Joe Torre held a mid-season meeting prior to last night's game and then enjoyed watching his team beat-up on the Indians, 11-3. Aaron Boone committed three errors for Cleveland, two in the Yankees' pivotal eight-run fourth inning. Melky Cabrera led the charge with the first grand slam of his career. Mike Mussina performed well enough--his breaking ball was particularly sharp in the early going--though his right groin continues to bother him. Mussina pitched just six innings and hopes that the All-Star break will help him heal properly. Same goes for Johnny Damon, who had to leave the game in the third inning with a sore lower abdominal muscle. According to Torre, Damon first felt that something was not right during batting practice, and after a few innings, he was removed from the game. They should know more about the seriousness of the injury today, but it's not a stretch to think that Damon will be rested this weekend in Tampa Bay.
The Bombers gained a game on Boston, who lost again to the Devil Rays.
The Yanks acquired Aaron Guiel, a left-handed hitting outfielder, on the cheap yesterday. While Boss George is behind his GM, Brian Cashman all the way, the Yanks have not geeked and pulled the trigger on any significant deals yet. Cashman tells Mike Lupica:
"Right now we're not a playoff team. We're just a playoff-contending team."
..."We've had the black cloud so far, no question," Cashman said. "But that black cloud isn't going to be over Yankee Stadium the whole season. Eventually it's going to move somewhere else."
..."We're trying to fix this, but we're trying to fix it right," Cashman said. "We've taken some big-time hits this season, and our team has responded with heart and character. This isn't last season, when we had a lot of healthy guys underperforming and we were nine games out. This team is different. And I want to do my part to help them out, and honor the effort I've seen from them so far. I just don't want to make a mistake."
"If you want to do something this early, you have to overpay," Cashman said Wednesday. "I'm not looking to overpay. The only thing I'm looking to do is improve our club at fair value.
"So far, I have passed. We have a short-term goal of improving the team now, and a long-term goal of keeping the future intact. It's a tightrope you walk every day. I'm very comfortable with the decision-making process and the fight that this club has shown."