The New York Yankees have carried some truly miserable benches over the years. Which makes sense, if you think about it. When you trot out rosters stuffed with superstars, no self-respecting part-time player is going to sign with you, given how little playing time he's likely to get. Every time Clay Bellinger pulls out his two World Series rings, he should thank George Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman for building teams that were so loaded, the Yankees couldn't do any better for a backup.
This year's Yankees team isn't stuffed with superstars. At this point, they have two: Robinson Cano (who's eligible for free agency at year's end unless the Yankees can convince him to re-sign by offering the GDP of São Tomé and Principe) and CC Sabathia. But now, instead of playing time being the problem, it's money. The 2013 Yanks are so committed to holding the line on salaries, and have so much tied up in thirtysomething former stars like A-Rod, Jeter, hell, even A.J. F'ing Burnett, that they can't, or at least won't, outbid other teams for quality part-time players. Which is why, after Curtis Granderson suffered a broken forearm that will keep him out 10 weeks, the projected Opening Day left fielder for the Yankees — the mighty New York Yankees — is Juan Rivera.
In case you were busy celebrating your big Oscars win by drunk-dialing Matt Damon and yelling, "How ’bout dem apples!" here's what you missed in sports last weekend.
Georgetown and Syracuse played their penultimate rivalry game as members of the Big East, with Georgetown getting the win at the Carrier Dome, 57-46. While they won't be members of the same conference much longer, the two schools both suggested the possibility of future games against each other. But let's get real; we all know how this ends up. For a month or two, they'll call each other every night. But slowly, Georgetown will find itself getting very close with Marquette, as they share a faith and a set of values. Syracuse, meanwhile, will plan to come down for a game in D.C., but they won't be able to make it due to a prior commitment in New York with Duke. And as things will get serious with Georgetown and Marquette (they had been saving themselves, after all), Syracuse will drunk-dial Georgetown and say things they don't mean about Allen Iverson, and Georgetown will throw the whole Gerry McNamara thing in Syracuse's face. The two schools won't be on speaking terms for years, as Syracuse, abandoned again, will wind up in a co-dependent and destructive relationship with UConn.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports over the weekend.
Roger Clemens, 50 years old and pitching for the first time in five years, threw 3.1 scoreless innings for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Independent Athletic League. Afterward, when the Skeeters owner found Clemens in the locker room and tried to give him his check, Clemens just shook his head. "Forget the money," he said. "I just want 10 minutes alone in Sugar Land. No cameras, no security guards, no judgment. Just me and that sugar paradise for 10 glorious, weird minutes." The man tried to explain that Sugar Land was just a town name, but Clemens had already slipped into a drooling trance.
Mailbag time! If you've got a question for a future fantasy baseball post, e-mail email@example.com, or do as these fine folks did by tweeting questions to me here: @jonahkeri.
What is the general potential of Matt Harvey? Could he be the future ace of the Mets? Is he worth staking as a keeper in a competitive NL-only league?
— Kevin McNeill
Pretty strong. Harvey came into this season as Baseball America's 54th-ranked prospect. In 20 starts at Triple-A this season, Harvey fanned more than a batter an inning, hiking his minor league total to 268 strikeouts (and 95 walks) in 245 ⅔ innings. Called up to the majors a month ago, Harvey's continued his bat-missing ways. On Wednesday against the Rockies, he struck out nine Rockies in six innings. That hiked his season total to 43 Ks (along with 15 walks and three homers allowed) in 36 innings. Harvey's 43 punch-outs in his first six major league games actually broke the Mets franchise record previously held by some guy named Nolan.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
Notes kept by Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long during his investigation show that former head coach Bobby Petrino's relationship with his assistant began with a kiss over lunch last fall. "Hi, I'm Bobby Petrino," the coach said immediately afterward. "Thanks for not being weird when I kissed you just now."
On Thursday night, the New York Yankees set a record with three grand slams in a single game. The magical evening brought the grand slam back into the forefront of the national discourse, and today it's barely an overstatement to call it the most significant part of human society. In honor of the brave new grand slam world, here's a list of the 10 greatest grand slams since the beginning of time.