"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Category: Spring Training

Up in the Air

flowers flying

Lousy news for Andrew Miller and the Yanks.

[Photo Credit: Claire Droppert via This Isn’t Happiness]


bo bartlett

I’ve had tennis on the brain over at Esky Classic this week—here, here and here—but baseball is a-near, ain’t she? Some kind of day in Cuba, right?

Hey, how is Nathan Eovaldi looking this spring?

Picture by Bo Bartlett via This Isn’t Happiness.

Step Up (to get your Rep Up)


Over at the Players’ Tribune, C.C. Sabbathia talks about his alcoholism. Worth a look.

Photo Via: TMZ.

Whadda Ya Hear, Whadda Ya Say?


This might be the first season since I started the Banter where I’ll put up posts so I can learn more about the team from you guys.

I’m pleasantly out-of-the-loop. I’m just so busy with other things that baseball and the Yankees is not my priority. That said, I like not knowing what is going on, only half-paying attention. It’ll make the season more of a discovery because I’ll turn the game on one day, not recognize half the roster, and then settle in to get to know them.

So, what’s the deal? Who is worth watching? Who are we worried about? Fill me in.

Picture by Bags

And Now We Know


Aroldis Chapman gets 30 games.

[Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin/N.Y. Daily News]

Leap of Faith


Good Lord, game threads. Right. What’s a game thread?

Are we there already? Man, I’ve got to get up to speed on this spring training business.

Luckily for us, Chad Jennings is on the case—as always.

I tell ya, I’m feel more disconnected with the daily happenings of the team than I have since I began this blog in 2002. But not in an unpleasant way. I kind of like the distance. This way, everything carries an element of surprise—learning about the new guys (who?), remembering the veterans (he’s still around?). The further away I get from the 365-day news cycle, the happier I am, and the easier it is for me to just show up as a fan and root.

Picture by Bags.




Pitchers and catchers.

Doesn’t that sound nice?

Illustration by Robert Weaver via The New York Times. 

Up The Middle

Robert Refsnyder

The Yankees starting and back-up shortstops are hurt. So they picked up a futility infielder.

As usual, the intrepid Chad Jennings has the skinny. 

[Photo Via: Lo Hud]

Coming Soon


As in next week: baseball. Our man Chad Jennings with some thoughts about the state of the Yanks. 

And here’s more from River Ave Blues. 

This is the 13th season we’ve covered here at the Banter. For many years, this was a Yankee and baseball site. I wrote and wrote and had some terrific contributors. Now, the site is more a culture blog with a dose of baseball. It’s also become far more visual. I don’t write about baseball as much. Somewhere along the line I exhausted everything I had to say. As I began to get freelance work as a writer I moved away from giving away all my thoughts on the blog, preferring to save some stuff for longer pieces.

But I still love following the game, and, especially, the Yanks. I love hosting the Banter. The vibe of the place may have changed but just because I write less, doesn’t mean I’m not present. I just share myself more with links and pictures.

The Banter is still my home and my heart. Thanks for hanging out with me.

[Photo Credit: Lynne Sladky/AP]

Have Glove, Will Travel


Here’s something to make you excited about the season. Ken Rosenthal on Did Gregorious’ fielding, featuring some nifty analysis from Alex Rodriguez.

[Photo Credit: Kathy Willens/AP]

Monday Matinee


Yanks exhibition game is on the MLB Network this afternoon for those of you who’re around a TV.

[Photo Credit: Chris Carlson/AP via It’s a Long Season]

I Got a Friend Shirley Bigger n You

MLB: New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks

Chris Smith profiles Matt Harvey in New York Magazine:

Last year, post-surgery, the Mets tried to protect Harvey from himself, physically, and this year the tension will resume. The franchise has also struggled to figure out how to handle Harvey’s attraction to the spotlight. Harvey is the Mets’ first star who has grown up with Twitter and Instagram, and his online posts have sometimes irritated management. His fondness for women and nightlife quickly conjured overheated comparisons to Joe Namath, the Jets quarterback who in the late ’60s set the standard for swinging jock bachelors in the city. Harvey is as at ease knocking down pins at Brooklyn Bowl as he is lounging inside 1 Oak. The gossip pages have claimed he pursued tennis player Eugenie Bouchard and dated models Ashley Haas and Asha Leo.

Harvey’s ego is substantial, but his desire for attention isn’t driven by simple A-Rod-ian neediness. He has an almost romantic notion of New York stardom and an endearing curiosity about what the city has to offer. Unlike the majority of his teammates, who keep a safe suburban distance, Harvey lives in the city, in a tenth-floor East Village apartment. He walks for hours, exploring neighborhoods and popping into restaurants he hasn’t tried.

But becoming a social-media-era experiment in New York sports celebrity, hanging on to his openness and crafting an identity somewhere between reckless Broadway Joe and bland Derek Jeter, might prove harder than lifting the Mets back into the playoffs. “I will never apologize for having a life,” he says.

Harvey pitched against the Yankees yesterday. Here’s Chad Jennings with the notes. 

[Photo Via: USATSI]

Meat Pie

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees

Over at River Ave Blues, Mike Axisa takes a look at the Yankees’ new flame-thrower. 

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Bluebird, Bluebird, Through My Window


The Yanks and the Jays play an exhibition tonight in Florida.

Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Carlos Beltran RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Garrett Jones DH
Chris Young CF
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

Game’s on TV. I don’t watch spring training baseball much but I’ll watch tonight because I want to see C.C. He’s been a fun guy to root for and I don’t know what he’s got left but I’m pulling’ for him, big-time. I mean, we only saw him 8 times last year. Miss the dude, you know? I like that he’s gained some weight back. You don’t want skinny Lolich or skinny David Wells.

Figure the Jays could be pretty good this year, right? And maybe even a little less douchy?–though you could argue Russell and Donaldson just up the douche factor. I’m curious to see them.

Whadda ya hear, whadday ya say?

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags.

Breaking Bad


Unfortunate news for the Mets.

Man, it just feels like a matter of time before we hear something similar about Tanaka…or any young pitcher, really.

[Photo Via: Eddie Kranepool Society]

Stretching Out


More spring notes from the intrepid Chad Jennings.

[Photo Credit: NJ.com]

Happiness Is…

I have a friend who’ll watch the NFL and occasionally check in on a hockey or basketball game but who really sits around all winter waiting for baseball to return. He’d watch a channel that just showed a still picture of a baseball; that’d be enough to keep him warm.

I spoke to him  yesterday and he was so excited to see an exhibition game on TV.

So happy, in fact, he got busy with photoshop and sent this.


Ah, baseball.



You guys know all about the great Lo Hud Yankee blog. Pete Abraham started it and Chad Jennings keeps it purring along. For all the latest spring training whatnot, look no further than your one-stop shop for Yankeeness. 

[Picture by Lucy Eldridge via It’s a Long Season]

It Ain’t the Meat it’s the Motion


C.C. weighs in.

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