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

You Can Get With This (or You Can Get with That)

tanasss

SI‘s baseball preview issue is out and features contributions by Cliff Corcoran, Jay Jaffe and a feature by Eric Nusbaum. Oh, yeah, and four different covers (including Yadier Molina and some kid named Trout).

Cano

We’re Back

supzzz

Okay, I’m reloaded. 

Some wild games in the NCAA tournament last night. And of course, the Yanks played too.

Mostly, they are concerned about the health of their new center fielder.

[Picture by Dave Bullock via West Coast Avengers]

Things That Go Thump in The Night

National League Wild Card Game - St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves

Lou Piniella’s wife used to wake up in the middle of the night to find her husband standing on the bed practicing his swing. Or he’d be over by the mirror scrutinizing his form. I always wondered if he smoked a cigarette as he took his imaginary cuts.

I couldn’t help but think of Sweet Lou when I read this story by Peter Kerasotis in the Times yesterday:

There are people who keep a baseball bat next to their beds to fend off potential intruders. Carlos Beltran does so to fend off bad thoughts that have invaded his mind. The thoughts that will follow him home from the ballpark, lying dormant while he is with his family.

“When I’m home, I can put a smile on my face and act like nothing’s wrong,” he said. “But then at night, when I’m in bed, everything comes to my head: ‘Man, I was horrible today. How come I’m in this slump? Why am I hitting .220 this month? What’s wrong?’

“No matter how many years you’re in baseball, how much success you have, when you hit a bump, you worry.”

When that happens, when those worrisome thoughts settle into his synapses, Beltran will reach over the side of his bed and find his baseball bat.

“I’ll just feel my grip, work my grip, thinking, thinking,” said Beltran, who has also been known to hold a new bat close to his ear, listening to its tone. “Sometimes, a thought will come to me, an answer.”

I love baseball.

[Photo Credit: Rich Addicks]

It’s a Long Season

kathy

These two photographs by Kathy Willens from the AP have me excited for baseball. I found them over at It’s a Long Season one of my favorite spots. Check it out any ol’ time. You’re sure to find some goodness.

ichi

Ballgame Today

tumblr_n2fr99Y07F1snya97o1_500

Yanks and O’s this afternoon.

[Painting by Ben Aronson via Tokyomo]

The Man Who Wasn’t There

 tans

Nice story by Jorge Arangure Jr. over at Sports on Earth:

The only people allowed inside the restricted area were the coaches, CC Sabathia, who was also throwing a bullpen session, and an unrecognizable smallish man with floppy hair, skinny legs and large shorts that loosely clung to him like oversized drapes on a window.

This man was in the middle of all of the action. When coaches approached Tanaka, the man was also asked to approach. While coaches gave instructions, the man hunched over to hear, and then spoke in Tanaka’s direction.

Tanaka nodded.

In what will certainly be a year of transition for Tanaka, a year of uncertainties and learning foreign customs, not to mention adjusting to life on the field in the American major leagues, this smallish unrecognizable man might turn out be the most important person in his life.

He’s Shingo Horie, a 39-year-old former television network employee who, as a translator, is tasked with turning everything strange in Tanaka’s life into something normal. He is asked to be a friend, sometimes a press agent, and also Tanaka’s liaison to his Yankee teammates.

No one in the Yankee organization will get to know Tanaka quite as well as Horie.

[Picture by Bags]

Easy Does It

 easy

Joe Girardi talks about Michael Pineda:

Asked whether the Yankees will be able to get 200 innings out of Pineda, Girardi said flatly, “No you will not.” He wouldn’t go into detail, but Girardi made it clear that Pineda will be limited this season. He hasn’t pitched a full season since 2011, and even then he pitched just 171 innings.

So, basically, the Yankees want to do what’s best for the team as a whole, and they have to take into consideration the fact that one of their rotation candidates won’t be cleared for a normal 30-start season. Girardi said that limitation won’t rule out Pineda from the competition, it’s just that it might throw a wrinkle into the plan at some point.

“Hypothetically, let’s just say he was a starter at some point, you’d have to adjust because you’re not going to get 200 innings out of him,” Girardi said. “I don’t know (how that would work). I know they’ve talked about it. I’m sure if it becomes a factor and he’s part of our club, we’re going to have to see how it works.”
(Chad Jennings)

[Picture by Bags]

Early Returns

tanakie

Mike Axisa gives an early take on Mr. Tanaka.

[Photo Credit: Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press]

On the Low

 springggg

Pete Abe started it. Chad Jennings took over and maintained Pete’s high standard. It’s just hard to imagine life as a Yankee fan these days without the Lo-Hud blog.

Here are some notes from yesterday’s action. And more here.

Thank you, Chad.

[Photo Credit: ABC]

Across Enemy Lines

 robertsas

Over at Sports on Earth, Jorge Arangure Jr. has a story about Brian Roberts:

I walked into the Yankees spring training clubhouse on Monday and saw Roberts in pinstripes and the image just didn’t fit. I told Roberts how bizarre it was to see him in that uniform.

“It’s weird for me too,” he admitted.

Roberts was surrounded by reporters prior to Tuesday’s game because he was about to face his old team. It seemed a perfect time to catch up on his spring. Roberts, who missed most of least season and has sparingly played in the last four seasons because of injuries, spoke of the massive differences this spring training has been from previous ones.

“It is just different to be the guy in the back that no one knows about or cares about,” said Roberts. “I think that does help guys at times when you are trying to get back on your feet.”

[Photo Credit: AP]

Think Warm Thoughts

springgsssss

Tonight gives the Yanks and Orioles on TV. 

Smile.

[Photo Credit: Don Dell via It's a Long Season]

Hope

pineda

What’s to become of Michael Pineda? That’s a big question, right? Well, he threw yesterday. Chad Jennings has it covered. 

[Photo Credit: Ron Antonelli]

People Get Ready

WEAVERS SA way down south, they’s playing ball.

Chad Jennings, as always, has the latest.

[Drawing by Robert Weaver]

I’ve Got No Expectations

 MLB: Seattle Mariners at Cleveland Indians

Man, sour times for Jesus Montero. From the Seattle Times:

After each season, players meet with training and medical staff to set up their offseason. Each player is given a target weight they are expected to come in at for the following season. According to sources, Montero has never once met that target weight since joining the Mariners. This year he came in 40 pounds over the weight the Mariners wanted him to come in at.

It’s led to frustration within the organization. General manager Jack Zduriencik was particularly critical of Montero and his future.

“We are disappointed in how he came in physically,” Zduriencik said bluntly.

That disinterest in conditioning in the offseason didn’t do much change the minds of people who have been skeptical of Montero’s work ethic. It certainly didn’t inspire Zduriencik, who was clearly unhappy with the situation.

“It’s up to him,” Zduriencik said. ” I have zero expectations for Jesus Montero. Any expectations I had are gone.”

[Photo Credit: USATSI]

Stick Around

GardnerComingIn

Gardner agrees to a contract extension. 

Do the Tighten Up

TEXIRERA

If there is a bigger question mark for the Yankees this year than the health of Mark Teixeira I’d like to know what it is.

Sure, there’s Jeter’s health too, and C.C. Sabathia, and David Robertson as closer, and what’s what at second and third…OK, fine: there’s a bunch of things to gnaw over.

But Teixeira, man, I just don’t have a good feeling.

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

Garbo Speaks

JETSSSSSS

Derek Jeter spoke to reporters today. The always excellent Chad Jennings has the skinny. 

And here’s some good stuff about Ichi. 

[Photo Credit: John Dunn]

That’s LIFE

YOGIB

It’s spring time in Florida.

Top Billin’

World Series GM4 X

Here’s a dumb spring training story and a dumb rebuttal.

Now, that we’ve got that out of the way, check out Steven Goldman’s ranking of Derek Jeter against the greatest shortstops of all time:

Sixteen shortstops rated, Jeter wins 13-3, with only Banks, Smith and Ripken coming out ahead. Given Jeter’s extraordinary consistency at bat and career accomplishments, that seems fair. While a few shortstops exceeded him at their peak moment, and many were fairly rated as superior on defense, the totality of his contributions, combined with when he made them, at a time when baseball was at its most cosmopolitan and competitive, means he cleared a higher bar than most of his predecessors. He might not have been the best shortstop ever, but he wasn’t far off.

[Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images]

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver