"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Yankees 9, Pirates 8

Yankees 9, Pirates 8, blah blah blah.

Brett Gardner won the center-field job!

Sez the skipper: “It’s not going to be day by day. Gardy is our center fielder.”


R – Derek Jeter (SS)
L – Johnny Damon (LF)
S – Nick Swisher (1B)
L – Hideki Matsui (DH)
S – Jorge Posada (C)
L – Robinson Cano (2B)
R – Xavier Nady (RF)
S – Ramiro Peña (3B)
L – Brett Gardner (CF)

Subs: Justin Snyder (2B), Carmen Angelini (SS), Angel Berroa (3B), Jose Molina (C), Melky Mesa (RF), Melky Cabrera (LF-RF-CF), Seth Fortenberry (LF), Eric Fryer (DH)

Pitchers: A.J. Burnett, Damaso Marte, Mariano Rivera, Phil Coke, Jose Veras

Big Hits:

Robinson Cano (1-for-4) hit his third homer of the spring. Xavier Nady (2-for-3, BB), Nick Swisher (1-for-3, 2 BB), and Johnny Damon (1-for-3)  all doubled.

Who Pitched Well:

Mariano Rivera pitched around a single for a scoreless sixth by striking out the side. Phil Coke struck out four and allowed only a single in two scoreless innings .

Who Didn’t:

A.J. Burnett got lit up by the Pirates starters, allowing seven runs (six earned) in his 4 1/3 innings on three walks and ten hits, including home runs by Eric Hinske, Ryan Doumit, and Adam LaRoche. He struck out just one. After the game he said his mechanics were out of whack, but his arm felt fine. Damaso Marte finished the fourth for Burnett by allowing a run on two hits, one of them an Andy LaRoche double.


With Xavier Nady and Brett Gardner having been named the starters in right and center, respectively, the only suspense remaining concerns the reserve infielder and last man in the bullpen. Jonathan Albaladejo now seems like the favorite to complete the bullpen of Rivera, Brian Bruney, Marte, Veras, Edwar Ramirez, and Coke. In today’s game, Ramiro Peña started at third and later moved to shortstop, then second base. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and made a great bare-hand play on a bunt at third base. His one hit was a bunt single. Angel Berroa pinch ran for Johnny Damon, then replaced Peña at third base and went 0-for-1.

Who Dat?:

Lightening round on the five players the Yankees brought over from minor league camp for this game:

Eric Fryer is the catcher/outfielder obtained from the Brewers for Chase Wright. He was a tenth-round pick ouf of Ohio State in 2007 and hit .335/.407/.506 with 15 steals in 18 attempts in the Sally League last year.

Seth Fortenberry is a center fielder taken in the 11th round in 2006. He hit .263/.372/.434 for High-A Tampa last year.

Melquisedec “Melky” Mesa is a 22-year-old Dominican outfielder who has yet to play in a full-season league and has a career .221/.272/.395 line after three minor league seasons.

Carmen Angelini was a highly-touted tenth-round pick out of high school in 2007. The 19-year-old shorstop hit .236/.302/.295 in the Sally League last year.

Justin Snyder was a 21st-round pick out of the University of San Diego in 2007. Primarily a second baseman, he has played all four infield positions and center field in his two minor league seasons and hit .288/.371/.407 in the Sally League last year.

Also, the Padres returned Rule 5 pick Ivan Nova. Here’s what I said about him when the Friars took him:

A 21year-old Dominican righty starter [now 22], he spent [last] season at High-A Tampa where he posted a 4.36 ERA with unimpressive peripherals. Baseball America says he, “has flashed three plus pitches at times but lacks consistency and deception.” I can’t see how he could stick even on the Padres 25-man roster.

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1 Rob Abruzzese   ~  Mar 29, 2009 10:30 pm

Melky Mesa is great. Personally, I'm rooting for him as much as anybody. But he's got to lay off some pitches. It became a joke in the press box last year and we made a big deal about it if he didn't swing at the first pitch.

2 joejoejoe   ~  Mar 29, 2009 10:42 pm

Gardy? What kind of nickname is that? Maybe the Yankees are trying to make him into an Italian for marketing purposes and it's really Gardi.

3 monkeypants   ~  Mar 29, 2009 11:20 pm

[0] ...Eric Fryer is the catcher/outfielder...

I like the sound of "catcher/of," especially one who can hit. of course, he only played in A ball, etc, etc. But a fan can dream, can't he?

4 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 29, 2009 11:49 pm

[2] It's just good ol' American lazyspeak. My mind 's a little too dirty to accept "The Gardener", not to mention (like "Gardy") it's not very clever and and about as annoying as any other player referring to himself in the third person:

VOICE 1: "Brett "The Gardener" Gardner approaches the plate... adjusts his gloves and fixes his cup... takes the sign from third-base coach Rob Thomson... and the pitch is HIT ON A LINE PAST THE DIVING FIRST BASEMAN FOR A BASE HIT! And it rolls all the way to the wall! The Gardener rounds second, he's digging for third! The throw goes to third base and the Gardener slides... SAFE! A nice slide around the tag and Brett "The Gardener" is in with a hustling triple on the first pitch he sees! The Gardener rakes one down the line and in the corner for a triple with no one out!

VOICE 2: Uh, Brett: Why are you doing commentary while you're playing?

VOICE 1: The Gardener can do his own commentary because The Gardener can do anything he sets his mind to! The Gardener won the center field job, the Gardener can win the play-by-play job as well!

VOICE 2: Oh... well, as long as you don't do showtunes...

VOICE 1: The Gardener only does Off-Broadway!


5 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 29, 2009 11:58 pm


[1] If he or consistently strikes out on said pitches or makes an error on a hard-hit ball, is it a "Hot Melky Mess"? (ducking)

6 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Mar 30, 2009 1:44 am

Actually, monkeypants, I suspect "catcher/outfielder who can hit" translates to a player whose only suited to be a DH. Still, a bat is a bat. They don't have many of those in the system.

7 joejoejoe   ~  Mar 30, 2009 3:28 am

How about 'Poison' as a nickname for Gardner? Every bio I see for the guy lists Brett M. Gardner but never lists his middle name. Maybe his middle name is 'Michael' which is close enough to the lead singer of 'Poison'. If he sucks, the nickname works. If he scores 120 runs, it still works.

8 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Mar 30, 2009 3:57 am

I am going to call Gardner "Chauncey"..let's see if he can walk on water?? (Chyll, i KNOW you will get that reference!)

9 Mattpat11   ~  Mar 30, 2009 4:10 am

Well, Brett was the better option of the two, I guess.

I still think he may have shot his load in spring training, but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

10 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Mar 30, 2009 4:48 am

Btw..am I the only one who finds the baseball world's habit of shortening a family name into a nickname to be very irritating?? "Gardy"?? I remember Mike Hampton was "Hampy"..that is so lame..or maybe I just follow baseball too much and need to get out more..

11 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Mar 30, 2009 5:07 am

Unfavorably stuck at home this afternoon, popped in Game 6 dvd, 1977 World Series..game time: 2 hours and 18minutes!! today that would easily have been twice as long..Howard, Seaver and Keith Jackson on play-by-play, odd mix but I can dig it. Joltin Joe threw out the first pitch..

12 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Mar 30, 2009 5:12 am

wow..Ron Cey must have been one of the oddest looking ballplayers of all time..watching him run around the bases on a Steve Garvey triple was bizarre!

13 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Mar 30, 2009 7:02 am

And it's over! Yanks win in 6, Reggie sprints off the field like Jim Brown and just smashes some fan who got in his way..I'm sure there was something on the old Toaster site from Alex about this game, a diary or review..will have to look it up. I could watch that last Reggie tater 100 times and not get bored, what a shot into the black!

Will stick with these dvds till spring training ends..if it ever does end this year..

14 RIYank   ~  Mar 30, 2009 7:08 am

[8] To be just a little more subtle, his nickname could be 'Chance'. (That was Chauncy's real name, of course.)

For readers who appreciate Le Carre more than Kosinski, we could call him 'Constance' instead. That seems unlikely to work in the clubhouse.

15 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Mar 30, 2009 7:53 am

[14] I could see Le Carre being popular in the clubhouse..not sure there's even one guy on the team who would know Kosinski, though I see Edwar Ramirez as a closet reader. He's got the skin&bones, lanky pitcher with thick glasses look down pat, book worm for sure!

16 OldYanksFan   ~  Mar 30, 2009 8:55 am

[4] How about 'Chancy'?

17 OldYanksFan   ~  Mar 30, 2009 8:56 am

Oops..... can't read AND can't spell.

18 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Mar 30, 2009 9:30 am

Nicknames, alas, are a vanishing art form. I think it links to changes (long way back) in sportswriting, where once the fake-literary, or elaborately stylized was a recognized part of the form. Back then, writers coined quite elaborate nicknames, in an arch way. Franky Frisch the Fordham Flash. And who can forget (actually, who can remember?) Arlie Latham, known as 'The Freshest Man on Earth'?

Poison has been used. The Waners, Paul and Lloyd were Big Poison and Little Poison. We all blew it by not tossing it out for Sir Sid Ponson!

I like 'Chance' myself (Would evolve to Chancy, most likely). Though I'll hope he's Constant as CF starter.

19 PJ   ~  Mar 30, 2009 10:45 am

It's still not as bad as the Yankees Captain consistently being referred to as, "The Derek Jeter."

Arguably, that stinkpot Chris Berman ruined the uniqueness and "earn ability" of real nicknames...

Leave it to some asshat from Corporate ESPN to ruin a good thing about sports... I mean who knew?


20 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 30, 2009 12:22 pm

[18] The Freshest man On Earth? I know a whole generation of rappers who competed for that title on a regular basis >;)

[19] Yep. E@#$ ruined a lot of things with their incessant and relentless need to show how "hip" they are with their target demographic. They're not the only ones, but they are certainly at the forefront...

[8] I tip my homburg to you... now he also gets my vote for team president! >;)

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