Yankees News and Notes: Sabathia, Swisher Stop the Slide

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 24: Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees celebrates with teammates after he hit a two run home run during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 24, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

C.C. Sabathia returned from the disabled list in grand style, limiting the Indians to only one run over 7 1/3 innings as the Yankees eked out a victory in Cleveland. Meanwhile, in Tampa, the Rays, who have been preventing runs at a historic pace, surrendered more than four for only the third time in the last 27 games. As a result of Tampa's 5-4 loss to the Athletics, the Yankees' lead in the division jumped back to 3.5 games.

By gaining ground in the standings, the Yankees took one step away from the brink of relinquishing a double-digit lead for only the second time in franchise history. However, don't count Derek Jeter among those who are worried about the possibility.

If Nick Swisher's days in pinstripes really are numbered, he sure is making the most of them. The gregarious right fielder, who drove in all three of the Yankees' runs last night, is now hitting .358/.441/.657 over his last 17 games. In addition to carrying the Yankees' offense, Swisher has also found time to moonlight as a blogger.

Is Derek Jeter the greatest Yankee of all time? Former teammate and current White Sox manager Robin Ventura seems to think so. Speaking of recent players turned manager, Jeter has no interest in taking the same path, but Eric Chavez does.

Roger Clemens will take the mound as a professional pitcher for the first time in five years when he suits up tonight for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent league. Although Clemens claims that he isn't major league ready, the Astros and Royals are among the teams planning to send a scout just to make sure. Is Clemens really determined to compete as a major leaguer one last time? Or, does he have ulterior motives?

By the way, you may have heard about a small trade being discussed by the Red Sox and Dodgers? According to the latest report, the two teams have agreed in principal on a trade that will send Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett to Los Angeles in exchange for a handful of prospects and whole lot of salary relief. The financial terms remain a sticking point, but when the final details are released, don't forget to factor in the cost of the two miserable seasons that precipitated the trade.

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