Thursday, February 26, 2009

Live Blogging Spring Training: Rays at Yankees

Well, why not?

The Yankees' line-up and starters, courtesy Pete Abraham

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Cano 2B
Nady RF
Posada DH
Molina C
Cabrera CF

Pitching today: Phil Hughes followed by Phil Coke, Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte, Jon Albaladejo, Mark Melancon.

So it looks llike the Yankees are pulling out all the stops for the fans today--Nady gets the nod over Swisher, and Posada's shoulder is given some more time of as Molina's behind the plate--but Damon, Jeter, Teixiera, Alex and Canó are all there--this is a line up you could and, might argue, probably will see throughout the season.

Will update as the game progresses.

[1.02 PM] Gorgeous late February day? I'll be damned if I've ever heard that one before...

[1.17 PM] Bernie Williams with the first pitch. Have to admire his determination to play in the WBC, hope he has a great time.

[1.19 PM] First pitch strike....followed by a HBP. What this means, if anything, who knows?

[1.21 PM] First K of the spring for Phil Hughes! (What, I like celebrating firsts!)

[1.28 PM] Not a bad first inning if we ignore the two hit batsmen for Phil. Problem is, he did hit two batters...

[1.32 PM] Two quick outs. Nice, Yankees, nice.

[1.37 PM] Not a whole lot of control for Phil so far, but then, if you're going to judge his entire value this season on the first spring training game, you're in the wrong sport.

[1.42 PM] Well, Phil didn't hit a batter or allow a hit, so I guess I shouldn't complain. Control will work itself out in time. Well, it should.

[1.43 PM] Some boos for A-Rod, but the cheers are drowning them out. Or, at least, trying. Always controversial, that one...

[1.45 PM] ...And Alex strikes out.

[1.46 PM] Holy crap this offense looks bad. Or Tampa's pitcher looks good. Take your pick. Actually, neither offense looks very good thus far.

[1.50 PM] Phil Coke now pitching. You can't judge players on September, but Coke's September '08 compares to Joba's September '07. Just sayin', is all.

[1.53 PM] Now THAT was an awesome defensive play. Coke seems to have picked up just where he left off, and that is fine by me.

[1.56 PM] ....Welcome back Jorge! Long home run against the wind on the first pitch he saw...dang, Jorge, we missed you.

[2.00 PM] And the rest of the Yankees go down in order. Holy crap it's good to have Jorge back.

[2.06 PM] First hit of the game for the Rays, nice clean single up the middle, well played by Melky.

[2.07 PM] Not sure who got Canó to flash the leather, but I am enjoying it.

[2.12 PM] As I've said before, I love me some Coke.

[2.16 PM] Mark Teixiera with the second Yankee hist of the evening.

[2.17 PM] And Alex grounds into a double play. He is not doing himself any favors...

[2.20 PM] Albaladejo on, one pitch, one out.

[2.23 PM] And, apparently, now it's Bruney. So I guess I was wrong on that one.

[2.26 PM] Who are these Yankees, and when did they learn to pitch?

[2.30 PM] Nady is awarded a double as a fan reaches out and touches the ball in play down the first base line.

[2.31 PM] Holy shit Jorge, try to save some for the rest of the season, ok?

[2.37 PM] Dámaso Marte in to pitch; Ransom in at first, Curtis, Gardner and Duncan in the outfield, Angel Berroa at 2nd, Cervelli at catcher and I missed the guy at third. This is where most of the fans leave the game.

[2.40 PM] Nice throw by Colin Curtis to keep Ensberg from stretching a single to a double.

[2.45 PM] Quick 1-2-3 inning for the Yankee offense. I've lost track of what inning it actually is, which may or may not be a good thing.

[2.48 PM] I think Melancon is on to pitch, but I'm not sure. Apparently now it's JB Cox.

[2.51 PM] Angel Berroa beat out Hideki Matsui for RotY? Dang, I have got to pay some more attention.

[2.54 PM] Rays now on the board after a single. 2-1 Jorge Posada.

[2.58 PM] Three consecutive hits for the Rays now. Safe to say Cox has not looked very good thus far.

[3.06 PM] Berroa with a single. I wonder if Shelley Duncan has a bit of a grudge to settle here...

[3.08 PM] Guess so. 5-1 Yankees.

[3.16 PM] Mark Melancon in to pitch. If you're new to the Yankees, watch this kid.

[3.21 PM] Nice quick 1-2-3 inning for Melancon.

[3.26 PM] Gardner was robbed there. Great play.

[3.31 PM] Okay, NOW Albaladejo is in.

[3.34 PM] Humberto Sanchez is hurt again? Seems like that Sheffield trade didn't really work well for anyone. Still, that's a LOT of depth the Yankees have in their bullpen...

[3.35 PM] Nice play by Albaladejo to end the game, and the Yankees win 5-1.

That's it for the live blogging today, thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Are You Ready for Some Baseball?

Well, here we are, at the very first exhibition game of the 2009 Spring Training season. In case you're wondering, the ST schedule is a little different this year because of the World Baseball Classic.

Today's game is neither on TV or radio, but tomorrow's game will be on YES.

Today's line-up, courtesy of Pete Abraham is:

Gardner CF
Jeter SS
Cano 2B
Rodriguez 3B
Swisher RF
Duncan DH
Miranda 1B
Linden LF
Cash C

So if you're looking for a preview of the 2009 Yankees, this probably isn't it.

Even so, baseball is baseball, and it is great to have it back.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thoughts and Prayers with Jason Johnson

According to this article, new Yankees' signee Jason Johnson has been receiving treatment for a cancerous tumor, melanoma, in his eye.

Thoughts, prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery go out to him. Making the team takes a back seat to regaining health.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nady and Damon have assetts frozen in Stanford Scandal

Xavier Nady and Johnny Damon have had their assets frozen as part of the on-going investigation into Allen Stanford.

While neither Nady nor Damon invested directly with Stanford, those that they invested with did.


You would have hoped that for athletes that are getting paid more than most people will ever see in their entire lifetimes, that there would at least be some sort of money management program.

I know baseball players are not nearly as notorious for poor money management as football or basketball players, but even so, no one is immune.

Here's hoping their problems are resolved and they invest a little more wisely from now on.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yankee Fans Unhappy With Relocation Seats

When you move from a larger, sold-out Stadium to a smaller one, even if it's only smaller by a couple thousand seats, you are bound to run into problems with season ticket holders, some of whom have had tickets for years.

One fan asked me to share his letter with the public--and it certainly expresses fan dissatisfaction far better than I, a non-season ticket holder who buys her tickets from Stubhub, ever could.

Dear Yankees Management and Ticket Staff,

My name is Jay and I am ticket licensee number xxxxxx. I
send this email to all of you as I am very hurt by the process of relocation to a new seat in Yankee Stadium. When the process began last year, members of the relocation staff were unable to provide me with straight answers on being able to get int he building in a decent seat, when I told them I was a plan D holder (Saturdays) they assured me I would be able to at the least remain within that range of plan.

The months went on and I made calls during the year to find out what the status was. I was not able to upgrade to a full season package as I do not re-sell the tickets I purchase. I go to all the games and enjoy spending my Saturdays with the Yankees.

Last night I was finally updated on my ticket location and dates. I was given the 12 game #2 package. While I could live with being in a lesser seat, I cannot accept that now I was put into a package in which I can’t even go to. Now I called the ticket office and spoke to a nice person who explained the process and told me my options were down to two. Either I pay $10,000 for 15 games on Saturdays, or I go
into a pool and simply hope for the best that at the least I can get one of the Friday, Saturday or Sunday packages. By declining (which I have done because he told me the sooner I declined the sooner I would go into the pool) I now waive my season ticket possibilities all together and could possibly lose my seniority and be completely locked out of the building.

I have given thousands of dollars to your organization over the years. I am lucky enough at age 30 that even in this downtrodden economy that I can afford almost any seat in your building, but the fact is that you are letting me down by telling me that I have only the option of taking what equates to the down payment on a home to get into the
building for the first year? This is one of the more saddening parts of being a fan. I take all my hopes of a championship into that ballpark every year and now I am being told that I might as well noteven come? I know that in the grand scheme of things I am small time, but your tactics have made me feel smaller. I just want to go to
games on a Saturday or a Sunday and not have to go into severe debt.

I have paid nearly $1500 a year for 2 seats for myself to take mywife, family members and friends to games. It’s been a pleasure to do so and I love going to see our team, but now I am almost completely shut out due to the fact that there will be no guarantees I can get day of game tickets, you also have a complete stranglehold on the secondary market which means that even if I wanted to go to weekend
games and did so through stub hub, I would lose my seniority as a licensee and be given no hopes for post-season tickets.

I am not the only one who feels this way either. We on the community have documented well the process from the beginning to this point voicing our frustration frutilessly. The entire 139 page thread can be found at this URL:

We all want the same thing, to be given a the truth and be allowed in the building at a reasonable cost. Something that has alluded many of us in this process has been the truth. Over the last few months I was given multiple lies over the phone when speaking to relocation people.

I was actually told only a few days ago that the reason licensees were given false information was that the staffers didn’t have any info themselves. Additionally, when speaking to this ticket rep on the phone he actually admitted that sometimes “Dates are given to people just to get them to get off the phone, they won’t hang up
unless you tell them something.” So lying is the only way to shut us up?

Being offered $350 seats or being given nothing is a poor way to treat a loyal customer. I am more than just a loyal customer, I am a devoted fan of this team. I have followed through the good times and bad. I was lucky enough to make enough in my job to afford this type of package in the first place. Now I am simply being told I don’t make enough to get into your stadium to root for MY team.

Please hear my plea and help me. I just want a seats for the Saturday or Sunday package. Two measly seats in your Billion Dollar building. Can’t someone help me?

Thank you,


Later in the day after a few more calls, I was given a harsh reality, accept the relocation by the ticket office or be shut out. I did so and then handled the situation on my own.

I explained to my fellow NYYFans forum posters exactly what steps I took next:


I had some resolution today on the situation that while not perfect, it works.

I purchased my assignment, the 12 game bleachers. I talked to someone there and he said that there will be absolutely nothing left for weekenders once the pool comes in. He said it’s going to be a fruitless effort to fight this. I realized it. My 12 games cost me 300 bucks, about 1300 less than what I used to pay.

I then scoured for someone selling a Saturday plan, found it and purchased 2 infield grandstands for about $1400 for all Saturdays.

My total cost is about 1700 for 12 weekday games and to keep my seniority and 13 Saturday games all in the same seats including 2 Boston games and Old Timers' Day.

The 12 weekday games I am going to sell to friends and go to one or two of. The weekend games are for me. I will go to all of them.

I spent under my expected $2000 that I had stowed away. I keep my post-season pre-sale option (what I always had in the past) and get to go to the games I wanted to.

Granted it didnt go the way I wanted to but I made it on my own.”

The Yankees are, perhaps, doing the best they can, but making the new Stadium smaller and with more luxury boxes was perhaps a PR disaster among fans from the start.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A-Rod Conference Today's Big Draw

Alex Rodriguez is supposed to have his press conference today at 1.30 PM. I will be unable to cover it, so I figured I'd write a tiny bit before hand.

The most crucial thing for Alex to do is come clean. Pretend the Gammons interview never happened and come clean. Don't act like you're holding back, either. Come clean. Oh, and you probably should apologize, too.

After that, if you want to say that after today you never want to talk about this again, it's your right.

It might seem odd to us that Alex hired a PR firm to help him with this, but we have to remember that two years ago, this was the guy that 'opted out' of his mammoth contract during the clinching game of the World Series. Good PR is not exactly his thing.

However, as much as we might want to hope that the A-Roid saga will end today, the answer is that it won't--not when there's a book coming out, not while Alex is still a Yankee, not when the saga will continue to sell papers and magazines.

The thing the Yankees can look forward to after today, though, is that if they and Alex do this press conference thing right, they won't have to address it after today, at least, not publically.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Confession of True Love

A few weeks ago, Jane Heller of Confessions of a She-Fan sent me an advance copy of her new work, Confessions of a She-Fan.

I have just finished reading her "fan diary" as she calls it, and really liked it. It's an honest portrayal of a fan's relationship with a team, and, especially the 2007 season--one with which I am sure most of us are familiar. While fans tend to bond together and help each other any way they can, the team itself can be cold and unforgiving--but not because they want to, but because they have to, for their own security.

There's being a fan of a team, and then there's being a fan of the Yankees. It's a completely different animal...

The book is a short and fairly fast read, which, after just finishing reading heavy historical fare was a nice change of pace. Perhaps most interesting, however, is that Confessions puts into perspective how amazing the 2007 season really was, even if October left us all a bit deflated.

You can preview or purchase your own copy here

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Reasons to Love Spring #189724249

+ Getting an email telling you that the copy of Baseball Prospectus you ordered way back when in October has shipped from Amazon headquarters....

Yes, I'm a geek.

Still, anything and everything that can remind me of spring is good enough for me, for the moment.

As you've probably seen around the blogosphere, Jorge Posada looks pretty good, Phil Hughes has bulked up and CC Sabathia is having no trouble fitting in.

Alex Rodriguez is supposed to speak to reporters later this week; Jeter, Pettitte, Jorge and Mo have all said that they will stand behind them.

Rings count for something...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Welcome to Spring Training 2009!

Welcome to Spring Training 2009, here to help you recover from Winteritis and Lackofbaseballitis, not to mention HotStoveLeague-coli and WhereWillTheySign-fluenza.

Please note that while all treatments are voluntary, there are some side effects. These side effects include:

1) Reading about your baseball team in a non-competitive scenario
2) Discovering more than you ever want to know about some players (like Joba and Brackman's nipple rings, for starters...)
3) Reading writing from sportswriters marooned for two months in Florida and Arizona.
4) Occasionally forgetting that in NY it might still be in the 30s
5) Compulsive comparison to see who bulked up and who slimmed down
6) Compulsive temptation to start a blog

The owners of SpringTrainingCure assume no liability should you suffer from any of these conditions.

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love you Tomorrow, Spring Training's On It's Way

I can't really believe that after everything Spring Training starts tomorrow.

I can't believe, even more, that we've gone since September without any Yankee baseball.

You know how ready I am for this?

I had a nightmare last night--not about family or friends dying, or getting caught in a tornado or the world exploding or anything like that.

I had a nightmare that the tickets I ordered for the 4/18 game never arrived.

Yeah, I think I'm ready for some Spring Training.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Miguel Tejada Charged with Lying to Congress

Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada has been charged with lying to Congress about the prevalence of steroid use, ESPN is reporting.

It is going to be painfully apparent pretty soon that this goes way beyond Alex Rodriguez and perhaps strikes at the very heart of baseball.

As long as there has been a game there has been cheating, but the difference is that with the media now--TV, radio, blogs, etc--it's a hell of a lot more noticeable. Alas, many casual fans don't care if Mantle was a drunk or Cobb a racist--they care about what their players are doing now.

Is it too early to call for Selig to resign?

This did happen on his watch.

Selig's done some good for the game--look at the attendance totals and revenue sharing--but the idea that people didn't know what was going on, ranging from players to owners, is preposterous.

Oh well. Not like there are tons of things more American than a good scandal, anyway...

Monday, February 9, 2009

A-Rod's admissions create more questions

Undoubtedly, Alex admitting that he used steroids was the right course of action--ie, not doing what Clemens or Bonds did.

That says, it raises a whole host of other questions:

1) How on earth did he not know what he was taken? I'm right now only taking one prescription medication and I was damned sure I went over everything with my doctor--side effects, risks, etc. However, I'm not being paid hundreds of millions to keep my body in top shape.

2) How did Alex get the drugs? Fortunatley for us, this steroid use took place before Alex was a Yankee, but however he got them, the procurement was still illegal.

3) How many times has A-Rod been tipped off about tests since then? Did he really stop using when he came to New York? Who else was tipped off?

4) Why did Alex feel it necessary to hide this from the Yankees once Roberts told him he would be named?

There are maybe another thousand questions that we could ask, and now, only a few days before pitchers and catchers report, we are no closer to getting our answers.

Just remember this, folks: if Alex did it, chances are, your favorite probably did as well. Until that list of 103 names is made public--nearly 15% of active mlb players for that year--no player is safe.

Alex Rodriguez admits to Steroid Use

According to the handy dandy text I just recieved from, A-Rod has admitted to steroid use in 2003 and will make confession on the 6 PM edition of Sportscenter

I'm on my way out to do grad school stuff but I'll write more later.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Schilling: Name All 104 Positives

Curt Schilling (!) has a suggestion that is probably felt by many baseball fans right now: Name all players that tested positive, and not just A-Rod.

The tests were supposed to be anonymous, but now that someone has named Alex, is it fair to name only him? Moreover, is it fair to let others remain under suspicion when they may be innocent?

I'm keeping my opinion to myself on this one--it's a contentious issue.

Shadow of Summer

I felt the sun on me today.

The bright blue sky, the parents taking their babies out for a stroll.

On the D train Chinese immigrants hollered Wallies, One Dollar, One Dollar, Wallies while two Mexican men did their best Mariachi impersonations.

In the middle of February, I remembered what summer is all about: the warm, the comfort, the vitality.

The sight of toddlers in the playground and teens on the basketball court.

The smell, sightly musty, perhaps, but, also the smell of hot dogs, pretzels and other street vendors.

The sounds, a steady beat, a steady pulse of the City's life.

It's not really fair, this tease. Spring is not even official for another six weeks.


For this brief, shining moment, we remember why they play baseball in the summer--because it's when you're most alive.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A-Rod A-Ruined?

With A-Rod's situation now out in the open, there are these possible courses of action for him to take:

1) Admit whatever allegations are true, even if they aren't. The Pettitte/Hamilton/Giambi route seems to be the most successful in terms of dealing with illicit substances, although it should be noted that Hamilton's situation was different.

2) Clam up and say nothing, which solves nothing.

3) Go the Clemens/Bonds/Palmeiro route and deny everything. This, I don't need to tell you, hasn't always worked very well.

However, whatever path Alex takes, there is one basic constant--rightly or wrongly, he'll never be considered a "clean" player again.

That clean break of Hank's record?

Gonna have to wait for someone else.

It sucks for everyone involved--Alex, the team, the fans, baseball as a whole.

For every argument that the anonymous names should have remained anonymous, there's the more powerful argument that Alex shouldn't have put himself in that situation in the first place.

We want to like A-Rod. We excused the stripper in Toronto incident, and then tried not to pay too much attention when he started banging Madonna and divorced from his wife, despite their two young daughters.

For everyone that argued 2006 and 2008 were subpar, we said, look at 2005 and 2007.

We welcomed him back after the op-out fiasco and only a few dared voice complaint when he signed on for ten years.

But this, this strikes at the very heart of the game. If it's true, we can't simply brush it aside, and neither can Alex.

While we hope that it's not true, unfortunately, in public perception he's already guilty (just check out that poll on

You know, I have to think, for all the wishing we did that the Torre book wouldn't be a distraction during Spring Training, I think we may have to be just a little more careful about what we wish for...

Alex Rodriguez fails Steroid Test?

I was woken up this morning by a phone call that went something like this:

J: WFAN is reporting that in 2003 Alex Rodriguez failed a steroid test, and Alex is not denying this.

I have not yet found anything to substantiate these claims, but if I do I shall edit this post accordingly.

Check this SI article out

Thursday, February 5, 2009

This Post Has Nothing to do with Baseball or the Yankees

I've been on a cooking kick since I baked successful gingerbread for the Super Bowl, so today I thought I'd try my own bread.

This is what came out:

Not too bad for a beginner.

[You are now returned to your regularly scheduled baseball blogging]

Torre's Book This Year's Fist Pump

Well, there seems to be one Spring Training question that we've already got an answer to: What will be this year's ridiculous controversy made for probably no other reason than that it involves the Yankees.

Last year, it was Joba's fist pump.

This year, it's Torre's book.

It's a controversy for a few reasons, but perhaps the biggest one is that Torre seemingly violates the unwritten code that what goes on in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse.

Now, I'm not a guy. I don't know how serious these man-codes are, and I, perhaps fortunately for everyone else, have never possessed the athletic gift to play on a team. So the entire idea of a locker-room culture is a bit foreign to me, like the idea of offering Pagan sacrifices to the gods. I understand the concept, but I will never fully understand it because I'm not a part of it.

But anyway.

Regardless of my ignorance, what did apparently happen here, is a breach of trust.

The players trusted Torre, told him things in confidence, things that were never meant for the public to here. Whether or not the players should have trusted Torre is obviously another story, but for now, what's important is that they did and Torre broke that trust.

While the Yankees might be fine moving on from now, seeing as Torre is no longer their manager, you have to wonder what's going through the mind of the LA Dodgers, whom Torre manages. The tenor in that clubhouse now will likely be somewhat awkward--I mean, what if you were a Dodger and your boss just sold out his former workers?

I was told the other night that at Torre's book signing there were crowds cheering for him, though I have to wonder what portion of the crowd were Yankee-haters or simply fed-up Yankee fans as opposed to die-hard Yankee fans. I'm not delusional; the latter probably outnumbered the former, but I'm still curious to see what the split was.

So I guess in this sense this controversy isn't perhaps as pointless as the fist pump, but, at the same time, it's destined to become a favorite distraction of the media.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Questions to Ask During Spring Training

Now that Spring Training is around the corner, I thought I'd go and list some of the more pressing questions that the Yankees have to address.

Throughout the month of February I'll periodically attempt an answer at some of these questions, and in March, as with last year, I will do a team preview a day which should take us right to the start of baseball season.

So, the questions:

1) What happens if Jorge Posada can't catch?
2) Who will come out of Spring Training as the fifth starter?
3) Will Derek Jeter have a better offensive year or will his decline become more progressed?
4) Who starts in center--Melky or Gardner?
5) Will Andy Pettitte pull an '08 Mussina?
6) How long does General Joe Girardi have before that hot seat starts really heatin' up?
7) What's this year's fist pump/HA/otherwise inane controversy?
8) How much *more* controversy can the New Stadium create?
9) How will the economic collapse of doom affect attendance?
10) Nady or Swisher?

These are just some of the questions the Yankees have; if you've got one you'd like to see me attempt to address, please feel free to leave it in a comment!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tucson Station Broadcasts Porn During Super Bowl

From here:

A short clip of a pornographic movie cut into a Comcast broadcast of the Super Bowl in homes in and around Tucson.

Officials at Comcast confirmed that its signal was interrupted during the Super Bowl, but the company is still working to figure out how porn broke into its cable feed.

Engineers at Comcast will be working throughout the night to determine what happened, said Kelle Maslyn, a Comcast spokeswoman.

The Star newsroom erupted with calls from irate viewers shortly after 7:30 p.m. who said that the porn cut into the broadcast just after Cardinals player Larry Fitzgerald scored a touchdown on a pass from Kurt Warner to give the Cardinals the lead with less than two minutes in the game.

Callers said that the clip showed a woman unzipping a man's pants and included full frontal male nudity.

So, I'll admit, I find this a little funny. However, it's certainly not appropriate for any young schoolchildren watching, and given that the Super Bowl started at 3 or 4 PM Arizona time (they're one of them weird states that doesn't do DST), there would have been plenty of children watching.

Still, it's more amusing than any of the commercials, which, on the whole, were pretty lame.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Now That the Steelers Won a Record Sixth Super Bowl...

...Spring training is only two weeks away.

Hope you're ready.


The most stressful and least wanted job in American may very well be Super Bowl referee. I am *so* glad I am not that guy...