6/22/2014 2:58 P.M. ET
Yankees celebrate 68th Old-Timers' Day
By Jamal Collier and Jake Kring-Schreifels / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- After taking batting practice, Johnny Damon joked that he officially knew why he was considered an Old-Timer.
Damon and Hideki Matsui, both important contributors on the 2009 World Series champion Yankees, were both first-time participants at the 68th Annual Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. They were joined by Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson, and Joe Torre, who will be inducted in July.
"It means a lot to me, I was very fortunate and blessed that we were able to win a championship here, and because of that, I can show my face here as much as I'd like," Damon said with a laugh.
Damon just missed a home run to right field in the Old-Timers' game, a spot so familiar to him, when he pulled a line drive off the wall. It was Jesse Barfield who collected the only homer of the day, smashing a line drive down the left-field line.
Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia and manager Joe Girardi laughed this week when asked about some of their former teammates from not too long ago coming back as Old-Timers.
"They're both plenty younger than me, too," Girardi said. "For all of us, there's a time when retirement is part of it and we become Old-Timers."
The Yankees are the only team in the Majors that still hosts an Old-Timers' Day. Girardi said he believes the team's lengthy history has a lot to do with why it still works. Girardi said he would take advantage of the day and he did, spending some time on the field while the legends took batting practice.
Getting a chance to share old stories is one of the unique parts of the day that still makes it special after so many years.
"This is what you miss when you leave the game, is being able to see the people you played alongside of," Torre said. "Unfortunately, when you get to my age, a lot of Old-Timers are guys you managed. That's the scary part about it.
"But it's just great sharing war stories."
Gossage receives Monument Park plaque
NEW YORK -- As the Yankees celebrated Old-Timers' Day on Sunday, they took a moment to honor the career of Hall of Fame closer Rich "Goose" Gossage. The Yankees unveiled a plaque dedicated to Gossage to be installed in Monument Park.
Gossage played parts of seven seasons for the Yankees (1978-83, '89) -- winning the World Series in 1978 -- and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008, but he called his moment on Sunday at Yankee Stadium "the greatest day I ever had."
He remembered sitting in the bullpen during his playing days and looking out at the monuments, never thinking he would one day be honored to receive his own plaque.
"I don't even really know what to say," Gossage said during his speech to the crowd, which serenaded him with "Gooooose" cheers. "It's totally overwhelming to me is the only word I can come up with."
Gossage was a nine-time All-Star during his career and complied a 42-28 record and a 2.14 ERA with 151 saves and 512 strikeouts during 319 games with the Yankees. The Yankees also presented him with a ring -- his number 54 coated in diamonds on the center, his name "Gossage" down one side and his career highlights down the other.
Gossage's ceremony came one day after the Yankees dedicated a plaque to Tino Martinez.
When Gossage heard his ceremony would come during Old-Timers' Day in front of some of his former teammates and legendary Yankees from so many different eras, he said he was fortunate to be sitting down when he heard the news.
"I never ever put myself in that kind of company," Gossage said.
Pineda has setback, will wait a week to throw
NEW YORK -- The Yankees have been pretty vague when it comes to a timetable for injured starter Michael Pineda.
But his return, scheduled for some time in August, may be pushed back a little longer after an MRI showed some trace amounts of inflammation behind his right shoulder on Saturday. He was scheduled to throw Saturday, but will now wait another week to be safe.
"We're pretty confident that he'll start throwing [this coming] Saturday," said manager Joe Girardi, who indicated that Pineda will not need another MRI.
"Our doctor felt that it would not be necessary because it was fairly minor -- the amount of inflammation, compared to what it was -- and that a week would be plenty sufficient."
Pineda was scratched from a June 1 intrasquad outing when he felt soreness behind his right shoulder, a setback forcing him to essentially start from scratch.
He sustained the initial injury while throwing a simulated game in Tampa, Fla., in April, attempting to stay sharp while serving a 10-game suspension levied after he was ejected from a game at Fenway Park for having pine tar on his neck.
The righty hasn't pitched in a game since April 23 against Boston.
Tex exits after being hit in foot; X-rays negative
NEW YORK -- Fortunately for the Yankees, X-rays came back negative on the left foot of first baseman Mark Teixeira, who was removed in the eighth inning of Sunday's 8-0 loss to the Orioles after being hit by a pitch.
His toes are sore, but Teixeira said he expects to be in the lineup on Monday in Toronto.
After being hit, Teixeira slammed his helmet to the ground while walking back to the dugout as he thought back to a similar situation in 2010, when he was hit by A's right-hander Vin Mazzaro and broke his pinkie toe.
"I've done it before and it's not fun," Teixeira said. "I thought it was broken again, so I took it out on my helmet."
The 34-year-old Teixeira avoided what could have been another addition in a list of frustrating injuries. Surgery on his right wrist limited him to just 15 games last season and has bothered him enough at times this year to keep him out of the lineup. Last weekend in Oakland, he was held out of a game with tightness in his left rib cage.
When Teixeira has been in the lineup, he has been one of the team's most consistent contributors, leading the Yankees in both home runs (12) and RBIs (35). He had a 10-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday.
"Just breathing a sigh of relief right now," Teixeira said.
Girardi said before Sunday's contest that with a stretch of 17 straight games leading up to the All-Star break after Thursday's off-day, he won't skip starter Vidal Nuno in the rotation.