Chat with Wally Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Friday, 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 Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET!
Wallace Matthews (2:37 PM)
Sorry to be late, peeps, Terrible traffic on the Deegan to day. Be advised if you're coming to the game, leave early. We;ll get started right away and i'll do some overtime to make up for my lateness
rob (bronx, new york)
With the Yankees struggling at the plate, why not just call up Montero and Vazquez? Make Vazquez the DH and let Montero catch/DH and send down Cerveill and put Posada where he belongs on the BENCH!! Jeter-Granderson-Tex-A-Rod-Cano-Montero-Vazquez-Swisher-Gardner is nice! Your thoughts??
Wallace Matthews (2:39 PM)
Rob, I never thought that would be done before September unless the team was in dire straits but I;m beginning to come around to your point of view. The problem is Vazquez absolutely cannot play the field at the MLB level, nor can Montero catch. That means one or both would have to be exclusively DHs, and what do you do with Posada? The Yankees owe him $13.1M this year. I think they have to give him a little more time before flushing all that cash
Mike (New Jersey)
Hey Wally, did you see Montero's blast lastnight? I still think this kid needs to be in the line-up somehow. Forget trading him we can use him as and Edgar Martinez type player in our line-up for years to come.
Wallace Matthews (2:41 PM)
Did not see it but I see the numbers and clearly, the pressure must have gotten to him in spring training this season. Had he hit like this in Tampa, the Yankees might have been inclined to overlook his catching deficiencies. From all I've heard, the Yanks have no intention of trading him at this point, but he still has to show them he can do when the lights are on him
Going into the season I figured the Pitching would be our major concern but it's been our offense. Any chance Vazquez and/or Montero get the call-up to help this struggling offense? Much Rather see them then these stiffs we have now. Thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (2:42 PM)
That's 3 questions all on the same subject. Again, I don;t think Vazquez is a likely candidate because of defensive liabilities. Montero may be, but not immediately. I think the Yankees want to get him more seasoning in AAA, and with the encouraging news about Chavez' return, may be inclined to stick with Posada a bit longer. Unless, of course, things get desperate, but I don;t think we're quite at that point yet.
Rachel (North Carolina)
How you doing Wally? Is Joba back? he has been pretty impressive out of the pen lately. Any chance we get to see Manny Banuelos this season if Boone Logan and Ivan Nova continue to struggle?
Wallace Matthews (2:45 PM)
Hi, Rachel Doing great. Joba's velocity seems to be back to 2007 levels, but let's see if it remains there. Also, he needs to establish a pattern of consistency. Don't think we'll see Banuelos this season. Yankees are committed to their go-slow approach with young pitchers, even if it didn;t seem to save Phil Hughes from arm problems. Next year, maybe
Pathetic...that's what i'm calling the Yanks right now. I'd Rather see our young guys given the chance then watch this non-sense of Posada-Rodriguez-Jeter-Swisher-Teixeira. Who could be call-up to help? Ban-Man? Montero? Vazquez?
Wallace Matthews (2:46 PM)
I must admit yesterday's game was one of the few I;ve ever seen in which it was clear the Yankees had given up. Maybe Girardi was saving the pen for this weekend with the Red sox, but after that second inning, it was obv they were raising the white flag. However, I do not see them ever doing what yu suggest. There are 50,000 expensive seats to sell here on a nightly basis, and AAA kids aint going to do it.
Maria (Miami, Florida)
Hey Wally, why have the Yankees not considered trying to convert Montero to Left-fielder? He has the power and doesn't need a big arm to play there.
Wallace Matthews (2:47 PM)
Hi, Maria. Because generally, guys become catchers because they can't really play anywhere else. He doesn;t have the speed to play out there and so far, barely has the footwork to catch. His best bet to have a solid ML career is behind the plate and eventually, as a DH
Jesus Montero (Pennsylvaina)
Did you see my opposite-field HR lastnight? I belong in the Bronx right now!!!
Wallace Matthews (2:48 PM)
Come on up, man, Plenty of good seats available every night
John (New York)
Nova was horrible lastnight. He seems more like a bull-pen guy then a starter. Even Joba Chamberlain wasn't this bad as a starter why isn't he starting? FIRE CASHMAN AND GIRARDI!!!
Wallace Matthews (2:50 PM)
I agree with you, John, but let's not forget a week ago he pitched into the eighth inning and allowed just two hits to the Tex Rangers, who by the way went to the World Series last year. Don;t be so quick to give up on a guy. He obviously has a big-time arm and I always believe that a guy is as good as his best day. By that standard, Nova's pretty damn good
Joe S. (NYC)
Lonn Trost claimed on a radio interview the other day that the reason so many seats are empty for games is because all the fans who bought them are in the Stadium lounges and restaurants. Do they give away free beer in there or what?
Wallace Matthews (2:51 PM)
Yeah. They don;t give away anything here, not even air. and by the way, I didn;t realize the restaurants here hold 10,000 people. To put it bluntly, Lonn Trost is full of it
Any chance Cashman calls in Joe G to discuss the sloppy play of the Yanks lately? They've been pathetic to say the least Speaking of Joe G say what you want but Girardi is much like the Joe before him 1. they win because there talent is excessive and the have Rivera closing games 2. when it comes to baseball strategy they appear clueless - 3. the best move they can make is to fill out the lineup and go to sleep. Your thoughts?PS: has anyone thought of having Gardner practice BUNTING about 100 times a day until he becomes proficient.
Wallace Matthews (2:53 PM)
Agree with your assessment of the manager. Great teams make great managers,, and the converse. I'm not sure what the GM talking to the manager would do to help the lack of fundamentals the Yankees have shown lately. Maybe it's time for the manager to light up the players a little bit. Physical errors are unavoidable but errors of stupidity or laziness are not. Sadly, gardner does practice bunting. Maybe some day he'll figure it out
Mike (San Diego)
Wally, how big of a mistake was it to give Jeter 3 years and all that money? He's never been worth $17M a year, let alone now. Good singles hitter though...
Wallace Matthews (2:55 PM)
I thought it was a mistake the moment the deal was announced, and I can assure you others in the front office did, to. But there was obviously some fear in the upper circles of Yanks mgmt that a fan backlash might result if it looked like they were abusing Jeter in the negotiations. That being said, it's not my money. Jeter is still a very good player and if the yankees want to overpay for him, it's their business. And good for Jeter
Craig G. (Fairfield, California)
Hey Wally, who are some of the current New York sports figures you've covered who you feel have honestly genuine personalities?
Wallace Matthews (2:57 PM)
David Cone. Lance Berkman. Lawrence Taylor (no phony there). Mike Tyson (same thing). Mike Piazza was usually cool. So was Darryl Strawberry. Jeter is genuine, but boring. Derek Harper. I'm sure there are a lot more, those are just the first ones that came to mind
Hey Wally, Last nite was an embarrassment don't the yanks feel they need to make moves to compete?
Wallace Matthews (2:58 PM)
Last night was an embarrassment but the moves they need to make now are the same ones they needed to make, and tried to make, in the winter. A starting pitcher, a lefty out of the pen, one more bat in th eoutfield. If it was tough to do in the off-season, imagine what it's like to do now. Maybe closer to the trading deadline when losing teams start to lop off high-priced inventory
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
If the Mets trade Beltran and Reyes for prospects, wouldn't it make sense for the Yankees AAA team to move to Citi Field and have the Mets relocate to Randalls Island? The Yankees minor leaguers would definitely be a bigger draw than the Mets. Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (2:59 PM)
How about the Mets relocating to Rikers island? Or at least, the owners?
Wallace Matthews (2:59 PM)
Thanks guys. Enjoy the game tonight and we'll do it again next week