Gaudin were the throwers, Ramiro Pena, Greg Golson, Austin Kearns, Curtis Granderson, Francisco Cervelli the hitters. No onbe died, although it was close. The rest of the squad is on the field for a workout now. Fire away!
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Will we see the 2010 World Series a Rematch from the 2009 World Series?
Wallace Matthews (2:04 PM)
Hey, Chris. That would be my guess right now, but I thought the Rays would beat Texas, so who knows at this point? Right now, I feel more confident that the Phillies will be in the WS than the Yankees will, because I think Texas poses some problems that TB did not, namely power hitting and Cliff Lee. But gun to my head, I say it's Yanks-Phils 2.0 in the World Series
Chris (Studio City, CA)
Wallace: A question for you about Granderson...how has the last two months of infinitely better play (in my opinion) influenced how the Yankees view him going forward? Will they still go hard after Crawford, and even if they do, do they see Granderson and Crawford meshing together, or would they still rather jettison Granderson and keep Gardner in the mix. Thanks in advance for the answers!
Wallace Matthews (2:07 PM)
Hi, Chris. That is an excellent question and as always, the Yankees are playing it close to the vest regarding off season moves. But there's no doubt the perception of Granderson has changed since August and the Yankees will probably think long and hard about whether it is worth it to go all in for Crawford or stick with the Gardner-Grandy-Swisher starting OF that has gotten them this far, and whether Crawford is really all that much of an upgrade over gardner. We all know theyre going hard for Cliff Lee; I think the decision they make on Crawford/Granderson/Gardner is the key call for this off-season, much like the Johnny Damon decision last year
Cliff Lee wants CC Sabathia money and I don't blame him. The Yankees are probly one of the only teams that can afford that, but would they be willing to pay that to two players plus the big contract of AJ Burnett?
Wallace Matthews (2:09 PM)
Hey, John. I think if there's one thing Yankee history should have taught us by now, it is that they will never NOT sign a player solely because of money. The only thing that would stop them on Lee is obv., an injury or a change in their opinion of him based on past-season perfrmance, two very unlikely scenaros. and the Yankees still believe, publicly at least, the Burnett can be a useful guy for tham. This is not Kei Igawa we're talking about here
Betsy Tarr (New York)
Hi Wally Would you go Phil in game 2 and Andy game 3 or vice versa? I've no problem pitching Phil anywhere, but he pitches very well in Texas and Andy in game 3 means he can pitch game 7. Also, will the Yankees pitch CC 3 times? Assuming the Yankees trust Phil, I would avoid CC on short rest twice and have CC, Andy and Phil pitch twice. Thanks!
Wallace Matthews (2:11 PM)
Hello, Betsy. The Yankees are treating their ALCS rotation after CC as if it is the nuclear codes or something. My guess is that Hughes will go Game 2, andy Game 3, for two reasons: one, the Yankees prefer to go L-R-L with their starters, and two, I think they feel more comfortable with Pettitte going in a Game 7 rather than Hughes/ The Yankees have said CC will not go three times. Of course, that could, and will change if they are down -3 and it's AJs turn to pitch
What's up Wally? Girardi seems to be in much better spirirts lately. What's with all of this specualtion previously that he had lost weight, was stressed out, and was going to leave for the Cubs job? I don't see him leaving the best franchise in baseball because that's where's he from. Seems like he's just playing his cards right. I assume he'll probably make about 4.5 million next year anyway and the Cubs aren't going to pay over that. IF he did leave (highly doubt it!) who do you see as his sucessor? Please don't say Bobby V. Thanks!
Wallace Matthews (2:15 PM)
He, Randy. I agree, Girardi does look better now that the Yankees are safely in the postseason and past the ALDS and the randomness of a 5-game series. Honestly, he looked seriously stressed out and maybe even ill in the final weeks of the season. I really think at times he weighs the reaction from the media and the fans before he makes a move, although he denies it, and that's really not a healthy way to do business in this town because everybody is a critic and a second-guesser here. It just comes with the territory. However, i don;t think that will be the reason if he goes to Chicago, a possibility I would nbot discount. If the Cubs offer him Piniella-like money --and I have no idea if they will -- I do not think the Yankees would match it or get into a bidding war for him. As much as they like and admire him, I think the days of the $5-6 million Yankee manager left with the departure of Joe Torre and the death of The Boss. If he does leave? I have no dea and I don;t think it would be Bobby. The days of Billy Martin are over, too
With all the talk about the Rangers sweeping the Yankees in September wasn't this much to do with the starters and some freak things (Mo HBP) rather than Rangers outplaying Yankees?
Wallace Matthews (2:18 PM)
Hey, Eric. Yeah, possibly. The Yankees were playing their worst baseball of the season at that point, and you have to remember who started those games: Vazquez, Burnett and Moseley. Mo did struggle in that series and in fact, has terrible numbers pitching in Texas tsi season -- Ian Begley is working on a blog item about that right now -- and I expect he will revert to his old form this week. But do not sleep on the Rangers; sme great hitters, good baserunners, and of course, Cliff Lee
Frankie Lambis (Orlando, FL)
What is the number one threat the Texas Rangers have on the Yankees?
Wallace Matthews (2:19 PM)
Hey, Frankie. You mean besides Cliff Lee? How about Josh Hamilton, Vlad Guerrero, Michael Young, elvis andrus, Neftali Feliz. Tough to narrow it to one. Multi-threats on that team
David (Bristol, CT)
If you were a betting man what are your predictions for the ALCS and NLCS? I say Yankees in 7 and Phils in 6
Wallace Matthews (2:20 PM)
David, if I were a betting man I would have already crapped out, having picked the Rays to beat the Rangers. But I would have to agree with both your ALCS/NLCS picks, and the Phils over the Yanks this time in 7
David (New York)
So AJ is starting in the ALCS but that does not mean he starts Game 4. What is your thoughts on rotation after CC Game 1?
Wallace Matthews (2:21 PM)
I think it goes CC, Hughes,Pettitte, AJ, CC, Hughes, Pettitte. Unless of course, the Yankees are down 1-2 or 0-3, at which point AJ might just as well resume his seat in the bullpen
I would ask about AJ, but I don't think there is anything to say there. We will all just clench our jaws and hope for the best. So I will ask instead about Posada. Do they bench him for AJ's start? Do they have to add Moeller to the ALCS roster just because of AJ? Who do they drop if so (Golson?)?
Wallace Matthews (2:24 PM)
Hey, Bobby. agreed, not muc more to say about AJ. Girardi refuses to commit to Cerelli as AJ's catcher, but a pretty good clue came during the sim game today when Cervelli caught AJ and the rest of the pitchers were caught by a bullpen catcher. Moeller is a possibility for the reason you mention; if so, Golson seems like the odd man out
What are the chances that Cliff Lee's wife is the major factor in where he lands next year? (Being that she is good friends with CC's wife)
Wallace Matthews (2:25 PM)
Amanda, as a man who has been happily married for 25 years, I can assure you the wife is always a major factor in all family decisions. That's how you remain happily married. However, I think Cliff Lee winds up where the money is., which, BTW, is right here
What do you think the Yankees rotation will look like next year? Will we see Cliff Lee in there? And what's going to happen to Vazquez who is a free agent and AJ who could be the center for a very beneficial trade.
Wallace Matthews (2:27 PM)
Hey, John: My guess is CC, Lee, Hughes, AJ. Pettitte probably retires. Vazquez will not be back. And at $16.5 M guaranteed for three more years, AJ is as close to untradeable as a player can be, esp. now that Omar Minaya is no longer allowed to play with Jeff Wilpon's checkbook
Nancy (Bx, NY)
Hey,Hate to focus in on 1 player like this right now, but I'd really like to know : if Cano plays better than hamilton during this series, does that up his chances of getting mvp by much?.. Do you think his chances are already strong enough and he can really win it? Thanks
Wallace Matthews (2:28 PM)
Hey, Nancy. It's not supposed to. The MVP voters are supposed to consider only a player's regular-season performance, and considering Hamilton missed much of September, I would say Cano is right there in the conversation
Blake (Abilene, TX)
Wallace, are the Yankee's under estimating C.J Wilson the same way the media is?
Wallace Matthews (2:28 PM)
They are not. Joe Girardi specifically mentioned wilson in his news conference today, even going so far as to say his Game 2 perf. might have been better than either of Lee's.
Zachary (Winston-Salem, NC)
Do you think the A-Rod of last year is going to show up sometime in this series? I'm sure he'll get booed even more in Texas because of the admitted steroid use, so shouldn't he ave even more motivation to really stick it to the Rangers?
Wallace Matthews (2:30 PM)
Good question and one I intend to discuss with A-Rod this afternoon, assuming he shows up inthe postworkout clubhouse (he did not yesterday). It's tuf to say what motivates Alex, but clearly, negative attention doesn't seem to affect him all that much
Please tell me that the Yanks are as high on Kerry Wood as I am. He slots in nicely in that 8th inning.
Wallace Matthews (2:30 PM)
Absolutely. You can tell that by how they use him. and whatever happened to that chubby kid with the funny name?
Wallace Matthews (2:31 PM)
Thanks, guys, for all the great questions. Gotta run to the clubhouse now. We'll do this again next week. Enjoy the games