Today’s news is powered by a big Happy 78th birthday wish to Willie Mays:
- Alex Rodriguez’s daily rehab update (soon to be a major motion picture!):
New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez homered twice and played seven innings in the field for the second straight day in an extended spring training game on Tuesday.
Sidelined since undergoing right hip surgery on March 9, the third baseman could rejoin the Yankees for Friday night’s game at Baltimore. A-Rod said a return date has not been finalized.
“I have no idea about Friday,” said Rodriguez, scheduled to play in another extended spring training game Wednesday. “I’m feeling good.”
Rodriguez went 3-for-6 with two homers to center — including one that cleared a 40-foot-high batter’s eye — and also lined a single. He had two plays at third, fielding a grounder and making a spin move to throw out Philadelphia minor leaguer Nerio Rios at first.
- Jorge Posada takes his strained hamstring to the 15-day DL. Here’s a little info on just what a hamstring strain is.
- Rainy days and Mondays (when it rains incessantly to the point that some fans think the game has been called, only to find it hasn’t been called . . . and that aren’t allowed back in the Stadium . . .) always get me down:
Hundreds of irate fans – some who claim Yankee employees told them the game had been rained out – stormed away from Yankee Stadium before Monday night’s game against the Red Sox even got underway and couldn’t get back in, resulting in a an ugly scene at one of the ticket gates.
With rain falling for hours and no start time announced until shortly before 9 p.m., hordes of fans began leaving the Stadium and heading home – some who said they had been advised that the game had been called by Yankee employees who walked the concourse holding pinstriped “How may I help you?” signs.
When a 9:20 p.m. start time was eventually announced over the public address system, a crowd on the sidewalk outside Gate 6 tried to get back into the Stadium, only to have the employees working the turnstiles promptly close the doors in their faces. Panicked fans began racing up and down the sidewalk, trying to find a way back into the ballpark, while others remained at Gate 6 either pleading or demanding to be let back in.
- Are the Yankees treating the media fairly? Bob Raissman has some concerns:
The latest episode came during the weekend series with the Angels. Paul O’Neill, a revered former Yankee, now an analyst for the Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network, was asked by security to leave the indoor batting cages, where he was watching Yankees hit, prior to one of the games.
A security guard told O’Neill, the man George Steinbrenner called “warrior,” he could not loiter in the area. O’Neill had another reason to be perturbed. Security would not allow his wife, Nevalee, into the Stadium “wives room.” She was told by security it was for “current” wives only.
Think about it. Here’s O’Neill, a guy who bled for the franchise, trying to prepare for a broadcast. Not only is he told to take a hike, so is his wife. O’Neill was not the only broadcaster ejected from a part of the Stadium over the weekend.
The Angels bring multiple announcers (including voices who work Spanish language broadcasts) on the road. The mouths rotate between radio and TV. At times, some of them are not on the air. During those breaks, they need a place to watch the game. There were two empty Stadium broadcast booths during the series. Angels voices, not on the air, used one of them to chill.
Until they were booted by security.
The Angels broadcasters were told they weren’t allowed to sit in the empty booth. When asked Monday if the voices had been mistaken and were sitting in a private box reserved for patrons, an Angels source said: “No, it was a broadcast booth.” When asked if security invited the broadcasters downstairs to sit in those empty seats behind the plate, the source laughed and said, “no.”
The announcers wouldn’t be able to expense one of those $1,000-plus seats. Still, when it comes to the electronic media, money is an issue. Yankees suits, according to industry sources, have increased the fee they charge local TV outlets to do live reports inside the Stadium. Earlier in the season, sources put the price at $4,000 a pop. After negotiations the price has dropped.
- The public funding of the Stadium is still getting investigated:
The New York Yankees urged a state judge Tuesday to quash the subpoena from two assembly committees investigating the use of public funds to help build the team’s new stadium, saying the issue has already been fully aired publicly.
Attorneys for the baseball team said Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, a Westchester Democrat, is exceeding his authority and harassing the Yankees with legal action. The new stadium in the Bronx was the subject of 21 local, state and federal approvals and 22 public hearings, they said.
“It’s one of the most exhaustively reviewed and approved public projects in the state and in the country involving a sports team,” attorney Jonathan Schiller said after Tuesday’s court hearing.
Schiller estimated it would cost the Yankees between $600,000 and $1.2 million to comply with Brodsky’s subpoena for private information from the past nine years.
Attorney George Carpinello argued in court the subpoena was also “grossly overbroad” and would require culling the electronic and paper documents of more than 100 people. Carpinello added that the relevant information is held by the New York City Industrial Development Agency and said the Yankees have already provided the committees chaired by Brodsky and Assemblyman James Brennan with thousands of pages of documents plus testimony.
- Wanna see photos from one my first trip to the new Stadium?
- As I stated above, today is the 78th birthday of the one and only Willie Mays!
- On this date in 1915, Babe Ruth, as a pitcher for the Red Sox, had three hits, including his first major league home run, when he connected off Jack Warhop of the Yankees at the Polo Grounds.
- On this date in 1982, Gaylord Perry of the Seattle Mariners became the 15th major league pitcher with 300 victories when he defeated the New York Yankees 7 – 3 at the Kingdome. Perry became the first pitcher to notch his 300th win since Early Wynn did it in 1963.
[My take: Given his spitball transgressions, Mr. Perry’s election to the Hall is a bit galling. Its easier to nab a spitballer than someone on PEDs.]
- On this date in 2007, Hideki Matsui doubles to left in an at-bat against Jarrod Washburn. It is his 2,000th hit between MLB and NPB and makes him the 46th member of the meikyukai.