The Yankees are going to dedicate George Steinbrenner’s monument in Monument Park tonight. They would have had the ceremony sooner after Steinbrenner’s death, but there was a delay due to the original plaque-maker being killed for including the line “. . . presided over the Yankees’ longest period between postseason appearances in franchise history: 1982-1994.” So it goes.
The real news of this event, however, is that Joe Torre and Don Mattingly will hop a flight to be there for the ceremony. It will be their first time in Yankee Stadium since they left the team following the 2007 season. There is no truth to the rumor that the Yankees would prefer they no be there but are obligated to have them thanks to a contract signed three years ago.
Personally, it’s a time for solemn reflection. Why? Because the Dodgers’ come-from-behind win yesterday prevents me from making a joke about the multiple cross-country flights for Torre and Mattingly making no difference to a team that already looks sleepy and exhausted.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.