If there is a pack of reporters surrounding various Yankee lockers hours before first pitch and nobody has gotten hurt or has traded it can mean one thing — the Yankees are playing the Red Sox.
Various Yankees offered their take on the Red Sox, whom the Yankees will visit for the opener of a three-game series Friday afternoon.
The Yankees will wear the uniforms of the New York Highlanders as part of Fenway Park’s 100th anniversary celebration. That means that Mark Teixeira’s jersey will look the same as Hal Chase’s when the Highlanders made their first visit to Fenway on April 20, 1912.
The Highlanders lost 102 games. They dropped 19 to Boston and lost their first visit to Fenway, 7-6, in 11 innings.
“Hopefully, we do a little better than then they did,” Teixeira said when informed about the 1912 team.
Teixeira also said that he was not aware of the history of the Highlanders, but that his baseball history knowledge starts with the Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig era in the 1920s.
This version will be the Yankees’ introduction to the Bobby Valentine era in Boston. The only Yankees who have faced a team managed by Valentine are Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andruw Jones.
“He’s an entertainer; he likes to get out there and stir things up sometimes,” Teixeira said. “So we’ll see what happens.”
As for Russell Martin, the last time the Yankees faced the Red Sox in September, he gave good answers by saying he hates Boston. When he said it, his tone hardly sounded serious and Martin admitted he was joking.
“I never really hated them,” Martin said. “It made for good paper.”
For some it will be old hat while for others like Raul Ibanez it is a new thing. Ibanez actually had little to say about it and even apologized for his vague response.
“Sorry if my answers aren’t great, but I try not to think too much about [the future],” Ibanez said. “The only thing I can think about is what I can prepare that day [for].”
Gardner discusses injury
Left fielder Brett Gardner discussed his right elbow strain that landed him on the 15-day disabled list. He said he felt some inflammation in the elbow during batting practice Wednesday and didn’t really think anything of it until an MRI revealed the injury.
“Yesterday, I made it a little worse taking BP, and when I went down to get loose, I couldn’t even swing,” Gardner said. “Sure enough the MRI showed that I have a little bone bruised and a strained extensor muscle on the outside of my elbow.
“It’s really a small muscle, but it’s basically the muscle that comes into play when your arm straightens out towards the end of my swing. They said the only thing I can do for it is rest.”
The initial cause of Gardner’s injury occurred during the third inning Tuesday when he made a highlight catch to the end the inning. He said that his wrist rolled up and when it did, it caused the elbow to bend and strain.
The injury does not appear serious and Gardner is hopeful he will resume swinging in eight to 10 days.
In the meantime, look for Ibanez and Jones to split time in left field and that includes this weekend in Boston.
Jeter ties Winfield on the all-time hits list
Derek Jeter grew up watching the Yankees of the 1980s and has said numerous times his favorite player was Dave Winfield, who signed a 10-year contract with the team in 1981.
Jeter tied Winfield for 18th on the all-time hits list with a second-inning RBI single that gave him 3,110 career hits.
Moments after the hit, Winfield released the following statement:
“I always enjoy watching Derek Jeter play baseball because he is a model of consistency both in the field and at the plate. I finished my career with 3,110 hits and I have only admiration and respect for Derek. I hope he pauses for just a moment to admire the view with me and then keeps on going. This is just one more achievement in an incredible career.”
Follow Yankees beat writer Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.