Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Damon Wants To Come Back To The Bronx

From Andrew Marchand:
With Curtis Granderson out until May, ex-New York Yankee Johnny Damon has a message for his former team -- give me a call.

Speaking on ESPN New York 98.7 FM's Michael Kay Show, Damon said he is willing to play just the five or so weeks of the regular season that Granderson will miss and he even would take a league-minimum contract to return to the Bronx.

"You guys know that I would have tons of interest to go to New York," Damon told Kay and co-host Don LaGreca. "But I just don't think they would be interested. I'm not exactly sure what happened over the years or something. They have had plenty of opportunities and I kept raising my hand, wanting to go back and, you know, hopefully it would be a perfect fit. It always had been. Have me for six weeks and then send me off on my merry way. That's fine."


Damon said he doesn't plan on picking up the phone and calling Cashman.

"I know how the New York media works," Damon said. "I'm talking to you so I'm sure he'll hear about it tomorrow."


"Absolutely," Damon said. "Losing a Curtis Granderson is a tough thing to swallow, but the way I hit at Yankee Stadium and the right field porch, I mean, it worked when I played for them. We'll just keep doing what we are doing, staying in shape, continuing playing soccer, continue to live my life. If they want to see what I can do, then I'll definitely be interested.

"I hope they have interest but it seems like they haven't the past couple of years. I don't know why things would change now."
I don't think that he'll add much at this point in his career, and Brain Cashman apparently agrees because he's already killed any chance of it happening.

Oh no, not this again: Joba Thinks He Can Start

From Mark Feinsand's Sulia:
"This is probably going to spark a bunch of stuff and (Yankees PR director Jason) Zillo is going to be mad at me, but it’s one of those things where it’s like, do you think you have the capability to start? Yes. Do I have four pitches that I can throw for a strike? Yes. Do I have two plus pitches in the bullpen that I can throw at any time? Yes.

"I guess I’m trying to have my cake and eat it, too. I feel like I’m good enough to do both. I’ve proven that I can do both. Whatever it is, if I close, I want to be one or the other. I’ve been in the role of in the bullpen for a while, but am I confident that if I got the chance to start again somewhere – wherever that’s at – I could do it? Without a doubt. I just have to focus on this year and what I can do to improve to help this team win, continue to try to win ballgames for them.”
I'm not saying that I agree or disagree, I just thought we were over this a couple years ago.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Granderson Breaks Forearm, Out 10 Weeks

That pitch will fractured Granderson's forearm and he will miss 10 weeks, leaving the Yankees with a hole in their outfield until at least May. Here's some more of who might fill that hole from Chad Jennings:
The Yankees have veterans Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera in camp. They also have older minor league outfielders like Ronnier Mustelier, Zoilo Almonte, Thomas Neal and Adonis Garcia. Brian Cashman mentioned that his scouts have just started watching games and it’s still too early to know which players might become available.

Cashman said this morning that he wouldn’t want a young guy in a part-time, right-handed platoon role. But that’s not necessarily the case for a situation like this.

“Now we’ll be forced to really evaluate that aspect of it,” Cashman said. “You’re not asking guys (to sit for a long time). Could you bring a guy up right now for the first month in an everyday situation? We’ll look at that. We’ll look at it all. We have no choice. When these things happen you adjust, so we’ll be forced to adjust.”
Alfonso Soriano is another name that has been mentioned.

Hell of a way to start the season, huh?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Teixeira Feeling Good About the Team and His Health

From Mark Feinsand:
"I really feel good about our team this year," Teixeira said. "It's actually fun when everyone else counts you out because it kind of makes guys want it a little bit more. Every year we want it, but this year especially, it's going to be even more of a challenge. I think that's going to make it more exciting as the year goes on."


"All you hear about is the Blue Jays; that's good," Teixeira said. "They had a heck of an offseason and it's a very good team. We have five quality teams in our division. It used to be that you had to worry about maybe one or two teams and you hoped to win two out of three or sweep the bottom teams. That's not going to happen this year. Every single game in our division is going to be tough."
Tex seems to like embracing the Yankees "underdog" status, after all he did the same thing in Spring Training of 2011. That said, this time around they really are underdogs, which is surprising and sad considering they're going to outspend 28 out of the 29 other teams in baseball. Moving on...
Teixeira has been working out for several weeks, getting himself ready to play for Joe Torre's Team USA in next month's World Baseball Classic. After missing 39 of the final 43 games last season with a calf injury, Teixeira tried to alter his offseason program to give him the best chance of staying healthy.

"Nothing real major, just being smarter about certain things," said Teixeira, who cut back on the amount of weightlifting he does. "When you have a season where you get injured with the calf, it's 'Why did I get injured?' Really addressing those type of things, I had a great offseason. I feel really good and I'm excited about spring training starting."


"There's really no reason for me at this point in my career to try to start doing things differently," Teixeira said. "I've had such a successful career playing to my strengths. Now that being said, I want to be the best at what I do well, and that's hitting home runs, driving in runs and playing Gold Glove defense. I know if I do those three things I'm going to help my team win because at the end of the day that's why I'm here.”
One problem that Tex seems to have as a Yankees is that he's far too pull happy, and I'd like to see he had said he's going to try and use the whole feels more often as opposed to "hitting home runs". If he continues to want to do nothing but pull the ball I think we're looking at another .250 year for Tex.

Anyway, if you're feeling like Teixeira and want to buy Yankees tickets, check out

Jeter Press Conference Video

Here's some video from today's press conference:

Also, here is another video from ESPN of Buster Olney talking about how important his health is to this year's Yankees:

For more highlights from today's presser, check out this post from Chad Jennings.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Youkilis: "I'll always be a Red Sox"
I get why he's saying this, or at least what he means by it, but this isn't the best way to introduce yourself to Yankees fans.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Romine Ready To Show Yanks What He Can Do

From Chad Jennings:
Austin Romine is well aware that last season’s back injury cost him valuable playing time, and he knows the Yankees have said he’s likely to open this season back in the minors. Way he sees it, that means this spring is just like last spring.

“Every year I’m coming in, and I’m trying to be on the team,” he said. “I’m not changing my mindset. … I don’t want to go to Triple-A. I want to be on this team, I’m here to show them that I can do it, and I’m going to earn it.”


“I don’t know if you’d say equal footing because he missed a lot of last year with the back,” Joe Girardi said. “His biggest thing is, he needs to stay healthy and play the whole year. I don’t see why at some time he couldn’t help us this year. I just don’t know exactly when it will be.”

Romine said he weighed in at 215 pounds, with is 13 less than at the end of last season. He wasn’t giving a best-shape-of-my-life speech. Not exactly, anyway. He was really talking about his back, which limited Romine to 31 games last season. Losing the weight, and being smart about his offseason workouts, has eased the pain and left Romine feeling fully healthy. He quickly dismissed the idea of the back injury returning this year.

“At the end of the day, I’ll be like, hey, I don’t feel anything today,” he said. “And that’s where you want to be. Don’t even notice it.”
Romine also said he felt like last year was a lost season:
“It’s kind of like, oh man, I missed out a little bit on some opportunities (last year),” Romine said. “But it’s still there, it’s still out in the open. I’m here now. I feel great. I tend not to dwell on the past. I missed a lot of ball for a while there, (but) I’m back and I’m itching to get going.”
Speaking of last season, in 2012 Romine played in just 31 minor league games with between Rookie ball and Triple-A, hitting .243/.333/.408 in 120 at-bats.

CC Relieved To Be Healthy This Spring

From Chad Jennings:
CC Sabathia always seemed to think he could pitch last season. He went on the disabled list twice, and he through some underwhelming stretches, but Sabathia has a bulldog reputation, and he did his best to live up to it. But after offseason elbow surgery to clean up a bone spur from his left elbow, Sabathia said he can easy feel the difference between health and not healthy.

“I definitely feel a relief,” he said. “Just having that range of motion back and not having that ache at the end of my extension. I felt that right away, so hopefully I can just continue to get better and continue to feel less. After last year, going through what I went through pretty much the whole second half, playing catch so far, it feels a lot better.”
Joe Girardi also commented on his ace lefty:
“He wasn’t 100 percent last year,” Girardi said. “Any time you need surgery at the end of the year, I think it’s fair to say that you weren’t 100 percent. But probably 95 percent of the players that go out there every day aren’t 100 percent. That’s part of the job. You’re going to play with bumps and bruises and injuries that you can still compete with. But I feel better that we were able to address the problem and he’s coming into spring training healthy. He wasn’t overworked last year, so I feel better about it.”

Even today, Sabathia called the elbow issue an “excuse,” while also acknowledging that it was “always there.” Elbow surguries are generally less concerning than shoulder operations, and Sabathia’s was relatively minor, so he’s expected to be fully healthy for this season. Even in a down year, Sabathia reached 200 innings with a 3.38 ERA last season.

“I just want to concentrate on staying healthy,” Sabathia said. “Any kind of numbers I feel will be there if I’m healthy, so that’s the only thing I’m worried about.”
I don't have to tell you, but having a healthy CC Sabathia for the entire season will be huge. With their aging lineup, the Yankees are going to need CC--and the other four starters--to be on top of their game if they want to once again compete for the AL East crown.

A-Rod Won't Be Rehabbing In Tampa

From Andy McCullough:
The specter of Alex Rodriguez may loom over the Yankees as they begin spring training. But Rodriguez himself will not be in the presence of his teammates any time in the near future.

Rodriguez will continue his recovery from offseason hip surgery in New York, manager Joe Girardi explained as part of his address to reporters after pitchers and catchers reported to camp Tuesday. This decision stems from the uniqueness of Rodriguez’s procedure, which repaired a torn labrum and a bone impingement, an operation Girardi indicated is "not something that we’ve done a lot of."

He downplayed the conclusion from this unusual situation: That Rodriguez’s absence would reduce the amount of outside agitation surrounding the club. Even if Rodriguez wasn’t involved in the Biogenesis scandal involving performance-enhancing drugs, Girardi said, he would remain back home to finish his rehabilitation.

"To me, him being in New York has nothing to do with trying to get rid of the distraction," Girardi said. "It’s the best place for him to be." He added, "He’s not ready really to do anything with us yet, from a baseball standpoint."
I don't believe Girardi for a second. Of course the Yankees don't want A-Rod around. Why on earth would they? This team is under enough media scrutiny just because they're the Yankees, there's no need to throw the A-Rod circus into the mix.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Jeter Cleared To Do Everything

From Dan Martin:
Derek Jeter ran on Monday for the first time since his October ankle surgery and says he has the go-ahead for all further baseball activity.


"I've gotten the OK to do everything," Jeter said. "I haven't been using my legs so I have to get used to using them."
Good to see Jeter progressing nicely. Jeter also took some slow grounders and on the infield while moving a bit more to each side.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Schilling: Members of Red Sox organization encouraged me to use PEDs

From WEEI:
Curt Schilling, in a Wednesday interview on ESPN Radio, said toward the end of his tenure with the Red Sox he was encouraged to use performance-enhancing drugs by “members of the organization.”

“At the end of my career, in 2008 when I had gotten hurt, there was a conversation that I was involved in in which it was brought to my attention that this is a potential path I might want to pursue,” Schilling told Colin Cowherd.

Asked for more details, Schilling said the conversation occurred in the clubhouse and involved “former members of the organization — they’re no longer there. It was an incredibly uncomfortable conversation. Because it came up in the midst of a group of people. The other people weren’t in the conversation but they could clearly hear the conversation. And it was suggested to me that at my age and in my situation, why not? What did I have to lose? Because if I wasn’t going to get healthy, it didn’t matter. And if I did get healthy, great.

“It caught me off guard, to say the least. That was an awkward situation.”
Schilling also was asked about A-Rod and said he believes his career is over:
“I don’t think he’s going to be able to play physically this year anyway [after offseason hip surgery]. I really don’t,” Schilling said. “But I would be shocked if he [ever played again] — not shocked, I’d be surprised. I think he’s done. I think he’s done because I think everybody that has a say in him coming back wants him to be done.”

Schilling said there were always questions about Rodriguez shortly after he broke into the big leagues as a teenager.

“Given where he came from, from a college perspective, and given all the stuff that’s coming out, and it seems that Florida is a hotbed for a lot of this stuff — I know there were always questions,” Schilling said. “There were a couple of guys that were in the conversation well before this became a topic of conversation. There were a couple of guys that guys wondered early in their careers, that were in the conversation.”
Well, we know this report is going to piss off Red Sox fans, and if you check the comments section over on WEEI you'd see it already has. However, it wouldn't surprise me if this occurred in many clubhouses over the last 20+ years, even the Yankees'.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How about some news about the only 3rd baseman on the roster who's healthy?

There were several stories around the interwebs in recent days on another Yankees third basemen, Kevin Youkilis, discussing various topics ranging from his batting stance, his relationship with Joba Chamberlain, and his Judaism.

First, how he feels about being a Jewish athlete playing in New York, a city with a fairly large Jewish population:
Yankees third baseman Kevin Youkilis takes pride in the way he hits, in the way the field and in the way he hustles.

He also takes pride in his religion, which is Judaism.

“The Jewish heritage thing has had such a huge impact on my whole entire career,” Youkilis told the YES Network’s Jack Curry. “Requests my agent gets — Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, you name it. It’s a big thing, and it means a lot to a lot of Jewish youth and the Jewish community. I try to embrace it as much as I can, and I wish I could go to as many Bar and Bat Mitzvahs as possible, but the schedule doesn’t allow for it.”

The three-time All-Star is one of only a handful of Jewish players in the big leagues.

“It’s kind of fun around the league,” Youkilis admitted. “When I see Ryan Braun, Ian Kinsler and other guys, we kind of joke around.”
Moving on to his relationship with Joba Chamberlain:
A text message Joba Chamberlain received from Kevin Youkilis appears to have put an end to whatever lingering bad blood the two may have shared.

Not long after Youkilis signed with the Yankees to take Alex Rodriguez’s place at third base, Chamberlain left his new teammate a voicemail. And at a charity event last month, a perturbed Chamberlain revealed the message had not been returned.

“I did everything I could, and I can’t control what Kevin Youkilis does,” Chamberlain said at the time.

But asked yesterday if that had changed, Chamberlain said it had.
Leah Millis
Joba Chamberlain at Yankees' minor league complex.

“Yeah, it changed,” Chamberlain said. “He texted me. I’m not going to say what he said.”

What happens next likely will have to wait until Youkilis reports to spring training later this month, but Chamberlain indicated things had been smoothed over.

“We’ll hug it out,” Chamberlain said.
And finally, here's a video from YES about his plans to change that batting stance that we all hated so much when he was a Red Sock:

A-Rod: Everyone is just out to get me

From the NY Daily News:
Alex Rodriguez is taking his wildest swing yet in his fight against steroid allegations: The Yankees and MLB are conspiring to push him out of the game.

Sources say the embattled Yankee star is “scared” that bigger forces are at work to try to discredit him and sink his career. Holed up in Miami, Rodriguez has been huddling with an army of lawyers and PR people as the performance-enhancing drug scandal enveloping him intensifies.

“He’s scared, because he thinks this is so unbelievably false, and he’s wondering who could be behind this,” said a source, referring to last week’s Miami New Times report linking A-Rod to an alleged Miami-area performance-enhancing drug scandal. “He thinks something could be going on larger than anyone might think.”

The source added that Rodriguez is wondering if the Yankees or even Major League Baseball are behind the latest controversy.

A-Rod’s concerns intensified as agents from MLB’s Department of Investigations met in Miami Monday with editors of Miami New Times, a weekly newspaper that posted hand-written records and files last Tuesday linking Rodriguez and several other players to Anthony Bosch, a self-described “biochemist” who is being investigated by baseball and federal authorities for possibly providing performance-enhancing drugs to the players.
To be quite honest, I don't really buy this story. One reason, the NY Post of all papers, had a much different take on the situation including quotes from named sources, mainly Brian Cashman:
The Yankees have been cagey about Alex Rodriguez’s spring-training schedule, and they intend to stay that way.

Mindful of the heat generated by the recent Miami New Times story alleging massive illegal performance-enhancing drug usage by Rodriguez, the Yankees will give the public no advance warning of their rehabilitating third baseman’s whereabouts.

“I’m not going to say to try and keep away the extra, whatever you want to call it, paparazzi, whatever it is, the stakeout, wherever he is working out,” general manager Brian Cashman said last night at the Hard Rock CafĂ© in Manhattan, where the Yankees held a fundraiser for WCBS-AM radio producer-engineer Carlos Silva, who is battling cancer. “That’s the only reason I’m not going to say where he is going to be on a given day.”
So if the Yankees are trying to protect him, how would they be trying to derail his career at the same time? Either way, this story is a complete clusterf*ck that nobody needed this close to spring training. Also, if you haven't heard, Ryan Braun, Francisco Cervelli and Jesus Montero were also linked to this PED clinic.

In other, completely unrelated news, did you know you can buy Yankees tickets from Sliding Into Home? Well you can. Check out the banner on the right for the best deals on tickets to all spring training and regular season games.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Yankees Officially Sign Travis Hafner

The Yankees on Friday finalized a one-year contract with free-agent slugger Travis Hafner, who is expected to help fill the club's designated hitter slot for the 2013 season.

Hafner, 35, batted .228 with 12 home runs and 34 RBIs in 64 games for the Indians last season. Cleveland cut ties with Hafner in October, choosing to pay the left-handed hitter a $2.75 million buyout instead of a $13 million option for the '13 season.

The owner of 201 home runs over 11 Major League seasons, Hafner has not played the field since 2007. As a full-time DH with the Yanks, he'll essentially fill the role envisioned last season for Raul Ibanez.
The Yankees designated outfielder Russ Canzler for assignment to make room on the 40-man.

ESPN: Bosch Injected A-Rod With HGH

From T.J. Quinn:
The texts, the source said, usually came late at night, telling Anthony Bosch to come to the house. Bosch would then head to the waterfront mansion on Biscayne Bay, through the gate on North Bay Road, to inject performance-enhancing drugs into Alex Rodriguez.

Procedures were different, though, sources told "Outside the Lines," for the other athletes who were customers of Bosch's Biogenesis of America clinic in Coral Gables, which Major League Baseball considers the center of a widespread doping operation in South Florida. Those athletes, sources said, relied on intermediaries to transport the performance-enhancing drug regimens Bosch provided.

But for A-Rod, the service was always personal: "Only Tony handled A-Rod," one source told "Outside the Lines."

The visits took place every few weeks. One night last spring, a source said, Bosch told associates he had been kicked out of Rodriguez's home after he had trouble locating a vein, infuriating the player. The sources did not say why Bosch would have been tapping a vein, as HGH and testosterone do not require intravenous injections. But whatever he was doing, "Tony said A-Rod was pissed at him," a source said. "He said he was bleeding everywhere."

Several sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Bosch spoke openly about his relationship with the Yankees All-Star, and two sources said that documents they reviewed detailed the drug regimens and schedules Rodriguez received.

A spokesperson for Rodriguez on Friday said "the allegations are not true."


Bosch termed the allegations against him "bull----" and "all wrong" when reached by "Outside the Lines." His attorney, Susy Ribero-Ayala, also put out a statement denying the allegations and told "Outside the Lines'' that Bosch wouldn't be talking "any time very soon."
This story keeps getting worse for A-Rod.