Don’t feel badly for Giancarlo Stanton. He may have been the only Yankee without a hit but on the field he has had good at bats and actually just missed hitting a tremendous homer that just went foul into the upper deck in left field. In the clubhouse, he stood in front of the press and handled some good and not so good questions. One of the questions that impressed me came from a writer from the New York Times. He asked Giancarlo if he felt badly for the Florida Marlon players. Stanton responded by saying, “Hey those guys are playing on a major league team and they are living the dream.” I thought that this was a terrific answer. Too many players forget this. Giancarlo also told reporters that the work ethic of Aaron Judge doesn’t surprise him and he was very positive about his other teammates. In talking to Don Mattingly, he says that Stanton is the type of player that will, at different times of the season, carry a team all by himself.
Another guy that has mentally worked hard to try to get his game going is Dellin Betances. Dellin has worked very hard in the bullpen with Larry Rothchild and he looked very impressive against the Marlins. This is a guy that, as we all know, has top closer stuff.
Reggie Jackson is recuperating in Tampa after extensive knee surgery during spring training. The Tampa medical staff has done a wonderful job at getting Reggie back on his feet. You would think that they were getting Mr. October ready for the season as if he was still playing. Reggie has spent his down time talking baseball with Yankee Co-Chairman Hank Steinbrenner.
Today I visited a house at 9 Meadow Lane in New Rochelle, New York. This was the home of the great Lou Gehrig, he had purchased the house in 1927 and kept it until his death in 1941. The house is pretty much the same way as Gehrig had kept it. I met the neighbor next door, who had just moved in from Mexico. He asked me the importance of the house and I explained who Lou Gehrig was and that he had lived there. He looked over at the house and made the Sign of the Cross. I could almost feel the spirit of the Yankee Iron Horse.
Finally, a special thank you to Music Icon, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Yankee fan, Frankie Valli. Frankie was performing at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut this past weekend. In order to help The Cristian Rivera Foundation, he entertained a small group that donated funds to the foundation. The Foundation has been fighting for a cure for Pontine Giloma, an inoperable brain tumor located in the stem of the brain, ever since losing little Cristian. Frankie Valli and Maynard Strickland, from the Mohegan Sun Casino, should be commended because they understand what the parents of kids suffering from all forms of pediatric cancer must be going through. Frankie delayed an early exit from the arena after his show in order to be with his friends and supporters of this great cause.
Ray can be heard weekends on the #1 show on ESPN Deportes the World of The Big Leagues. His also writes a weekly column for NY Sports Day, Newsmax and Baseball America.