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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Yankees ‘disappointed’ with elbow injury to Masahiro Tanaka

07.11.14 at 8:18 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Astros, 8:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Braves at Cubs, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Brewers, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
Softball: World Cup, United States vs. Japan, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
MLS: DC United at San Jose Earthquakes, 11 p.m. (NBCSN)
Cycling: Tour de France, 8 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

– Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka was diagnosed with a small ligament tear in his pitching elbow, but general manager Brian Cashman said Thursday the pitcher will not have Tommy John surgery — at least for now.

“All three doctors agree on the diagnosis and the rehab protocol,” Cashman told reporters in a conference call. “We are going to follow their recommendation, and none of them recommend surgery at this time. They’re all hopeful that in roughly maybe a six-week period that we will have a pitcher back if he responds positively.”

Added Cashman: “If he’s a failed rehab, certainly it does not rule out that Tommy John would be the recommendation. If the pain doesn’t subside or it comes back like he’s currently experiencing right now, continuing to reappear, then I think the rehab and recommendation factors would change.”

Manager Joe Girardi said he is keeping his “fingers crossed” that Tanaka returns this season to a rotation that saw CC Sabathia ruled out for the season only days earlier. Already, the team lost starters Ivan Nova for the season and Michael Pineda until at least August.

Tanaka has not been the same since allowing a game-deciding home run to Mike Napoli in the ninth inning of New York’s 2-1 loss to the Red Sox on June 28. Since then, he’s allowed 20 hits and 10 runs in 13 2/3 innings. After starting the season 11-1 with a 1.99 ERA, he’s 1-3 with a 4/25 ERA in his last four outings — the last two of which came on the standard four days’ rest after he was given an additional day off between nine of his first 14 starts.

“I think we managed him the best we could,” Girardi said. “We were careful. We did everything we could to give him extra rest and not have him throw too many pitches. And we’ll continue to do that because we know we’ve got to keep him healthy.”

Tanaka was signed to a seven-year, $155 million deal in January after being posted by his Japanese team, and he had rejuvenated the Yankees before his recent struggles.

“I’m certainly disappointed for our player,” Cashman said. “I’m disappointed for our organization. He’s an important piece.

“It’s a disappointing situation and one that none of us wanted to be talking about or experiencing. Unfortunately, the facts are the facts.”

– The trial in Los Angeles regarding the sale of the Clippers was postponed Thursday for two weeks, putting the closing date past the deadline to finish the $2 billion sale as set by buyer Steve Ballmer.

However, Ballmer’s attorney said there is a provision to extend the deadline assuming there is progress in court.

The delay was due to two of Donald Sterling‘s lawyers having plans for personal time — a vacation and a wedding anniversary. The next hearing is set for July 21 and closing arguments will be heard one week after that.

The NBA has said if a deal is not completed by Sept. 15, it can seize the team and put it up for auction.

Before the postponement, Shelly Sterling returned to the stand Thursday and said she shared information about prospective buyers with her estranged husband and he was supportive and enthusiastic. But when she finalized the Ballmer deal, Donald changed his attitude.

“He started screaming and cursing at me,” she said. “He said he’s not going to sell the team. He’s going to sue the league.”

– Retiring Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has baseball’s most popular jersey, according to sales in the first half of 2014, while two Red Sox players are in the top five. David Ortiz ranks fourth and Dustin Pedroia is fifth.

According to the list released by Major League Baseball, Giants catcher Buster Posey is second, followed by Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. After Ortiz and Pedroia, the rest of the top 10 consists of Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Mets third baseman David Wright, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera.

Injured Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka ranks 14th, just ahead of Cubs first baseman (and former Red Sox farmhand) Anthony Rizzo.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On July 11, 1960, which Red Sox pitcher started and lost the All-Star Game (the first of two played that year)?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Hopefully it’ll get us in a little bit of a rhythm, comfort level. A win like today is huge.” – Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, after Thursday’s 4-3 walkoff win over the White Sox in 10 innings

STAT OF THE DAY: 1-for-15 – Shooting totals for Celtics guard Phil Pressey in Thursday’s 76-67 victory over the Magic in the Orlando Summer League

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): During the eighth inning of Thursday’s game against the Yankees, Indians batter Roberto Perez hits a ball off the top of the fence in left field and it’s ruled a double but then deemed a home run after a review — Perez’s first career homer.

The Reds and Cubs clear the benches (but avoid throwing any punches) after Cincinnati closer Aroldis Chapman throws two 100 mph pitches near Nate Schierholtz‘s head — apparently not by design, as it was a 4-4 game in the ninth inning — and then stares down the angry players in the Chicago dugout.

In the latest ESPN SportsCenter promo, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper gets weepy watching “Field of Dreams.”

TRIVIA ANSWER: Bill Monbouquette, who allowed four runs in two innings in the American League‘s 5-3 loss

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Suzanne Vega was born on this day in 1959.

Read More: brian cashman, Donald Sterling, Joe Girardi, Masahiro Tanaka