Yankees player plays the “no one believed in us” card

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Normally that’s crazy, but actually, in this case, Kevin Youkilis was probably right. The Yankees were considered dead and buried by everyone before a pitch was thrown this season, and that was just irrational. But as Youk tells Mark Feinsand, the Yankees haven’t given up even though, as strange as it sounds to say it, no one believed in them:

“It’s a good thing; guys are swinging the bats well, and putting together great at-bats. I think we all had confidence within ourselves. And that’s probably been the biggest talk – no one’s had confidence in us. So we stick together as a team, keep trying to have good at-bats.”

The bigger question is whether this is still the case when the season is more than a week and change old, but his point is well-taken. Even if it’s weird to hear it with respect to the Yankees.

Report: Nationals sign Joaquin Benoit to a one-year deal

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Nationals have signed reliever Joaquin Benoit to a contract. Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post adds that it’s a one-year major league deal worth $1 million.

Benoit, 40, spent last season with the Phillies and Pirates. He put up a mediocre 4.65 ERA with a 46/22 K/BB ratio across 50 1/3 innings. Only 8/13 innings came with the Pirates as he dealt with a left knee injury that kept him out of action for much of the final month and a half. He also left the team in mid-September to attend to a family matter in the Dominican Republic.

Given his age and declining performance, as well as the Nationals’ bullpen depth, Benoit doesn’t figure to pitch in many high-leverage spots, but that could change with injuries.