"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sheppard to miss Opening Day

Sad news to report today. Bob Sheppard will be unable to announce the lineups at Opening Day in the new Stadium.

"I will not be able to be at Yankee Stadium for the series with the Cubs or opening Day," Sheppard said in a statement Tuesday. "My personal physician advised me to wait until I am ready. I am looking forward to doing games in the new stadium."
We look forward to that day too, Bob.

Two Stadium nuggets: Field level access and alcohol in the bleachers

Last week I commented on how the Yankees reportedly were restricting access to the field level to ticket holders anyway.

However, according to Ross at the New Stadium Insider, the Yankees have reversed that plan. According to a "reliable source" within the ticket office:

They [Yankee management] were going to keep the field level as a private concourse but management changed their minds. Access to the concourses will be open but my guess is you can't get by the "moat" that separates the Legends from the Field seats."
Meanwhile, the alcohol ban in the bleachers has been lifted, according to Jeremy Olshan of the Post. Apparently beer vendors won't come through the bleacher sections, but fans can purchase 12-ounce cups for $6.

Yankees to carry no long reliever

Bryan Hoch is reporting that Jonathan Albaladejo has made the team, meaning that the Yankees will have no dedicated long reliever to begin the season.

Pitchers Alfredo Aceves, Dan Giese and Brett Tomko, and catcher Kevin Cash were all sent to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

I liked what Tomko showed during spring training. His meaningless stats: 15.1 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 12 K. Small sample size, yes, but he would've been a nice addition to the team coming out of camp.

That said, Albaladejo pitched well also, giving up one earned run in 9 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking one. I've been intrigued by Albaladejo. We didn't see much of him last year but he could be another nice addition to the team if he stays healthy.

The first of the last two games in Florida is this afternoon. The Yankees are playing in New York on Friday.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Yankees win 3-1

Andy Pettitte was stellar in the Yankees' 3-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon.

The lefty gave up one earned run over 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven, walking none and scattering five hits.

Mark Teixeira added to his hot spring with a 2-for-3 day, including his sixth double in Grapefruit League play and two RBI. Derek Jeter and Angel Berroa also hit doubles.

Damaso Marte, Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez each had scoreless outings to help close out the game.

Joba Chamberlain will start for the Yankees tomorrow afternoon against the Cincinnati Reds.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Gardner tapped for CF

Joe Girardi announced that Brett Gardner will be the starting center fielder, according to Peter Abraham. Melky Cabrera will be on the team.

Said Girardi: “Both of them played great. Melky had a tough year last year but he came into camp, was ready to go and played very well. Gardy finished up strong (last season) and had a great camp and we’re just going to go with Gardy.”
Gardner's speed is definitely intriguing, but he can't steal first base. He's hit well this spring - .418 with three home runs and six RBIs - but we know that spring stats don't matter all that much. For comparison's sake, Cabrera hit .328 with nine RBIs.

However, we all know what Cabrera does (and can't do), so it'll be nice to see someone new and exciting playing everyday until he becomes a detriment to the team.

Off to Citi Field

I'll be headed to Citi Field in Queens shortly, despite the pouring rain, to watch the St. John's/Georgetown game.

I don't care about the game, obviously. In fact, it's smart that they scheduled a college game so most fans can tour the stadium at a reasonable price and not care about what's happening on the field.

I will be at Yankee Stadium next Saturday for the second of two exhibition games against the Chicago Cubs.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Yankees cut eight

Peter Abraham reported that the Yankees reassigned the following eight players to the minor-league camp today:

OF Todd Linden
1B-OF Shelley Duncan
OF John Rodriguez
INF Doug Bernier
INF Justin Leone
C P.J. Pilittere
C Chris Stewart
RHP David Robertson

This is what Joe Girardi had to say about Robertson:

“He threw the ball OK,” Girardi said. “It’s important he go down and get some work. Robbie’s performed at this level pretty well at times and he performed for us at spring training pretty well at times. He’s a man who has, I think, a good future. He needs to continue a little to mature a little but as pitcher. I told him there’s a chance we’ll see him this year.”
I think 10 strikeouts in 6 2/3 spring innings is a little better than "OK." I hope he'll get another chance to prove himself sooner rather than later.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Yankees win 4-1

This game seemed like a regular season game: CC Sabathia to Damaso Marte to Mariano Rivera.

Sabathia pitched 7 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking none in the Yankees' 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds Friday night. He allowed only four hits and one earned run.

Marte retired the only batter he faced, and Rivera shut the door in the ninth.

Derek Jeter went 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI in the leadoff spot. Mark Teixeira went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

The Yankees will face the Braves tomorrow afternoon at 1:05. The game will be on MLB Network.

'Controversial' Jane Heller denied advertisement

Friend of Scott Proctor's Arm Jane Heller recently wrote a book entitled "Confessions of a She-Fan." (I urge you all to buy it.)

Via Lisa Swan over at Subway Squawkers comes the news that Jane wanted to advertise her book in the Yankees' Opening Day program. It was set to have quotes from John Sterling, Peter Golenback and Swan herself. No big deal, right? Wrong.

Turns out the Yankees think she's "too controversial" so they "don't want it in the publication."

Page Six caught wind of it and quoted Heller as saying: "It's sad to have the Yankees so mad at a fan who writes about how much she loves her team."

This infuriates me. Sorry that you have to go through this, Jane!

Yankee Stadium photo gallery

Jared Max from WCBS 880 toured Yankee Stadium and took a nice amount of pictures that can be found here on WFAN.com.

I'm still very much torn. There are some days where I'm excited about the new Stadium and then there are other days when I get nostalgic. These days usually occur when I hear how out of touch the executives are regarding ticket prices and the like. Oh well.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yankees win 10-2

The Yankees powered their way to a 10-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies this afternoon, hitting four home runs.

Hideki Matsui hit a two-run home run in the first inning after Derek Jeter led off with a single. Cody Ransom homered in the fourth, while Nick Swisher and Melky Cabrera (!) each homered in the eighth inning.

Cabrera finished 2-for-4 with three RBI. Jeter went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in the leadoff spot.

Joba Chamberlain started and struck out three and walked three in 4 1/3 innings. He also gave up three hits and two earned runs. Phil Coke, Edwar Ramirez, Brian Bruney, Jose Veras and Jonathan Albaladejo all had scoreless appearances.

CC Sabathia and the Yankees will take on the Cincinnati Reds tomorrow night in Tampa at 7:15.

ST Game 29: Yankees at Phillies

The Yankees are in Clearwater to take on the Phillies at 1:05. The game is on YES, with Joba Chamberlain on the hill.

New York Yankees
Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Hideki Matsui DH
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Cody Ransom 3B
Jose Molina C
Melky Cabrera CF

Joba Chamberlain RHP, followed by Phil Coke, Brian Bruney, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez and Jonathan Albaladejo

In the previous post, I linked to Bryan Hoch's blog post about CC Sabathia starting both openers. Toward the end of his post, he mentioned how the Yankees are toying with Jeter batting in the leadoff spot for the rest of spring training. Jeter has an .859 OPS when he bats leadoff, compared to his .845 in the two-hole.

When Jeter is the first batter of the game, he bats .354/.408/.561 with 19 home runs.

Just something to think about.

Sabathia to start Opening Day

From the no surprises department: It was announced this morning that CC Sabathia will start on Opening Day, reports Bryan Hoch. Joe Girardi also said that Sabathia is on schedule to start the home opener on April 16.

Sabathia said that he was excited to get the assignment and that he hadn't assumed anything would be given to him, because of the way the rotation stacks up. Andy Pettitte was considered for April 16 but the pitching order didn't work out.
This is always my favorite story of the spring. It signals to me that the games that count are so close.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Deaths in the family

Johnny Blanchard and Arthur Richman both passed away today.

Blanchard was on the Yankees from 1955-1965 and primarily played outfield and catcher. Richman was the team's senior advisor of media relations.


Yankees continue to shut out the real fans

I am disturbed by this post by Ross at the New Stadium Insider. Really disturbed.

Ross perused the Yankee Stadium A-to-Z Guide, and found some "glaring changes," in his words.

Field Level Food Court

The food court located near Section 126 on the Field Level offers guests a taste of New York with a variety of concessions, including Boar's Head deli sandwiches, Famous Famiglia pizza and Asian cuisine. Please note that only Field Level and Legends ticket holders have access to the Field Level.

Batting Practice

Guests are welcome to watch batting practice from their seat location. Yankee Stadium gates will open at 10 a.m. for regular-season day games and 4 p.m. for regular-season night games. For Saturday Fox games during the regular season, gates will open at 1 p.m.
I am shocked and appalled by this. What good is having all of these "amenities" if only the rich and privileged have the opportunities to access them?

It's great that the Stadium is opening three hours early, but if you can't go down to the field level to snag some balls, what's the point? I want to be able to tour the new Stadium the first time I get there. I remember arriving at Citizens Bank Park before the gates opened and eventually got to tour most of the place. It seems like we won't be allowed to here.

The Yankees are continuing to shut out the real fans. Quite frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach. Lonn Trost, et al. are so out of touch.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Yankees win 7-1

A.J. Burnett was solid once again Tuesday night, allowing one earned run in 5 2/3 innings in the Yankees' 7-1 victory over the Red Sox. Burnett struck out four, walked two and allowed one earned run, as he seemed to tire toward the end of his start.

Brett Gardner hit his second triple of the spring and Austin Jackson hit an eighth-inning grand slam before being sent to the minor-league camp.

Jorge Posada threw out Jacoby Ellsbury as he attempted to steal second base. Ellsbury stole 50 bases last season, so this is a nice achievement for the recovering Posada.

Mariano Rivera pitched another perfect inning, striking out two. Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez and Damaso Marte each had scoreless outings as well.

The Yankees are off tomorrow. Joba Chamberlain will start for the Yankees against the Phillies on Thursday.

Finishing touches

Yankees grounds crew members Angel Nunez (left) and Jeff Gennarelli (right) apply the finishing touches on the iconic interlocking NY logo as it is painted on the field behind home plate today for the first time at the new Yankee Stadium. (via Bryan Hoch)

Courtesy of the New York Yankees

ST Game 28: Red Sox at Yankees

A.J. Burnett and the Yankees are taking on the Red Sox in Tampa tonight at 7:15 p.m. The game is on YES, MLBN and WCBS 880.

New York Yankees
Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Hideki Matsui DH
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Xavier Nady LF
Cody Ransom 3B
Brett Gardner CF

A.J. Burnett RHP, followed by Mariano Rivera, Damaso Marte, Edwar Ramirez and David Robertson

Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Jed Lowrie SS
David Ortiz DH
Chris Carter LF
Rocco Baldelli RF
George Kottaras C
Brad Wilkerson 1B
Nick Green 2B
Angel Chavez 3B

Tim Wakefield RHP, followed by Manny Delcarmen and Ramon Ramirez

Jeter back with Yankees

Derek Jeter is back in Tampa with the Yankees and will play in tonight's game against the Red Sox (7:15 on YES and MLB Network).

According to YESNetwork.com's Twitter feed, Jeter was greeted by A.J. Burnett, tonight's starter. What a guy.

I'll be back later with the lineup.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Breaking news: Yankees switch to Pepsi

It was revealed in today's concessions press release that the Yankees will employ Pepsi products at concession stands in the new ballpark. As a fan of Pepsi, I am pleased.

Here are some other important details regarding food:


Fans visiting Yankee Stadium will immediately notice the increased range of options, with something for every taste from traditional favorites to New York's best foods making their Stadium debut, along with new cuisine, healthy alternatives and child-friendly options.

Traditional Favorites:

* Bazzini nuts
* Carl's Steaks
* Carvel Ice Cream
* Cracker Jack
* Famous Famiglia Pizza
* French's Mustard
* Hebrew National
* Heinz Ketchup
* Mike's Arthur Avenue Italian Deli, featuring zeppoli and antipasto
* Nathan's Famous, serving hot dogs in natural casing
* New York Pretzel
* Premio Sausage, serving grilled coiled sausages
* Poland Spring Water
* Tyson chicken
* Utz Potato Chips

Stadium Debuts:

* Boar's Head made-to-order deli sandwich stand, including soups and salads
* Brother Jimmy's BBQ
* Dunkin' Donuts Coffee
* Highlanders traditional ballpark food with a New York flair, including hot dogs with sauerkraut and "pushcart" onions
* Johnny Rockets
* Lobel's of New York
* Moe's Southwest Grill
* Otis Spunkmeyer
* Pepsi Cola Products, including Lipton Iced Tea, Tropicana Lemonade and Gatorade
* Tommy Bahama's Bar serving mixed drinks
* Turkey Hill Ice Cream

New Cuisine:

* Garlic Fries stand, a staple of West Coast ballparks
* Latin Corner, serving hot-pressed Cuban sandwiches, nachos and burritos
* Noodle Bowls stand with other Asian-inspired items
* Soy Kitchen sushi and salads
* Triple Play Grill, offering beef and chicken sliders, and Lobel's steak sandwiches

Healthy Alternatives and Specialty Items:

* Melissa's, a traditional farmers market, carrying fresh fruits and vegetables
* Various Glatt Kosher options

Child-Friendly Options

* The Big Apple stand, offering candy, caramel and chocolate-dipped apples
* Dale and Thomas popcorn stand
* Kids Cart with school-lunch favorites and smaller-portion items, such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, milk, small hot dogs and Kozy Shack Pudding


The Yankees continue to offer exceptional value on food and merchandise. They are offering a $3 hot dog, a $3 soft drink and a $6 beer. Traditional Stadium fare, such as hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, sausages and Cracker Jack, remain the same price as last season. New sizes of soda, many including a souvenir cup, are offered at a variety of prices. In addition, a Family Value Line of merchandise has been created with low-priced items, including pennants, Yankees T-shirts, key chains, and more.
Nothing excites me too much, although I am intrigued by $3 hot dogs and sodas. I guess the Yankees figure they'll make back all their money with the $2,625 the team is charging for front-row seats.

Here is my favorite part:
Beginning this season, the Yankees are implementing a “Fresh-To-Order” system, which will provide fans with the freshest and hottest possible food.
Makes you wonder what we've been eating all of these years...

It continues:
One of the most unique characteristics of the Stadium, and an example of the Yankees' commitment to serve "Fresh-To-Order," is a window found in the left-field concourse of the Field Level where fans can see butchers from Lobel's of New York preparing prime, dry-aged steaks to be served in various locations in the Stadium. Fresh Lobel's steak sandwiches will be sold on a cart outside this location.
OK, seriously - this is a baseball stadium, not a supermarket. They're going a little too overboard here.

O'Brien: Swisher 'glum'

According to Newsday's Kat O'Brien, Nick Swisher was "glum" for the first time at Yankees' camp after losing the starting job in right field to Xavier Nady.

Swisher didn't say anything "wrong" or "out there," but he wants to play every day. The news that Nady will be the starter, he said: "I don't know if anyone would take that the right way at first. ... But I have all the faith in the world that this is where I want to be." He also expressed confidence that he will get plenty of at-bats.
I've been a big fan of Swisher since the Yankees acquired him, so I'm a little disappointed too. I just hope Joe Girardi knows what he's doing here.

I understand Swisher had a terrible year last year. Nady had a great year in comparison to the rest of his career - which resulted in the Yankees making the trade for him in July - so I'm not sure if he'll put up similar numbers this season.

This all said, it's a good problem to have.


Tom Kaminski's latest photos from Chopper 880 reveal that there is no grass left at the old Yankee Stadium (via Greg). Very sad.

Wang set to start first game at new Stadium

Bryan Hoch is reporting that Chien-Ming Wang will start the first exhibition game at the new Yankee Stadium against the Cubs on April 3 at 7:05 p.m.

A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte will pitch against the Cubs the next day at 1:05 p.m.

Both games will be on YES.

Posada 'back to 100 percent'

After throwing out three of four runners in yesterday's minor-league game, Jorge Posada said his shoulder is "back to 100 percent."

"Now you know that you can trust your arm again," he said. "That's the only thing I wanted to do. Come out of spring training knowing that I can throw somebody out and trust my arm again . . . Today's special. You throw a couple guys out and you feel good about that."
Posada caught CC Sabathia against Pirates' minor leaguers at the Yankees' minor league complex in Tampa. Sabathia struck out four and allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings (81 pitches).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yankees win 4-3

Make that nine in a row for the Yankees. The Yankees, behind Joba Chamberlain, beat the Tigers 4-3 in Tampa this afternoon.

In 3 1/3 innings, Chamberlain gave up four hits, one earned run and no walks while striking out five. He threw 61 pitches for 41 strikes. Jonathan Albaladejo gave up three hits but no runs in relief of Chamberlain. Mariano Rivera followed with yet another scoreless inning, striking out two.

Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras each gave up one run in their innings. Veras surrendered an eighth-inning home run to Jeff Larish.

Offensively, the Yankees recorded 11 hits, including two from Melky Cabrera (one double). He also stole his second base of the spring. Juan Miranda hit a two-run home off Fernando Rodney to retake the lead in the seventh.

The Yankees will start Alfredo Aceves tomorrow afternoon in Port Charlotte against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Yankees officially licensing grass

The company that has been providing grass to Yankee Stadium since the 1960s has finally decided to market it. By the end of the month, Yankees Sod will be available in New York City-area Home Depot stores, according to the Times' John Branch.

“It’s just capitalizing on what we have and what we’ve done,” said Rick DeLea, vice president of DeLea Sod Farms, which his grandfather founded in 1928 and has supplied turf for Yankee Stadium since the 1960s.

On a recent morning, Mr. DeLea swept his hand across a portion of the 80 acres of Yankees Sod on a vast hillside in South Jersey. Last fall, some of the secret blend of bluegrass was peeled in broad strips, hauled north on trucks and laid inside the new Yankee Stadium. But most of it was still here, greening under a late-winter sun

“It’s going to be one of those ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ stories,” said David Andres, the energetic and entrepreneurial man who came up with the idea of selling sod and grass to fans.

A former consultant with the company and now Mr. DeLea’s vice president for business development, Mr. Andres saw a field of bluegrass far bigger than the two and a half acres needed to cover the grassy portions of the new Yankee Stadium. The team had asked Mr. DeLea to reserve 10 acres for the stadium, apparently in case of some horrific horticultural incident in the Bronx, but that left a lot of leftover sod.

“I said: ‘Rick, you’re sitting on it. Why not do something with it?’” Mr. Andres said.

Actually, Mr. DeLea had been doing something with it. He sells the same three-variety blend of Kentucky bluegrass from this field to other clients. A high school in West LongBranch, N.J., had 16 acres installed last fall, when it was just called sod. Not Yankees Sod.
16 inches by 4 feet patches will cost $7.50 and each comes with a certificate of authenticity. 3 ounce and 8 ounce bags will also be available in Yankee Stadium.

Read the entire article. You can't make this stuff up.

ST Game 25: Tigers at Yankees

Good matchup in Tampa today: Joba Chamberlain vs. Tigers' 2007 first-round pick Rick Porcello. The game begins at 1:15 and will be on WCBS 880.

New York Yankees
Melky Cabrera CF
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Hideki Matsui DH
Xavier Nady RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Cody Ransom 3B
Jose Molina C
Angel Berroa SS

Joba Chamberlain RHP, followed by Mariano Rivera, Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras

Yankees make six roster moves

Bryan Hoch is reporting the Yankees have made six cuts before this afternoon's game in Tampa.

Phil Hughes, Steven Jackson and Anthony Claggett have been optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Humberto Sanchez was sent to Double-A Trenton.

Also, Jason Johnson and Sergio Mitre were sent to the minor-league camp across the street from Steinbrenner Field.

General Manager Brian Cashman said there aren't enough innings to go around this late in camp.

I've thought all along that Hughes would begin the season in Scranton, so I'm not shocked by this. If he pitches as well as he has this spring (12.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 K), he'll be back up sooner rather than later. His seven walks are a bit of a concern, but he'll be able to hone his craft.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Yankees win 4-2

With their 4-2 victory this afternoon against the Minnesota Twins, the Yankees have now won eight straight. Too bad it's March 20.

Mark Teixeira hit his first home run of the spring in the sixth inning off Joe Nathan. Todd Linden and Austin Jackson also added home runs.

Phil Hughes pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and one earned run. He also walked one and struck out none.

The Yankees, behind Joba Chamberlain, will take on the Tigers tomorrow afternoon at 1:15 p.m. in Tampa.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yankees win 7-4

The Yankees survived a scare tonight when A.J. Burnett took a ball off his left forearm. However, he stayed in the game and pitched 3 1/3 innings. He allowed three hits, one earned run and three walks, while striking out one in the Yankees 7-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Brian Bruney was a negative, as he walked four and surrendered two earned runs in 1 1/3 innings.

Mariano Rivera restored order when he retired the side in order in the sixth on five pitches.

Offensively, the Yankees had 14 hits as a team, but only Nick Swisher had a multi-hit game. Eduardo Nunez hit a two-run home run in the eighth. Ramiro Pena, Jorge Posada, Kevin Cash and Swisher each had one double, and Xavier Nady hit a triple.

Phil Hughes will start for the Yankees tomorrow afternoon in Fort Myers against the Twins at 1:05 p.m.

AP Photo

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yankees to host community open house on April 2

The Yankees will host a community open house the day before the new Stadium hosts the first exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs. From the official release:

Fifteen thousand free tickets will be distributed by local Bronx Community Boards and the New York Yankees.

Gates open at 11 AM and ticketed fans will have the chance to walk around and explore all areas of the new stadium including Monument Park. At 1:30 PM, fans will get the opportunity to sit and watch the first workout and batting practice in the new Stadium. All ticketed guests will also receive free lunch vouchers which are good for a beverage and their choice of pizza or hotdog.

One thousand free tickets will be given to each of the twelve Bronx Community Boards for them to distribute to their local residents. To inquire about tickets, Bronx residents should contact their local Community Boards directly. Contact information for each of the Community Boards can be found by visiting http://www.nyc.gov/html/cau/html/cb/cb_bronx.shtml. An additional 3,000 tickets will be distributed to community based organizations and union workers who have participated in helping to build the new Stadium. The preview will be held rain or shine on the 2nd.

Matsui won't play in field until at least June

According to this AP report, Hideki Matsui will only DH and pinch hit until June at the earliest.

"The earliest we would need him in the outfield would be interleague, and that's a ways off," Girardi said Wednesday. "That's why we envision him as our everyday DH. We need him. He's a great RBI guy. He's very important to our lineup."

Matsui didn't make the trip for Wednesday's game against the Houston Astros at Kissimmee after being the DH the previous four days.

"I think the fact my body, knee are getting used to it is a good sign," Matsui said through a translator.
This isn't exactly a shock, but it can limit the Yankees' options regarding lineup creation. Hopefully he'll hit well and it won't be a problem.

ST Game 22: Yankees at Astros

New York Yankees
Johnny Damon LF
Robinson Cano DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Cody Ransom SS
Jose Molina C
Melky Cabrera CF
Angel Berroa 2B
Justin Leone 3B

Chien-Ming Wang RHP, followed by Brett Tomko, Jose Veras, Phil Coke and Jonathan Albaladejo

Boone to have open heart surgery

Aaron Boone, now with the Astros, will undergo open heart surgery to repair an aortic valve, reports Kristie Rieken of the AP.

“It definitely hits home, but I’m doing well with it,” Boone said. “I feel like I’m fairly educated on it now. I have a strong faith and a great family and friends and teammates. I really am doing well and I’m ready to tackle this thing and get it behind me and get on with life.”
Scary stuff. I wish him all the best and a speedy recovery. We will never forget what he did in the early hours of Oct. 17, 2003.

CBS News photo

Yankees win 9-2

CC Sabathia and the rehabbing Yankees (Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui and Mariano Rivera) all starred in the Yankees' 9-2 victory last night.

Sabathia started and pitched four solid innings. He struck out seven and allowed only one hit while walking one. This came after his awful start on March 11 against the Tigers in which he gave up five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Rivera made his spring debut in the fifth inning. He pitched a perfect inning, striking out two.

Posada batted leadoff and went 1-for-3 with two RBI, a walk and a run scored. He was behind the plate and there was a successful stolen base attempt against him. Matsui went 2-for-2 with a home run, double and four RBI. Robinson Cano came into the game at DH and drove in a run on a double in his three-at-bat night.

Edwar Ramirez and Alfredo Aceves finished off the game. Aceves allowed a solo home run in his three innings of work. He allowed four hits and struck out two.

The Yankees will face the Astros in Kissimmee with Chien-Ming Wang on the mound.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ST Game 21: Pirates at Yankees

The Yankees are taking on the Pirates in Tampa at 7:15 on YES. CC Sabathia gets the start for the Yankees.

New York Yankees
Jorge Posada C
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Hideki Matsui DH
Xavier Nady RF
Melky Cabrera CF
Cody Ransom 3B
Ramiro Pena 2B
Eduardo Nunez SS

CC Sabathia LHP, followed by Mariano Rivera, Alfredo Aceves and Edwar Ramirez

This is Rivera's first spring game of the season.

New and old pictures

I'm back from my conference. My expensive and fancy hotel did not have free Internet.

First, Bob Ruffolo got to tour the new Stadium and took a ton of pictures. Have a look; you won't regret it.

Secondly, the process of removing the field at the old Stadium has begun. Tom Kaminski from WCBS 880 has some chilling shots.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cano, Marte to have MRIs; Posada returns behind the plate

Robinson Cano and Damaso Marte will have MRIs today to examine their injuries resulting from carelessness during the World Baseball Classic. Cano has been reported to have right shoulder tendinitis, while Marte is considered to have left shoulder inflammation.

Meanwhile, Jorge Posada will make his debut behind the plate this afternoon.

I will be at a conference in Manhattan today until Tuesday, so posting could be a little sparse. Please bear with me!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Yankees sweep split squad Saturday

The Yankees, behind A.J. Burnett's four perfect innings, defeated the Astros 3-1 in one split squad game this afternoon in Tampa.

Burnett struck out three batters in his second start in Grapefruit League play. Dan Giese followed, giving up one run in two innings of play, striking out three. Edwar Ramirez, Brian Bruney and Jason Johnson then pitched one scoreless inning each.

Johnny Damon hit a solo home run in the first inning to give Burnett and the Yankees an early lead. Cody Ransom went 2-for-4 with his third double of the spring and a run scored.

In the other game, the Yankees defeated the Pirates 13-10. Austin Jackson went 2-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored. Jesus Montero hit a grand slam in the seventh inning.

Phil Hughes started for the Yankees. In three innings, he gave up two earned runs, two hits and three walks while striking out two. Ian Kennedy pitched three innings of his own, striking out five and allowing one run. Mark Melancon disappointing, giving up five earned runs in only 2/3 of an inning. He gave up six hits and two home runs.

Andy Pettitte will start for the Yankees against Minnesota in Tampa at 1:15 tomorrow.

ST Games 17 and 18: vs. Astros, at Pirates

The Yankees have split squad games today. One is in Tampa against the Astros (1:15 on YES and WCBS-AM 880) with A.J. Burnett on the mound. The other is at 1:05 in Bradenton against the Pirates with Phil Hughes on the mound. Peter Abraham has the lineups for both games.

New York Yankees (vs. Astros)
Brett Gardner CF
Johnny Damon LF
Xavier Nady RF
Hideki Matsui DH
Cody Ransom 2B
Jose Molina C
Juan Miranda 1B
Angel Berroa SS
Justin Leone 3B

A.J. Burnett RHP, followed by Dan Giese, Brian Bruney, Edwar Ramirez and Christian Garcia

New York Yankees (vs. Pirates)
Melky Cabrera CF
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Jorge Posada DH
Austin Jackson LF
Kevin Cash C
Doug Bernier 2B
Kevin Russo 3B
Ramiro Pena SS

Phil Hughes RHP, followed by Ian Kennedy, Jason Johnson, Jonathan Albaladejo and Mark Melancon

Random drawing for ability to purchase tickets online

If you want to buy tickets online for Yankees games this year, apparently you need to fill out this form. Registration began today at noon and will continue through 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 17.

There will then be a random drawing held the next day, with winners being notified on March 20. Those selected will have 12 hours (10 a.m.-10 p.m.) on March 23 to purchase online tickets.

All right then. The official rules can be found in the above link. Good luck and happy buying.

Yankees lose 8-4

Though Chien-Ming Wang was only charged with one earned run, he gave up seven runs while on the mound in 1 2/3 innings pitched in the Yankees' 8-4 loss to the Red Sox in Fort Myers. He also surrendered six hits (two home runs) while striking out one. Mike Lowell and David Ortiz homered for the Red Sox.

Xavier Nady drove in two runs for the Yankees and Cody Ransom hit an RBI triple in his 1-for-3 night.

Brett Tomko pitched 3 1/3 innings of shutout ball, striking out five and only allowing two hits.

The Yankees have a split squad game tomorrow. A.J. Burnett will start in Tampa at 1:15 (on YES) against the Houston Astros. Phil Hughes will start against the Pirates at 1:05.

Friday, March 13, 2009

ST Game 16: Yankees at Red Sox

The Yankees are in Fort Myers to take on the Red Sox tonight at 7:05. The game is on MLBN and NESN, but it will be blacked out in New York. Chien-Ming Wang and Tim Wakefield are the starters.

New York Yankees
Brett Gardner CF
Cody Ransom 3B
Juan Miranda 1B
Xavier Nady RF
John Rodriguez DH
Jose Molina C
Shelley Duncan LF
Angel Berroa 2B
Ramiro Pena SS

Chien-Ming Wang RHP, followed by Brett Tomko, Michael Dunn and Anthony Claggett

Mariano Rivera will throw batting practice tomorrow and pitch in Tuesday's game, according to Peter Abraham.

Thanks, YES

Tonight's game against the Boston Red Sox is being broadcast on NESN and simulcast on the MLB Network. Where is YES, you may ask? Instead of broadcasting the game in Fort Myers, it is busy getting MLBN blacked out in the New York area at its own request.

Thanks a lot, YES Network. I'll enjoy reruns of the Bucky Dent game tonight.

Cano, Marte hurting

Robinson Cano and Damaso Marte have returned from the World Baseball Classic, and they aren't feeling 100 percent.

From George King:

Cano has tightness in the back of his right shoulder, an injury that apparently occurred before he joined the Dominican Republic's WBC team.

"It started before I left for there," Cano said. "It was a little tight and it never went away."

Cano, the Bombers New York Yankees starting second baseman, was checked out earlier by the Dominican's physician who said, "It's just tight."

Marte, who also played on the Dominican team, is feeling tightness in his left pectorial muscle, which is between his (throwing) shoulder and chest.

The injury occurred while Marte was lifting weights Tuesday afternoon, but he proceeded to pitch one inning for the Dominican team against the Netherlands that night anyway.

"I don't think it's that serious - three to four days," Marte said.
If Cano was feeling tightness before he left for the WBC, he shouldn't have gone at all. Marte shouldn't have pitched if he hurt himself before the game also. This is just stupid.

Cashman denies telling Giambi to use steroids

SI's Jeff Pearlman is releasing a book titled "The Rocket that Fell to Earth," obviously about Roger Clemens. However, there is an anecdote about Brian Cashman and Jason Giambi that has angered the Yankees' GM. Take a look:

The book said that when Giambi went through a slump in the 2002 season, his first with the Yankees, Cashman was heard yelling at a television in the Yankees’ clubhouse during a game. Citing “one New York player,” the book said that Cashman screamed, “Jason, whatever you were taking in Oakland,” get back on it.

The book said that Cashman then added, “Please!”

In a telephone interview Thursday night, Cashman said that the anecdote described in the book never happened.

“That is completely false,” Cashman said.

He added, in reference to the author: “This guy never even called me and asked me if it was true. You think he would have done some fact-checking.”

“The source was a Yankee player who was an eyewitness and in whom I have 100 percent confidence,” Pearlman said.

But he acknowledged that he should have called Cashman for his reaction. “He’s totally right,” Pearlman said. “I didn’t call him for comment and I should have.

“But that doesn’t mean the story isn’t correct.”
As an (aspiring) journalist, I hope that Pearlman did his homework here. I wouldn't be surprised if this story turned out to be true, but there's really no way to prove anything here. It's still an interesting revelation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kaat to announce, return to Yankee Stadium

I don't know if this is new news or not, but Jim Kaat said some interesting stuff during his newest blog post:

I look forward to announcing some games this season for the new MLB Network. My first one is scheduled to be the home opener in the new Yankee stadium April 16. I am honored that the Yankees have asked me to be a part of the on-field ceremonies prior to that game. That should be a memorable day.
This just brought a smile to my face. It was great to hear him again during some games of the World Baseball Classic, so it'll be even better to hear more of him during the summer.

The "Bobcatch II"

Loyal readers of the blog will remember a phenomenal catch last year by Brian Monack of the Quinnipiac Bobcats baseball team. Loyal readers of the blog will also remember that I go to Quinnipiac University.

Below is SportsCenter video of the catch he made Tuesday against the College of Charleston in a 30-10 loss. Yes, 30-10.

And here is the catch he made last year. It was also No. 1 on SportsCenter.

We also got on SportsCenter for a half-court buzzer-beater against Central Connecticut last spring.

Quinnipiac has a knack for making great plays even though the teams aren't so great. The Bobcats are 0-8, playing a southern schedule while it's still cold up north.

Yankees sign remaining 0-3 players

0-3 players are players who have between zero to three years of service time. The Yankees have signed all 20 of these players, including Joba Chamberlain.

According to Bryan Hoch, Chamberlain will make $432,575 if he spends the entire season with the big club.

In addition to Chamberlain, the Yankees agreed to terms on 2009 contracts with the following players: Alfredo Aceves, Jonathan Albaladejo, Francisco Cervelli, Anthony Claggett, Phil Coke, Wilkin De La Rosa, Christian Garcia, Brett Gardner, Dan Giese, Eric Hacker, Phil Hughes, Steven Jackson, Ian Kennedy, Edwar Ramirez, Cody Ransom, Dave Robertson, Humberto Sanchez and Jose Veras.
The team didn't have to "renew" any contracts, meaning this year the team and the players all came to terms on a contract,

Harper: CC's workload could be a concern

Well, this didn't take long. CC Sabathia had a bad start yesterday, and the alarmists - particularly John Harper of the Daily News - are out.

Still, Wednesday was a reminder that there are at least a couple of reasons to keep an eye on the $161 million man as he adjusts to life as a Yankee: he's a laid-back Californian who admittedly would have preferred the West Coast, and he's pitched a ton of innings the last two seasons.

Yes, if Yankee fans feel any need to worry about Sabathia, the numbers that matter aren't the six hits and five runs he gave up in 1-2/3 innings here against the Tigers. Instead it's the total of 512 innings, including postseason, that Sabathia pitched over the last two seasons, by far the most of any pitcher in baseball.

Add the stress of pitching on three days' rest in September and October for the Brewers last season, and Sabathia has the potential for a hangover effect that at least some people in baseball believe is inevitable. In fact, according to one Yankee person, Sabathia's workload was a source of some internal discussion before it was decided the combination of talent and toughness was worth investing huge money in him over seven years.
Mr. Harper: relax. It's March 12. Kevin Cash is batting .385. Does that mean he should start at catcher? Angel Berroa is batting .417. Let's cut Derek Jeter!

If there's any reason to be concerned about Sabathia, it should be about his October performances - a 7.92 ERA in 25 innings pitched (small sample size, obviously). A bad spring training outing in mid-March shouldn't throw up any red flags.

Let's all remain calm here, please.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A-Rod, Rivera, Posada all positive

The three surgically-repaired Yankees - Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada - all felt very positive today.

From this AP report:

Alex Rodriguez is pleased with his recovery from arthroscopic hip surgery.

"He left me a message," New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday. "He sounded good. Said: 'I'm doing well.' Good to hear from him."

In other news, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera threw 30 pitches in his first spring training batting practice session. He will throw BP again Saturday and then will likely make his first exhibition appearance early next week.

Rivera had surgery on the AC joint in his right shoulder last Oct. 7.

"All I have to do is get more fine pitching," Rivera said. "The shoulder feels good. I'm happy with it. It's getting stronger every time I throw. It feels better and better."

Rivera threw at about 90 percent. The right-hander has "no doubt" he will be ready for Opening Day.

"We are right on track," he said.

Catcher Jorge Posada, limited to designated hitter as he rehabilitates from right shoulder surgery last July 30, remains on target to play behind the plate on Sunday. Posada threw to the bases on a back field before being the DH in the Yankees' 7-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland.

"It's the best I've seen so far," Girardi said. "We're still shooting for March 15."
We know Rodriguez will miss the beginning of the season anyway, but it's nice to hear that he's doing well.

March 15 will be very interesting. I will probably cringe the first time Posada has to make a throw to second base to try to catch a runner stealing.

I've never been too worried about Rivera's progress, and it's great that he's right on schedule. He usually takes it slowly in the spring anyway.

Yankees lose 7-4

CC Sabathia's second inning was horrendous this afternoon against the Tigers. He gave up three singles, a double and a two-run home run by Gary Sheffield. He only retired two batters in the frame before he was taken out. In total: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HRA.

Alfredo Aceves wasn't much better. He gave up three hits and two earned runs in 3 1/3 innings, including Sheffield's second home run of the game. He also allowed a home run to Wilkin Ramirez.

Brian Bruney, Jose Veras and Mark Melancon combined to pitch the final three (scoreless) innings of the game.

Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira each had two hits, and Teixeira, Nick Swisher, Kevin Cash and Jorge Posada all drove in a run apiece.

The Yankees have an off-day tomorrow before playing the Red Sox in Fort Myers Friday night.

ST Game 15: Yankees at Tigers

The Yankees are in Lakeland once again to face the Detroit Tigers at 1:05. CC Sabathia is starting for the second time this spring.

New York Yankees
Melky Cabrera CF
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Jorge Posada DH
Nick Swisher RF
Cody Ransom 3B
Angel Berroa 2B
Ramiro Pena SS
Kevin Cash C

CC Sabathia LHP, followed by Alfredo Aceves, Brian Bruney, Jose Veras, Mark Melancon and Steven Jackson

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Yankees win 7-1

Joba Chamberlain rebounded nicely after a couple of bad spring training starts. Tonight, he gave up one run on three hits and no walks in three innings. He also struck out three batters and threw 20 of his 29 pitches for strikes. His control had been a cause for concern, as he walked four batters in his start against Team Canada.

Phil Coke followed Chamberlain with two shutout innings, striking out three and allowing three hits.

Brett Gardner and Cody Ransom both went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Juan Miranda hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, and Shelley Duncan added a three-run home run in the seventh. Hideki Matsui joined the hit parade with a double.

The Yankees will play the Tigers for the third time in six days tomorrow afternoon in Lakeland. CC Sabathia will start for the second time this spring.

AP Photo

Dominicans stunned by Netherlands

For those who watched the Dominican Republic/Netherlands game on MLB Network, you witnessed an instant classic.

The Dutch beat the Dominicans 2-1 in 11 innings after falling behind 1-0 in the top half of the frame. Simply incredible.

The Yankee angle: they get back Robinson Cano and Damaso Marte now. Cano went 1-for-5 with a strikeout in this game, and Marte pitched a scoreless inning, striking out two and allowing one hit.

ST Game 14: Reds at Yankees

The Yankees are playing the Reds in Tampa tonight at 7:15 p.m. Joba Chamberlain gets the start, and the game will be broadcast on YES.

New York Yankees
Brett Gardner CF
Johnny Damon LF
Xavier Nady RF
Hideki Matsui DH
Cody Ransom 3B
Jose Molina C
Juan Miranda 1B
Angel Berroa SS
Ramiro Pena 2B

Joba Chamberlain RHP, followed by Kei Igawa, Christian Garcia, Phil Coke, Michael Dunn and Anthony Claggett

Mussina hangs around

Mike Mussina stopped by Yankees' camp today. Although he was happy to be around, he has no regrets about leaving the game after a 20-win season.

From Bryan Hoch:

"I'm doing nothing," Mussina said, grinning. "And when I walked through the weight room, I knew why I'm doing nothing. I feel good being retired."

As he would later reveal, Mussina knew last spring that 2008 would be his final season. There was no point during the offseason that he thought about changing his mind, he said, and even when pitchers and catchers began reporting to Spring Training camps, Mussina found himself content.

"It just seemed like a longer winter," he said. "It didn't seem any different. When the weather gets better, it'll be different. I'll see them playing on TV more often, and it'll be different. But I'm good."

Standing in the hallway outside manager Joe Girardi's office, Mussina appeared relaxed, wearing an ESPN cap, a Ford Mustang T-shirt, shorts and sandals. Girardi embraced Mussina and asked if he wanted to change into uniform for the day.

"No, I'm not getting dressed, and I'm not throwing out the first pitch," Mussina said.
Moose was always one of my favorites. It's good to hear from him again and hopefully he'll be a fixture around Yankee Stadium this year and in the future.

Jeter getting along with Sox in WBC

Derek Jeter and his usual foes Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia have not thrown any punches at each other. On the contrary, the season rivals are getting along just fine as teammates for Team USA during this year's World Baseball Classic.

From Mike Puma:

Pedroia recently set the tone when he posted a deodorant ad in his locker. In the ad, Jeter is standing outside Fenway Park, and the message says, "Every day is a walk in the park. Even this park."

Jeter couldn't help but laugh at Pedroia's posting.

"You get to know guys playing against them, as players," Jeter said. "But one of the good things about something like this is you get an opportunity to put personalities with the players."

Previously, Pedroia and Youkilis had only spent time with Jeter as part of last year's AL All-Star team.

Pedroia has no problem admitting he's the biggest instigator among the bunch.

"I like to keep it loose and have fun," Pedroia said after yesterday's workout at Rogers Centre, where Team USA resumes play tomorrow night, having already clinched a berth in this weekend's second round in Miami. "I think [Jeter] kind of laughs at me the whole time. He probably thinks I'm crazy."

Youkilis said he has always respected Jeter, but spending the past week with him has taken that admiration to another level.

"[Jeter] has been unbelievable, and you see why he's the captain of the Yankees," Youkilis said.
It's very patriotic of them to get along, so I'm glad. These relationships, as well as watching David Wright and Jimmy Rollins try to get along is what makes this WBC great.

The US is back in action tomorrow, facing the winner of this evening's Italy/Venezuela game. Team USA has already advanced to the second round.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Jim Kaat on the airwaves

Former Yankees broadcaster Jim Kaat is calling the Netherlands/Puerto Rico game right now on the MLB Network. The Yankees' telecasts aren't the same without him, so it's nice to hear his voice once again.

Kaat also has a blog on YESNetwork.com called "Kaat's Korner."

YESNetwork.com photo

Yankees lose 6-2

Ian Kennedy's struggles in the middle of the game sank the Yankees in their game against the Blue Jays this afternoon. Kennedy gave up five earned runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira were the offensive bright spots for the Yankees on this day. Gardner went 2-for-3 with his third home run of the spring and two RBI. Teixeira also went 2-for-3 with his second double in Grapefruit League play.

Andy Pettitte made his spring debut, and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out two and walking one.

The Yankees will play the Reds tomorrow night in Tampa at 7:15 with Joba Chamberlain on the hill. The game will be broadcast on YES.

Two more sent to minor-league camp

Bryan Hoch is tweeting away at the ballpark today. He just wrote that Eric Hacker and Wilikin De La Rosa were sent across the street to the minor-league camp.

Meanwhile, Brett Gardner hit his third home run of the spring today. Unbelievable.

Surgery went 'as planned'

Alex Rodriguez's surgeon, Dr. Marc Philippon, was on a conference call with reporters. Bryan Hoch gives us this quote from the good doc:

"Alex is doing very well," he said. "The surgery went exactly as planned, and we will start him on his rehab this afternoon."
The six to nine weeks starts...NOW!

ST Game 13: Blue Jays at Yankees

The Yankees are taking on the Blue Jays in Tampa at 1:15. Andy Pettitte gets the start for the first time this spring, and the game is not on television.

New York Yankees
Brett Gardner CF
Melky Cabrera LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Jorge Posada DH
Nick Swisher RF
Jose Molina C
Angel Berroa 2B
Justin Leone 3B
Ramiro Pena SS

Andy Pettitte LHP, followed by Ian Kennedy, Dan Giese, David Robertson, Jose Veras and Jonathan Albaladejo

Peter Abraham
is reporting the Yankees have made some roster moves. Andrew Brackman was optioned to Class-A Charleston, while J.B. Cox, George Kontos and Kanekoa Texeira were reassigned to the minor-league camp.

USA defeats Venezuela

An eight-run sixth inning propelled the United States over Venezuela 15-6 Sunday night in Toronto. The United States advances to the next round of competition, but still has one more game left in group play, facing the loser of the Canada/Italy game on Wednesday.

Mark DeRosa and Chris Iannetta each drove in four runs, and Adam Dunn, Kevin Youkilis and Ryan Braun all homered for the Americans.

Derek Jeter entered the game in the fifth inning and went 0-for-2 at the plate with a walk and a run scored.

Melvin Mora drove in two runs for the Venezuelans, who will face the winner of the Canada/Italy game in hopes of advancing past group play.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Yankees win 12-3

A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes and Angel Berroa stole the show Sunday afternoon against the Tigers. The two pitchers combined for five scoreless innings, and Berroa drove in four runs in the Yankees' 12-3 victory.

Burnett needed just 18 pitches to get through his two innings, and Hughes followed with three no-hit innings, striking out four and walking two.

Berroa went 2-for-3 with a double, home run and four RBI. Cody Ransom, on the day it was announced that Alex Rodriguez would have surgery, went 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored. The Yankees drew 10 walks as a team, with Nick Swisher drawing three of them. Xavier Nady added a solo home run in the fifth inning.

Brian Bruney and Andrew Brackman gave up the Tigers' three runs. Bruney allowed a two-run home run to Will Rhymes.

The Yankees return to Tampa tomorrow to face the Blue Jays at 1:15 p.m. Andy Pettitte will start.

Audio stream for today's game

The Yankees are playing the Tigers this afternoon. That means WXYT will have the audio stream up again. Enjoy.

ST Game 12: Yankees at Tigers

A.J. Burnett makes his spring debut this afternoon in Lakeland, as the Yankees take on the Tigers at 1:05. The game is not on television.

New York Yankees
Melky Cabrera CF
Johnny Damon LF
Nick Swisher 1B
Hideki Matsui DH
Nick Swisher RF
Cody Ransom 3B
Jose Molina C
Angel Berroa SS
Doug Bernier 2B

A.J. Burnett RHP, followed by Phil Hughes, Brian Bruney, Andrew Brackman and Mark Melancon

A-Rod opts for hybrid option

The "hybrid option" was mentioned in the previous post. It was such a good idea that Alex Rodriguez has decided to go ahead and go under the knife.

The arthroscopic hip surgery will cause him to miss six to nine weeks, and he will then need more surgery in the offseason.

The decision eliminates the option of Rodriguez treating the injury with rest and rehab and playing through the season without surgery. This operation will not completely correct the hip. More aggressive surgery would have sidelined Rodriguez three to four months.

"The surgery that will just repair the labrum tear right now would shorten his rehab," Cashman said. "Then following the conclusion of the season going in and repair the remaining aspects that need to be repaired."
I think this is the best way to handle this injury. Hopefully it'll be six weeks and not nine weeks, but at least it's not four months at this point.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Different option for A-Rod?

Michael S. Schmidt of the Times sheds light on a different type of treatment for Alex Rodriguez's torn labrum.

As Alex Rodriguez, medical experts and Yankees officials ponder whether to rest or repair the torn labrum in Rodriguez’s right hip, a third option of how to treat the tear has gained momentum, according to a person in baseball familiar with the matter.

Under what is being called the hybrid option, Rodriguez would have a modest surgery that would repair the labrum and would keep him off the field for only about a month, the person said. The repair would allow him to play from one to three years. Eventually he would need a more invasive surgery.

“It would be like using a nail instead of a steel girder to repair it,” said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because no decision had been made. “Eventually the nail would have to be replaced with the steel girder.”
If this is true, that sounds like a terrific and viable option. He could then get the "more invasive surgery" in the offseason if need be.

Proctor shut down

The Miami Herald is reporting that Scott Proctor, now with the Marlins, won't pitch until next week at the earliest.

''He's got some issues with scar tissue [in his elbow],'' Marlins pitching coach Mark Wiley said. "He has some limited pain, and we need to get him back where he is comfortable.

"I'm hoping by next week that he will be back in a game situation.''

Wiley thinks Proctor, who is on a conditioning long-toss program, will be able to pitch soon, and he expects him to be ready to be a mainstay in the bullpen by Opening Day.

Proctor has made only one appearance this spring, throwing one scoreless inning against Baltimore last Friday.
I obviously wish Proctor the best, but none of this comes as a shock. Hopefully this is nothing serious and he can have a bounce-back season.

Thanks to those who brought this to my attention.

USA defeats Canada

Home runs by Kevin Youkilis (I can't believe I have to cheer for him), Brian McCann and Adam Dunn led the way for the United States over Canada 6-5 in the first game Pool C of the World Baseball Classic. The game was played at Rogers Centre.

Derek Jeter went 2-for-3 with a double before being replaced by Jimmy Rollins. J.J. Putz got the save despite giving up two hits and an earned run in the ninth inning.

The United States will play the winner of the Venezuela/Italy game tomorrow night at 8.

AP Photo

Yankees lose 3-1

Chien-Ming Wang allowed a solo home run to Casey Kotchman, but that was his only blemish during Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Wang struck out two batters in three innings of work, allowing three hits and walking none.

Brett Tomkofollowed with three innings of his own. He gave up a solo home run to Greg Norton in the sixth, but struck out three and scattered three hits.

The Yankees only recorded six hits, and Justin Leone drove in the team's only run in the fouth inning.

A.J. Burnett will make his spring debut tomorrow afternoon in Lakeland when the Yankees face the Detroit Tigers.

ST Game 11: Braves at Yankees

The Braves travel to Tampa to face Chien-Ming Wang and the Yankees this afternoon at 1:15. The game is on YES and WCBS-AM 880.

Atlanta Braves
Josh Anderson CF
Kelly Johnson 2B
Casey Kotchman 1B
Greg Norton DH
Jeff Francoeur RF
Yunel Escobar SS
Matt Diaz LF
Omar Infante 3B
David Ross C

Jair Jurrjens RHP

New York Yankees
Johnny Damon LF
Melky Cabrera CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Hideki Matsui DH
Xavier Nady RF
Cody Ransom SS
Justin Leone 3B
Ramiro Pena 2B
P.J. Pilittere C

Chien-Ming Wang RHP, followed by Brett Tomko, Phil Coke, Michael Dunn and Wilikin De La Rosa

Friday, March 6, 2009

Yankees win 7-3

CC Sabathia made his Yankees spring debut tonight, and it resulted in a victory for the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees scored four runs against Justin Verlander, and Sabathia only gave up one earned run in two innings of work. He threw 26 pitches for 20 strikes, struck out two batters, gave up two hits and walked none.

Cody Ransom went 1-for-3 with a double and Johnny Damon had an RBI double. Alfredo Aceves pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only one hit. David Robertson struck out the side to close the game in the ninth.

Chien-Ming Wang will go against the Atlanta Braves tomorrow afternoon at 1:15 in Tampa. The game will be on YES and WCBS-AM 880.

Audio stream for tonight's game

WXYT-AM out of Detroit has a live stream up of tonight's game.

You can listen by clicking this link.

ST Game 10: Tigers at Yankees

Two firsts tonight: the first night game at Steinbrenner Field this spring and CC Sabathia's first spring start as a Yankee. First pitch is set for 7:15 and there is no broadcast.

New York Yankees
Johnny Damon LF
Brett Gardner CF
Nick Swisher 1B
Jorge Posada DH
Shelley Duncan RF
Cody Ransom 3B
Jose Molina C
Angel Berroa 2B
Ramiro Pena SS

CC Sabathia LHP, followed by Alfredo Aceves, Jose Veras, Steven Jackson, David Robertson and Anthony Claggett

Borderline criminal: Yankees knew about hip injury last year

Tyler Kepner stuns us by reporting that the Yankees, specially Brian Cashman, knew about Alex Rodriguez's hip injury LAST YEAR.

Cashman said the Yankees discovered an irregularity in Rodriguez’s hip last May when he underwent a magnetic resonance imaging exam for a right quadriceps injury. By June or July, the hitting coach Kevin Long said he could notice subtle changes in Rodriguez’s hitting, notably in his right foot — the back one in his stance.

The foot was not pivoting fully, Long said, and as a result, Rodriguez could not completely turn his waist and clear his hips. This caused his bat to drag and prevented him from driving through the ball and generating maximum power.

“Speed-wise, to catch up to 95-, 96-mile-an-hour pitches, you’ve basically got to get your hips through,” Long said. “It affects bat speed, power, balance. From a technical standpoint, it affects quite a few things. But he’s so gifted and so talented that he made do with what he had.”

Cashman said Rodriguez had always had stiff hips, and there was no need to examine him after the season. The condition was so minor, Cashman said, that Rodriguez did not seek treatment from team trainers last season.

“That’s why I termed it as an incidental finding,” Cashman said. “If you took an M.R.I. right now of everybody in our clubhouse, you are going to find in many of them — 20 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent — the same finding. Just because they have it doesn’t mean it’s a problem. Just because you have it doesn’t mean you need surgery.

“So that’s why you put it in the file,” he said. “You treat the patient, not the symptom. You don’t treat the M.R.I. You treat the patient.”
That's some way to treat your $275 million investment, huh? I'm absolutely shocked and appalled by this news.

And now the team still wants him to play, even with the torn labrum in his hip. Every time he dives to his right at third, we'll cringe. Every time he slides into second, we'll cringe. Every time he tries to beat out an infield hit, we'll cringe. He needs surgery. Give it to him while he can rejoin the team in the middle of the season. If they keep waiting, he'll just injure it worse in June or July and he'll be gone until next February.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Joba felt 'awesome'

We take a break from your regularly scheduled Alex Rodriguez updates to talk about Joba Chamberlain. I was a little worried after hearing about his performance today: no batters retired, five earned runs surrendered, four walks allowed.

Despite this, Chamberlain was upbeat. From Bryan Hoch:

"Awesome. That's the best I felt physically all year," he said. "It's just one of those things and part of Spring Training and the process."
All right then. Good to hear it.

A-Rod to try rest and rehab

Update - 4:15 p.m.: More from Peter Abraham:

UPDATE, 3:51 p.m.: Surgery, if needed, would knock him out four months.

The cyst was large and the hope was having it drained will lessen the stiffness Rodriguez felt.

They’re going to cut down on his time in spring training in the hopes he can get through the season.

This is a similar injury to what Mike Lowell had. Cashman refused to say what degree the tear was.

UPDATE, 4:07 p.m.: Cashman just said A-Rod will need the surgery at some point. The tear won’t just heal.

They’re hoping he can get through the season then have it. So this could be an issue all year.
Just have the surgery now. Don't be ridiculous.

Original post:

Brian Cashman
just addressed the media regarding Alex Rodriguez.

This from Peter Abraham:
Yankees GM Brian Cashman just said Alex Rodriguez has a torn hip labrum and cyst.

They’re trying rest and rehab. The cyst was drained. The hope is he’ll keep playing.
Didn't they try this with Jorge Posada? I understand it's not a shoulder, but there's no sense in risking further injury, right?

ESPNEWS: A-Rod has torn labrum

I found this report while searching on Twitter.

As posted on KFFL:

ESPNews reports New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez (hip) has a torn labrum in his hip, according to his agent, Scott Boras.
And here's a read-up of the acetabular labrum from Wikipedia:
The acetabular labrum (glenoidal labrum of the hip joint or cotyloid ligament in older texts) is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the acetabulum (the socket of the hip joint).

Its function is to deepen the acetabulum, making it more difficult for the head of the femur to slip out of place (sublux).
Brian Cashman will address the media soon, so I will post any updates if necessary.

Life without A-Rod

On Day 1 of life without A-Rod:

UPDATE, 1:35 p.m.: In other good news, Joba Chamberlain was taken out of the game before he got an out. Four walks, a hit and a wild pitch. It’s now 5-0 Canada.
Oy vey.

Brother-Rod: A-Rod to have surgery, out 10 weeks

Alex Rodriguez will need to have the cyst on his hip surgically removed, according to his brother. The recovery and rehab will take about 10 weeks.

On Thursday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters he did not have any information regarding Rodriguez.

"I have not heard anything yet," Girardi said. "I will try to go and find out what's going on."

Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo would neither confirm nor deny the report, according to the New York Daily News. "When we have information we'll give it to you," Zillo told the Daily News. "We're not giving out any information right now."

The development also means that A-Rod will not be able to participate with the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic.

"It's a big blow for the whole family. Alex is destroyed," Joe Rodriguez told ESPNdeportes.com. "We were all very excited to see him play with the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

Hi, Cody Ransom.

The Yankees don't need to make a move here, I think. At this point, he's not out for the season, so it's not like when they had to think of something fast when Aaron Boone got hurt playing basketball. It's an obvious big blow, but at least they signed Mark Teixeira.

Matsui, Rivera on the mend

Two recovering Yankees, Hideki Matsui and Mariano Rivera will pass important milestones today, according to Kat O'Brien.

Matsui is in the lineup for the Yankees today against Team Canada. He's actually getting in there with a little more time before Opening Day than he did last season, plus the Yankees don't have any illusions that he will be a regular outfielder this season.

Rivera is set to throw a bullpen session from a half-mound today. It'd be difficult to overestimate Rivera's importance to the team, so it's very good for the Yankees to get him going on a mound. He doesn't throw many innings in any spring training, so a late start should not be a problem for him unless he has a setback in his shoulder.
Good news there. Matsui will be the starting DH today.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yankees lose 3-2

Time to panic! The Yankees are now 2-4-1 in spring training thus far.

Ian Kennedy went three innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits, one walk and no strikeouts. Dan Giese also pitched three innings, struck out three, walked one and gave up one earned run. Andrew Brackman and Mark Melancon pitched one scoreless inning apiece in relief.

Offensively, the Yankees were offensive. They only scattered five hits (one of them off the bat of Giese) and plated two runs. Johnny Damon had an RBI single and Juan Miranda's sixth-inning groundout also scored one.

The Yankees will play Team Canada tomorrow afternoon in Tampa at 1:15 p.m. Joba Chamberlain will start this untelevised game.

Cody Ransom is the best athlete on the team

That is if you believe Johnny Damon. Pete Caldera and Bryan Hoch both relayed that report this afternoon (they arrived in my Google Reader at the same time, so I will credit both). The quoted portion is from Hoch.

"If Alex couldn't go, we have a kid named Cody Ransom who is probably the best athlete on this team," Damon was saying. "He can throw, he's got power. No one can really do what Alex does, but we'd just have to switch around the lineup and move forward."

A few more questions followed, and Tyler Kepner of the Times brought the conversation back.

"Have you gone to YouTube yet?" Damon said. "And tell him to put you in a headlock."
Here is the YouTube video of Cody Ransom doing something remarkable:

ST Game 8: Yankees at Braves

The Yankees are taking on the Atlanta Braves this afternoon at 1:05. The game is not on television.

New York Yankees
Johnny Damon LF
Brett Gardner CF
Xavier Nady RF
Juan Miranda 1B
Angel Berroa 2B
Jose Molina C
Kevin Russo 3B
Ramiro Pena SS
Ian Kennedy RHP, followed by Andrew Brackman, J.B. Cox, Dan Giese, Kei Igawa and Mark Melancon.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

But think of the pitch count!

Here is Chien-Ming Wang throwing fans souvenirs at tonight's Orlando Magic game. In the background is Joba Chamberlain and CC Sabathia apparently was there too.

Yes, Sabathia has a Twitter account (@CC_Sabathia). There was some question as to whether or not it was real, but it has since been confirmed. Nick Swisher (@NickSwisher) also has one. I have fully embraced Twitter at this point, so don't be afraid if you see some references to it in the future. I highly recommend joining it and following me (@ProctorsArm).

For those wondering exactly what Twitter is, this is from its "About Us" page:

Simplicity has played an important role in Twitter's success. People are eager to connect with other people and Twitter makes that simple. Twitter asks one question, "What are you doing?" Answers must be under 140 characters in length and can be sent via mobile texting, instant message, or the web.

The result of using Twitter to stay connected with friends, relatives, and coworkers is that you have a sense of what folks are up to but you are not expected to respond to any updates unless you want to. This means you can step in and out of the flow of information as it suits you and it never queues up with increasing demand of your attention. Additionally, users are very much in control of whose updates they receive, when they receive them, and on what device. For example, we provide settings for scheduling Twitter to automatically turn off at dinnertime and users can switch off Twitter updates at any point.

Simply put, Twitter is what you make of it--receive a lot of information about your friends, or just a tiny bit. It's up to them.
If it's good enough for Swisher and Sabathia, it's good enough for me...and for you!

AP Photo

A-Rod has cyst on hip, may miss WBC

According to the Times' Jack Curry, Alex Rodriguez has a cyst on his hip and may miss the World Baseball Classic, a baseball person said.

He is expected to travel to Colorado tomorrow to visit a hip specialist. Apparently Rodriguez was examined by the team before joining the Dominican Republic, and an MRI revealed a cyst.

Rodriguez went 1-for-3 with a double today against the Marlins.

Update - 8:38 p.m.: Peter Abraham has the team's statement.

Yankees sign remainder of 40-man players

Joel Sherman has the news that the Yankees have signed the remainder of the players on their 40-man roster, including Jonathan Albaladejo and Ian Kennedy.

The Yankees completed the signing of their 40-man roster players by coming to terms with Jonathan Albaladejo ($220,000 in the minors/$403,075 in the majors); Francisco Cervelli ($65,000/$400,700); Wilkin De La Rosa ($23,500/$400,000); Michael Dunn ($32,500/$400,000); Christian Garcia ($32,500/$400,000); Eric Hacker ($32,500/$400,000); Steven Jackson ($32,500/$400,000); Ian Kennedy ($123,435/$408,925), Cody Ransom ($66,394/$455,100) and David Robertson ($102,812/ $406,825).

Yankees lose 6-5

Thanks to those who were following along with me on Twitter.

The Yankees lost to Team USA 6-5 this afternoon in Tampa. Yes, it certainly was strange seeing Derek Jeter play against the Yankees, but I eventually forgot about it after a while. Too bad Michael Kay kept bringing it up every chance he got.

Jeter went 2-for-4 against his team with a two-RBI single to center field. As for players wearing the Yankees uniform, Brett Gardner went 3-for-3 with a double and a stolen base. Jorge Posada and Cody Ransom each went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Phil Hughes started for the Yankees and pitched into the third inning for the first time this spring. The last pitch he threw was the two-run single to Jeter. Other than that, he looked good. He gave up three hits, struck out two, walked none and hit one batter. Eric Hacker struggled, almost to the point where it was painful to watch. He didn't retire any of the six batters he faced, allowing two hits, four runs (three earned) and two walks.

The Yankees resume their Grapefruit League schedule tomorrow when they face the Atlanta Braves in Lake Buena Vista at 1:05. Ian Kennedy will start for the Yankees.

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)