TORONTO -- Live long enough in Buffalo and you'll deal with a whopper of a traffic jam sometime in your life coming up here. Be it the bridges or the QEW, you'll get yours eventually. I got it tonight. Because of a family obligation, I left my house at 3:30. Figured some extra bridge time and traffic would have me safely in the Rogers Centre press box in the 6-6:15 range. Heh. Next case.
I sat down in the press box here at around 8 p.m. after an epically nightmarish drive. Only 40 minutes at the Rainbow Bridge. Just traffic, accidents, traffic and more traffic. Followed by filled parking lots.
Haven't even filled out a scorecard yet. Trying to keep tabs and do a couple things. The Blue Jays lead the Yankees, 3-1, in the bottom of the fifth. Good friend of the blog Chad Jennings of the Westchester Journal-News, my former IL cohort from his days covering the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons and Yankees, was kind enough to give me a catchup on some of today's pregame chatter:
---Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista is not playing after twisting his ankle last night. It looked mighty serious but was much better today and he didn't even need an MRI. Jays manager John Farrell said Bautista might play Sunday but almost certainly would be ready Tuesday against Seattle here. So bummer for all you folks coming up this weekend that you probably won't see the big-league home run leader.
---Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Bartolo Colon, the ex-Bison of about 100 pounds ago, is physically fine in the wake of his eight-run blowup in the first inning last night. The Yankees were concerned about a leg issue as Colon continues to struggle covering first.
"I talked to him today and I said, ‘Do you feel anything?’ And he assured me that he didn’t," Girardi said. "So I went and watched the tape and looked for things that would tell me if he felt it or not. Did not see anything. Watching the tape, he threw much better than what we saw. We didn’t play defense behind him, which really hurt him."
---Yankees catcher Russell Martin said after Thursday's game and again today that he felt the Blue Jays were stealing signs last night, tipping off batters when there was a runner at second base. Martin changed the signs in the fourth inning but his team was already in a 9-1 hole.
"Teams have been giving locations and stealing signs forever, and it’s something that we guard against and we’ll continue to guard against it," Girardi said. "...They’re more famliar with you, you’re more familiar with them. It’s all part of the game.”
Girardi went on to say sign-stealing is part of the game, so long as it's not done in an extreme way, such as with binoculars from the bullpen (see Phillies) or the stands. Did he notice it last night?
"I’m not going to comment on that," he said. "But believe me, we pay attention to it.”
---What was Farrell's take on the sign-stealing? He tended to plead ignorance but everyone here knows better. Farrell just spent four years as the pitching coach of the Red Sox so you know he has some pretty intimate knowledge of the Yankees.
"If it’s taking place, in the times when we’ve felt like it has, that’s where you shift to a secondary set of signs, always trying to stay one step ahead," he said. I don’t know if that was actually taking place last night. [Martin] has a right to his own opinion. I don’t know if that’s what was going on last night, but we’ve been in games where you kind of sense it. You’ve got to be equipped to adjust.”
taggedBisons/Blue Jays | Yankees