NEW YORK -- Joba Chamberlain said that he felt some excitement walking back into Yankee Stadium on Friday. Of course, considering the reliever's situation, there's part of him that is happy just to be walking.
Chamberlain had the large cast removed from his right ankle last week and is in a more mobile walking boot, just five weeks after he suffered an open dislocation of his right ankle while playing on a trampoline with his son, Karter.
"I had butterflies walking in," Chamberlain said. "It's been a while since I've been here, being able to play catch and doing those things. It was pretty exciting."
Chamberlain is also continuing to rehab from Tommy John surgery and said that he wasn't set back much by the March 22 injury in Tampa, Fla. Before the ankle injury, the Yankees were expecting Chamberlain to rejoin their bullpen in June.
"[My arm] feels great," Chamberlain said. "It feels like nothing happened, which is good. You just continue to keep that strong, keep that healthy. That's going to take some worry off my mind, as far as getting my ankle ready."
The Yankees are proceeding conservatively with Chamberlain and are not counting on him to return to a big league mound in 2012, though Chamberlain said that he believes he will be able to pitch this year.
"It's going to take a lot of things to stop me from doing that," Chamberlain said. "You've got to be patient and understand that it's a process."
Girardi shows off athleticism following ejection
NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi showed off some athleticism in hurdling the railing in front of the Yankees' dugout, and then he got his money's worth with home-plate umpire Joe West.
West ejected Girardi for barking about balls and strikes in the seventh inning of the Yankees' 7-6 victory over the Tigers on Friday, with the tipping point appearing to be a called third strike on catcher Russell Martin.
"I wasn't real pleased with the zone," Girardi said, repeating for effect, "I wasn't real pleased with the zone."
West appeared to laugh or chuckle at Girardi after the skipper dashed out of the dugout, which incensed the fifth-year Yankees manager even more. Girardi chose his words carefully in a postgame news conference.
"I didn't care for the way it went," Girardi said. "These games are very serious to us. Every game is very serious to us. That's how I approach it. We've seen too many times where one game has cost a team a playoff spot. You never take anything for granted."
Right-hander Ivan Nova also spoke about issues with West's strike zone.
"He wasn't right all the time," Nova said. "Sometimes you throw a pitch that you think is a strike, like the ones that I threw low. For me, it was a strike. He didn't give it to me, so I tried to throw it higher. That's when I got in trouble."
The ejection was the 18th of Girardi's career, and his 13th as the Yankees' manager. It was also the Bombers' first ejection of the season.
Jeter sees 15-game hitting streak snapped
NEW YORK -- Although he went 0-for-4 and saw his 15-game hitting streak come to an end, Derek Jeter played a pivitol role in the Yankees' 7-6 win over the Tigers on Friday night.
After walking with one out in the ninth, he took second on Curtis Granderson's free pass and advanced to third on Brayan Villarreal's wild pitch. With Alex Rodriguez at the plate, Jeter scampered home with the game-winning run on Alex Avila's passed ball.
"As much as I'd like to say that was great baserunning tonight, basically all I had to do is run," Jeter said. "But that's how you win games sometimes; being aggressive. We caught a break."
Prior to the game, the Yankees captain wasn't thinking about his hitting accomplishments.
"You have good swings, you get hits sometimes, sometimes you don't," Jeter said. "That's the extent of it. I don't like to think about it, therefore I don't like to talk about it. If you talk about it, you think about it."
Jeter entered play on Friday having batted .456 (31-for-68) with four homers and 13 RBIs over the 15-game stretch since April 9, tied for the longest hitting streak in the American League this year.
The shortstop also leads the Major Leagues with 34 hits, and he boils down his success to simply staying back on the ball more -- something he struggled to do in 2010 and for the early part of '11 before his calf injury.
"You're pleased, but I don't think I'm any different today than I was a month ago," Jeter said. "I'm still the same regardless. Obviously you're pleased with the results, but I don't do back flips when I get a hit, you know what I mean? I try to have the same approach every day."
Yankees mourn Skowron's passing
NEW YORK --- Bill "Moose" Skowron played a key role on some of the most entertaining clubs in Yankees history, sharing a clubhouse with the likes of Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and Whitey Ford.
As such, he had tales to tell, and Skowron wasn't shy about sharing his stories from those glory years. Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who grew up rooting for later generations of Bombers, was always interested in listening.
"He's told me stories before. I've heard a lot of stories from Moose," Jeter said. "But he really was one guy you looked forward to seeing at Old-Timers' Day. I'm going to miss him."
Skowron passed away on Friday at the age of 81 in Arlington Heights, Ill. He played 14 seasons with the Yankees beginning in 1954 before also playing with the Dodgers, Senators, White Sox and Angels.
"I got to know Moose really well," Jeter said. "It's too bad. Moose is one of the guys you always look forward to seeing, whether it was here, Old-Timers' Day or in Chicago. He used to always come out when we played in Chicago. I enjoyed getting to know him throughout the years."
Skowron had worked for the White Sox as a community ambassador since 1999. The Yankees planned to observe a moment of silence in Skowron's memory before Friday's game against the Tigers.
"He was great to be around," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "[He was] very energetic, went to some of the fantasy camps we put on and we'd see him every year we went to Chicago. He had a real zest for life. He loved the game, loved to talk about the game. He was really fun to be around."
Pettitte to make next start Monday in Maine
NEW YORK -- The next step of Andy Pettitte's comeback effort will come on Monday, when he takes the mound again for the Double-A Trenton Thunder.
The 39-year-old left-hander is scheduled to throw 90 to 95 pitches in the start against the Portland Sea Dogs, an affiliate of the Red Sox. That contest is set to begin at 6 p.m. ET at Hadlock Field in Portland, Maine.
Pettitte is coming off a start on Wednesday for Trenton in which he fired 59 of 81 pitches for strikes against the Erie Sea Wolves in Trenton, N.J., suffering the loss in a 10-4 defeat. Pettitte allowed four runs (three earned) and seven hits over five-plus innings, striking out three and walking one.
"His plans are, he feels good, he's going to pitch Monday again [for] Trenton and we'll go from there," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who spoke to Pettitte on Thursday.
Pettitte is estimated to be on target for a mid-May return to the Major League rotation.
With a first-inning double Friday night, Curtis Granderson has reached base safely in each of his last 18 games after going hitless on Opening Day.
Brett Gardner (right elbow strain) bunted on Friday and was scheduled to be seen by the team doctor for a checkup before the game against the Tigers. On the disabled list retroactive to April 18, the Yankees are optimistic that Gardner will rejoin the club in the minimum 15 days.
Longtime baseball executive Arthur Richman, who served the Yankees as a media relations executive, will be posthumously inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum on Sunday in Commack, N.Y., at its 20th annual induction ceremony.
Boone Logan entered Friday's game having made nine consecutive scoreless appearances totaling 7 2/3 innings and has stranded all three of his inherited runners this season.
On this date in 1947, Babe Ruth Day was celebrated at Yankee Stadium and throughout the Major Leagues. Dressed in a top coat and hat, Ruth thanked the fans in an on-field ceremony at Yankee Stadium, which would be his second-to-last appearance at the ballpark. Throat cancer would claim the Bambino's life less than four months later.