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 noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (11:54 AM)
Good afternoon everyone. We'll get underway in a minute or so
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
With Mariano Rivera Reaching 600 or more saves,who will be the Yankee Pithcer to reach a big milestone in saves once Rivera retires from baseball?
Wallace Matthews (11:58 AM)
Hey, Chris. To answer that one I have to be able to answer one of the most important questions facing the yankees in the relatively near future: Who will follow Mariano? Of the guys on the roster now, I would think Robertson has the best combination of stuff/makeup to take over the job, but whether he will have the longevity and consistency of Mo is a remote possibility at best, not only for him but for anyone. And as we know, the Yankees are just as likely to go outside the organization to find Mo';s successor. And what about banuelos? Is he a possible closer? remember, Mo was a starter at that age, too. It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out
Hi Wally,Hughes; what was really the problem with him for most of 2011 and what should we expect in 2012?
Wallace Matthews (12:00 PM)
John, i promise you I;m not holding back anything on Hughes, and like you, have felt unsatisfied all season about the explanation for Hughes' mystifying drop-off. The Yankees, and esp Girardi, tend to laugh things off once they;re "solved" and no one has come up with an acceptable reason other than vagaries like "dead arm" and "soreness." so the answer is, i can;t really tell you because the Yankees have never told us
jj (salem, ma)
Wally, should there be any concern about the Yanks' meh record in 1 run games this season compared to years' past?
Wallace Matthews (12:02 PM)
losing a lot of 1-run games is always a red flag, esp heading into the playoffs where the games tend to be pitching dominated and therefore low-scoring. But I think you would be better off focusing on how this team really has avoided prolonged losing streaks despite a lot of injuuries, and has either kept pace or been ahead of the overhyped,and apparently, overrated Red Sox all season
I truly respect Mariano's accomplishment for 600 and soon to be 602. I do notice however, that more batters are catching up to that cutter, especially the Red Sox. I remember in 2009, Cervelli got Mo to use his 2seamer more to limit the effectiveness that righthanders had against mo. So he had a pitch that cut into lefties and one the two seamer cut in to righties. He could also reverse how he used the pitches. It worked well!! He has seemed to abandon that pitch since 2009. Has he considered bringing that pitch back, or reinventing himself some other way, and hence extend his career by a couple of seasons???
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
I agree with you and must admit there were times this season when I thought we were beginning to see the decline of Mariano, which is of course inevitable. One thing about Mo -- he would never discuss considering adding another pitch or "reinventing" himself with a reporter until after he had implemented it and was sure it worked. He is, rightfully, a very proud man and I could not see him acknowledging any sort of doubt or weakness at this stage of his career. But it certainly is a good idea.
Does Jorge make the roster for the ALDS?
Wallace Matthews (12:06 PM)
great question. Since he's not going to be catching, it seems as if his best shot is that Montero makes the roster as a backup catcher due to Cervelli's injury, and the Yankees have to take Jorge along as a left-handed DH. Tough call and a lot of it depends upon whether Cervelli recovers in time for the post-season
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
Your honest opinion--Which story are more Yankee fans interested in... the A-Rod--C. Diaz breakup or Mo's 600th save?
Wallace Matthews (12:06 PM)
Hopefully, Mo. And BTW, have they broken up again? Last time I checked, Cam-Rod was back on. Not that I;m interested, of course
Should Posada have caught Mariano's 600th save as part of the historical moment? What about catching his 602nd save?
Wallace Matthews (12:08 PM)
the problem with that is you never know when it;s going to happen. what if the M's had rallied to tie the game? then you have to send Posada back out there tonight, or Friday in Toronto. Unfortunately, Posada is no longer part of that equation and although he's caught hundreds of Mo's saves, hes not catching No. 602, I don;t think
With Posada now number four on the catching totem pole, do you think he could increase his value to the team by taking over Burnett's role as pie-in-the-face guy?
Wallace Matthews (12:08 PM)
don;t see Jorge willingly donning the clown suit. Besides, it fits other Yankees much better
Did AJ's outing last night give him a few points for a decision of maybe putting him on the playoff roster?
Wallace Matthews (12:10 PM)
Definitely, because I've thought all along that AJ would have to literally implode, or explode, wo be excluded from the PS roster. Girardi seems to give him the get out of jail free card, and constantly goes back to 2009 to justify why he belongs in the post-season, as if it were last week instead of two years ago. whether he's under pressure from Cashman or ownership to use AJ because of the contract, I don;t know, but he does seem to be graded on a different scale than everyone else
Jo Jo B (NYC)
After the Mets lose Reyes this offseason, do you see the Yankees making a play to replace the Mets in Citi Field next year with their AAA team? The Mets in Scranton would draw about the same, right?
Wallace Matthews (12:11 PM)
why would the Yankees want to screw up their young hitting prospects in that park the way the Mets have screwed up Wright and Bay?
Jason (Long Island, NY)
Hey Wally! Which team would be a better match up in round 1 (Rangers/Angels winner) or Tigers. With the way, the Tigers are playing not sure they would be the best match up. Do you agree?
Wallace Matthews (12:12 PM)
i tend to think the angels would be the better matchup, mostly because Texas is so much more dangerous offensively, esp in their ballpark
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think is the best First Basemen that Played for the New York Yankees in 108 years of existance?
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
i would vote for a cat named Lou Gehrig
EDWARD (new jersey)
HI..HOW WILL YOU LINE UP THE YANKEES ROTATION FOR THE PLAYOFFS?
Wallace Matthews (12:14 PM)
if I was making it out? CC, Nova, AJ, Bartolo, with Hughes in the pen. Not sure what to do with Freddy. Long man, maybe?
So, Mariano's got 600 and he needs just two saves to break the saves record. Are you sold that he's a Hall of Famer on the first ballot?
Wallace Matthews (12:15 PM)
without a doubt. As I wrote in a column this spring -- you can probably still find it in my archive -- I think Mo belongs right behind Ruth and Gehrig onthe list of all-time great Yankees, simply because every time he comes into the game, it's a crucial situation, and overwhelmingly, he's succeeded in it. That to me is the definition of HoFer.
Chance Posada retires gracefully after this year, finishing as a Yankee or tries his luck with another team because he can't hang it up yet?
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
Depends on several things: his health, what kind of post-season he has and how much he thinks he has left. If he has a satisfying run this october, he may be able to walk away. If he gets excluded from the roster or doesn;t get to play much, and still thinks he has some game left, you might see his come back with another team. I feel pretty confident in saying he won;t be a Yankee again after this season.
Rahul (New York)
Will the 2012 rotation include the David Phelps and Adam warren's of the world
Wallace Matthews (12:18 PM)
Ask me after spring training. I'm sure they wil be given a shot to make the team, as will Betances and Banuelos, but as we've seen before, sometimes "can't-miss" guys, like Montero, bomb out in the spring
Mike (Long Island)
If you had to guess today (assuming A-Rod is going to OK physically and that Cervelli is out), how many pitchers does Girardi take on the 25-man squad for the ALDS. Twelve? Thirteen? Twenty-four?
Wallace Matthews (12:19 PM)
i think he would prefer 12, because 13 leaves him with a short bench. How about two pitchers -- CC and Mo -- and 13 position players?
Does the fact that the yankees had to bring romine up and put him on the roster change the off season feelings on if they should keep martin and or cervilli? It seemed like cashman wanted to wait til next year for romine.
Wallace Matthews (12:22 PM)
Romine was obviously an emergency addition after Cervelli got hurt, since the Yankees no longer consider Posada a catcher. Doubtful this will impact Martin;s future because I don;t think the Yankees feel Montero or Romine are ready to catch every day. Martin might be back if he won;t cost too much. His defense has been superb, his offense at times good, at times non-existent. But Girardi loves defensive catchers and this surely tips the balance in Martin;s favor.
vic (no cal)
Is this Yanks team built more for regular season success than playoff success? I just don't see them matching up, pitching wise, with any of the other playoff teams (in either league), and even if they do come through with a series win -- can they do it 3 times like they'll need to. I don't see it. Thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:24 PM)
It's a legitimate question. there are no Seattle Mariners or KC Royals to clean up on in October, and not only is the pitching suspect, but I think a lot of the injuries you;re seeing as this team heads to the finish line is a sign of the age that is on this roster. And I'm still not sure that if the Red sox pull themselves together, the Yankees will be able to beat them 4 out of 7 games.
The Yankees say that they're behind Montero in terms of him remaining as a catcher, yet in the Angels game they put in Romine as a defensive replacement. What is the likelihood of the Yankees converting Montero to another position, perhaps 3B for when A-rod becomes the full-time DH, and then have Romine as the catcher of the future?
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
I have not heard that possibility discussed but it certainly seems feasible because they obviously love Montero's bat and want to keep it in the lineup as much as possible. Don;t know if he has the athleticism for 3B, tho. It's a good question and one that I will ask Cashman
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
Thanks, everyone, for all the great questions. we'll do it again next week