Heat and humidity were the big talk entering the weekend series with the A's and they remained a pretty dominant topic of conversation right through the end of Sunday's 7-5 win.
Both teams and all the fans spent a lot of time figuring out ways to stay cool over the last three days with some people finding better results than others. Trevor Cahill and Phil Hughes didn't deal with it all that well in Friday's 17-7 Yankees win, but Hideki Matsui seemed thrilled to be playing in tropical conditions whether or not the A's won.
Here's the full list of things we learned this weekend:
1. The trade deadline may pass with little more than a whimper for the Yankees. It is rare that any baseball shopping season goes by without the Yankees playing a major role, but there just hasn't been anything developing that makes it look like the Yanks will make more than a minor tweak to the roster.
Surprises can happen and there's always a chance they get someone who slips through waivers in August, but, for now, the Yankees look like observers. Whether that works out for them will have a lot to do with whether their current starters can give them solid outings more often than not.
2. We learned this weekend that it is hard to predict whether those solid outings are coming. Hughes was awful on Friday night, giving back a big chunk of the 14-2 lead he was staked to after three innings of play.
You can blame the weather or the long spells between innings because of how much the Yankees were hitting, but this was too much like the Hughes of April to make anyone feel good going forward. A.J. Burnett was a little better on Saturday, although allowing 11 baserunners in 5.2 innings usually leaves you with more than three runs to blemish your record.
Bartolo Colon finally gave them the length they needed on Sunday, but if we learned anything about the Yankee rotation this weekend it is that there's a lot of holding of breath to do for the rest of the season.
3. Matsui still likes hitting in the Bronx. He had the game-winning homer on Saturday and notched five hits on Sunday, including one against Mariano Rivera during a briefly scary ninth inning rally by Oakland.
His homer, off of the lefty specialist (in that he allows hits to lefties all the time) Boone Logan, was met by scattered cheers despite the situation. So we learned Yankee fans do have a longer memory than it sometimes seems when players fall into slumps.
4. Speaking of former Yankees, we learned Chien-Ming Wang is heading back to the majors. He'll start for the Nationals against the Mets on Friday night to cap a comeback effort that's been in the works since July 4th, 2009.
5. Completing our trifecta of information about Asian players who used to wear pinstripes is none other than Kei Igawa. He's still in the Yankee organization, but, as an interesting profile in the Times by Bill Pennington revealed, he's miles away from the Bronx.
Igawa commutes every day from Manhattan to Trenton to pitch for the Double-A Thunder and does it with a much better attitude than you might expect from someone who came to the United States to pitch in the big leagues. Igawa has been a punchline from almost the moment he got to the U.S., but reading Pennington's piece made you actually see a deeper picture of a guy who couldn't possibly like hearing Brian Cashman call his signing a "disaster," even if Cashman's telling the truth.
6. The trade market may be underwhelming, but the Yankees are getting some reinforcements. Eric Chavez will be back with the team on Tuesday and Rafael Soriano is going to be back a little later in the week.
7. Soriano hasn't lost his edge while on the disabled list. He didn't speak to reporters following his inning of work at Scranton on Sunday, so he's in prime form to return to the big leagues.
8. And, finally, Alex Rodriguez shouldn't be out too much longer. The team is looking at the second week of August for the return of their cleanup hitter after knee surgery, an addition that would be a lot bigger than anything they could grab on the trade market.