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J.A. Happ

 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter | : By the time the clubhouse opened to the media, some 20 minutes after the Yankees finished off a kick-em-while-they're-down sweep of the Red Sox, the place looked and smelled like the aftermath of a Fourth of July fireworks show.

Turns out it was the aftermath of a dance party instead, complete with a fog machine and strobe lights, which apparently has become the Yankees' standard post-win celebration in this young season.

Only extra-heavy on the fog for this one.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, J.A. Happ, John Harper
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Yankees beat Boston, 5-3 00:00:34
Brett Gardner talks about the big feeling from his big grand slam, and Aaron Boone talks about J.A. Happ as the Yankees beat Boston, 5-3.

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees rallied in the seventh inning to beat the Red Sox, 5-3, at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score

Six takeaways from Tuesday's game…

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, J.A. Happ, Chris Carelli
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Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Fans wait in line to enter Yankee Stadium at gate 6 before a game between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles on opening day. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports  (Brad Penner)
Mar 28, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Fans wait in line to enter Yankee Stadium at gate 6 before a game between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles on opening day. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The first installment of The Rivalry in 2019 wraps up this evening at Yankee Stadium, where the Red Sox and Yankees will play the back-end of their quick two-game set.

As it is, you'd normally be thinking of taking an over when this pair of rivals get together, as they boast two of the best offenses in all of baseball. That feeling is turned up when two struggling starting pitchers are set to do the bidding on the mound.

Tags: J.A. Happ
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Apr 12, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 12, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Ever since he broke in with the Phillies a decade ago, J.A. Happ has relied on rhythm and precision to carve up hitters. During his best seasons, Happ's results have outpaced the quality of his actual repertoire.

In order to achieve this, Happ relies on the subtleties of confidence and controlled aggression. When he's on, he works quickly, pounds the edges of the strike zone, and tricks himself into being unafraid that the ball might drift out over the middle of the strike zone and end up crushed over an outfield wall. He's one of those players who's good because he believes he's good.

So far this season, Happ has not been able to find that mindset. He is overthinking between pitches, and finding the ideal pace elusive. He is tentative and cerebral -- two qualities that undermine him when they emerge too strongly.

Tags: J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Andy Martino
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New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches the game from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. (Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone watches the game from the dugout against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park. (Erik Williams/USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Maybe the pomp of the first series with the Red Sox this season is just the tonic the lackluster Yankees need in what's been a blah start to their season. 

Nothing like a visit from a bitter rival to jolt a club. And make no mistake: The Yankees need a jolt. Badly. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Apr 12, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Apr 12, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees lost to the White Sox, 9-6, in a rain-shortened affair at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks have lost four straight. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Friday's game…

1 ) What's happening (get it?) to J.A. Happ is clearly not what the Yankees were expecting when they signed the 36-year-old to a two-year deal (with a vesting option). Happ was handed a 4-1 lead, yet he allowed base runners in each inning and yet another home run. Happ's line - 4 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 2 BB and 5 K was horrendous as is his 6.19 ERA for the season. Happ is simply leaving too many pitchers over the heart of the plate and hitters are not missing them.

Tags: Chicago White Sox, Greg Bird, J.A. Happ, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

The injury-riddled Yankees return home to begin a nine-game home stand Friday night when they host the White Sox at 7:05 p.m.

Yankees Notes

Gary Sanchez officially went on the injured list with a left calf strain after Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Jay Bell revealed Thursday night that catcher Kyle Higashioka was going to New York. Austin Romine starts behind the plate. ... J.A. Happ tries to stop the bleeding for the Yanks, who were swept in Houston. ... DJ LeMahieu shifts back to second base with Gio Urshela at third and Tyler Wade on the bench.

Tags: Chicago White Sox, Gary Sanchez, J.A. Happ, Kyle Higashioka
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New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees RHP Domingo German threw six strong innings, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning in Sunday's 15-3 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards.

"The key today was to mix my pitches and be unpredictable out there, try to use my changeup in a way that they weren't expecting it," German said, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "That's something I worked on in between starts. It worked out very well for me today."

Tags: Austin Romine, CC Sabathia, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Baltimore Orioles
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Apr 6, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a two run home run during the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Apr 6, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a two run home run during the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees beat the Orioles, 6-4, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Saturday night. >> Box score

Five things to know about Saturday's game..

1) Trying to make up for a poor first start of the season, J.A. Happ hurled just 4.1 innings of two-run ball. Happ allowed five hits, walked two and struck out five. He got stronger as the game moved along, only having trouble with Trey Mancini (homer and a double) along the way. Unfortunately, that was enough for Yankees manager Aaron Boone to remove the left-hander when Mancini stepped to the plate for the third time in the fifth inning. Happ is being relied on to log innings and he has failed to do so thus far this season...

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Gary Sanchez, J.A. Happ, Jonathan Holder, Chris Carelli
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Apr 4, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) is greeted by base coach Phil Nevin (88) while rounding the bases after hitting solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)
Apr 4, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) is greeted by base coach Phil Nevin (88) while rounding the bases after hitting solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports (Mitch Stringer)

The Yankees look to beat the Orioles again on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

Yankees Game Notes

Though James Paxton got off to a bad start, the Yankees offense picked up the slack. Gleyber Torres became the youngest player in Yankees history to go 4-for-4 or better since Derek Jeter, and was the fourth-youngest player to have four hits and four RBI in a game since 1920. He went 4-for-4 with two homers. ...Gary Sanchez also went deep on Thursday, moving his home runs to three on the early season. ...Luke Voit broke out of a slump with a three-run homer to extend the Yankees' lead to eight as well. 

Tags: J.A. Happ, Baltimore Orioles
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Mar 31, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper (3) reacts as he crosses home plate in front of Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) after hitting a home run during the seventh inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)
Mar 31, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper (3) reacts as he crosses home plate in front of Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) after hitting a home run during the seventh inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports (Bill Streicher)

Having played the rebuilding Orioles and Tigers to start the season, the Yankees might have believed to be much better than 3-4 at the moment. Injuries are part of the issue (some of which should have been expected), but performance has not lived up to expectations in some cases.

There are 155 games left in the season, but it's difficult to avoid wondering if the current feeling about the club would be different had they made some different decisions this offseason, including...

A stronger pursuit of Patrick Corbin

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Miguel Andujar, Chris Carelli
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Mar 30, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher Jesus Sucre (40) avoids a tag by New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) to advance to third base on a fly ball during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Mar 30, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Baltimore Orioles catcher Jesus Sucre (40) avoids a tag by New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) to advance to third base on a fly ball during the sixth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees left the season-opening series with the Orioles on the wrong side of the standings, losing two of three games to Baltimore.

After a resounding and expected Opening Day thumping of the Orioles, the Yankees wasted a fine starting pitcher effort Saturday and roundly failed to produce with runners in scoring position. Sunday's effort was an all-around disappointment from all facets.

As the Yankees are set to begin a three-game series with the Tigers on Monday, let's take a look at three players trending up and three players/areas trending down.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Chad Green, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Masahiro Tanaka, Chris Carelli
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Yanks fail to solve O's again 00:01:36
After a lengthy rain delay, the Yankees discuss their struggles with men in scoring position as they lost to the Orioles again, 7-5

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

After a three-hour and 17 minute rain delay, the Yankees lost to the Orioles, 7-5, at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. >> Box score

Things to know about Sunday's game

1) J.A. Happ's first appearance of the season got off to a rough start, allowing a three-run home run in the first inning. It didn't get too much better, as Happ lasted just four innings to the tune of four runs, five hits (two homers), one walk and three strikeouts.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, Luis Cessa, Baltimore Orioles, Stephen Tarpley, Chris Carelli
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Mar 30, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) hits a single during the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Mar 30, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) hits a single during the eighth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

It will be J.A. Happ making his season debut, as the Yankees try to win their series over the Orioles on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. in the Bronx.

Yankees notes

The Yankees had a rough day with runners in scoring position in their 5-3 loss to the O's yesterday. There were 11 runners left on base, and the Yanks only went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position. ...Troy Tulowitzki hit his first homer -- a solo shot that almost sparked a Yankees rally in the bottom of the ninth -- since July 2017. ...Miguel Andujar had a tough day at the plate, especially when he rolled into a double play to end a bases-loaded inning. ...Despite taking the loss, James Paxton had a solid Yankees debut. He went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits while collecting five strikeouts and one walk. 

Tags: J.A. Happ, Baltimore Orioles
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Chris Carelli, SNY.TV  Twitter | About Me | Archives

While the Yankees did not splurge on stars Manny Machado or Bryce Harper as many expected, the club completed a big trade and spread out its wealth for roster additions in free agency in an effort to supplement its incredibly talented young core.

Let's take a look at the 2019 Yankees, a team that sports an Opening Day payroll of approximately $204 million, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts ($226 million-plus for competitive balance tax purposes), as they embark on their yearly quest for a World Series title.

Pitching Staff

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Stephen Tarpley, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees displayed their power for the second straight day, bursting for 17 runs in a 17-7 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Saturday's game...

1) Aaron Judge is absolutely locked in at the plate. The Yankees' slugger crushed his sixth home run of the spring -- which leads the majors in Spring Training - and did it while the Blue Jays aligned their outfield with four outfielders. He finished 1-for-2. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, J.A. Happ, Toronto Blue Jays
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New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird doubles during the third inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird doubles during the third inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

One half of the Yankees' split squad (7-6) host the Pirates (7-8) on Sunday at Steinbrenner Field at 1:05 p.m. 

Yankees Notes...

Greg Bird gets the start at first base as the battle with Luke Voit continues. ... Troy Tulowitzki gets the start at shortstop. ... J.A. Happ is on the mound. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, J.A. Happ, Danny Abriano
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Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

The Yankees have their Opening Day starter. 

Masahiro Tanaka will get the call to take the mound on March 27 when the Yankees open the season against the Baltimore Orioles, manager Aaron Boone announced on Saturday. 

It will be the fourth career Opening Day start for the 30-year-old. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees have decided who their Opening Day starter will be, a process they had to go through again with the news that Luis Severino was shut down for two weeks with rotator cuff inflammation. 

And though Aaron Boone wasn't ready Friday to publicly reveal who will take the hill on March 28 against Baltimore in the Bronx, the signs point to Masahiro Tanaka drawing the assignment.

Tanaka, who gave up two runs in 3.1 innings Friday against Detroit, is lined up to pitch that day and he has previous experience starting on Opening Day, having done so three straight seasons from 2015-17. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone looks on against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone looks on against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he could envision his team using openers on some circumstances, especially considering two starting pitchers are dealing with injuries.

With Luis Severino being shut down for two weeks due to rotator cuff inflammation and CC Sabathia expected to start the season on the injured list, Boone said on Wednesday he wouldn't rule out the use of openers -- using relief pitchers to pitch the first inning or two of a game in an assurance to face the opponents' 1-3 hitters -- in 2019.

"I could see it being something we consider from time to time," Boone said, according to ESPN's Coley Harvey. "I don't see it a lot, but yeah, I could see it coming into play on certain occasions."

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Stephen Tarpley, Matt Eisenberg
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Is Gio a good fit for Yankees? 00:00:41
Andy Martino argues that Gio Gonzalez is not the right pitcher the Yankees need to replace CC Sabathia or Luis Severino to start the season.

On a day when Brian Cashman addressed the Yankees' first mini-crisis of the year, I thought it was revealing that he left the door open to acquiring another pitcher, even as he made a point of expressing confidence in his depth.

"I can't rule anything out," he told reporters in Tampa, "but the main focus is what we've got."

That could just be his way of saying he'll only jump in on Dallas Keuchel or Gio Gonzalez, the two most attractive unsigned free-agent pitchers, if their price falls to a bargain level...

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Feb 25, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 25, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

James Paxton probably proved last April there's at least some innate grace-under-pressure coursing through his veins. That's when he deftly handled that bald eagle landing on his back during a pre-game ceremony in Minnesota.

Some of us would've had a full freak-out, complete with running, screaming and a mitt and cap flopping to the ground. But Paxton was better than that. Way better. You've seen the viral video. Big Maple has Big Calm.

Does that mean he's a lock to handle the Bronx fishbowl this season, his first as a member of the Yankees? No, but that, plus his undeniable talent, at least makes you want to see him work during the pomp of Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, the kickoff to this season laden with outsized expectations.

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Justus Sheffield, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

On Oct. 8, 2018, during the terrible span of 10 minutes or so between a playoff loss and a grilling from reporters, Brian Cashman offered Aaron Boone an out.

"You can tell them about Britton," said the GM, whose typical approach is to preemptively reveal stories that are likely to leak anyway.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Andy Martino
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