NJ.com | Randy Miller: Paul O’Neill was the non-game highlight of the afternoon yesterday at Yankee Stadium (especially the amusing Gatorade cooler presentation), but Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman’s involvement in the number retirement ceremonies only invited their own stories. Both the owner and general manager received resounding boos from the Bronx faithful, displeased with the construction and performance of the team in wake of a dismal August that only barely improved to 5-14 with a win on Sunday. Even with said W, I don’t think anyone is feeling particularly sorry for them at this moment.
NorthJersey.com | Pete Caldera: One other story from yesterday involved some spiciness between the Yankees and Blue Jays. Toronto starter Alek Manoah plunked Aaron Judge with first base open in the fifth inning, and Judge was visibly annoyed. But when Gerrit Cole popped out of the dugout and started yelling at Manoah, Judge was quick to try to defuse tensions. He waved Cole and the Yankees’ bench off from getting too far onto the field, spoke to Manoah directly for a moment, and then got the game going once again. The most logical conclusion is that this was just a pitch that missed on a day when Manoah wasn’t his sharpest anyway.
New York Times| Gary Phillips: New York might have found a way to beat Manoah on Sunday, but they’ll have to figure out how to wrangle at least one other elite pitcher and perhaps two in the next couple games. Max Scherzer is scheduled to take the ball for the Mets tonight, and while Buck Showalter’s ballclub has yet to officially name a Tuesday starter, Jacob deGrom is on line to start that one as well. (The less-intimidating Domingo Germán and Frankie Montas are set to pitch for the Yanks.)
Showalter and the Mets may elect to push deGrom back so that they can give Taijuan Walker a turn after leaving last Tuesday’s outing early with an injury. Although Walker is no slouch, the prospect of potentially facing Scherzer and deGrom back-to-back has to be daunting, no matter how much the Yankees might be confident in their AL East lead. As they say, it’s put-up-or-shut-up time.
NJ.com | Randy Miller: The Yankees also made a small roster move yesterday, sending the struggling Albert Abreu to the injured list with elbow inflammation and recalling veteran right-hander Luke Bard to the major league squad. After a good July in his return to the organization after a preseason trade for Jose Trevino, Abreu has been pummeled in August, surrendering 8 runs on 11 hits, 2 walks, and 2 homers in just 8 innings of work, and his presence on the roster over Ron Marinaccio (since recalled) only frustrated fans.
So why was Bard chosen over someone like Clarke Schmidt or Greg Weissert? In short, he was around, already a reliever, and on the 40-man roster since being claimed from the Rays on August 5th. That seems to be about it. The 31-year-old product of Georgia Tech did have a 1.93 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 14 innings with Tampa Bay earlier this season, but those guys don’t normally let productive players go for nothing and he has a much less pretty 5.02 ERA in 28.2 Triple-A innings this year. It seems possible that this was a short-term fix, though with Scott Effross’ shoulder barking after Saturday, it’s possible that even a Schmidt promotion from the Scranton rotation to the MLB bullpen wouldn’t necessarily be to swap in for Bard’s spot.