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 (1:56 PM)
Welcome, friends to what might be the final game at Yankee Stadium this year. I'm sitting in the pressbox overlooking batting practice, which looks pretty much the same as it has all year long. I'm sure there are plenty of you who want to ask questions, give opinions or just vent, so et's get started right away
Am I crazy to think that AJ was actually pitching pretty decent before his hiccup in the 6th?
Wallace Matthews (1:58 PM)
Hey, Joe. You are not crazy at all, and I'm sure if you told the Yankees before the game AJ would give them six innings and allow five runs, I think they would have signed up for that. Im sure they expected their offense to score more than that off Tommy Hunter but so fafr, the Yankee bats except for Cano and Jeter have been pathetic
Steve (Bristol, CT)
Besides signing Lee and moving Posada into more of a DH role (either signing a catcher or bringing up Montero) what are the moves the Yankees HAVE to make this off season?
Wallace Matthews (2:00 PM)
Hey, Steve. I think the yankees need to start looking seriously for mariano's replacement. They thought thay had him, and probably did, in Joba circa '07, but that pitcher is gone. That's the one area that is going to be almost impossible for them to have a smooth transition when it's time for Mo to hang it up. I think the Yankees are in for a rude awakening when they are forced to play full nine inning ballgames like just abotu every other team in baseball
E (NY, NY)
If GMS was still alive what are the odds that Girardi would be managing next year considering how badly he has under managed this ALCS?
Wallace Matthews (2:03 PM)
Hey, E: (E?) Good question. I'm sure that by now, GMS would have publicly questioned Girardi's moves on numerous occasions, not just in the ALCS. The question is, how much would Girardi have been willing/able to put up with before blowing his stack as he did in Florida. I don;t think he would have been fired since the Yankees are just a year off winning a World Series, but he certainly would have had to suffer through a torturous an possibly humiliating off-season and be asked to accept a contract he migt have found insulting, probably a one-year deal with a club option, or in other words, a win-or-else contract. Would he have taken it? I would have loved the chance to find out
Wally, m sure u are happy with the series outcome. Torre time?
Wallace Matthews (2:05 PM)
Hey, Nathan: What makes you say that? It really doesn;t matter to me one way or the other who wins or loses. I bought the ticket at the start of the season and I'm in for the full ride. I have enjoyed covering this team immensely and frankly will miss it for awhile once this thing all ends. But if you;re asking if I would like it to end sooner rather than later, the answer obviously is yes. I have a family I left behind on Easter Sunday that I would like to re-introduce myself to
How do you feel about Yankees fans leaving in the 7th inning? As a Sox fan I can't believe it!
Wallace Matthews (2:07 PM)
I'm always shocked that people who pay the kind of money they ask for baseball tickets these days would leave any game before it is over. But the mass exodus out of Yankees Stadium last night was truly shocking, especially if it was the only game you were going to see this post-season. whatever happened to staying until the end and applauding the effort of both teams, esp the one you have supposedly been loyal to all season? I guess that's an outdated idea that only guys my age would even entertain
Andrew (Radford, VA)
Can they come back?
Wallace Matthews (2:10 PM)
Hey, andrew. Obviously, they CAN comeback. The question is, will they? If CC can pull it together to win today, and he has not looked good in either of his PS starts, then at the very least they bring it back to Texas and the possibility that Hughes can rebound from his terrible outing in Game 2. But the most discouraging thing of all is that even if you rally to win Games 5 and 6, Cliff Lee is waiting for you in Game 7 on full rest. That is a lot ot ask of any team, and especially of a team that has just gotten crushed in two games in their own ballpark. Short answer: They can come back. But I doubt very highly that they will
jim (medford, oregon)
The fan who interfered with Brett Gardner's attempt on that foul ball in the top 5th will not go down as the next steve bartman but he did force burnett to throw more pitches, one or two maybe three i believe and there's no question that this could have contributed to Burnett's tiring and bad pitches in the sixth that led to the Molina home run
Wallace Matthews (2:12 PM)
Hey, Jim: I guess. But it's just another part of the game that a pitcher has to deal with, and to Burnett's credit, he did not use it, or fatigue, as his excuse. He just said it was a mistake, a fastball that was supposed to be away but drifted over the plate where Molina could handle it.
Wallace Matthews (2:19 PM)
Could be. But I believe Cashman when he says the once Texas included Justin Somak, the Yankees weren;t getting Lee even if they had thrown in both Nunez and Nova. and it will only make them more determined to get him as a free-agent, regardless of what it costs. But yeah, esp if this goes 7 and Lee beats them again, it is certainly going to look like a season-ending blunder
Wallace Matthews (2:21 PM)
No. between the regional network and the city's affection for Fenway, which generates plenty of revenue despite its age and size, i don;t think that park will go the way of the old Yankee Stadium anytime soon
I've been going back on the will we or won't go after Crawford all year and after seeing Swish struggle again and Gardner not hitting (Swish has to stay where he is) I think we seriously have to consider replacing Gardner with Crawford. We always seem to live and die by the long ball but if Gardy is struggling, we can't rely on him hitting a homerun. Crawford can do small ball and the long ball.
Wallace Matthews (2:23 PM)
That to me is the most interesting question of the off-season. We know they'r egoing hard for Lee, that Girardi is coming back and Jeter will likely get four more years. But the front office has to determine if it is worthwhile to sign Crawford at $15 m a year of go with Gardner for less than a million right now. I agree the main difference is power, but since both are so dependent on speed, it may not be wise to give a long-term contract to Crawfod, who is already 30. Once his speed goes, his game goes with it. Same for Gardner, but at 26, he will last longer and cost a ton less. That may actually make a difference around here
Jonathan (Freeport, NY)
Wally, this team is cooked with out Teixeira, isn't it. Break it to me gently, I'm not "in a good place" right now, emotionally speaking.
Wallace Matthews (2:26 PM)
Jonathan, I think they were cooked whether Tex was healthy or not. They're not hitting, the bullpen has chosen a terrible time to go into the tank, and the starting pitching, Pettitte excepted, seems to have hit the wall. And there's always Cliff Lee lurking to pitch Game 7 if it gets that far. Lookm they had a very good season and it is conceivable, if not likely, that they could rally to force a game 7 and even to win it, but I think you have to resign yourself to the reality that even though the yankees were the best team in baseball for the first half of the season, they're probably no better than the third-best team left in the playoffs. Right now, Texas looks like the goods.
Tino (Tampa, FL)
Any chance the Yankees can package Joba, Kearns, and AJ and send them somewhere for anything? A bat, a glove, a bag full of baseballs?
Wallace Matthews (2:28 PM)
Hey, Tino: I'm reasonably sure Joba will be moved while he still has some value to some other organization, because it is clear he doesn;t really have any for the Yankees anymore. And I'm just as sure AJ, with his $16.5M contract whcih still has three years to go, is immovable. Kearns? A bag of baseballs might be too much to ask
do you enjoy the Yankee loses as much as it comes across in your articles?
Wallace Matthews (2:30 PM)
JP< I don;t enjoy the losses, I report them without the sugarcoating under the assumption that Yankee fans are intelligent adults that can handle the truth. You know if you are one of them or not. If you think I'm enjoying it because I'm telling you things you don;t want to hear, maybe you should look into your own level of maturity and perspective
What are the chances Nick Swisher is in a Yankee uniform next season
Wallace Matthews (2:31 PM)
the chances are excellent, since he is signed for a reasonably affordable $9 million. But he is going to have to show more than he has shown this post-season next October, assuming the yankees make the playoffs next year, to be here beyond that
Wallace Matthews (2:33 PM)
Jim, It's possible teixeira's injury took some of the heart out of the team but to put this performance solely on the back of teixeira's injury overlooks a lot of the problems tha have plagued the yankees in this series, and downplays how well the Rangers have pitched and hit in all four games so far. Face it, the best player and the best pitcher in this series are both rangers: Josh Hamilton and Cliff Lee
Wallace Matthews (2:34 PM)
That's all the time I've got today, gang. Thanks for all the great questions and enjoy the game. we'll do it again next week on a day to be determind depending on what happens the rest of the way