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Yankees hold hour-long meeting before Monday night's game in Toronto

Yankees hold hour-long meeting before Monday night's game in Toronto

Yankees hold hour-long meeting before Monday night's game in Toronto
May 28, 2007

TORONTO (AP) -His team stuck in a rut, manager Joe Torre wanted to talk to the New York Yankees.

For an hour.

Sensing an attitude problem on his struggling team, Torre held a lengthy meeting before Monday night's game in Toronto. The session ran so long the Yankees were nearly a half-hour late taking the field for stretching and batting practice.

``I've seen some tentativeness,'' Torre said. ``If there's a word to characterize this whole thing, it's 'frustration.'''

New York fell six games below .500 for the first time this season after being swept by the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend. The Yankees (21-27) have dropped 11 of their past 16, leaving them 12 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL East - their largest decifit since late in the 1995 season.

``It's not fun, no question,'' Torre said. ``We certainly haven't lived up to our expectations.''

The Yankees started a 10-game road trip, their longest of the season. After Toronto, they'll play at Boston and Chicago.

Torre did not divulge specifics about the meeting, but said he'll continue to try different things to create a winning spark.

``We're going to keep rearranging the furniture until we find something that works,'' he said. ``Right now, we don't seem to be blending this thing very well.''

Yankees designated hitter Jason Giambi is stuck in a prolonged slump, going 4-for-44 with one RBI over his last 15 games. Third baseman Alex Rodriguez is just 7-for-33 (.212) over his last nine games with all five of his RBIs in that span coming on four homers.

``We've got to start winning,'' shortstop Derek Jeter said. ``That's really all that matters.''

The Yankees entered play in the unfamiliar position of fourth place, just one game ahead of last-place Tampa Bay.

It's not about chasing anybody,'' Torre said. ``Right now we've got to straighten out our house. Our playoff opportunity is going to come from our record, not from who we're chasing.''

Torre cautioned against counting on Roger Clemens to cure all of New York's ills. In his third minor league tuneup, Clemens was sharp Monday at Triple-A and could soon rejoin the rotation.

``We don't have one savior who can do everything,'' Torre said. ``We need to have everybody do what they can do and not be afraid to make mistakes.''

Pitching has been a problem for the Yankees, who have used 11 different starters so far. Three starters (Phil Hughes, Jeff Karstens and Darrel Rasner) are on the disabled list while another, Kei Igawa, is working out his problems in the minor leagues.

With Clemens and the others likely to contribute at some point, Torre said his pitching staff has a ``bright future.''

``The only way you're going to make up any ground is with pitching,'' Torre said. ``Scoring seven or eight runs a night doesn't guarantee you're going to win unless you can pitch.''

While the struggles drag on, team owner George Steinbrenner has yet to discuss a managerial change, but has said general manager Brian Cashman is ``on a big hook.''

Torre, who has been fired three times in his career, knows better than to worry about job security.

``Anytime you go out there thinking about losing your job, you're not doing your job,'' Torre said.

The pressure of working for Steinbrenner doesn't bother him, either.

``It's a better pressure than being somewhere that you don't have the players to do it and they still expect you to win,'' Torre said. ``Here you have the tools.''

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Re: Yankees hold hour-long meeting before Monday night's game in Toronto

Something needs to be done to wake this team up.  ???

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Re: Yankees hold hour-long meeting before Monday night's game in Toronto

Yanks' losing skid reaches five games
May 29, 2007

TORONTO (AP) -It's gotten so bad for the New York Yankees that opponents are stealing home on them.

Aaron Hill slid in safely ahead of Andy Pettitte's throw in the seventh and Alex Rios had a go-ahead sacrifice fly to help the Toronto Blue Jays beat New York 3-2 Tuesday night.

``It seems like we're losing every way possible and tonight was no different,'' Johnny Damon said.

The Yankees (21-29) have lost five straight and 13 of 18 to fall eight games under .500 for the first time since they were 11-19 on May 6, 2005, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

``You can envision us struggling, just not this long,'' Derek Jeter said. ``Every team scuffles at times but we've been scuffling for a long time now.''

Boston's 4-2 victory over Cleveland on Tuesday dropped the Yankees a season-high 14 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the AL East.

``It's certainly not getting any easier for us,'' manager Joe Torre said. ``We just have to keep plugging. It's a mountain to climb right now.''

Adam Lind led off the eighth with a double off Pettitte, went to third on a sacrifice and scored on Rios' fly ball to center off reliever Scott Proctor.

Proctor threw his glove in the dugout after getting the final out of the inning.

Pettitte (3-4) allowed three runs and six hits over 7 1-3 innings. He struck out three and walked one.

``He's not getting any support from us right now and neither are any of our other pitchers,'' Damon said.

Jeremy Accardo (1-0) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win.

Hill's steal in the seventh gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead. Singles by Frank Thomas and Hill put runners at first and second with one out. Jason Phillips then grounded to third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who stepped on the bag to force out Thomas. Rodriguez threw to first to try to retire Phillips, who collided with Josh Phelps as the throw arrived, knocking the ball loose and allowing Hill to advance to third.

With the count 1-1 to Royce Clayton, Hill took a walking lead, then broke for the plate. Facing away, Pettitte didn't notice until catcher Jorge Posada stepped out and waved his right arm. Pettitte threw home but Hill slid in safely ahead of the tag.

``I saw him running right away,'' Posada said. ``I stood up and was screaming but obviously the fans were screaming too.''

Pettitte said he hesitated for a split second because he thought the umpire had called a balk.

``I didn't feel like I hesitated for that long for a guy to be able to steal home on me,'' Pettitte said. ``He must have been a way off third base. Unless I'm losing my mind, I thought the umpire threw his hands up in the air, too. I'm not real sure.

``To be out of the stretch, what can you say? That's embarrassing.''

Hill said third base coach Brian Butterfield told the Blue Jays before the game that Pettitte was vulnerable to a steal of home.

``I definitely felt my heart beating,'' Hill said. ``I've never done it before and I didn't know what was going to happen. I just pictured the umpire calling me safe to hopefully give me a little better boost.''

It was Toronto's first steal of home since Shea Hillenbrand did it Aug. 6, 2005, against the Yankees.

``I didn't think you could lose an American League ballgame like that,'' Pettitte said. ``Every little thing is costing us games and we're not doing a whole lot to get it done.''

New York went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and is 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in its past two games.

``We're just not swinging the bats,'' Jeter said. ``We sprinkle hits here and there but we're just not getting the job done.''

Torre said the losing streak has left his team feeling tense.

``Everybody seems to want to do it themselves and you can't do it that way,'' Torre said. ``We need to have a game where we can have a little fun. We haven't been able to do that and it's based on the fact that we seem to keep fighting uphill all the time.''

Jeter reached on Toronto right-hander Casey Janssen's error in the eighth and scored on Posada's one-out single to tie it. New York had runners at first and second with one out but Accardo struck out Jason Giambi and got Bobby Abreu to ground out to first.

Shaun Marcum struck out six in six shutout innings for the Blue Jays. He allowed two hits and walked three.

Giambi led off the seventh with a home run off Scott Downs to tie it at 1.

Notes: Hill's stolen base was his third of the season. ... The teams combined for five errors, three by Toronto. ... Blue Jays 3B Troy Glaus was scratched from the starting lineup with a tight hamstring, but entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth. ... Kei Igawa, one of the Yankees' top offseason acquisitions, was the loser for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre on Tuesday. Igawa allowed four runs and eight hits over five innings. He struck out six and walked one.

43759 Posts
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Re: Yankees hold hour-long meeting before Monday night's game in Toronto

Looks like that meeting did them a lot good.   big_smile

43759 Posts
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