Posted on: July 11, 2010 5:40 pm

Yankees remember Sheppard

Bob Sheppard Bob Sheppard's voice was as much a part of the Yankees as pinstripes, and hearing it hum through Yankee Stadium was one of the great constants in the game.

Sheppard last worked in 2007, but word of his passing Sunday at age 99 left a sadness in the Yankees clubhouse. Some reactions, courtesy of the North Jersey Record:

Derek Jeter (who uses Sheppard’s taped introduction before each at-bat): "I grew up a Yankee fan, and he was the voice I always heard. There were a few times, sprinkled in and out, when he wasn’t there, and it didn’t sound right. I had the idea to record his voice and to always use it."

Joe Girardi: "You realize you hit the big lights when Bob Sheppard announces your name. It's amazing when you heard his voice in person, because it was always like from up above. And when he’d come down to talk to you, it was a thrill."

Trainer Gene Monahan: "He was the most polite man I think I've ever met. He’d stop by every once in a while over the course of the season, maybe four or five times, and call me over and very politely ask, 'May I have…a few…lozenges?' That’s the only thing he ever asked us for."

On a personal note, I'll never forget an exchange I had with Sheppard.

He was like J.D. Salinger. You never saw him, only heard him. One afternoon, hours before a game, I was doing some work in a nearly empty Yankee Stadium press box. I felt fingertips touch my shoulder and heard, "Excuse me." I immediately got a chill -- those two words were enough to know who was standing behind me.

He wanted to know how to pronounce Yuniesky Betancourt. He practiced it a couple of times, said thank you, and disappeared back into his booth.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 10, 2010 10:56 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2010 12:15 am

3D baseball arrives

3D I have seen the future, and the future is extremely cool.

Safeco Field hosted the first regional Major League Baseball broadcast in 3D on Friday night, showing the Mariners-Yankees game. DIRECTV will be showing the All-Star Game in 3D, and the crew that will be handling that is using the Saturday and Sunday games in Seattle to make sure all the technical aspects run smoothly.

A viewing station, with a big-screen 3D TV and glasses, was set up in the press box. After watching an inning, I went from thinking that buying a 3D TV was ridiculous to wondering how long I'd have to live on ramen noodles to save up for one. Baseball is simply stunning in 3D, and it made a much bigger difference than I expected.

The overhead shots of plays on the field don't look a whole lot different than a good HD telecast, but the field-level shots are a whole different experience from anything you've ever seen. In particular, the low camera angle from behind the home plate umpire is astonishing. I could clearly see the precise path of Felix Hernandez's slider.

It's going to take some time for 3D technology to make its way into a large number of American homes, and for games to be regularly broadcast in the format. But for baseball fans, 3D is going to change everything.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Tags: Mariners, Yankees
Posted on: July 10, 2010 8:21 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2010 8:27 pm

Girardi has intriguing options to replace Morneau

Kevin Youkilis So now that Justin Morneau is officially out of the All-Star Game with concussion symptoms, it's up to Yankees manager Joe Girardi, skipper of the American League team, to replace him.

The starter almost certainly will be Miguel Cabrera, the only other first baseman on the AL roster and certainly a worthy replacement.

But Girardi will need to put another first baseman on the roster. After narrowly missing the final spot on the roster in the Final Vote election, Boston's Kevin Youkilis would seem to be a natural pick. His numbers -- .294/.408/.584 with 57 RBI and 18 homers -- certainly justify it.

Also worthy is Chicago's Paul Konerko (.299/.380/.559, 20 HR, 62 RBI), even though he didn't even finish in the top five in fan voting at first base. The White Sox only have one representative (pitcher Matt Thornton) at this point.

But here's a thought: Could Girardi throw everyone a curve, and add some fire to the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, by picking New York's Mark Teixeira?

Teixeira's numbers (.243/.353/.453) aren't in the same league as Youkilis or Konerko. But he's on fire after a slow start, he has been more productive than his averages (17 HR, 59 RBIs) and he's Girardi's guy. And Girardi can fall back on the argument that Morneau was voted by the fans to start, and Teixeira finished second in the voting.

It wouldn't be the right call, but it sure would make some sparks fly.

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune reports that Konerko says he's going.

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Posted on: July 10, 2010 6:09 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2010 6:31 pm

Swisher, Young in Derby; no room for HR leader

Major League Baseball announced Saturday that the Yankees' Nick Swisher and the Diamondbacks' Chris Young will take the final two spots in Monday's Home Run Derby.

Swisher replaces teammate Robinson Cano, whom the Yankees barred from competing due to a back issue (which apparently has not impacted his ability to bat .337 and play in 85 of New York's 86 games).

Meanwhile, major league home run leader Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays was never asked to compete, even though he has indicated he would have accepted.

"I love the support," Bautista told the Canadian Press on Saturday before going out and hitting his 24th homer. "A lot of people have been voicing their displeasure with me not even being asked. It's nothing I can control, just sit here and wait until they give me a call."

That call is apparently never going to come. Gee, think MLB wanted a Yankee in the lineup?

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 10, 2010 1:34 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:26 am

Three 11-game winners for Yankees

Who needs Cliff Lee?

Phil Hughes won his 11th game of the season Friday night in Seattle, becoming the Yankees' third 11-game winner. Hughes is 11-2, Andy Pettitte is 11-2, and CC Sabathia is 11-3.

They are the first trio from the same team to reach 11 wins before the All-Star break since (and you could have given me about 100 guesses before I would have gotten this one) Jose Lima, Mike Hampton and Shane Reynolds of the Astros in 1999.

Hughes' performance (seven innings, one earned run) was nice for the Yankees to see, since even though he'd gone 2-1 in his past three starts, he had posted a 6.87 ERA.

"I think he wanted to turn it around," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's been struggling a little bit."

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: July 9, 2010 10:54 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:26 am

Sabathia thinks Lee will still wear pinstripes

CC Sabathia One fan said on a Seattle radio show Friday that Cliff Lee was basically flying cross-country to New York with a three-month layover at D/FW.

Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia, a friend of Lee's, agrees: Lee's trade to the Rangers doesn't mean he won't be a Yankee, it just means he has to wait until after the season to do it as a free agent.

"I don't think we have to do much recruiting," Sabathia said. "He knows what it's like over here. I've talked to him a bunch about being in the clubhouse and being part of the team. Hopefully it works out."

Sabathia, who played with Lee in Cleveland, said his wife and Lee's even went so far as to discuss where they might live in the New York area.

"We were pretty excited," Sabathia said. "Hopefully we'll get him next year."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 9, 2010 5:15 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 5:42 pm

Lee to Rangers

Justin Smoak Those darn Texas Rangers just buy everyone they want. It's unfair.

Oh, wait. The Rangers? CBSSports.com Senior Writer Scott Miller confirms the Rangers are sending first baseman Justin Smoak (pictured), RHP Blake Beavan, RHP Josh Lueke to Seattle in exchange for Cliff Lee, RHP Mark Lowe and more than $2 million.

There are certainly teams in the National League and the American League East breathing a little easier right now, as the Yankees' acquisition of Lee is put off by a couple of months.

For Seattle, Smoak is the kind of impact bat they've coveted in this process and one that could add pop to a lineup that certainly lacks it.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: July 9, 2010 4:50 pm

Lee scenarios abound

Cliff Lee Lots of things flying around about Cliff Lee, but the big news is that CBSSports.com's Scott Miller is hearing that the Yankees deal is not done and others, including the Rangers, are in the mix.

A Mariners front-office source tells me the team is "preparing for anything," waiting for general manager Jack Zduriencik to give them the word on what, if anything, is going down. There are a number of scenarios:

* No deal is finalized and Lee pitches, as scheduled, against the Yankees on Friday night at Safeco Field.

* Lee goes to the Yankees and pitches against the Mariners instead. I'm hearing that's unlikely, and that the Mariners would make that a condition of the deal just for the sake of logistics and the circus it would create. But the Yankees are in Seattle through the weekend, and Lee needs to pitch again before the All-Star Game. Once he's property of the Yankees, the Mariners can't really keep them from starting Lee against them Saturday or Sunday. They could just let him throw a bulpen session, but they'd probably like to start getting a return on their investment without waiting until after the break.

* No deal is finalized with anyone, and Lee doesn't pitch at all Friday night because he's being sort of held in escrow until a transaction. That's a strong possibility. Contrary to a report earlier, however, the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers are still listing standout prospect Michael Pineda as their starter for Friday night. That can of course always change in a hurry, which is one of the advantages of having your Triple-A club less than an hour away.

MLB Facts and Rumors will be at Safeco Field throughout the weekend, so check here for unfolding news on the Lee situation.

Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com