6:15 PM — Here’s the scene at Waterfront Park right now…hecccccccccccccctic
6:00 PM — I’ll obviously have a Pettitte bonanza up in a bit…but Wilkin De La Rosa has been removed from the 40-man roster. The Yankees have claimed Padres pitcher Steve Garrison to take his place.
J.B. Cox is suspended for the rest of the season. Tony Franklin was surprisingly…well, frank about the whole thing. But the story from here on out is Pettitte, and that’s the focus from here on out. I’ll have quotes on everything else after the game.
4:25 PM — There could be yet another move coming with the bullpen…
3:20 PM — Lineups…
Darin Mastroianni, CF
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS
Eric Thames, DH
Shawn Bowman, 3B
David Cooper, 1B
Adam Calderone, LF
Matt Liuzza, C
Adam Loewen, RF
Jonathan Diaz, 2B
Zach Stewart, P
Austin Krum, CF
Justin Snyder, 3B
Daniel Brewer, RF
Austin Romine, C
Marcos Vechionacci, 1B
Rene Rivera, DH
Damon Sublett, LF
Luis Nunez, SS
Matt Cusick, 2B
Andy Pettitte, P
2:05 PM — J.B. Cox will be the story of the day up until approximately 7:05. The reliever has been suspended as a result of his actions after being removed in the eighth inning of Game 1 last night.
Cox spiked the ball in frustration when he saw manager Tony Franklin come out to get him after he’d allowed two runners to reach with two outs in a two-run game, and proceeded to get chest to chest with Franklin in the dugout.
You can look at this one of two ways…
One way is that you can say this was a fiery pitcher with a strong competitive drive upset that he’d been pulled from a postseason game. Or, you can look at it the right way…
This was a selfish act by an immature guy who failed to take advantage of the chances the Yankees gave him. Cox first drew the Yankees ire prior to the 2007 season, injuring his hand in a bar fight, which got his invitation to big league spring training retracted.
After coming back in 2008 and putting together a solid season that topped out at Triple-A Scranton, Cox struggled last season in Triple-A Scranton and was demoted to Trenton. Following two straight poor outings, he quit on his teammates and went back home. Nobody knew if he’d retired or if he’d be back or what the situation was.
But the Yankees gave Cox another chance and allowed him to come back this season. With an oft-abrasive personality, it was no surprise that he’d already been reprimanded by the team several weeks ago for writing an obscenity on his spikes that was spotted by a fan. This latest incident isn’t surprising, but is still disappointing.
It also, when you think about it from a baseball standpoint, makes no sense. Cox faced four guys, and put two of them on in the eighth inning of a two-run playoff game. He got pulled so they could bring in Pat Venditte to pitch from the left side and face a lefty. Tell me what was wrong about what was done there.
Regardless, Cox puts an already short-handed bullpen even further in the hole. Hopefully, righty reliever Ben Watkins will actually appreciate the opportunity he’s been given. The 23-year-old went 3-4 with a 3.88 ERA in 35 games with Low-A Charleston this year. Drafted in the 40th round last season, he’ll be thrown into the fire of the Double-A playoffs a few years earlier than he likely should be…all because a veteran wasted what’s likely to be his last opportunity to wear Yankee pinstripes.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com