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 1050 ESPN Radio.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Wallace Matthews (2:09 PM)
Good afternoon, everyone an d forgive my lateness on this hectic Wednesday afternoon. Everything ran a bit late today so we'll go a little longer than usual. First, some news: Russell martin's knee still isn;t quite right, so he won;t catch in the first exhibition game Sunday. Manny Banuelos and Dellin betances looked good throwing live BP. Ivan Nova got smacked around a little. and Hank Steinbrenner, alas, went out for lunch. Let's get started
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
It?s been rumored that Lonn Trost ordered scorecard pencils not be automatically sharpened this season, with a 50-cent surcharge to fans for sharpening. Is this accurate?
Wallace Matthews (2:10 PM)
Yes. another 50 cents if you want an eraser
Joe S. (NYC)
Have you heard rumblings that the YES Network will cut off all tie games after nine innings and move the extra innings to a pay-per-view channel?
Wallace Matthews (2:12 PM)
actually, they're going to offer five minute previews like a hotel movie chanel, after which they'll ask for your credit card number
Hank said the Yankees were tired of subsidizing small market clubs, and that if they could not support themselves they didn?t belong in the majors. Do you think he?ll push for baseball to contract to a two-team American League?
Wallace Matthews (2:13 PM)
Hank said a lot of things that could pass for high, or low comedy. I do agree with one thing, however--clubs that take revenue sharing money should be required to put it back into payroll. Otherwise, he's right. it's welfare for mulit-millionaires
Jo Jo B (Long Island)
Is it true that Hank also said that Yankee beat writers were too busy building their plates at the media buffet in 2009, and he wants them less hungry this year?
Wallace Matthews (2:14 PM)
I don't know, buddy. I was back home at the mansin having my personal chef prepare all my meals
Nancy (Bx, NY)
Hey Wally. So far, have you noticed any changes in the backup position players & what's your impression of the new additions during practice?
Wallace Matthews (2:16 PM)
Well, obviously Eric Chavez can give Ramiro Pena a run for his money. Andruw Jones, if he has anything left, could be a significant upgrade over Marcus Thams. Pedro Feliciano should improve the penvs. lefties. But it's really too early to tell how much these guys will really help until we start seeing them in games beginning this weekend
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What are the Yankees Front Office talking about that the Yankees were too busy building Mansions After wiining the 2009 World Series?
Wallace Matthews (2:17 PM)
It acually was the wacko uncle co-owner, and if he didn;t pay these guys so much money, they would be renting apartments instead
Would the Yankess be interested in trading with the Jays for Jesse Litsch or Marc Rzepczynski for their fourth or fifth spots instead of scrambling for a veteran?
Wallace Matthews (2:18 PM)
I'm sure they would, but would the Blue Jays be likely to help out a divisional rival in the one area where they have real need? Doubt it
Ciaran (Island Park, Long Island)
Hey Wally, we've seen and heard all about Jeter, Posada, A-Rod at spring training, but how are Swisher, Gardner and Granderson looking? and did Joba really add muscle or is it plain old fat??
Wallace Matthews (2:20 PM)
Physically all three of them look great. Swisher looks like he did more lifting this off-season. Granderson's New Zealand vacation doesn;t appear to have fattened him up. Gardner says the surgically repaired wrist is fine But again, until they start facing real pitching in games later in the spring, it's all talk
Hey Wall-E it's Brandon. I was wondering if you think by any chance the Yankees will/would trade Nick Swisher this year if so where could he land?
Wallace Matthews (2:21 PM)
Doubt it. Unless Andruw Jones turns the clock back seven or eight years
I wanted to know if you think it would be possible the Yankees would add King Albert Pujols? If so where would he fit into the lineup.
Wallace Matthews (2:22 PM)
The answers are, I'm sure the Yankees would love to add Pujols and he would fit into the lineup wherever he wants to go, or wherever the Yankees want to put him. I could see him easily displacing the Tex9000 at No. 3 or A-Rod at cleanup
Vinny (Bronx, NY)
Wally, love your chats. Very reasonable and unbiased participants. With that being said how can the Giants turn down an offer of Eddy Nunez and Melky Cabrera and Ivan Nova for Tim Lincecum. SF gets a future all star SS, CF and Lincecum replacement and the Yanks get their #2 started behind CC
Wallace Matthews (2:24 PM)
Thanks, Vin. Only one problem: Melky Cabrera isn't a yankee anymore. Think the Giants would take Melky Mesa instead? Seen one Melky, seen em all
Person with probing question (DC)
Are you finding your toughest decision to be, so far in Yankee camp, of wiring Hank's office for more soundbites or placing a hidden camera at the local buffet where Joba and Bartolo frequent?
Wallace Matthews (2:26 PM)
Hank';s office doesn;t have to be wired. He makes his proclamations over the stadium PA system. And neither Joba nor Bartolo, nor Ronnie Belly-ard, for that matter, is very secretive about their eating. No hidden cameras necessary
Good Afternoon I wanted to know how in the Yankees Farm System do you like has the best upside?
Wallace Matthews (2:27 PM)
The yankees have high hopes for Manny Banuelos, a hard-throwing lefty they think can crack the starting rotation within two years. He's only 19 and will start the season in double A
How dose AJ look?
Wallace Matthews (2:30 PM)
Same as always, I'm sorry to say. Today he got his panties in a knot when a reporter, not me, stopped Mick Kelleher to ask a question after Kelleher came out of the food room with his lunch. He appeared very offended by it. Kelleher had no problem and gladly answered the guy's question. As for Allen James' pitching, we'll get our first look in the fourth or fifth exhibition game ealy next week
Will this be the debut of the french version of Yankee chat? Is there any chance that if Montero has a dominant spring training the Yankees would consider making him the starter or will they hold him for trade bait and wait for one of the younger catchers to come up next year? Do any of the young minor league pitchers have a real shot at the rotation or is that just lip service from Yankee people?
Sean (New York, NY)
Hey Wally,With the word from Cashman that Banuelos and Betances are going back to AA to begin the season, are you expecting one of the three headed Garcia/Mitre/Colon monster to get the #5 job or can you see a different youngster like Brackman or Phelps breakout during spring training? Who do you have penciled in as the #5 in your imaginary rotation to begin the season? How about at the end of the season?
Wallace Matthews (2:37 PM)
Not having seen them throw in a game yet, I still think Garcia is a slight favorite to win No. 5 based on his success with CWS last year. However, Girardi has liked what he has seen from Colon so far, and has been effusive in his praise of both Brackman and Phelps. I think Mitre is the least likely to win the job. One of the kids could conceivably win the job with a bustout spring, but gun to my head I think Garcia will get it but not keep it
John (Bronx, Ny)
Is that 4th starter being given to Ivan Nova?? Or are Colon, Garcia, Mitre, and Nova fighting for the last 2 spots?
Wallace Matthews (2:38 PM)
I don;t know about "given," although Cashman has spoken all winter as if the job is his to lose. So realistically, the guys you name, along with Brackman and maybe Phelps but minus Nova, are all fighting for one spot and possibly the long relief job
If Montero can't stick at catcher, anybody thought about LF?
Wallace Matthews (2:39 PM)
Have not heard that mentioned but I'm sure they will want to find a spot for his bat in the lineup -- if they don;t trade him. Still, th eplan now is to develop him as a catcher and they say he is improved from last season
Happy Meloday Wally, hope your having a fine week. So i hear colon is throwing pretty hard still, is there any chance he might be better than expected?
Wallace Matthews (2:40 PM)
yes, believe it or not. The bullpens I've seen, he is throwing hard and keeping the ball down. Weight makes stamina a real concern, as well as lack of MLB action for 18 months. But the guy obviously has talent. We'll have a better idea after he pitches Saturday against Phils
Brian Cashman (NY)
Biggest area of concern, 1) return to form of key personnel (Texeira, Rodriguez, Jeter), or 2) starting pitching
Wallace Matthews (2:42 PM)
or 3) The proliferation of new mansion construction among Yankee players
Wallace Matthews (2:43 PM)
Thanks, everyone, for another rocking chat. we'll go again next Wednesday, time TBD, but I think I like this 2 pm thing. Ill let you know