The following is commentary and interviews from yesterday's (7/20) Sunday MLB on TBS broadcast between the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees with announcers Chip Caray and Ron Darling, and interviews with Bob Geren of the A's and Joe Girardi of the Yankees.
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Oakland A’s @ New York Yankees
Game announcers: Chip Caray and Ron Darling
Darling on the frequent adjustments of the Yankees' line-up due to injuries: “Joe Girardi was saying he’s had the opening day line-up only four or five times, but there won’t be a lot of teams weeping for the Yankees’ injury problems.”
Darling on whether the Yankees can make a run to get into the MLB Posteason: “(The Yankees) have everything right in front of them. Can they make a run? Of course they can, they’ve done it in the past. More importantly, they’ve got to get good starting pitching every single day, they’ve got it from (Mike) Mussina, they’ve got it from (Andy) Pettitte… Joba (Chamberlain), of course everyone knows about him out there. Most importantly, they’ve got to get a good start every fifth day; if they can do that than once their offense starts clicking they can win 10 or 11 straight, that’s how good they can be.”
TBS’ Chip Caray and Ron Darling spoke to Oakland A’s manager Bob Geren during the game.
Geren on the solid pitching of A’s pitcher Justin Duchscherer: “You have a guy that goes out there and leads the league in ERA, every time (Justin Duchscherer) goes on the mound you feel like you have a real good chance to win. He does a great job of giving our bullpen a break and pitching deep in the game and just feel like we don’t need to get too many runs when he’s out there.”
TBS’ Chip Caray and Ron Darling spoke to New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi during the game.
Girardi on the offense of Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano: “(Robinson Cano) has been outstanding hitting .340 the last month. He’s been really hot since the break and had four hits yesterday (Saturday), he’s really hitting the ball hard. Even his outs are line-drive outs so we’re excited about the way he’s swinging the bat.”
Darling on the complexity of managing a baseball team today: “The coaches and managers today show up at the ballpark at 11 or 12 in the morning for a night game, they are on those computers looking at data to see how they can catch an edge. It’s a much different job than when I played 25 years ago. You have to really have big shoulders and thick skin and be able to get very insular, just be with your ball club and block out all that outside stuff that happens in this town.”
Darling on Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte tagging A’s center fielder Carlos Gonzalez when he slid head first into first base: “That is an ill-advised play, you should never slide head first into first base. Luckily Andy (Pettitte) didn’t step on his finger, but nice job by the veteran left hander to get over there and get to Speedy Gonzalez.”
Darling on Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte throwing to both sides of the plate: “A lot of you youngsters in the summertime go to a lot of clinics to learn how to play this game. Well, this man (Andy Pettitte) right here is putting on a clinic if you want to learn how to pitch to both sides of the plate. The thing about Andy that you like is he has such command of the outside corner, he’s thrown more change-ups than I’ve seen him throw in a long time. On the left handed hitters he’s really been going with fastballs and sliders away and occasionally that standard beautiful cutter that he throws down and in to the right handed hitter that is just impossible for them to lay off.”
Darling on Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek being up for a new contract: “Jason Varitek adds a lot to that Boston mystique. He’s been their biggest team leader, he’s their captain. But if you start thinking as a general manager that ‘I should give contracts based on past service’ than you’re in harm’s way. You should give it based on what Jason can bring to your team and if that means that the captain that’s hitting .214 deserves a two-year contract with options that kick in if he plays a certain amount of games, than I think that’s a good thing.”
Darling on comments made by Red Sox reliever Jonathan Papelbon that he wanted to close the MLB All-Star Game: “I think that (Jonathan) Papelbon got ‘New Yorked’ because some of the comments that he made. I think that he was saying as an athlete he (would have been) proud to close the All-Star Game, but of course it belonged to Mariano Rivera who pitched excellently in that All-Star Game. Rivera, what do you say about him, just the greatest postseason closer, greatest reliever of all time.”