There is only one kind of real daily tension remaining in the regular season for the Yankees and that's hoping that the team can get through each game without losing anyone to a significant injury. On Tuesday night, Derek Jeter was hit in the hand with a pitch, Johnny Damon made a funny motion with his left arm after making a poor throw from the outfield in the fith, and, later in the same inning, sustained some minor cuts on his left hand after making a terrific, game-changing catch. Jason Giambi left the game early with tenderness in his aching hand. The YES announcers did not say that anything to lead us to believe that it's a devastating issue, but nevertheless, it's enough to make you hold your breath.
Ron Guidry looked like his old fluid self tossing bp to Gary Sheffield this afternoon. The Yankee slugger, wearing a sweat-soaked t-shirt cranked Gator's first offering into the second deck of the Rogers Centre. He was activated and available to pinch hit tonight but did not appear. However, we will see him soon--regardless if Giambi will need a few days to rest. Joe Torre has stated that he'd like to wait until the Yankees clinch the division before he uses Sheff, and tonight, the Bombers (with a little bit of help from the Twinkies) moved two steps closer, their magic number reduced to one. Not bad when you consider the fact that Roy Halladay is pitching for Toronto tomorrow.
Jeff Kartsens pitched a very nice game and the bullpen was effective as the Yanks beat the Blue Jays, 6-3. Bobby Abreu broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run dinger to straight away center in the seventh and Godziller Matsui added a solo shot in the eighth (earlier, Jorge Posada cranked his 20th homer of the season). A good job all around by the boys tonight.
The Yankee announcers spent a good deal of the broadcast talking about Verducci's cover story on Alex Rodriguez, which will be on the stands tomorrow. After thinking about it for a few hours the thing that really stands out about the story is not that it tells us a lot that we don't already know, or haven't already suspected about Rodriguez and his teammates, but the fact that it reveals some of the behind-the-scenes atmosphere of the Yankees. One thing that has been a constant during the Torre Era is that the Yankees have kept their business to themselves. When Buster Olney wrote his book about the team he learned about a dispute that Jorge Posada and Tino Martinez had had while Olney was covering the team. Olney never knew about it and Posada told him that was because the Yankees didn't let anyone know about that kind of stuff. It was all handled in house. It doesn't get into the papers.
Af for the SI piece, well, I can't remember the last time we've read anything as intimate or direct about the Yankees since Torre came to town. It's not as if Giambi or Torre didn't realize that their words would get out there. Maybe that is part of what they are trying to do. I've spoken with a few people today who thinks if that is the case it's a lousy move on their part. No matter, let's just hope this doesn't shake Rodriguez out of the nice groove he's started to get in. The Yankees have too many good things going on to let themselves get sucked into any kind of controversy. Still, cruddy timing continues to plague Alex Rodriguez (who was 0-3 with a walk tonight).