The Yankees plan a tribute to George Steinbrenner when the team returns home for the first time since the owner’s death.
The team said Thursday there will be pregame tributes to Steinbrenner and longtime public address announcer Bob Sheppard before New York plays Tampa Bay at Yankee Stadium tonight. The ceremony will include a video tribute to Steinbrenner and a moment of silence in honor of both.
Wreaths will be placed in front of Steinbrenner’s statue outside the stadium and at Sheppard’s plaque in Monument Park.
The Boston Red Sox held a moment of silence at Fenway Park for Steinbrenner and Sheppard before Thursday night’s game against Texas.
More ceremonies will take place in New York at Old-Timers Day on Saturday, when there will be a video tribute to Sheppard and a special performance during the seventh-inning stretch.
Bob Sheppard considered himself a speech teacher more than a public address announcer, enlightening students about the importance of diction and elocution.
So imagine the pressure of speaking at his funeral.
“It was the most nervous I’ve ever been,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, a man who has worked for George Steinbrenner and watched his teams play in the World Series.
At his beloved St. Christopher’s Church on Long Island, Sheppard was remembered for his “distinguished and dignified voice,” as Giants owner John Mara put it. Sheppard, who introduced players at Yankee Stadium for more than half a century, died Sunday at 99.
Cards extend Mozeliak
The St. Louis Cardinals finalized a three-year extension for general manager John Mozeliak just ahead of the trade deadline.
Team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said the team has payroll leeway to make deals, but noted the team’s minor league system is depleted from trades and call-ups in recent seasons. The Cardinals exited the All-Star break one game behind the Cincinnati Reds in the N.L. Central, but have six players on the 15-day disabled list.
Giants sign Willis
The San Francisco Giants have signed former 20-game winner Dontrelle Willis to a minor league contract.
The team announced the deal with the Bay Area native. Willis had been designated for assignment by Arizona earlier this month. In six games with Arizona, Willis was 1-1 with a 6.85 ERA and 27 walks in 22 1/3 innings.
Clearing the bases
The Los Angeles Dodgers have activated Manny Ramirez from the 15-day disabled list and had him batting cleanup against the St. Louis Cardinals. Ramirez missed 11 games with a strained right hamstring. … Rookie right fielder Jason Heyward was activated from the 15-day disabled list and was placed in the Braves’ starting lineup against the Milwaukee Brewers. … The Minnesota Twins have placed All-Star first baseman Justin Morneau on the 15-day disabled list with a concussion. He is eligible to return July 23.