"We think our team should get over that .500 mark," said Damon, who went 0 for 5 to end his 14-game hitting streak. "We had a great game yesterday, and today our offense puttered. That shouldn't happen to our offense. We're supposed to be better than this." (Kepner, N.Y. Times)
Darrell Rasner pitched eight effective innings on Friday night, throwing 118 pitches in all, the most for a Yankee pitcher this season. He left trailing 2-1 and lost the game 2-1. What a drag. In the bottom of the eighth, with two out and runners on first and second, Jason Giambi was called out on a full-count, check-swing. It was a bogus call, but sold experptly by the Kansas City catcher, and it effectively ended the Yankees' night.
"I took a good at-bat, can't do anything more than that," Giambi said after cooling off for almost an hour after the game ended. "I really love and respect (home plate umpire) Ed Montague and I'd never say anything bad against him. There's not much else I can do about it now." (Peter Botte, N.Y. Daily News)
It says something about Montague's reputation that Giambi didn't rip him even thought he was unhappy with the call. But one call did not do them in; the Yankee bats were silenced by Kyle Davies. The men in pinstripes also got a look at Joakim Soria, Kansas City's impressive young closer. He did not disappoint, overpowering the Yanks in the 9th.
While the big boys fizzled, Tyler Kepner brings word of a wild night in the minors. Chad Jennings adds that Jeff Kartsens is close to returning.
The organization's co-chairman said the sides are "a ways away" from announcing a contract extension, adding "there's a good chance" such an agreement will not be done until after the 2008 season.
"I told him we want him back and he wants to come back, but he'll take some time to talk it over with his family," Steinbrenner said Friday. "I feel comfortable with leaving the baseball end of it in his hands. But I also told him he has to make up his mind on what he wants to do. Obviously, nobody's irreplaceable.
"But we want him to stay. I want to make that clear."
I have been assuming that Cashman would finally bolt after this year, but perhaps he'll stay after all. I'm no expert on his track record but I've always admired the way Cashman conducts his business and would be pleased to see him stay with the Yanks.