Posts Tagged ‘Tampa’

Heeere They Come

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

It’s kind of amazing, isn’t it? Baseball season comes to a screeching halt in the fall and the Yankees-less winter feels like it’ll never end, and then suddenly it’s spring training in Tampa. Pitchers and catchers report on Tuesday and there will be others trickling in too.

I wish I could feel more hopeful about the 2013 Yankees. We have some truly great players that other teams can only dream about. We also have promising farmhands who could make a difference this year. And we have our usual cast of new guys who are past their prime but hoping a change of scenery will give their careers a boost. Not a bad collection by any means.

Still, I’m wondering where the power will come from. I’m wondering who’ll be our righty outfielder. I’m wondering who’ll be our catcher. I’m wondering what our rotation will look like. I’m wondering if Mo will have the stamina to close for the entire season (I don’t worry about his ability as a closer; I never worry about that). I’m wondering if all the jokes about how old the team is will prove to be true. (See Tyler Kepner’s reference to the early-bird special in today’s NYT.) I’m wondering who’ll be the backup infielder since Cashman has said Nunez will stick to shortstop. I’m wondering if Girardi will be managing for the last time in pinstripes. I’m wondering when the next steroids revelation will appear and whether there will be any suspensions.

All that being said, hope springs eternal and maybe the Yankees will surprise me. I always remind myself that no team is perfect and that the teams everybody anoints to win it all hardly ever do. So who knows.

The good news is we’ll have baseball again. I’m busy with lots of projects these days, so I may not post on this blog as often as I’ve done in the past. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’m anticipating the first look at our guys in their nice clean uniforms and will probably let out a girly squeal when that happens.

 

 

 

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They’re Baaaack

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Matt Slocum / AP

Today was the day. No, Mo hasn’t shown up yet in Tampa – Cashman said The God Of Closers will get there when he gets there, as always – but spring training officially began for pitchers, catchers and the ultra-dedicated like Jeter.

What does the future have in store for the Yankees in 2012? Who knows? But with the additions (and subtractions) that were made to the pitching staff, I’m feeling pretty hopeful – provided my wishes come true.

Here are some of those wishes:

  1. CC will get off to a good start and not fade in the second half.
  2. Pineda will flourish in pinstripes. Kuroda too.
  3. Nova will prove last year wasn’t a fluke.
  4. Hughes will rebound and make me eat my words.
  5. A-Rod will not be useless, but rather will hit the *^&% out of the ball.
  6. Whoever wins the DH job (Ibanez, I guess) will actually bolster the lineup.
  7. Tex will reverse his offensive slide and figure out how to beat the shift.
  8. Jeter will play as if he’s 28.
  9. Joba will recover from surgery and throw heat.
  10. D-Rob will keep up the Houdini act only without giving me heart attacks.
  11. EVERYONE WILL STAY HEALTHY.

I have lots more wishes (I hope Pettitte will put in an appearance as a coach, since he’s been invited), but those will do for now. I’m just glad the boys are back.

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Joe Torre Redux

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Torre cried when he visited Yankee Stadium last year – his first trip back since the big rift. Apparently, today’s meet and greet at Steinbrenner Field was less fraught with emotion and just part of the former manager’s swing through the Grapefruit League in his new job at MLB. While he was in Tampa, he said he’d been invited to this year’s Old Timer’s Day and that he had accepted.

I’m a sucker for happy endings, so this was good news for me. I like it when people who’ve been on the outs finally kiss and make up. But I’d be lying if I didn’t feel some lingering resentment toward Torre. He was a great manager for the Yankees – the right guy at the right time – but when he wrote allowed Tom Verducci to write a book that revealed his innermost thoughts about his players while they were still active and he was still managing bothered me. It did.

I remember the day his book was published because it had the same pub date as my “Confessions” book. (And no, I’m not sore because he stole all the publicity.) I read the reviews and wondered why he needed to be so candid about A-Rod, Damon and others. What was the point? He didn’t need the money, did he? And he certainly didn’t need to pad his resume; he was already a star in the sport. Once I read the book itself, I could appreciate many aspects of it and there was no doubt that it was well written. But I couldn’t get past the meanness. Torre was everybody’s father figure. Aren’t fathers supposed to take the high road and act like grownups?

It’s all water under the bridge now. Maybe. I doubt Cashman will forgive the swipes Torre took at him in the book, no matter what he says. One thing I do know: Joe will get a huge ovation on Old Timer’s Day and he’ll shed more than a few tears as he waves his cap at the fans. I’ll be smiling. As I said, I’d rather have peace in the family than a messy divorce.

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Hank Shoots From the Lip; A-Rod Talks About His Hip

Monday, February 21st, 2011

And I just wrote a rhyming headline. Woohoo.

Anyhow, it was kind of an eventful day in Yankeeville. But before I get into who said what about whom, one of this blog’s faithful readers, Amanda, has been going to spring training camp to watch our boys practice and she sent me some video from her adventures. If you’re itching for a taste of the Yankees warming up, take a look. There’s a lot of standing around, but I can tell you this: If I were as close to those guys as Amanda was, I would have jumped onto the field and made a fool of myself.

Amanda doesn’t leave comments here, but let’s give her props for showing up in Tampa and forwarding the evidence.

Okay, so onto Hank Steinbrenner’s remarks. Apparently, the Hankster thinks the 2010 Yankees didn’t win the World Series because they were too busy celebrating their 2009 championship and “building mansions.” Hm. He didn’t single anybody out, but maybe he meant this mansion?

(Courtesy: curbed.com)

Jeter’s house is said to be the largest in Tampa, which would mean it dwarfs those of any Steinbrenner. Does the Hankster have real estate envy?

He recovered by saying this year’s Yankees seem hungrier than last year’s, which would make sense if the team had different players on it. (I’m fairly sure he doesn’t consider Russell Martin a game changer.) He’s such a character, that Hank. I know he makes some fans crazy, but I find him entertaining in the manner of, say, him.

A-Rod spoke to the media and said his hip is 100%, that he needs to have a better year and that he enjoyed being fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz on national television. (No, he didn’t say that last part; he did joke about the incident though.) I like the leaner, looser A-Rod. He’s smiling a lot more and the guy does have a great smile, whether he’s your favorite player or not.

(Courtesy: sportifi.com)

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Jeter Could Be A Politician When He Retires

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

You know how politicians manage to say something without saying anything? Or, to put it another way, you know how they say just the right thing even when they’re backed into a corner? Look what Jeter told the media today when asked if he was worried about the Yankees’ starting rotation:

“I wouldn’t say worried is the right word. We just need other guys to step up. I think a lot of times when you have young guys coming up, all they need is an opportunity. Right now it looks like there’s going to be some opportunities. I wouldn’t say worried or concerned is the right way to put it, I’d say I’m more interested to see what’s going to happen.”

I mean that’s brilliant. He’s not worried or concerned; he’s interested. Right.

Well, maybe he’s being honest, and he’s a big fan of Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre. Who knows. I guess that’s where he and I differ. I am worried and concerned. Not as much as I was a few weeks ago though. Once I saw the Yankees show up in Tampa in their spanking new unis and big silly grins, I knew everything would be okay. Somehow. There’s just a confidence that comes with being a Yankee fan. Our rotation is shaky but we have such a great team otherwise. It’s easy to forget that over the long winter.

Speaking of which, there was snow and hail in my neck of the woods last night, plus a tornado and two earthquakes. Seriously. I’m wondering what’s on tap for tomorrow.

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I Want Some Mo!

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

(Photo: John Munson/The Star-Ledger)

Apparently, my darling Mariano hasn’t put in an appearance in Tampa yet (as of this writing), and the reason given was that his kids are sick with flu-like symptoms and he doesn’t want to leave them.

(Photo: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

His boys are adorable, so I don’t blame him. I wonder if the oldest one can pitch and the Yankees can sign him the second he’s feeling better?

Anyhow, the my-kids-are-sick explanation sure does make Mo sound like an All-Star dad. But could it be an excuse rather than an explanation? For all we know, his kids are fine and he’s got other things to do before flying to spring training. For instance:

  • He’s opening another restaurant.
  • He’s shooting another modeling gig for Canali.
  • He can’t face training camp without Andy Pettitte pitching.
  • He can’t face training camp without Jorge Posada catching.
  • He can’t face training camp without CC Sabathia eating Cap’n Crunch.
  • He can’t face training camp with Rafael Soriano studying his every move like a scene from “All Above Eve.”
  • He can’t face training camp with David Wells as an instructor (oh, the awful music).
  • He can’t face training camp with beat writers asking him when he’ll retire.

I don’t know about you, but those would be reasons enough for me to stay home.

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Making New Friends At Camp

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

(courtesy: capitalranch.com)

Every year when the Yankees start showing up in Tampa, I wonder what it’s like for the players. I’m not talking about whether Hughes intends to focus on his changeup or if Jeter is spending extra time in the batting cage with Kevin Long. I’m talking about who makes friends with whom. We already know Jeter and Posada are tight and that Swisher talks to anybody who’s breathing. But what about the new guys or even the new-ish guys? Inquiring minds want to know about the following…

Which player will Grandy hang out with this year? Last year he had Thames, his Tigers buddy.

Who will be Soriano’s interpreter? Cano used to fill the role for Melky, but he might be too cool for that now.

Who will look after Justin Maxwell? We don’t have any other former Nats, do we?

Will anybody be nice to Colon and Garcia? Or will the players assume the two pitchers will be gone by March and figure they’re not worth getting to know?

Ditto: Mark Prior.

Will Posada extend a warm welcome to Russell Martin or view him as a rival?

I guess I shouldn’t worry; I’m not their mother, for God’s sake. Still, I like when everybody gets along with everybody. I just do. And hopefully Girardi will plan another one of his “bonding” adventures for the players.

(Photo: Brown W. Cannon III)

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Like Birds Flying South For The Winter…

Monday, February 7th, 2011

…the Yankees beat writers are heading down to Tampa this week. I guess this means we’re really, truly going to have baseball. Seems kind of incredible, doesn’t it? I was starting to think the off-season would last forever, but by the end of the week it’ll officially be over. We’ll get reports about which players have arrived, who’s working out, who’s looking good, who’s saying what. Very excited.

So before we bring the Winter of Our Discontent to a close, I’m asking everyone for the highlights and low lights of this off-season. What stands out for you?

  • Cliff Lee not becoming a Yankee?
  • Jeter and the Yankees getting into a spat?
  • Colon and Garcia joining the team?
  • Andy Pettitte bidding us farewell?
  • Robinson Cano hiring Scott Boras?

I guess these would all qualify as low lights. Were there any highlights? If there were, I’m drawing a complete blank.

(courtesy: piczo.com)

Well, except for Mo signing a new two-year contract. That’s a big-time highlight.

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