The Yankees had a very limited presence at former public address announcer Bob Sheppard’s funeral in mid-July and they are getting flak again for failing to make an appearance at George Steinbrenner’s resting place.
The Yanks are down in the Tampa region for a weekend series with the Rays and Steinbrenner was laid to rest about 43 miles from Tropicana Field. Saturday would have been an ideal day for a few of the better known Yankees to cruise on over, but they opted not to. In fact, only 10 people stopped by The Boss’ grave on Saturday afternoon, according to the New York Times’ Tom Spousta.
To us, this all seems a bit overblown. The Yanks have honored Steinbrenner plenty over the last two weeks, they are all wearing memorial patches on their uniforms, and it’s not like he was a family member.
It may sound corny, but the best way for the Yankees to honor Steinbrenner is to win. And win. And win. Taking a two-hour trip to his grave site in Florida might have been a nice gesture, but in no way is Derek Jeter or Jorge Posada or Mariano Rivera in the wrong for not doing so. At least, that’s our take.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.