05/12/10 11:00 PM ET
Yankees play two on Yogi's birthday
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
A three-time American League MVP and 10-time World Series champion, Berra was born on this date in 1925 in St. Louis, Mo. The legend still keeps close tabs on the Yankees, attending Spring Training as a celebrity instructor and checking in for many home games at Yankee Stadium.
"I called him this morning and said, just for him, we're going to fill his whole day," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He can watch at 1 o'clock and go to his dinner and then come back and watch us again. We did that just for him. He was laughing."
Girardi said that Berra, who resides in Montclair, N.J., has a late-afternoon dinner planned with his grandchildren, and that he sounded "excited about it." He had called ahead to make sure the restaurant would have TVs to watch the Yankees play.
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter takes joy in ribbing Berra whenever he gets the opportunity -- he especially likes to tell Berra that his five World Series rings were tougher to get than Berra's 10, because of the expanded playoff structure -- and said that it's always special when Berra shuffles through the clubhouse doors.
"It means a lot to everybody," Jeter said. "We're pretty spoiled in this organization, getting to talk to a lot of the old-time players and getting to know them. I'm a historian of our team, so it's something that not a lot of teams can say about the history of our organization."
"It's great. He's just fun to be around," added Andy Pettitte. "When you think of the Yankees, you think of all the names, and obviously Yogi is one of them that you idolize. This guy is larger than life almost. That's awesome. He's just got a great spirit about him and a great attitude. I love to see him come around."
As for birthday wishes, Jeter and Pettitte both smiled when informed it was Berra's 85th birthday.
"It's a big one. I'd just say, happy birthday, and I hope he's got a bunch more," Pettitte said.
"I'll have to think of something funny for him," Jeter said. "I'm sure I'll think of something by the time I see him."
That gives Jeter a little time to get ready, and Berra might come by the Stadium this weekend as the Yankees begin a new homestand.
"It's awesome having Yogi around," Girardi said. "I love it. It's a privilege and you understand that you're in the presence of one of the greatest players who ever played. He's one of the greatest Yankees of all-time."
Swisher exits with biceps tightness
DETROIT -- Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher exited Wednesday's 8-0 victory over the Tigers in the nightcap of a doubleheader with tightness in his left biceps, and he's day-to-day.
Swisher said that he felt the initial tightness a few weeks ago, but it went away. It reappeared during batting practice before Game 2 on Wednesday, and Swisher felt something when he swung in the seventh inning.
"I just felt a little tug," Swisher said. "I feel fine -- I'm moving around -- but I'll just come in here early and get some treatment and see how it feels. I'm not the type of guy that likes to come out of games."
Swisher said that he does not feel anything when throwing -- only when hitting. He has been applying heat therapy to the biceps and will see athletic assistant trainer Steve Donohue early Thursday.
"That's the greatest thing -- I think we've got the best training staff in the game right here," Swisher said. "These guys know what they're doing. I'm just going to listen to them."
One hurdle remains for Pettitte to clear
DETROIT -- If Andy Pettitte had gotten his way, he would have been starting at Comerica Park instead of firing a Wednesday morning bullpen session, proving that his inflamed left elbow was to be no concern for an upcoming assignment.
No matter -- with the Yankees opting for the cautious route regarding Pettitte, the veteran left-hander fired 32 pitches and reported no discomfort. He will throw a light downhill session on Thursday, the last hurdle he needs to clear before getting back on the mound on Saturday against the Twins in New York.
The only concern Pettitte has is that he might not be able to fully simulate the conditions that produced the tightness in his left elbow until actually pitching. He first felt the sensation during an April 30 start against the White Sox and had to leave a May 5 outing against the Orioles after five innings.
"I didn't feel anything in my work in between or in the downhill [session]," Pettitte said. "It's just been starting the games, for some reason, after I get cranked up. I guess it's the adrenaline of the game."
Pettitte said that he is able to proceed without worry because of the reassurance he received from an MRI taken at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on May 5.
"Again, my biggest concern was that it wasn't anything under my elbow in the ligament," Pettitte said. "Everything was on the outside. There's really not a whole lot back there that you can damage, I don't believe. The big concern is on the inside of the bone."
Aceves placed on DL; Golson recalled
DETROIT -- The Yankees placed right-hander Alfredo Aceves on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with lower back discomfort, recalling outfielder Greg Golson from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Golson, 24, appeared in the May 4 game against the Orioles as a defensive replacement but did not bat. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the Golson move was made with Wednesday's day-night doubleheader in mind.
"We've been short outfielders, and we felt we were covered pitching-wise," Girardi said. "With this doubleheader, we want to make sure all of our bases are covered position-wise."
Kevin Russo remained on the roster for that reason, because he is capable of playing several positions as well as the outfield. The Yankees also have a mystery pitcher -- likely right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo -- waiting in the Detroit area just in case their bullpen gets taxed in the first game of the twinbill.
Aceves had said that he was looking forward to having further tests on his lower back, which he felt grab at him while pitching a bullpen session on Tuesday. He has been hampered by repeated soreness and Girardi said there is no timetable for his return.
"Backs are tricky," Girardi said. "You never know. It could be a week, it could be a couple of days, it could be two weeks. You just don't know."
Yanks sign Redding to Minors deal
DETROIT -- The Yankees have signed veteran right-hander Tim Redding to a Minor League contract and will assign him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after he reports to the club's complex in Tampa, Fla.
Redding, 32, was released by the Rockies after pitching this season at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Redding signed with Colorado as a non-roster player but struggled with the light workload of a reliever. He was 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA in 25 innings, with 21 strikeouts and five walks.
Redding has pitched parts of eight Major League seasons with the Astros, Padres, Yankees, Nationals and Mets. He has a 4.95 ERA and a record of 37-57 in 179 big league games (144 starts).
He made just one start for the Yankees -- on July 15, 2005 -- allowing six runs in one inning of a 17-1 loss to the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Right-hander Chan Ho Park is scheduled to pitch in extended spring games on Wednesday and Friday in Tampa, Fla., and could be activated shortly after. ... The Yankees have still not decided on a starting pitcher for Sunday against the Twins. ... Andy Pettitte came out fine from his bullpen session on Wednesday and will pitch a downhill side session on Thursday, the last hurdle he needs to clear before his start Saturday.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.