Category Archives: Managers and Coaches

The Minors, 7-4-14.

AAA: Rob Refsnyder hit a 3-run walkoff HR with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th to give SWB a 7-6 win. Refsnyder had two hits in the game and is now hitting .333 for SWB in 25 games after hitting .342 in 60 games at AA (Overall, .340-10-42 in 85 games AA/AAA). Pat Venditte threw two scoreless innings of relief, as did Danny Burawa. All of Burawa’s six outs came via the K. DH Kyle Roller had two doubles and an RBI, and 3B Scott Sizemore had three hits, two doubles and 2 rbi.

AA: Trenton’s game was ppd.

High A: DH Greg Bird hit a solo HR in the top of the 12th to give Tampa a 1-0 win. Miguel Sulbaran 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 5 K. Hitting coach Kevin Long’s son, Jaron, pitched two scoreless innings.

Low A: Charleston lost 6-1.

Game 82. Yanks offensive woes continue in 2-1 loss.

Derek Jeter got 2 hits tonight to go to 3396 for his career. One hit, a double, tied Lou Gehrig for first place on the Yankees’ all-time doubles list at 534.

Unfortunately, the rest of the team got two hits combined and Hiroki Kuroda lost a heartbreaker, 2-1. The Yanks were 1 for 9 with RISP, and struck out 11x.

You hate to keep writing about this and reading about this. It’s the same thing every night. These Yanks don’t hit. You wonder how long hitting coach Kevin Long will keep his job. Let’s face it. The Boss would have fired Long by now. Some reporters hate hearing “if the Boss was alive, etc.,” but it’s true. Unfortunately, I don’t make the ballgame or the reports. The players do. I only report on what they are doing. How I wish the reports were better.

The loss drops the Yanks to 41-41, .500. Worse yet, Toronto and Baltimore both won. The Yanks are now 3 1/2 out.

Let’s face it. I think we all would rather see a .500 team with kids on it with potential to develop rather than a .500 team with a lot of players 35+ who are doing nothing but aging. Something needs to be done, and soon.

The 4th of July is coming soon. Let’s hope the Yanks have some offensive fireworks in them.

Kuroda, (L, 5-6, 4.08) gave up a run in the fourth and a HR to Loney in the sixth that proved decisive. 8 IP, 2 R, 9 H, 1 walk and 7 K.

It’s difficult for pitchers to pitch thinking they have to be perfect because they are getting no support. This is the second time in less than a week that a Yankees’ pitcher pitched great (Tanaka) only to lose 2-1.

The Yanks only run came when Jeter doubled, Ellsbury singled and Jeter scored when Ellsbury got a SB and there was a throwing error on the play.

David Huff pitched the 9th for the Yanks. 1 IP, 0 r, 0 h, 0 walks, 2 K. 4.99.

Game 74. O’s blank Yanks 8-0, beat Tanaka.

It was nice to see some people from both my Lehigh Valley Yankees Fan Club (with whom I went up to the Stadium for Old-Timer’s day via a bus trip) and also some members of Pinstripe Mania yesterday once I got to the Stadium.

It was also nice to see some great Old-Timer’s Day festivities and see Goose Gossage get a plaque for Monument Park.

It wasn’t nice to see what happened in the actual game, for the Yanks got blanked, 8-0, and Tanaka got the loss.

Tanaka didn’t pitch badly. In 15 starts this season, every single start has been a quality start.

He gave up two hits to lead off the game, but got out of it with a flyball and two strikeouts.

In the bottom of the first, Gardner tripled. At least we thought it was a triple to lead off the bottom of the first. Instead, upon review, it was determined that in sliding into third, Gardner came off the bag and was then out when he was tagged. Right there and then it probably wasn’t going to be the Yankees day, for he had beaten the throw.

Tanaka gave up a HR in the second, but settled in. After six innings, it was just 1-0 Orioles.

But the Yanks offense was doing nothing.

In the seventh, Tanaka gave up two runs. He went 7 innings, 3 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 6 K. Even with the loss, that puts him at 11-2, and his ERA is 2.11.

But the Yanks got four hits all game, two by Ichiro. No support.

Yangervis Solarte is 0 for 27 since June 8th. Hopefully he snaps out of it soon. Maybe he has to be sent down soon. Before you balk at that, remember that in 1951, the great Mickey Mantle, in his rookie season, had to be sent down for a while to get straightened out. But hopefully Solarte does get straightened out soon.

The game really got out of hand in the eighth, when Adam Warren came in and had nothing. Two Yankees errors didn’t help, even though the O’s Steve Pearce probably got away with baserunner interference.

Warren 1 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 1 walk, 0 K. 2.88.

David Huff pitched the 9th and gave up a HR. 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 5.76.

With the loss, the Yanks drop to 39-35 and into a tie for 2nd in the AL East with Baltimore. They are 1 1/2 back of Toronto and now go to Toronto for a three-game set. The Yanks and O’s are tied for the final WC spot, one pct. point above Seattle.

It appears the Yanks will be needing a starting pitcher and a bat soon. The trade deadline is five weeks away. Stay tuned.

Just to clarify one thing from the Old-Timer’s Day festivities: John Sterling, in announcing Joe Torre, stated that Torre was the second manager to win three consecutive World Series. He was wrong. Joe McCarthy was the first (1936-1939), Casey Stengel the second (1949-1953) and Joe Torre was the third (1998-2000). As a Yankees broadcaster, Sterling should have known that (not to be a curmudgeon about it, but…). I don’t know why everyone forgets about “Marse Joe” ‘s accomplishment.

Now the A’s won three straight WS from 1972-1974, but with two different managers. Dick Williams was there in ’72 & ’73, but it was Alvin Dark who skippered them in 1974.

Jesse Barfield homered off of David Cone in the Old-Timer’s game.

Four-time SB winning coach Noll dies at 82.

I happen to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and today is a bit of a sad day.

Chuck Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowls, died yesterday, June 13, at the age of 82.

Noll coached the Steelers from 1969-1991, going 209-156-1 (of which 16-8 were in the postseason). He coached the Steelers to four SB victories in six years, winning Super Bowls IX, X, XIII and XIV.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Before his coaching career (assistant and head coach) began, Noll played for the Cleveland Browns from 1953-1959. Those Browns’ teams won NFL titles in 1954 and 1955, and lost the NFL title game in 1953 and 1957.

Game 62. Yanks shoot themselves in foot in 2-1 loss.

I’d rather lose 9-0 then lose this way.

The Yanks went 1 for 17 with RISP in losing to KC 2-1. They fall to .500 (31-31) with the loss and are 2-6 this month.

Hiroki Kuroda went 7, 2 R, 5 H, 2 walks and 3 K as he fell to 4-4, 4.12.

Adam Warren pitched a scoreless 8th, 1 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 2.38.

It had to be painful for Kuroda, who pitched well, but who watched his offense shoot themselves in the foot time and time again. 1st and 2nd, two out in the first, nothing. In the second, the Yanks loaded the bases and couldn’t score as Johnson struck out, Gardner grounded into a 3-2 force and Jeter struck out. They wasted a leadoff double by Ellsbury in the third.

In the fourth, a one-out double by Roberts. Nothing. They finally got their run in the sixth when Solarte doubled, went to third on a PB and scored on an Ichiro groundout.

A one-out triple by Gardner in the 7th. Surely they would tie the game. But, remember, Girardi NEVER ******* squeezes. He doesn’t bunt guys over or in. It’s what I don’t like about Girardi (who I do regard as a good manager). With Jeter up there, he should have bunted. Jeter isn’t Jeter anymore. He’s only 2/3 of the Jeter we remember, if that. Heck, (and I hate to say this), Jeter shouldn’t be hitting 2nd anymore. He should be hitting 8th. He’s hitting .254, OPS+ 72. Just seven of his 54 hits are for extra bases. Jeter grounds out, runner can’t score. Ellsbury strikes out. In the 9th, Ichiro singled and went to 2nd on a WP. Tying run on second, no out, nothing.

So it went.

I hate to say this, but Jeter was a major culprit today in the Yanks losing. Derek isn’t Derek anymore. Not even close. Look at what I wrote above. Bases loaded, two out, he whiffed. Man on third, one out, a weak grounder that can’t get the run in. He and Gardner each left five on, Johnson four, McCann three.

It was like Chinese water torture. They would get guys on and leave them there.

A painful loss.

If the Yanks continue like this, I’d consider some major changes. Once Cervelli comes off the DL, I’d look to trade him. Go with the kid, Murphy. I’d also look to dump Soriano, Ichiro, Johnson and Roberts, as well as good-field/no-hit Brendan Ryan. Go with a youth movement. You are using a soon-to-be 40 year-old SS in Jeter, a 36 yr. old 2b in Roberts, Beltran is 36 (and on a 3-yr. deal), Soriano 38 and Ichiro 40. The age is showing.

Obviously, Jeter is going nowhere.

Some things I’d consider if I were in the Yanks’ front office:

Replace Roberts (.239-2-13, OPS+86) with Rob Refsnyder, 23, 2B, currently hitting .340 or so at AA. RHB

Replace Johnson (.216-4-14, OPS+ 85) with Zelous Wheeler, 27, mostly 2B/SS/3B as another utility man (He’s played a little OF as well). Hitting .298 at AAA, RHB.

Replace Ryan (.238 career hitter, .217 2010-2013) with Pirela, who has played 2B/SS/LF (gives you an OF in an emergency, 24) currently around .333 at AAA.

Replace Ichiro with Almonte, a switch-hitter and 25 this week and see what you have in him. You won’t know unless you play him. Bringing him up and not playing him, or playing him once every seven games or so, does nothing. In 105 AAA games, Almonte is .293-14-66 with 8 SB. Over a full season, he would be .293-21-99 with 12 SB. You don’t know how that would translate to the majors, but I’d rather lose with a 25 year old, seeing what he has and what he could offer, than a 38 year old Soriano and/or a 40 year old Ichiro. Yes, I know Ichiro is hitting .320, but he’s not your future, and only four of Ichiro’s 33 hits are for extra bases. Maybe you get some power, as well as some consistency, if Almonte plays every day instead of once in a blue moon when you bring him up.

Replace Soriano (.229-6-20, OPS+ 78) with Kyle Roller, a legit 1B (instead of Johnson) who is a lefty power hitter. 26, and between AA/AAA, .343-14-38 this year. Maybe he could be like Kevin Maas when Maas first came up in 1990 and you catch lightning in a bottle with him as he takes advantage of the porch as a DH and 1B sub for Teixeira.

Couldn’t hurt. I’d rather be .500 with youth who could develop than washed-up has-beens, no matter how much I love what they did in their prime.

Maybe it sounds harsh, but this game was the 10th in a row in which the Yanks scored four runs or less. You can’t just keep going on this way.

Some changes may need to be made. I just made a few suggestions.

The Minors 6-6-14.

AAA: SWB won 12-6. Bruce Billings 1 r in 6 IP. LF Jose Pirela 3 for 3, HR, 3 RBI (.340). RF Adonis Garcia 4 for 5, 3 doubles, HR, 3 rbi. (.312). 1B Kyle Roller 4 for 5, double, HR, 2 rbi. (.315). 3B Zelous Wheeler 2 hits, HR, 2 RBI (.305).

AA: Trenton lost 11-2. 2B Robert Refsnyder 3 hits, rbi, .335. On Twitter, it is written that Thunder hitting coach and former big-leaguer, Marcus Thames, raved about the work ethic and film study of Refsnyder.

High A: 4-1 win for Tampa. Rafael De Paula 5 IP, 1 R, 8 K. Nick Goody and Cesar Vargas each with 2 IP, 4 K. 16 K total for Tampa’s pitchers last night. 1B Greg Bird 2 h, double, rbi.

Low A: Charleston lost 10-4. LF Mike O’Neill 3 hits, rbi. 1B Jackson Valera 3 h, 2 doubles, rbi.

Zim. 1931-2014.

Don Zimmer, who never received a paycheck out of baseball, died yesterday at the age of 83. Zimmer spent 66 years working in professional baseball as a player, adviser, coach, manager. What a life.

Zimmer was a great prospect, but two beanings nearly killed him. From Wikipedia (I edited it a bit, all blockquotes from there).

During a minor league game on July 7, 1953, Zimmer was struck by a pitch thrown by pitcher Jim Kirk, causing Zimmer to faint. He suffered a brain injury that required surgery. He woke up two weeks later, thinking that it was the day after the game where the incident took place. This led to Major League Baseball adopting batting helmets as a safety measure to be used by players when at-bat. Phil Rizzuto was the first player to use the batting helmets.

Zimmer nearly died after being hit with a pitch in the temple while with St. Paul in 1953. He was not fully conscious for 13 days, during which holes were drilled in his skull to relieve the pressure of swelling. His vision was blurred, he could neither walk nor talk and his weight plunged from 170 to 124. He was told his career was finished at age 22.

Zimmer was beaned again in 1956 when a Cincinnati Reds fastball broke his cheekbone, but he persevered. Because of these beanings, it has been widely reported that he had a surgically implanted steel plate in his head. This rumor is false, although the holes drilled in the surgeries following the 1953 beanball were later filled with four tantalum metal corkscrew-shaped “buttons.”

Zim was a major league player from 1954-1965. He played in MLB with the Dodgers (1954–1959, 1963), Chicago Cubs (1960–1961), New York Mets (1962), Cincinnati Reds (1962), and Washington Senators (1963–1965). He was a member of the 1955 and 1959 Dodger WS Champs, 1955 in Brooklyn and 1959 in Los Angeles (he was there early in 1963, when the Dodgers won another WS, but wasn’t there at the end of the season, just the beginning). In 1955, he hit only .239, but did have 15 HR and 50 RBI (OPS+ 88) in just 280 at bats. He had a bad 1959, and was replaced at SS mid-season by Maury Wills. Zim hit just .165-4-28, OPS+ 37 in 1959.

He hit .235 in his career. His 162 game average was .235-13-52, OPS+ 77. He primarily played 2B, SS or 3B but did see 35 games at catcher and a few games in the outfield.

He made the All-Star team in 1961, a season in which he hit .252-13-40, OPS+ 82.

Despite being an All-Star in 1961, he was left unprotected and was taken by the Mets in the expansion draft. On April 11, 1962, the Mets lost the first game in their history, 11-4, to the Cardinals. Batting 7th and playing 3b was Don Zimmer. Zimmer only played 14 games for the Mets.

After his playing career ended,

Zimmer began his coaching career. He worked in minor league baseball, before coaching the Montreal Expos (1971), San Diego Padres (1972), Boston Red Sox (1974–1976, 1992) New York Yankees (1983, 1986, 1996–2003), Cubs (1984–1986), San Francisco Giants (1987), Colorado Rockies (1993–1995), and Tampa Bay Devil Rays / Rays (2004–2014). He served as manager for the Padres (1972–1973), Red Sox (1976–1980), Texas Rangers (1981–1982), and Cubs (1988–1991).

Zimmer was 885-858 as a manager, .508. That translates to an 82-80 season. His average finish with these teams was 3rd or 4th place.

As a manager, he’s most famous for managing the 1978 Red Sox, who lost a 14-game lead they had over the Yankees. The AL East needed an extra game to break the tie between New York and Boston, and it was the Yankees who won that 163rd game (the Bucky Dent game) and who went on to win the World Series.

Despite guiding the Red Sox to a 97-64 record in 1977 and 99-64 in 1978, Zimmer and the Red Sox got no postseason play out of it, as the Yanks won the WS in both seasons.

In 1989, Zimmer was named NL manager of the year for guiding the Cubs to a division title with a 93-69 record. They lost the NLCS to San Francisco.

Later, he was best known as Joe Torre’s bench coach during the Yanks’ great run of 1996-2003 (before Boston broke the “curse” in 2004), during which the Yanks won six pennants and four World Series in an eight-year run.

In 1999, Zimmer filled in for Manager Joe Torre while Torre was recuperating from prostate cancer.  Zimmer went 21-15 while guiding the Yankees during Torre’s absence. This record however, is credited to Torre’s managerial record.

Zimmer’s playing and managing record don’t merit the Hall of Fame, but maybe he should be considered for the Hall as a result of a long history of meritorious service to the game. There are some owners and commissioners in there for that reason, and, for example, who do you think did more for the game of baseball, Don Zimmer or Bowie Kuhn?

Game 55. D-Rob fails in 9th, Yanks lose 7-2.

It looked like Chase Whitley would get his first MLB win. The Yanks had a 2-1 lead entering the ninth, but one day after throwing 27 pitches in getting a save, David Robertson had nothing and the Yanks lost to the Twins, 7-2. Two recent ex-Yanks, Phil Hughes and Eduardo Nunez, helped beat them, Hughes getting the win and Nunez picking up a big two-run double.

Whitley in four starts this year hasn’t given length, 14 IP in four starts, but his ERA is 2.37. He still has no decisions.

The Yanks got two runs on three hits in the fourth, as Gardner tripled, Jeter singled him home (3367), Ellsbury singled, McCann walked and Jeter later scored on an Ichiro SF.

But those three hits were the only hits the Yanks got all game. With no Beltran for a while (and a while longer), no Teixeira, Soriano slumping (and he was benched for Ichiro today), there isn’t any power in the lineup other than McCann.

Once again, can you say Kendrys Morales? The 5th can’t come soon enough. (If the Yanks sign Morales before the 5th, they lose a draft pick. After the 5th, he is fair game). In the NY Post today, Kevin Kernan wrote what I’ve been writing about. The Yanks need to sign Morales, especially with the uncertainty regarding Beltran and Teixeira.

Betances was awesome. 2 IP, six up, six down and 5 K. 1.38. 56K in 32 2/3 IP now.

Warren 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K. 1.71.

…and here is why I hate roles on a team. Robertson comes in… why? Because he is the “closer,” that is why. But Warren pitched a scoreless 8th, and Robertson threw 27 pitches yesterday. Granted Warren threw 20 pitches in the 8th, but why not leave Warren in and save Robertson, who threw a lot of pitches yesterday? Maybe Warren shortens the bridge by getting an out or two, or closes it completely with a two-inning save. I remember the days when Lyle and Gossage would get saves of over one inning.  They may have gone 2 2/3. You don’t see that anymore. Managers complicate matters for themselves by creating roles and making closers one-inning guys. Keep it simple. If the guy is hot, ride him. No need to bring in a closer just because he is the “closer.” I believe that if you start mixing and matching and bringing in too many pitchers, eventually you’ll find the guy who has nothing, just like in the saying “too many cooks spoil the soup.” D-Rob had nothing. First batter, a game-tying HR, and it got worse, because the Twins scored six in the top of the 9th to win it.

Robertson (L, 0-2) 2/3 IP, 5 R, 2 H, 3 walks, 2 K. ERA balloons to 4.50. (One friend of mine suggested making Betances the closer. Nice sentiment, and I could see it. But that won’t happen. Not yet, anyway.)

Daley one batter, and he gave up a hit. That batter later scored. 0 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 H. 3.86.

Thornton got the last out, but gave up a big hit first. 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 h, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.50.

Use the KISS method, Joe. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Guy’s hot? Leave him in.

That’s my theory, anyway.

The Yanks fall to 29-26, 3 1/2 back of Toronto now.

Start getting that contract for Morales ready, Hal and Cash….

Game 50. Yanks beat Cards, 6-4 in 12.

Chase Whitley pitched his third MLB game, and once again did a decent job. It took the Yanks 12 innings, and a game-saving catch to rob Yadier Molina of a HR, but the Yanks won 6-4 to improve to 27-23. It was the Yanks’ third straight win.

Each team scored in the first. The Yanks got a walk by Gardner, a hit (3363) by Jeter and a hit by Ellsbury. St. Louis got a leadoff triple, followed immediately by a double to tie the game and you thought it wouldn’t be Whitley’s day.

Instead, he settled in and that was all he gave up… until the sixth.

The Yanks had gotten two in the fifth on a Johnson single and Gardner SF. After five, Whitley had gone the 5 and went 81 pitches. Frankly, I wanted Girardi to pull him then, since that was the longest Whitley had gone in the majors. Instead, he stayed in and the Cardinals tied the game. But the Yanks bullpen (with help from Gardner) shut down the Cardinals.

Whitley 5+, 3 R, 8 h, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.57
Claiborne 1 1/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 2.87.
Thornton 2/3, 0 r, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 4.66.
Betances 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 1.48.
Aceves (W, 1-2, 5.28) 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. Beneficiary of Gardner’s game-saving catch. Gardner was repaying Yadier Molina, who became the first catcher to catch Gardner stealing.
Robertson save #11, ERA 2.40. 1 Ip, 1 run, unearned b/c of a Jeter error. 1 H, 0 walks and 2 k.

In the top of the 11th, Roberts got a bases-loaded single, PH Soriano got a SF and Ryan singled in another.

Games 42 and 43. Yanks split.

Game 42. 1st game of DH.

The Yanks hung on to win 4-3. Hiroki Kuroda (3-3, 4.61) gave up a HR to the second batter of the game, but the Yanks came back in the bottom of the first with three runs. Teixiera had a two-run single, and McCann drove in the other. They made it 4-1 in the second on an RBI double by Gardner.

Kuroda went 6, giving up 3 runs (two in the fifth), 5 h, 2 walks and 7 K. He gave up 2 HR.

Daley 2/3, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K. 6.00

Thornton 1/3. He struck out the only batter he faced. 5.14

Warren 2/3, 0 R, 1 h. 0 walks and K. 1.44

Robertson the four-out save. 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 3 K for his 8th save.

Jeter got hit #3352. He got #3353 in Game 2 as a PH.

Game 43 2nd game of DH.

I like how Girardi builds a bullpen. I don’t like the fact that he never squeezes. In the first inning, Gardner got a leadoff triple. Roberts didn’t squeeze, but grounded out, Gardner having to hold at third. Ex-Yankee C Chris Stewart picked Gardner off third, then drove in a run with a single in the top of the second (a run aided by two Yankees’ errors. Stewart hurt the Yanks in this game. He had a SF later.). With Gerritt Cole pitching for the Pirates, and the Yanks resting people and using a diminished lineup (Gardner, Roberts, Teix DH, Kelly Johnson?! 1B (Johnson cleanup?), Solarte, Almonte, Suzuki, Murphy and Ryan) which had McCann, Jeter, Ellsbury and Soriano all out of the lineup (all ph later, Jeter getting that hit), you aren’t trying to squeeze in a run? Yes, he is playing for the big inning, especially early in the game, but with Cole out there, that big inning may not come. I give Cole his due and try to squeeze a run home there. Nuno vs. Cole? I try to get a run and help out Nuno a bit.

But what happens in the bottom of the second? Finally, a squeeze! … and the Yanks get a run. Solarte singled to open the inning, and then after two out, Murphy came through again with a single (which, at the time, put him at .429!). A two-base error on the play enabled Solarte to score and Murphy to go to third. Ryan then bunted for a hit (which, at the time, made the weak-hitting, good defensive SS 3 for 3 for the season) and RBI and went to second on the error. I can’t remember the last time the Yanks squeezed a run home. Hooray!

The Pirates had a man on, two out in the fifth. Double, but the runner stopped at third while the batter kept going. Oops. A great break for the Yankees.

Nuno went into the sixth, the longest he’s gone all year. For 5 2/3, all he gave up was one unearned run. But then with two out in the sixth, he gave up a 2-run HR. Nuno 6 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 walk and 5 K. 5.82. He did pitch well in this one.

Solarte tied it in the bottom of the sixth with his 5th HR.

But Aceves gave it right back. Aceves pitched great in his first outing since returning to the Yanks, but not so well in three outings since. He gave up a HR and took the loss. 1 2/3, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K. Loss, 0-2, 6.35.

Thornton 2/3, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 5.87. I don’t know what to think of Thornton yet. Part of me wishes Boone Logan were still here instead of Thornton.

Claiborne 2/3, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and 0 K. 2.19.

The Yanks now head to Chicago for a whole week. They are off Monday but then play the Cubs Tuesday and Wednesday and the White Sox Thursday through Sunday.

The Yanks are now 23-20, and in first place by half a game over Baltimore.

.