Archive for Sunday, July 16, 2000

Marlins-Yankees, Old Timers Day events washed out

July 16, 2000

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— There's a better chance Don Mattingly will play at Yankee Stadium later this year than the Florida Marlins.

The New York Yankees were supposed to play the Marlins on Saturday, but steady rain led to the postponement of the game and Old Timers Day festivities.

Interleague play led to quirky scheduling that had series ending Saturday and new ones starting Sunday. And the Yankees have only two off-days left this season, so making up the game will be hard.

But New York hopes to reschedule its annual Old Timers Day, which was highly anticipated for the first-time participation of Mattingly, who retired five years ago.

The only common off day for Florida and New York is Aug. 31, but the Yankees play at Seattle the night before. The most likely scenario is for the game to be made up at the end of the season if it has postseason implications.

The rain is expected to delay the Yankees debut of left-hander Denny Neagle, acquired last Thursday from the Cincinnati Reds.

Neagle's first Yankees start was supposed to be Monday night against Philadelphia, but it appears he will pitch on Tuesday. Andy Pettitte (9-5) is expected to start Sunday's game against Philadelphia with David Cone working Monday. Cone, who has not won in 11 starts since April 28, has not pitched since July 4.

The Marlins, who traveled to Baltimore to open a series against the Orioles on Sunday, did not announce their pitching plans. Right-hander Chuck Smith was Saturday's scheduled starter.

A week or so after Yankees GM Brian Cashman informed Reds general manager Jim Bowden of his interest in Neagle, a 31-year-old left-hander, a proposal came back.

Cashman and Bowden had two days of serious negotiations during the All-Star break which led to the deal that sent Neagle and outfielder Mike Frank to the Yankees for left-hander Ed Yarnall, right-hander Brian Reith, infielder Drew Henson and outfielder Jackson Melian.

"Once I got the proposal, I knew fairly quickly that there's a chance this could happen," Cashman said. "I did not want to be the one to hesitate. This is not a good place for that."

Neagle, a 20-game winner with Atlanta in 1997, was 8-2 with a 3.52 ERA in 18 starts this season. His arrival pushed Dwight Gooden to the bullpen and solidified a rotation that has dealt with injuries this season to Roger Clemens and Orlando Hernandez and Cone's ineffectiveness.

Henson is what Cashman and Bowden called "the wild card" in the trade. Henson, a junior at the University of Michigan, will be the school's starting quarterback and has not decided if his pro career will be as a baseball or football player.

That indecision took Henson from untouchable status with the Yankees to trade bait.

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