I'd call it a soft downpour as I type this, at 6:04 this evening. It's steady, but it's not prohibiting the Twins from taking their batting practice.
"We'll get the game in," Brian Cashman said. A look at the weather shows it won't be a fun night to play.
--UPDATE, 6:06 p.m.: Now they're putting on the tarp.
Cashman appeared in the Yankees' dugout during the pre-game activity because he knew reporters would want to speak with him about Rafael Soriano.
This seems to be a hot-button topic in the yakosphere (copyright Neil Best), so I'd like to expand a little on this. Seriously, this isn't about the media. Or at most, the media is a supporting player in this situation.
We talk to the teams after every game, win or lose. The players understand that. They accept it, even if they don't like it.
They know that, when they screw up, it's incumbent upon them to stand in front of their locker and face the heat. Even if a player comes out and says, "You know what? I'm sorry, I'm really upset and I think it's in my best interests to not answer any questions right now," that would at least score some points. Because then we could describe just how upset the player looks.
When the player vanishes, however, as Soriano did last night? Then a) we've got nothing, and b) we lean more heavily on Soriano's teammates, and c) the teammates get ticked off at Soriano for having to cover for him.
That's why, this morning, Brian Cashman and Randy Levine reached out to Soriano's agent Scott Boras. To try to prepare for the expected aftermath of Soriano's bad decision.
Soriano, to his credit, apologized and said he wouldn't make the same mistake again. Joe Girardi, true to his methodology on such issues, completely covered for his player, fully excusing the indiscretion. I was a little surprised, even given Girardi's history as a manager. For when he was a player, Girardi would've gotten all over a teammate who flaked as Soriano did.
And then Cashman played the bad cop, criticizing Soriano in harsher terms while also making clear that he was ready to move forward. Cashman, of cousre, was opposed to the three-year, $35-million contract that the Yankees gave Soriano.
Soriano has a terrible reputation as a teammate, yet we know what a great pitcher he can be. The key will be to manage the former while putting him in situations where he can succeed.
--In a long, tense media session, Girardi also dealt with questions about his reliever deployment in last night's game. I wasn't here, but looking over what happened, I have no problem with either lifting CC Sabathia after 104 pitches or putting Soriano in with a four-run lead (a non-save situation).
The question is, was Soriano bothered by entering the game in such a situation? He says no.
--Adam Dunn had an appendectomy, but the White Sox say he'll miss less than a week.
--The defense rested without presenting a single witness in the Barry Bonds case, as one of the government's five charges was dropped, and the jury will start deliberations tomorrow. The defense's inaction obviously reflects a confidence that the prosecutors failed to present a winning case.
--Tough day for the Cubs, who placed two starting pitchers - Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner - on the disabled list.
--Have a great night.
--UPDATE, 8:09 p.m.: Nice call, Cashman. Game postponed. The Yankees will skip over tonight's scheduled starter Freddy Garcia to keep everyone else in line, which means that Garcia probably won't start a game until the team plays Texas April 15-17.