This update is powered by a classic Buddy Hackett joke (sorry for the video quality):
- Nick Johnson, pull power hitter?:
As a lefthanded hitter he’s always had a lot more Tony Gwynn in him than Ken Griffey Jr. He’s not exactly a slap hitter, but Johnson has made a career of hitting the ball to all fields, always more comfortable going the other way than pulling the ball.
“My whole life’s been left field,” was the way he put it yesterday.
. . . (Batting coach Kevin) Long took one look at him on tape after the Yankees signed him as a free agent and saw an obvious flaw that was draining his power from his swing. Basically, he wasn’t using his legs to drive the ball.
“When I watched him it was striking that his back foot was sliding out and collapsing,” Long explained. “So that was the first thing we attacked, getting to use his lower half more efficiently and consistently.”
. . . The payoff came quickly, in Johnson’s fifth and sixth at-bats of the spring, and the home runs were enough to make the Yankees salivate over what his new approach might produce this season.
- Curtis Granderson takes a ride with Jeter:
Curtis Granderson got a ride back with some new friends from Monday’s game in Bradenton. Derek Jeter was driving. Alex Rodriguez rode shotgun.
“At first glance, you sit there and go, ‘Man, you know, do I call home and tell my friends who I got a ride with?’ ” Granderson said.
. . . Granderson said he asked Jeter what all the different buttons and switches did.
“I don’t know,” Jeter told him. “I’m never back there.”
[My take: Why do I think of THIS song right now?]
- A-Rod and lawyers, oh my.
- No hard feelings for Johnny Damon.
- A college football bowl game, in the Stadium, in December:
There was no welcome mat for sour thoughts at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday when the Yankees announced that the newest postseason college football game, the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, will be played there on Dec. 30.
. . . Randy Levine, the Yankees’ president, said negative thinking would have prevented the Yankees from becoming world champions, from building the new stadium or creating the YES Network.
“This is the New York Yankees,” he said at a news conference. “We think this is going to be the premier event. People want to play in New York, people want to play in the stadium, people are interested in watching the stadium.” He envisioned a weeklong celebration for players and the schools’ entourages.
[My take: “people are interested in watching the stadium” ???]
- Kevin Reese (sips of coffee with the club in ’05 and ’06) turns 32 today.
- Bobby Abreu turns 36 today.
Back on Monday!