9:34 PM: Scratch that. Chad Jennings of The Journal News spoke with Cashman just moments ago and the general manager said that he was misquoted. Pettitte is still in decision mode for 2011 and the Yankees have heard nothing new.
9:02 PM: The Yankees are going to be just fine, let’s get that out of the way. They still have one of the most potent lineups in baseball from top to bottom and will be battling for the American League East crown this season despite a winter of letdowns.
But here comes another bit of bad news…
According to the New York Daily News, veteran southpaw Andy Pettitte told Yankees GM Brian Cashman on Wednesday that he will not be playing baseball when the 2011 season opens in late March and that he can’t say for sure if he will return at all.
“I don’t think he’s determined if he’s officially finished or not, but he’s chosen at this stage at least not to start in 2011,” Cashman said Wednesday at the baseball owners’ meetings in Arizona. “If that ever changes he’ll call us. We’re not going to hound him or bother him.”
The Yankees missed out on top free agent target Cliff Lee this offseason and didn’t get the chance to bid on a host of other free agent pitchers because they had so much money committed to that offer. Carl Pavano is still unsigned, but the Yanks probably don’t want to dance that jig for a second time. Justin Duchscherer is another option, but there’s no guarantee that he can stay healthy.
The Bombers might just have to stick to internal candidates like Ivan Nova and Andrew Brackman in order to fill out their rotation behind CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes.
Fresh off our “Manny Machado didn’t hustle” post, here’s one about him trying a little too hard. Machado was called for interference in the bottom of the fourth inning during Monday night’s NLCS Game 3 against the Brewers at Dodger Stadium. It was actually Machado’s second attempt to interfere with Orlando Arcia during the game.
In the bottom of the second, Machado led off with a single. Cody Bellinger followed up by hitting a grounder to second baseman Travis Shaw, who fed to Arcia. Machado slid towards Arcia enough to disrupt the play, allowing Bellinger to reach first base safely. The Brewers didn’t challenge, in part because Arcia didn’t attempt a throw.
Fast forward to the bottom of the fourth. Machado again leads off and again reaches base, this time with a walk. Bellinger hits another grounder. First baseman Jesús Aguilar snags the ball and fires to Arcia covering the second base bag. Machado slides into second base and reaches out with his right hand to mess with Arcia’s throw to first base. It succeeds, as Arcia’s throw skips past first base towards the dugout. Brewers manager Craig Counsell challenged the call, alleging slide interference (the “Chase Utley rule”). The umpires reviewed the play and agreed that Machado did indeed interfere with Arcia, so Bellinger was called out. What made Machado’s effort even worse is that Bellinger would’ve reached easily regardless, so there was no need to interfere with Arcia.
The Dodgers trail the Brewers 1-0 through the first half of the game. The Brewers got their run early thanks to an RBI double by Ryan Braun off of Walker Buehler in the top of the first. Jhoulys Chacín has pitched excellently for the Brewers thus far.