BALTIMORE - Chris Young wasn't making excuses and, in reality, was only stating the obvious about Citi Field, his home much of the season.
"You don't like to talk about the ballparks too much, but yeah, it makes a difference," Young said after going 1-for-4 with a double and stealing home for what proved to be the winning run in Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Orioles. "There's definitely balls that you hit, that I've hit this season, that have gotten to the warning track or to the wall at Citi Field that would be homers in other yards."
Young, 31, had a .205/.283/ .346 slash line with eight homers and 28 RBIs in 88 games before being released by the Mets Aug. 15.
Signed by the Yankees Aug. 27, he has been reborn since joining the big-league club Sept. 2. He is 10-for-24 with three homers, four doubles and eight RBIs in his last six games.
To be clear, Young didn't place the blame for his poor performance as a Met at the doors of Citi Field. "There's definitely pros and cons. It's not all just negatives. There's a lot of positives as well," he said. "Big outfields, when you're playing defense, you have room to run. You have free range to go out to make plays. And pitching staffs love it."
Hitters, though, not so much.
"You hear guys talk about it, you feel like you have to get a little bit more [to hit home runs], but at the same time, your approach probably shouldn't be to try and hit the ball out of the ballpark," Young said. "The approach should be gap-to-gap if you're a gap-to-gap guy, or at least have that mentality."
But as Young gushed about his time with the Yankees -- "I'm having a blast, I'm enjoying every minute of it," he said -- it's clear the next game he plays at Citi Field will be too soon.
"I'm not saying Citi is the biggest field in baseball, either, but there were balls at Citi Field this year, myself and other players, including players from other teams as well, balls that would leave a lot of yards and they don't leave Citi," he said. "It's still a fair playing field because both teams have to play on it, so I don't think it's an advantage or disadvantage. But on a personal note, yeah, I think it makes a difference."
Joe Girardi contacted Joe Torre, whose older brother Frank -- also a former major-league player -- passed away Saturday at the age of 82.
"Obviously, I was there when Frank needed the heart transplant [in 1996], I was in Cleveland that day when they found out," Girardi said. "I worked with Frank with BAT [Baseball Assistance Team], and he's a wonderful man. My heart goes out to the Torre family."
Girardi said Francisco Cervelli, who has missed the last 12 games with migraine headaches, could return soon. "He is getting closer, yes," Girardi said. "He has been doing a lot of things, catching in the bullpen, and reported no issues."