Much to discuss . . . so let’s go:
- Could Kei Igawa be pitching his way towards a trade, to a team that wants him?:
Including a three-inning outing against Team Canada on March 5, Igawa has scattered seven hits in seven spring appearances, striking out 11. The outcome has drawn interest — during the Yankees’ game at Fort Myers, Fla., on Friday, professional scouts in attendance were said to be asking specifically about Igawa.
“He’s had a heck of a spring,” Cashman said. “He seems assertive, he’s moving fast and he’s throwing strikes. He’s always had good stuff. His command hasn’t been there. Now he’s showing stuff with commitment.”
Some of Igawa’s success may be due to the fact he is facing some batters who will not begin the season on big league rosters. There is little left to prove at the lower levels for Igawa, who was 14-6 with a 3.45 ERA in 26 games (24 starts) for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last year.
- Jorge Posada is showing further progress in his recovery from shoulder surgery:
In the surest sign yet that Jorge Posada’s surgically repaired right shoulder will be prepared for Opening Day, the Yankees catcher unloaded strong throws to cut down three baserunners on Sunday.
Continuing to strengthen his shoulder, the 37-year-old Posada received CC Sabathia in a Minor League game against Pirates prospects, nabbing three of four potential basestealers with clean tosses to second base.
“You can’t compare what I was feeling last year,” Posada said. “I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t make three throws like that. It’s good to be back.”
- CC Sabathia seems to be adjusting quite well to his new teammates:
Beginning the process to combat Spring Training downtime, the left-hander stepped into a role of group organizer, his cohesive personality drawing the Bombers together for dinners and courtside seats at Orlando Magic games.
“I don’t know if I’m a leader,” Sabathia said. “I like to hang out with my teammates. I like to get to know them. Going to Magic games and going out to eat, I just feel like that’s something guys on the same team should always do. If I’m a leader in that regard, I guess. But I’m just trying to get to know my guys.”
- Richard Sandomir writes about Jim Kaat’s return to the broadcast booth.
- At LoHud, PeteAbe posts a Q&A with Joba Chamberlain, with the questions coming from readers, including this snippet:
Kirsten writes:: Your career has moved at a much faster pace, more so than that of most younger players. If you could go back and give advice to your 2007 self, what would you say?
Joba: “Slow things down. They’re so … especially in New York, things are going so fast. I did a terrible job my first year of slowing things down. Not so much on the field but probably off the field. You’ve just got to be happy for the situation but slow a lot of things down.”
- Over at the Biz of Baseball, Maury Brown does the number-crunching on single game ticket pricing:
Attending games during the inaugural season at the new Yankee Stadium will be decidedly elitist as the club today released single game prices for tickets that go on sale Tuesday. Seats in the first row behind home plate will come in at a staggering $2,625, a record price by a considerable margin for MLB, and some of the highest in the history of professional sports. The steep prices seem to fly in the face of other pricing across sports given the current economic recession.
But, it is not just the seats behind home plate that push the envelop for prices. The Legends section (see the dark blue which runs from section 11-29), which includes 122 seats that ring from nearly foul pole to foul pole, run from the $2,625 to $525.
. . . the average ticket price will be over $160. With the suites included, the average price for single game tickets is over $237.
[My take: That’s an average of $17.80 to $26.33 per inning.]
- Peter Gammons speculates on the next move of Matt Holliday:
Since Jason Bay can also be a free agent at the end of this season, Holliday could be pursued by the Red Sox; yes, everyone in baseball has six degrees of separation from pitching coach John Farrell, and Farrell was Tom Holliday’s pitching coach at Oklahoma State and has known Matt since he was a little kid. There are scouts who believe Holliday’s natural center/right-center power is best suited for Yankee Stadium. Many feel he will be a prime target of the Angels as Vladimir Guerrero becomes a free agent. But right now, Holliday is more interested in Oakland’s pursuit of the Angels.
- As expected, Phil Hughes was sent down to Triple-A:
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman lauded Hughes’ work this spring, but said the team would be doing a disservice to keep him in camp. The 22-year-old righty will continue preparing as a starting pitcher and could be among the first considered if there is an opportunity in New York.
“I told him that he had a great camp and to keep working,” Cashman said. “We told him about all the things that we saw and what he needs to continue to work on. He’s in a great frame of mind. He knows he did great here, but he also knows that it’s not in his best interest to now be held back.”
[My take: I would have preferred Chris Iannetta . . . or even Chris Hoiles.]
- Even big league managers like getting autographs.
- “Hey buddy . . . yeah I’m talking to you . . . want some grass? . . . high-quality stuff . . . the stuff the Yanks use.”:
Yankees Sod will be available at New York City-area Home Depot stores near the end of the month. A patch a little bigger than five square feet — 16 inches by 4 feet — will cost $7.50, Mr. Andres said. It may cost a few thousand dollars to cover a large backyard, but the sod comes with a certificate of authenticity from Major League Baseball, complete with the counterfeit-proof hologram, declaring it to be the official grass of the New York Yankees.
Yankees Grass Seed will also be available, in gift-friendly novelty sizes of three ounces and eight ounces, at Yankee Stadium and other places. Home Depot will carry bigger bags of seed.
- On this date in 1974, the Yankees purchase outfielder Elliott Maddox from the Texas Rangers for $60,000. Maddox proved to be a great defensive outfielder as well as hitting .303 during the season.
[My take: Bobby Murcer was none too pleased about this acquisition.]
- On this date in 1990, Howard Spira is arrested for extorting money from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who paid Spira $40,000 in January.