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 ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Wednesday at noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (11:57 AM)
Morning everyone. Yankees need a four-game winning streak that begins tonight. We can all agree on that. So let's chat
Melanie (Second Deck)
I'd like to have A-Rod throw me a ball for my phone number. Can he reach the second deck?
Wallace Matthews (11:58 AM)
as far as I know there's nothing wrong with his arm. Not sure about his eyesight, though. He may not be able to see you up there
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is the Problem with the Yankees Hitting in the 2012 Postseason especially in the ALCS the Hitting absolutely Stinks?
Wallace Matthews (12:00 PM)
Chris, this is not a new problem. all season long, I and plenty of others have been writing about their problems w/RISP, ofen to ridicule, which I understand because they won many games with bad RISP numbers and lost some with good. But the underlying issue was that HRs are not easy to come by in the post-season and teams have got to build runs by other means to win those games. the yankees have had trouble with this all season and it's really costing them now. As for the team-wide slump, my best guess is it happens to teams from time to time but this is particularly bad timing
If the Yankees don't show some life in the next ALCS game(s), what will the fallout be for the roster next year? Despite Randy Levine's recent musing, I can't imagine A-Rod going anywhere, unless there's a chance for an A-Rod for Alfonso Soriano deal...
Wallace Matthews (12:03 PM)
Well, the thing is, Eric, they have very little flexibility with the roster. CC, ARod, Tex are long-term signees and you;re right, are not going anywhere. Swisher is a goner, I can assure you. The lingering questions are, do you pick up Grandy's option or let him walk and try to replace his power bat with a FA? Do you extend Cano or let him play out his option, see if he has a beter 2013 and then deal with him as a FA/ Do you re-sign Ichiro and/or Kuroda? Chavez? Do you bring Pettitte back? Etc. Lots of questions, right now no answers, only guesses
Abny chance arod retires? He is a bum and I do not ser the yanks being able to shed that horrid contract
Wallace Matthews (12:03 PM)
A-Rod's not retiring with $114 M coming to him
danny (RTP, NC )
I don't mind if the Yanks "rebuild" by eating A-Rods contract and not resigning Swisher! My question is....would they? The experts all year said this team source of scoring runs would not work n post season; 2 years now they have been embarrassing w risp!
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
I;m sure they'll let Swisher walk but I'm afraid they;re stuck with A-Rod. Dont think Hal has an appetitte for having $30M a year shoved down his throat
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that CC Sabathia will force a Game 5 on Thursday & Beat the Detroit Tigers?
Wallace Matthews (12:06 PM)
I think it's certainly possible, because the bats did show some signs of life in the ninth inning last night. But at some point, CC is going to come up flat, too. He's coming off two terrific outings, one a CG and the other 8-2/3, so at some point he will throw in a clunker. And even if he does pitch them into Thursday, where does this go? Remember, there's a rested Verlander waiting to pitch G7 in the Bronx on Sunday
Hey Wally. Must be a fun day for you with the questions. Thankfully I won't be able to hear any NY sports radio later. Do you think that there will be an overreaction by the management after the playoff misery is over? I'm guessing they will have to make coaching changes (Long +) and definitely lose Swish, but what else? Do they look to find a taker on Arod, Granderson, Cano? Or do they hold tight? Thanks!
Wallace Matthews (12:08 PM)
I'm not sure I'd call it fun since everyone is pretty upset today, and rightfully so, and I really can;t offer much comfort off what i've seen that past couple of weeks. Swish=Gone. They will send out feelers on A-Rod and Grandy but I don;t anyone will bite on te $30M 3B. Cano's not going anywhere, but I would think he's on the clock now and will be watched closely throughout 2013 before they committ to any kind of long-term deal with him
Rahul Kaul (Singapore)
Hey Wally I was Thinking do you think the Yankees Would decline Granderson's option and maybe see if they can get BJ upton on a 3 year deal at around 12 million and then Go With The OF of Gardner, Upton and Ichiro and See if Torii Hunter would be the 4th man in the OF?
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
I would have said that was unlikely a month ago but now I believe declining the option is a very real possibility. Upton is a prospec. so too, I think is Michael Bourn
So do u think the horrid post season from Swisher, Granderson and Arod has ended their career in pinstripes ? What about KLong?
Wallace Matthews (12:10 PM)
Swisher yes, Granderson maybe, A-Rod no. Long, I hope not because i think to fire him would just be scapegoating because you can;t fire the players. I've said it many times; coaches get way too much credit and take way too much blame. Long can't hit for them or force them work the counts. He can only advise. the rest is up to them
James O'Connell (New York)
Ok it seems like the Yankees just wake up in the last inning but are horrid in the first 8 innings. Do you think there is ANY possibility the yankees wake up today and beat detroit and go on a roll like Boston in 2004
Wallace Matthews (12:12 PM)
I think winning today is a live proposition with CC on the mound and the bats showing some life in the ninth. But I think they have dug too deep a hole to win this series. And remember, as bad as the Yankees are hitting, so are the Tigers aside from Delmon Young. They could wake up today, too
Ian (ATL, GA)
This may be a bit early considering the Yanks are still playing, but I think the Yanks lineup needs to be rebuilt! Enough of these .240 hitters who hit 30-40 HRs. They can't do the little things like get a SAC fly or hit behind a runner. I think year after year it has be suitable in the regular season but fail in the postseason. Therefore, I think that not only will Swisher be gone, but after 2013, Granderson should be gone also. They can keep Ichiro as a stopgap and go with Gardner, Tyler Austin, and Mason Williams as the OF in 2014. Some speed and .300 hitters to go with Arod, Cano, Jeter, Tex, etc. Thoughts??
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
Agree on Swisher, leaning your way on Grandy, like the idea of re-signing Ichiro to a one-year, not sure Austin or Williams will be rady for 2014.
Chris (Hicksville ny)
Has Girardi lost the clubhouse and/or respect of some of his veterans?
Wallace Matthews (12:14 PM)
I don;t think so but I have a pretty good sense that his relationship with A-Rod is pretty fractured, which may not matter to you. Or to either of them
Wally, with the performance of these pathetic yankees what moves do you think they will make for next year? Will they bring back Ichiro and let Swisher walk? Will they just pick up Cano's option and not yet sign him to an extension? Will they let Granderson walk? Finally, what will they do with A-Fraud?
Wallace Matthews (12:16 PM)
Again: Swisher gone. Grandy will either be let go, or option picked up and shopped around the league. Cano option picked up, no extension yet. I think they will try to sign Ichiro to a one-year deal. Same for Kuroda. Hate to say it, but A-Rod will be a Yankee until he doesn;t want to be anymore, and even then maybe, because no one will assume even $10M/yr of that albatross of a contract
Hey Wally,Love your work. Regarding A-Rod...I know the Yankees will never publicly make a big deal out of the whole situation in Game 1, but, given that Swisher was on deck with Ibanez up in the 9th yesterday and not A-Rod it seems like a further indictment on where A-Rod stands in the organization. Stats aside, I think he has to be up if that situation comes to pass.That said, how likely is it that they try to dump A-Rod in the off season, even though they'll have no choice but to pick up most of his remaining salary? You know the old "addition by subtraction" adage ;-)
Wallace Matthews (12:18 PM)
First of all, Dave, thank you for the kind words. I agree with your assessment -- I think there was a punitive element to A-Rod's non-usage las night, although you are right, the Yankees wil never admit it. Im sure they will try to shop him but I can't imagine anyone taking him because even if the Yankees eat $20M a year, there's a lot better players out there to be signed for the 410M or so the new team would still have to pay
What's your prediction on the game tonight? And if the Yankees lose tonight do you think there will be a lot of off season changes and if so who do you see coming back and who do you see not back with the team?
Wallace Matthews (12:19 PM)
Hello, Dave. Tough game to call. I think th ebats showed signs of coming around last night, and as Russell Martin pointed out last night, Scherzer is not Verlander. But is it realistic to expect CC to string together three straight outstanding performances? If so, the Yankees could win and push this to Thursday, but I doubt that go much farther than that
Mark (Belmont (under my desk, shamed))
Why is it so hard for a team to hit and run, play small ball, do something different than wait for Earl Weaver's favorite play? It is impossible to watch them swing and ground out or strikeout. Isn't that Joe's job to change the plan?
Wallace Matthews (12:20 PM)
I think Joe tried to change the plan with his lineup last night, but against Verlander it was no go. Let's see what he goes with tonight
If Tex was willing to help the team by attempting to steal a base in ALDS, why the heck wouldn't he help the team by taking what the shift gives him and laying down a bunt? He's clearly not going to hit a home run, AND THEY NEED BASERUNNERS! It's maddening how stubborn that is.
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
He was asked last night if he considered bunting and he laughed at the question and claimed he was "just having fun with you guys" in spring training and would never, ever bunt in a game. Said he hasn;t bunted since he was 11 years old. So scratch that idea out of the looseleaf
Johnny (Queens, NY)
MLB Network pointed out after game 1 that the yankees hitting approach is just terrible. Martin with a 2-0 count and the winning run on 2nd swung and tried to hit a 5 run hr. Does this fall more on the players or would you say the hitting coach has something to do with the approach these guys are taking?
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
I think it falls entirely on the players. I;m sure Long is telling them what they need to do. They;re the ones not executing it. As for the bad swings in favorable counts, no doubt that is because they are all pressing to do something. They can insist all they want that the pressure isn;t getting to them, but at-bats like the one you mention say otherwise
Ed (Arlington, VA)
Do you think that Joe Girardi's job is truly safe this off season?
Wallace Matthews (12:24 PM)
Yes. Besides the fact that he has had to deal with a lot of major injuries -- and has done a terrific job, IMHO, managing through them --trust me when I tell you there is hardly a decision he makes that the GM hasn;t already signed off on
Hello Mr. Matthews,Love your work. I'm biggest ARod's supporter after Michael K and i am glad that he did not play. Its time to stop jerking him around and i am glad that FINALLY everyone is realizing that he is not the only one struggling. Its about time he is not being made a scapegoat because he did not play. Yankees will lose with him or without him because its a TEAM struggle. So i am glad yankees are losing because its they had it coming. Good for you, Alex. Its funny how when the yankees win then hey, its a team game and when they lose then its "hey, ARod is a bum and its ALL his fault." I am giddy that yankees are losing and this time Alex is NOT the only one to blame. I think Arod needs to play tonight and chavez can DH. You can play ibanez in RF and bench BOTH granderson and swisher. Thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
you said it all, my friend
Mark (Cheektowaga, NY)
I know that the Yanks r trying to stay under the $189 million mark by 2014, but when it comes to trying to win the World Series with the best team out there, shouldn't that be the least of their worries?
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
Well, the flip side of that question is the Tigers -- and the Giants and the StL Cards and the Orioles and TB and a lot of other teams -- have managed to build solid baseball teams with a lot less than $189M, and you can;t really blame Hal, who is running a business, to expect his front office to do the same. Just because you have more money than everyone else doesn;t mean you should spend more for the same thing everyone else seems to be getting for less
Andrew (Minneapolis, MN)
As bad as the Yankees have played, they have been in every game in this series. This series is not over. Two wins in Detroit and we have ourselves a series. Cano will wake up tonight.
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
can't disagree with your premise
Jim Clark (Dolan Island, NY)
Is it possible that Rodriguez just came back too soon because the team was floundering without him (which people calling for his release tend to forget). He was still an above average third baseman. Jeter looked like he was done pursuing 3,000 hits and bounced back big time. It would be unwise to make too many drastic moves with a 95 win/ALCS team.
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
Dolan Island,huh? Right across the bay from me. I don;t think drastic moves are coming, but there will be a few significant changes (Swisher, maybe Grandy) A-Rod's not going anywhere, but unlike Jeter, he seems to have lost the dimension of his game that set him apart, and that's his power. Maybe he'll get it back but examples of older players regaining a HR stroke are rare. and I';m not counting Barry Bonds, for obvious reasons.
Wally, slightly OT but have you been able to watch the TBS telecasts of these games? Getting a little tired of Smoltz taking dig after dig at Yankee stadium OF dimensions, esp in right field. Do you have any sense for whether the Yankee brass cares about the stadium's now universal reputation for being a bandbox? I personally think it lessens the franchise a bit, when the entire baseball world thinks it's a place where you can hit 'cheap' home runs. Combine that with the unlevel payroll playing field, and it sometimes makes it hard to feel this team's success is legit. Thoughts??
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
thankfully, I do not hear the broadcasts in the press box. My suggestion? Turn off the sound and listen to John and Suzyn. At least they're entertaining
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
Thank you everyone, and sorry I couldn;t get to more of you. we could have used an hour today at least. Enjoy the game tonight and we'll do this again next week