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June 4, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (12:01 PM)

Good afternoon, everybody, time for our weekly chat. Big weekend in NY sports, boxing, Belmont Stakes and of course baseball. I hope a lot of you will listen in tomorrow when I host a radio show from noon-2p.m. on 1050 ESPN from Belmont Park, my first hosting job in 5 years so we'll see what happens. But now, let's get going

Mike (Boston)

Hi Wally, what are the odds that 3 AL East teams finish the season with 90 wins? Do you think we could see 4 teams finish with 80 wins?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:04 PM)

He, Mike. I think there's a very good chance now that the Red Sox have decided to join the fun. We all knew the Rays and Yankees weren;t going to just run away from the field. Plus, there are so many weak teams in the league that there are plety of opportunities for better teams to rack up the wins. This past week alone, the Yankees were practically given seven wins against Clev. and Bal. and should have won all seven

jake (illinios)

do u think grady siezmore is gonna be out for rest of season and who do u think the angels will get theres some talk about oswalt and derek lee thank u

Wallace Matthews
  (12:09 PM)

Hey, Jake. I can;t say how long sizemre will be out but having spent some time with the Cleveland trainer Lonnie soloff last week at yankee stadium after the David Huff incident, it is obvious they have a top notch medical staff that i believe will try to avoid surgery, which would in all likelihood end his season. The angels looked a lot better the second time I saw them than the first, but the freak injury to Kendry Morales obv. dramatically changes the landscape for them. and come the trading deadline, it will be interesting to see how many teams plunge into bidding wars for Lee and oswalt, even if just to block them from going to a divisional rival. Think Yankees-Red Sox will get sucked into that? Maybe

Tony (New Haven)

Who do you think is the most average player in the spectrum of major league baseball?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:09 PM)

Hey Tony. Not sure what that means but I know the average baseball salary is pretty damn fgood

Mitchell (NYC)

You started as a Boxing writer, so I have a Boxing follow up question from last week. You compared how Mayweather would have done against the big 4 welter-weights of the late 70's and 80's in the form of Leonard, Hearns, Duran and Benitez. How would Pacquiao have done against them.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:14 PM)

Hey, Mitchell. Great question. Assuming Pac continues to be able to compete at 147 and higher, i think his style would have given leonard fits a la Duran in their first fight. Pac-Duran would have been a war, in fact, I can;t recall any fighter remotely like Pacquiao that Roberto ever fought a welterweight. But I remember the way Duran manhandled Iran Barkley, a middleweight, and almost beat Hagler to make me tink he would have handled Pacquiao. Benitez was a funny sort of a fighter, defensively great but not always so good offensively. If he could make Pacquiao miss -- and he could make just about anyone miss -- he possibly could have frustrated Manny into defeat. As for Hearns, I consider him the most dangerous one-punch KO artist of that era and the memory of ho he starched Duran still chills me. If he could catch Manny lke that early, it would be lights out, otherwise Pacquaio would eventually wear him down

Pat - Section 203 [via mobile]

He got out of it without allowing a run but Mariano looked pretty shaky yesterday. Given his performance lately, is this finally his age catching up or is this just a temporary funk?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:17 PM)

Hey, Pat. I think a lot of journalistic careers will end before mariano's basebal career does, and I think prematurely predicting his demise would be a great way to end mine. However, I agree that his control has been an issue because as great as his stuff is, he generally tops out at 91 (i think yesterday was an aberration. 95?) and if he has to throw it over the plate because hes falling behind, he can get in trouble. But as Girardi has said repeatedly, untl he sees a drastic drop in velocity from Mo, he will consder this a mechanical issue that can be straightened out, and I tend to agree with him

Matthew (Columbia, NJ)

Hey Wally, do the Mets have a shot in the NL East? As a Phillies fan, I think if the Mets make a trade they can catch the Phillies and Braves.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:19 PM)

Hey, Matthews. Believe it or not, I do, in part because the division is so weak and the Phillies are showing some vulnerability. Ike Davis was clearly a shot in the arm to the lineup and Barajas has been better than I think anyone could have imagined. But I think they need to plunge into the oswalt/lee sweepstakes because after Johan and Pelfrey, that rotation isn;t getting it done, and I don;t feel all that secure about K-Rod, either. here's work to be done there on the pitching staff if they are to have a real shot at the WC

Vito (CT)

Will Jerry Manuel survive the rest of the season as the Mets manager?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:22 PM)

Hey, Vito. He should, because he's certainly not responsible for the mess he inherited. he's not the one who gave Ollie Perez $36 million, or overrated Duaner sanchez to the point that he traded away his RF in a late-nihgt panic, or signed Moises Alou to a big contract, or Julio Franco, or Luis Castillo, or best-case scenarioed John Maine or decided to pass on Lackey. Get my drift? The manager always takes the hit but the Mets problems are the fault of the GM and the owner, or more specifically the owner's son

Tom (Rochester)

If the Yankees make the World Series...what team from the NL scares you the most?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:26 PM)

Hey, Tom. Really, none. The difference in the caliber of play between the two leagues is truly remarkable and you can see it n the way pitchers who go from the NL to the AL almost invariably take a beating until the figure out how to work lineups with nine guys who can hit. If you pin me down, i'll say the Padres. My preference, however, would be the dodgers because of the great Yankees vs. Torre storyline, but I think we'll have to settle for the interleague play version of it the last week in June

Mike (Westchester)

Wally, I know everyone seems to be in love with Cervelli, but his job is as a back-up catcher. He did his job and now he should return to the bench, spelling Posada once or twice a week. That is the plan once Posada can catch again, yes?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:29 PM)

Hey, Mike. Intersetingly enough, Girardi wouldn;t emphatically say that and posada seemed resigned to the fact that his catching day may be surtailed, if not numbered. I don;t think there's any doubt Cervelli is better defensively than Posada. He's got a better arm, isn;t afraid to use it and shows catlike quickness behind the plate going after bunts. And there's no doubt Posada is the better hitter. I thknk as long as Nick Johnson is out, and that is likely to be a long time, the Yankees may decide their best lineup is Cervelli behind the plate, Posada at DH

Kevin (NYC)

Wally first i wanted to thank you for the stand you took against the NY Post years ago regarding the Mike Piazza incident (i haven't read it since). Is Jorge going to be ok DH'ing 40-60% of the time now? In the past he has seriously resisted.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:31 PM)

Kevin, thank you, but even I've gone back ot reading the Post. they have some great baseball writers over there as well as Mike Vaccaro. No reason to punish those guys for the crudeness and lack of integrity of some of the editors. as for Posada, I think you'll see more of him at DH and more of Cervelli behind the plate the rest of the year.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:32 PM)

Thanks, everyone, for all the terrific questions and sorry I couldn;t get to more of them. We'll go again next week and remember -- tune in to 1050 ESPN radio tomorrow between 12-2 pm

Wallace Matthews
  (12:50 PM)

welcome to the weekly Yankees chat, post-season edition Part I. Beautiful day in Minneapolis. I can see Target Field from the window of my hotel room. Looks great. Plenty of issues to discuss today. We'll get started at 1 pm sharp