Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

October 27, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Wallace Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (12:57 PM)

Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to our first post-season Yankee chat, which comes probably a week or two earlier than a lot of us expected it to. A lot to talk about, including whether you think the season was a success, a failure or somewhere in-between, and where the Yankees go from here. So line em up and we'll get underway at 1 pm.

Chris (NYC)

Wally, any info on the real reason the Yankes fired Dave Eiland?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:03 PM)

Hey, Chris. I have no more than what the Yankees announced and quite frankly, if I did I'm not sure I would report it unless I was satisfied that it affected his ability to do his job or the performance of the pitching staff. Private means private, even in a world in which a lot of us seem to want our lives to be on public view 24 hours a day. I wish Dave well in whatever is going on with him and expect to see him land another job soon

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Which New York Yankees Players will Either Sign with Other MLB Teams or Get Traded This Winter?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:07 PM)

Hello, Chris. Some of them are obvious: the Yankees will not pick up the 15M option on Lance Berkman or the 11M option on Kerry Wood. Austin Kearns is a free agent and won;t be back. Neither will Javier Vazquez or, I suspect, Chad Gaudin. Some of them are less obvious: Marcus Thames, for instance, who hit so well as a DH vs. LH pitching, may be a casualty of the numbers game; with Posada probably moving toward more DH duty. the Yankees may not have the luxury of using a roster spot for a player who only DH-es. I'm not sure Ramiro Pena will be back because Cashman acknowledged the Yankees will have to upgrade their backups at SS and 3b. Maybe Eduardo Nunez becomes that guy next year. I don;t think the Yankees are inclined to move either Granderson or Gardner, even tho trtading the Grandy Man was a real possibility before his late August resurgence. Otherwise, I think pretty much the rest of them stay.

steve (Long Island)

What should the Yankees do with Joba? Trade him away?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:09 PM)

Hey, Steve. The Yankees say their regard for Joba has not changed, but their usage of him says otherwise. It is obvious his stock has dropped drastically and I don;t think the manager fully trusts him anymore in a close game. Still, there may be disagreement within the organization over whether to move him or try to get him going one more time. If I were the GM --and I play one on the website -- I would shop him while he still has some value.

nathan (nyc)

"because Kristen Lee would have no conceivable reason to lie about such a thing -- if nothing else, the price to make Cliff Lee a New York Yankee just went up" -- Wally dont you think that is the most conceivable reason for Ms Lee to lie. Why didnt she contact security that day or after the game? This does not pass the smell test.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:13 PM)

Hey, Nathan. Doesn;t pass the smell test? Because things like this never happen at Yankee Stadium to people wearing the opponents colors, or relatives of opposing players? Come on. Cliff Lee is going to make a fortune regardless of where he plays or what tactics he uses in the negotiating room. To question this woman;s motives in reporting a quite plausible incident is pretty bad, and to think she made it up to drive her husband's price up is absurd. I asked to speak with Yankee security to find out if the incident was reported and if any action was taken. The reply, verbatim, from Yankee publicist Jason Zillo via text mesage: "We r not commenting." Does that pass the smell test?

Jake (SLC)

I read what you wrote about the whole thing with Cliff Lee's wife, and I'm sure it happened....but do you think maybe this is being used as a tactic to drive up the price? Even if NY doesn't get him, its probably going to drive up his price since they will have to out bid the Yanks.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:14 PM)

Hey, Jake: I implied that in my column today, that it COULD be used to drive the pirce up. But to think, as another questioner did, that she made it up IN ORDER to drive the price up, is simply nuts


Wally, you don't really think that a couple of bad eggs out of the whole Yankee fanbase cost them a shot at Cliff Lee, do you? That stuff happens everywhere!

Wallace Matthews
  (1:17 PM)

Hey, RJ: Realistically, no I don't. And I said so in the column. Just about enyone in a bidding war is going to sign the contract with the most numbers on it. Period. However, all things being equal, the incident might leave a bad image of New York with the Lees, who are from Arkansas and might be wary of the area to begin with. It's not uncommon on the other side of the Hudson, you know. Plus the fact that the dollar goes a lot farther in Texas, where there isw no state income tax, than it does in NY, might be a factor. All I';m saying is the actions of a coupple of foolish cowards in the stands may not have made the Yankees task any easier here.

brad (NJ)

Can we please put these Crawford/Werth rumors to rest, the yankees have zero interest in an OF and they arent trading swisher, eating part of his salary and overpaying crawford or werth. They will sign Lee at all costs, bring pettitte back for one last year, and resign jeter and Mo. That is all.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:21 PM)

Hello, Brad. Glad you brought that up. I have it on good authority within the Yankee organization that although some were doubting the signing of Granderson in April and May, he showed enough in August, Sept, and Oct to lay those doubts to rest. The Yankees also love Gardner for the havoc he creates on the bases and see him as the leadoff hitter when the time comes to move Jeter down in the lineup. They will go all out for Lee and I believe pass on Crawford and Werth simply because they don;t need them. They may, however, use some of the money they don't spend on the OF to make a bid to bring back Kerry Wood after he declares FA.

Bill (PA)

Please tell me Mitre is gone. Joe's man crush on him has become enough. He needs to leave this offseason. As far as Kristen's getting overblown, she was sitting with the other wives/family members of the Rangers. The media is making like the fans specifically spit/harassed Lee's wife, which is extremely doubtful. Inappropriate, disgusting, and stupid? Yes. But entirely overblown.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:23 PM)

You know what, Bill? I agree with you that the story is overblown and this is the last question I will take on it. (KLee, not Mitre). And if fans shouted obscenities and spat at any of the Rangers wives, it is despicable, cowardly behavior that is an embarrassment to the Yankees and the vast majority of their fans. Thos people shoul dbe identified and barred from the ballpark. Period. As for Mitre, Girardi's affection for him is mystifying, and because of that, I really have no idea if he'll be back or not. I have a gut feeling he will be in spring training with the club.

Bryan (NY)

Shouldn't the Red Sox offer Jeter something ridiculous like 4 years and $90 million to drive the price up, knowing that the Yankees would never let him to go the Sox?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:24 PM)

Hello, Bryan. Absolutely they should, the same way the Yankees should lowball Jeter in that belief that no one else would offer a 36-y-o SS with a slowing bat that kind of money. Then, Jeter would have no choice but to sign with Boston. How hilarious with that be? Curse of the Jeterino

David (Brooklyn, NY)

im a true yankee fan, and i was ok that the Yankees lost to Texas because they never went to a world Series. But it doesnt mean i will be this open next year!! If Texas wins the WS, do we still have a good shot of acquiring cliff lee? or you think he will look for a Texas contract?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:27 PM)

Hey, David. It's good of you to be so open-minded, at least for this year. The Cliff Lee thing is intriguing, because you would think a player who has found success with one team might be inclined to stay there, and the Rangers claim they're going to make a major pitch for him. But let's remember this is a guy who has pitched for four teams in the past three seasons, IIRC, so stability with one organization doesn;t seem to be that high on his agenda. My gut says top dollar takes the prize, that's usually the Yankees

nathan (nyc)

Wally the only thing more fashionable than Yankee hate is Lebron hate, that is fine. But, you cannot lose the "alleged" , if you are being impartial without facts, you cannot say that it is not an alleged incident. Dont tell you have not seen this in atleast 20 other stadiums or is it only Yankee fans who need behavior classes.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:28 PM)

Nathan, last time. Fans all over the country need behavior classes. This is the fan base I cover. As a lifelong New Yorker and the Yankee beat writer for ESPN NY. I was disgusted and embarrassed by the cowardice of thse people. If you wish to defend them, that is your right. But you;re on the wrong side of this argument.

Jeffrey (Manhattan)

I hate to say this Wally, but if the Yankees want to improve for the future they have to cut ties with Jeter. He's going to become dead weight in the next 2-3 years and these long-term contracts are going to kill us (we already have one killer deal on the left side of the infield, we don't need another)

Wallace Matthews
  (1:30 PM)

Hey, Jeffrey. That will never happen. I agree they are going to have a problem in another year or so, when he can;t really play SS at a high enough level any more and isn't suited to DH. There are high-level people in the org. who agree with that, too. But what can they do? I know they did it to Bernie Williams but Jeter is a special case and they're going to have to live with him.

Ryan (Dallas)

I keep reading all this chatter on ESPN NY and seeing these video blogs in the streets where it's all "who's to blame for the Yanks exit from the playoffs?" I think it's about time people realize just how good that Texas team is. They just straight handed it to the Yanks and made it almost a non-contest. Let's give some credit to the Rangers organization who has defied all odds and set itself up for LONG term success here.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:30 PM)

Agree 100 percent

Wallace Matthews
  (1:31 PM)

Sorry, peeps, my time's up. Thank you for all the terrific questions and I apologize to the many I didn;t get to. This promises to be a busy and eventful off-season so we'll do it again next week