"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Signs of Spring

Ahhh, the comfort of pre-spring training puff pieces sure are a sight for sore eyes. The Daily News has a few of ’em today, including a bit featuring the latest from Joe Torre, and another detailing Octavio Dotel’s rapid recovery from Tommy John surgery. According to Anthony McCarron:

“I don’t want to say I’m 100% now, but I’m feeling really good,” Dotel said.

He hopes he can be ready by April, but he says he won’t rush, either. “The Yankees are the people who decide,” he said. “As far as I feel, I could be there in April, but I’ll let them decide when I’ll be in New York with the team.”

Following up on Bob Klapisch’s piece for ESPN last week, Christian Red has an article on Jason Giambi, who says that he expects to play first more than DH this year. I liked this bit:

“I was always the guy, in the beginning, that took over for Tino,” Giambi said. “Even though I had great years (in Oakland), we hadn’t won that World Series.

“I think every New Yorker, they love to see somebody face adversity and still stand tall. And not fall by the wayside. They like to see you man up, take your beating. You just keep going and clicking and keep working hard.

“They love those stories. It’s a tough town out here. It really is. I don’t know how many people I get that pull me aside and just, ‘We appreciate the way you handled it and the way you went about it.'”

Meanwhile, over at SI.com, Tom Verducci believes that Chien-Ming Wang could have a breakout season in ’06:

The cool right-hander is a strike- and groundball-throwing machine, getting through his average inning as an AL rookie with only 13.7 pitches. Pitching for a team loaded with offense, Wang is a near lock to win 15 games — but only if he stays healthy, which is still a concern among the New York executives.

No earth-shattering news, but hey, it’s a start. Dig in.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver