Following up on this morning’s post about the new Jeter book, there’s a story over at ESPN New York — home of the book’s author, Ian O’Connor — detailing some of the book’s anecdotes. Among them:
- Some background the contentious contract negotiations last winter, including the shocking fact that team President Randy Levine was the “good cop” to Brian Cashman’s bad cop. How often is Randy Levine described as a good cop?
- Brian Cashman calling Jeter on the carpet over a contentious look he gave A-Rod when a pop fly dropped between them during a game in Baltimore. Jeter’s disbelieving response “show me the video.” and
- Brian Cashman taking Jeter out to eat in 2007 to inform him, that, yeah, he needed to work on his defense, with Jeter acting shocked because no one ever told him that he needed to work on his defense before.
I still don’t know what it all adds up to. A lot of this overall dynamic is old hat. We know Jeter and A-Rod didn’t get along. We know that the contract negotiations were bad. We know that, with respect to defense and his position, Jeter is someone the Yankees have always tiptoed around.
At the same time, I don’t recall Brian Cashman being referred to as a primary subject in the contentiousness, however mild it may be, involving Jeter. So maybe there are new revelations there.
No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.
First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.
On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.
Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.