Today gives the first spring training game for the Yanks.
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.
The Yankees retire so many numbers and give out so many plaques that reading about the latest immortal to be honored always feels like something straight out of The Onion. But there you have it, the hits keep coming.
For more Stupid Human Tricks, here’s Alex.
And we’d be remiss if we didn’t salute our ol’ pal Jason Giambi who announced his retirement today. Giambo is five months older than me to the day and I suppose I always liked him because he was in my grade.
He was a good fella. I’m sure we’ll see him as a coach soon enough.
[Photo Credit: Stephen Anzaldi]
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).
Okay, I’m reloaded.
Some wild games in the NCAA tournament last night. And of course, the Yanks played too.
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]
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.
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.
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]
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.”
[Picture by Bags]
[Photo Credit: Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press]
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]
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]
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]