Saturday, February 28, 2009

Spring Training Quick Cuts: A.J. Burnett

Here's the latest edition of YES Network's spring
training quick cuts, this time it's A.J. Burnett:

Joba Talks About His Spring Debut

Joba Chamberlain got roughed up today in his first outing of the spring, allowed two earned runs on two hits in one inning of work, but he's not concerned. He was pretty much only throwing fastballs - 18 of his 21 pitches were fast balls - and the main goal for him right now is to establish his fastball and build arm strength.

From George A. King III:
"Everything was good," Chamberlain said of the inning in which he gave up two runs and three hits. "We are trying to establish the fastball early. It felt good coming out of my hands."


"It's spring training, that's what we are here for, establishing the fastball," said Chamberlain, who might be skipped in the first tour of the rotation so CC Sabathia can start the first game at Yankee Stadium on April 16.
18 of Joba's 21 pitches today were fastballs.

According to Joe Girardi, Chamberlain's first outing was an inning shorter than the other starters because Chamberlain doesn't have a lot of experience starting.

"It's a way to build up toward the season," Girardi said.

A plan with a heavy dose of fastballs isn't just for Chamberlain.

"All our guys are trying to build arm strength," Girardi said. "We stress a lot of fastballs early. This was a step to build him up as a starter."

And Bryan Hoch had this quote from Chamberlain:
"It's just a mentality," Chamberlain said. "As a power guy, you've got to limit your pitches and try to beat them with fastballs -- not try to beat them with the other stuff."

2/28 New Stadium Update

Here's three new videos of the new stadium
from Youtube member xxcLuTcH2

And now onto for the pictures....The first five overhead shots come from WCBS 880's Tom Kaminski. The next two come from member Coach Bombay. The next nine pictures from from Flickr member Daniel, Peralta and topkidnum1. And the final six come from one of this blog's readers, Steve A.

(click to enlarge)

For the main updates pages click here
for 2007-2008 pics, and here for 2009 pics.

Twins Beat Yanks 7-3

Joba Chamberlain started today for the Yanks. In one inning he allowed two runs on three hits. Dan Giese also got roughed up. He allowed four runs on four hits and two walks in two innings.

Besides Chamberlain and Giese the pitching was pretty good today. Jose Veras rebounded from his shaky appearance a couple games ago with a perfect inning, he also struck out two. Michael Dunn and Kanekoa Teixeira also pitched scoreless innings. And Kei Igawa threw two scoreless.

Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-1 with a sac fly. Derek Jeter went 1-for-2 with run scored, and also drove in a run with a sac fly. Mark Teixeira went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored.

Shelley Duncan was the only Yankee who had a multi-hit game. He went 2-for-3 and scored a run.

Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano and Jesus Montero all had one hit apiece.

Damon, LF2000011.000
Curtis, LF1000100.000
Jeter, SS2111001.250
Pena, SS1000002.200
Teixeira, 1B3110011.400
Miranda, 1B1000002.333
Rodriguez, A, 3B1001100.250
Berroa, 3B1000000.500
Swisher, RF3000001.286
Rodriguez, J, RF1000000.250
Cano, 2B2010100.333
Bernier, 2B00000001.000
Molina, J, C2000003.000
Cervelli, C2000001.167
Duncan, S, DH3120000.429
a-Montero, PH-DH1010000.667
Cabrera, M, CF3010011.125
Jackson, A, CF1000001.400

a-Singled for Duncan, S in the 9th.

2B: Teixeira (1, Liriano).
TB: Jeter; Teixeira 2; Cano; Duncan, S 2; Montero; Cabrera, M.
RBI: Rodriguez, A (3), Jeter (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Molina, J; Teixeira.
S: Damon.
SF: Rodriguez, A; Jeter.
GIDP: Swisher; Miranda; Jackson, A.
Team LOB: 7.

Outfield assists: Curtis (Machado at 3rd base).
DP: 3 (Molina, J-Jeter, Berroa-Cano-Miranda, Curtis-Pena-Berroa).

Chamberlain 1.032200018.00
Giese (L, 0-1)2.044411112.00
Veras 1.00000204.50
Dunn 1.02001100.00
Igawa 2.01000100.00
Texeira, K 1.00000100.00
Robertson 1.02110104.50

The Yankees will take on the Cincinnati Reds tomorrow in Sarasota. Alfredo Aceves will start for the Yankees, with Aaron Harang going for the Reds. This is the last game for Jeter, A-Rod and Cano until after the WBC. The game is at 1:05 p.m.

Posada Sits With Sore Shoulder

First of all, sorry for the lack of posts/game thread today. I'm in the process of moving so today has been pretty hectic... anyway on to some news.

From Kat O'Brien:

Jorge Posada was a late scratch from today's game. He is having some soreness on the front of his right shoulder, which he said popped up during Thursday's game. There's a certain stretch that he does when preparing to hit in games that he doesn't do during practice, and he felt sore after doing that stretch. But he played yesterday and was planning to play today, though the Yankees overruled him after he told them about the soreness.

Both Posada and Joe Girardi stressed that they are not concerned, that bumps in the road are a normal and expected part of the rehab process.

I'm no doctor so I have no idea how serious this is. For now I will take Posada and Girardi's word for it and not be too concerned.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Twins Rally To Beat Yanks 5-4

Ian Kennedy started for the Yankees today and pitched well. In two innings he did not allow a run, gave up one hit, struck out three, and walked one.

Besides Kennedy and Anthony Clagget, who also threw two scoreless, there wasn't much to be happy about regarding the Yankees pitching.

Eric Hacker, Andrew Brackman, and George Kontos each gave up a run, and Wilkins De La Rosa gave up two. De La Rosa also picked up the loss.

Brett Gardner had another good game. He went two-for-two with a double, a steal, and a run scored.

Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada also had two hits apiece.

Xavier Nady, Justin Leone, and Cody Ranson each drove in a run.

Gardner, CF2120100.429
Jackson, A, CF2110011.500
Ransom, 2B3111012.167
Pena, 2B2010010.250
Swisher, 1B3020001.500
Miranda, 1B2010002.400
Posada, DH3020002.800
1-Rodriguez, J, PR-DH1000101.333
Nady, RF3001004.200
Linden, RF2000014.200
Cabrera, M, LF3000003.000
Russo, LF2000000.000
Berroa, SS2010100.667
Nunez, E, SS2010003.333
Leone, 3B3111003.250
Bernier, 3B00001001.000
Cervelli, C3010000.250
Romine, C1000001.000

1-Ran for Posada in the 5th.

2B: Gardner (1, Baker), Miranda (1, Delaney).
HR: Leone (1, 2nd inning off Baker, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Gardner 3; Jackson, A; Ransom; Pena; Swisher 2; Miranda 2; Posada 2; Berroa; Nunez, E; Leone 4; Cervelli.
RBI: Ransom (1), Nady (1), Leone (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Cabrera, M; Ransom; Leone 2; Swisher; Jackson, A; Linden; Nunez, E 2.
Team LOB: 12.

SB: Gardner 2 (2, 2nd base off Duensing/Redmond, 2nd base off Baker/Redmond).
CS: Rodriguez, J (1, 2nd base by Mulvey/Ramos), Nunez, E (1, 2nd base by Julianel/Ramos).

DP: 2 (Leone-Ransom-Swisher, Pena-Berroa-Miranda).

Kennedy 2.01001300.00
Hacker (H, 1)1.03112009.00
Claggett (H, 1)2.01000100.00
Brackman (H, 1)1.01110019.00
Kontos (BS, 1)1.03110209.00
De La Rosa (L, 0-1)0.222221027.00
Jackson, S 0.10000000.00

The Yanks will face the Twins again on Saturday, this time at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Joba Chamberlain will start for the Yanks, with Francisco Lirano going for the Twins. Game time is 1:15 p.m. and the game can be seen on the YES network.

Yanks To Put Cap On Joba's Innings

From Christopher Harris:
The New York Daily News reports that Joba Chamberlain will be on an innings count of around 150 this season. That may be wise, considering Chamberlain only threw 100 1/3 innings in 2008, and missed time late in the season because of a shoulder issue. However, it will put a damper on his fantasy value. For the moment, the Yankees still consider Chamberlain to be exclusively a starter. But there's a chance that, once again, the team could make him a setup man down the stretch if they're worried about overuse.
The other day there was some talk about Joba possibly starting 30 games. This innings cap makes a whole lot more sense. 25 starts at six innings per start, that should be the goal.

Spring Training Game 3: Yanks @ Twins

Spring Training Game 3
Yankees at Twins
Hammond Stadium - Fort Myers, FL
Game Time: 1:05 p.m.
TV/radio: None

Brett Gardner CF
Cody Ransom 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Jorge Posada DH
Xavier Nady RF
Melky Cabrera LF
Angel Berroa SS
Justin Leone 3B
Francisco Cervelli C

Pitching: Ian Kennedy, Eric Hacker, Andrew Brackman, Wilikins De La Rosa, Anthony Claggett and Michael Dunn.

Carlos Gomez CF
Alexi Casilia 2B
Joe Crede DH
Justin Morneau 1B
Michael Cuddyer RF
Delmon Young LF
Mike Redmond C
Brendan Harris 3B
Nick Punto SS

Pitching: Scott Baker, Brian Duesing, Kevin Mulvey, Ben Julianel, Bob Keppel, Jason Jones.

You can follow the live box score here.

Stick around and discuss the game
as it happens in the comments section.

Giambi: "I’ll thank Derek until the day I die"

From Bob Klapisch:
Jason Giambi has been closely following the Alex Rodriguez-vigil from 2,500 miles away, safely embedded in the A’s hysteria-free universe. After seven years in the Bronx, Giambi says returning to his Oakland roots is like coming home to a soft, feathery bed.

Still, Giambi is a Yankee emeritus, which means he’s in sync with every last detail of A-Rod’s fall from grace — if only because it mirrored his. Both sluggers were exposed as steroid users, both confessed (to some degree) and both were publicly rescued by Derek Jeter.

Well, at least Giambi was, and he’s not ashamed to say it was Jeter who saved his Yankee career.

“I’ll thank Derek until the day I die,” Giambi was saying Thursday. “What he did for me, after what I’d been through, made it possible for me to keep playing in New York. The fans forgave me because of Derek. I’ll never forget that for the rest of my life.”

If you don't remember Jeter said at the time that, “When you’re a team, everyone is one family. We’re going to be there to support [Giambi] because he’s one of us.”

Klapisch goes on to point out the difference between how Jeter defended Giambi and A-Rod:

Much has been made about Jeter’s tepid support of A-Rod, a syringe-user who stands only a few feet to the shortstop’s right. It took the captain two weeks to issue a pardon to Rodriguez, but nevertheless made sure to drive home the following point: I’m not like him.

If you think that’s just Jeter’s way, self-contained and understated, remember how wide a berth he created for Giambi after the first baseman testified at the BALCO grand jury after the 2004 season.

Giambi returned to New York in shame; the Yankees explored ways to get out of the remainder of the $125 million contract. But Jeter was undeterred. He likened Giambi to a brother who deserved a second chance.

What's your take, is there a major difference in how Jeter defended A-Rod compared to he stood by Giambi four years ago?

Personally I think there is a difference but not enough that should create a controversy.

Anyway, back to the aritcle... Here's Giambi's take on how A-Rod has handled his steroid situation:

“Alex did OK,” Giambi said finally. “The hard part is saying you did it, so at least that’s over for him.”

But did Rodriguez tell the whole truth? Giambi winced, as if to say: please don’t ask me that.

Hughes, Kennedy Look to Learn From Last Year's Mistakes

From Pete Caldera:

After an injury-plagued and ineffective 2008, both right-handers have to re-establish their place in the pecking order. And that’s fine with them.

"[Anyone] could make excuses all they want. I thought I was ready," Kennedy said. "Obviously, other people thought I was ready … but it was a learning process.

"Phil and I, we talked about it. We both feel the same way," Kennedy said. "We know we had to get better."

Asked if too much, too soon was expected of him, Hughes said he didn’t think so.

"I was given a great opportunity, and I didn’t come through," said Hughes, after he pitched two scoreless, hitless innings against the Rays on Thursday, in his Grapefruit League debut start.

"I didn’t think I was ill-prepared, or too young, or whatever it was," Hughes said of 2008. "I struggled out of the gate, and got hurt."

"I kind of matured myself, baseball-wise," Kennedy said, after a lat injury helped derail his season. Pitching in Puerto Rico this winter, Kennedy said he learned how to make quicker in-game adjustments.

"I mean, I never really struggled like that before," Kennedy said of 2008. "It was frustrating, failing that much. I think I could compete at the big-league level, but I wasn’t performing to my ability."

When he wasn’t recalled to the Yankees in September, he made a personal vow.

"I said, I don’t want to be left home again, watching games on TV," Kennedy said. "I’m going to work my butt off, no matter what."

The both seem to have the right attitude, which is good, but that will only take them so far.

As I've said before I'm still confident that Hughes will turn out to be a very good pitcher. He has major league stuff, and once he fine tunes his changeup and/or slider I think he'll be able to succeed consistently at the major league level.

However, I'm not really sure what to think about Ian Kennedy. Like Hughes, he's been great at every level (except the majors), but unlike Hughes, he doesn't have the same high-quality stuff. And without top of the line pitches he pretty much has to put the ball exactly where he wants it to get major league hitters out.

Another issue that both pitchers dealt with last year was how easily they would get rattled on the mound. Instead of giving up one run and getting out of the jam they'd getting rattled and end up allowing a big inning. The good thing is at least Kennedy is aware of it and as the article says, he has "learned how to make quicker in-game adjustments." Hopefully Hughes will do the same.

They will have their chance again. There is no reason to believe they won't be successful in AAA once again, and at some point this season you know a pitcher will go down with an injury and miss a couple starts. Hopefully the next time they are more prepared than they were last year.

Spring Training Quick Cuts: Nick Swisher

Here's the latest edition of YES Network's spring training quick cuts, this time it's Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher:

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yanks Tell A-Rod To Keep His Cousin Away

From the Daily News:

Yankee officials have told Alex Rodriguez that Yuri Sucart, believed to be the cousin who injected Major League Baseball's biggest star with steroids, is no longer welcome at team facilities or hotels.

Baseball sources told the Daily News Thursday that the Yankees' front office issued the ban after Rodriguez was seen jumping into an SUV driven by Sucart after Wednesday's spring training opener against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla.

Rodriguez did not protest the decision, after he was told that Sucart, who serves as the star's driver and go-fer, would no longer be given access to clubhouses, training rooms and other team facilities.

"He acknowledged that it was a problem," one source said.

Seriously, what the hell was Alex thinking having this guy pick him up at the ballpark yesterday? He had to know that was a bad move, didn't he? How does having the guy who helped you obtain and inject steroids pick you up from the ballpark a good idea? Come on A-Rod, think!

Anyway, the Yankees are doing what they need to do. Get this guy as far away from the team as possible.

Bank Of America Nixes Deal With Yanks

From Ronald Blum:
The New York Yankees and Bank of America ended months of negotiations on a long-term, high-profile sponsorship agreement, fallout from the financial industry's decision to accept aid from the federal government.

While the sides never discussed naming rights to the team's new $1.5 billion stadium, they had talked about the possibility of a 20-year deal that would have included signage, special events and tickets.

"With the downturn in the economy and the effect on financial institutions including government support of those institutions, we have determined that it is better to enter into a traditional business arrangement with a financial institution," Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillion said.

Bank of America has been the team's official bank since 1994, according to spokesman Joe Goode.

"We still see tremendous value in the Yankees both in terms of a business partnership and a marketing platform, so it's our plan to explore alternative ways to maintain our business relationship," Goode said.

New York and BOA have seen repeated congressional criticism of Citigroup's $400 million, 20-year agreement for naming rights to the Mets' new ballpark, Citi Field. Both New York stadiums open in April.

"We recognize that our decision not to pursue a long-term partnership with the Yankees reflects a lost revenue opportunity for our company, however these are unprecedented times that perhaps call for some very difficult decisions," Goode said.

This may cost the Yankees some loot, and this may be yet another sign of how bad our economy actually is, but hey, at least we don't have to see their logo every 15 feet in the new stadium.

Yanks Make it Two-For-Two To Start Spring

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Yankees won their second straight game to open up the spring, this time defeating the AL Champion Rays 5-1.

Phil Hughes started for the Yankees and he pitched two scoreless innings without giving up a hit. He also struck out two, walked one, and hit two batters.

Phil Coke
also pitched two scoreless innings and picked up the win.

Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte, Mark Melancon, and Jonathan Albaladejo each threw a scoreless inning. The only run the Yankees allowed came against reliever J.B. Cox in the Rays 7th.

Offensively the Yankees were led by Jorge Posada and Shelley Duncan. Posada got them on the board with a solo homer in 3rd. Two innings later he added another RBI with a ground-rule double to deep center. Duncan drove in the other three Yankees runs with a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 7th.

Mark Teixeira and Xavier Nady both went 1-for-2.

Here's the box score:

Damon, LF2000010.000
Gardner, LF2000000.200
Jeter, SS3000000.167
Nunez, E, SS1000000.000
Teixeira, 1B2010010.500
Ransom, 1B2000010.000
Rodriguez, A, 3B2000011.333
Bernier, 3B11100001.000
Cano, 2B2000010.250
Berroa, 2B11100001.000
Nady, RF2110000.500
Duncan, S, RF1113000.250
Posada, DH21220001.000
a-Anson, PH-DH1000000.000
Molina, J, C2000001.000
Cervelli, C1000000.000
Cabrera, M, CF2000001.000
Curtis, CF1000010.000

a-Grounded out for Posada in the 7th.

2B: Nady (1, Abreu, W), Posada (1, Abreu, W).
HR: Posada (1, 3rd inning off Orvella, 0 on, 0 out), Duncan, S (1, 7th inning off Medlock, 2 on, 0 out).
TB: Teixeira; Bernier; Berroa; Nady 2; Duncan, S 4; Posada 6.
RBI: Posada 2 (2), Duncan, S 3 (3).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Cabrera, M.
GIDP: Rodriguez, A.
Team LOB: 1.

Outfield assists: Gardner (Ensberg at 2nd base).

Hughes, P 2.00001200.00
Coke (W, 1-0)2.01000100.00
Bruney (H, 1)1.00000100.00
Marte (H, 1)1.01000000.00
Cox (H, 1)1.03110009.00
Melancon 1.00000100.00
Albaladejo 1.00000000.00

The Yankees travel to Ft. Myers tomorrow to take on the Minnesota Twins. Ian Kennedy starts for the Yankees and he will face the Twins Scott Baker. Game time is set for 1:05 p.m.

Check Out Their New Hats

These are new caps the Yankees will be wearing this season. Here's a press release from via Bryan Hoch:
The New York Yankees will wear a new cap for the entirety of the 2009 season featuring a patch on the back commemorating the opening of the new Yankee Stadium. The patch is the first of its kind to appear on the back of an official MLB Authentic Collection cap, incorporating the MLB logo in its standard location to maintain the traditional Yankees cap design.

The caps will debut officially on Opening Day. Designed by MLB and the Yankees and manufactured by New Era, the caps will be available for purchase beginning March 1 through and at Yankee Clubhouse stores, Modell's, Champs and the Sports Authority. All MLB Authentic Collection products for sale are exactly the same as those worn by the players.

Spring Training Game 2: Yanks vs. Rays

Spring Training Game 2
Yankees at Rays
George M. Steinbrenner Field - Tampa, FL
Game Time: 1:05 p.m.
TV/radio: YES

Here are the lineups:

Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Xavier Nady RF
Jorge Posada DH
Jose Molina C
Melky Cabrera CF

Phil Hughes, Phil Coke, Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte, Jon Albaladejo, Mark Melancon.

Adam Kennedy 2B
Carl Crawford LF
Willy Aybar DH
Morgan Ensberg 3B
Ben Zobrist SS
Gabe Kapler CF
Chris Richard 1B
Shawn Riggans C
Justin Ruggiano RF

Rays pitching: Wade Davis, Winston Abreu, Calvin Medlock, Chad Orvella, Dale Thayer and Julio DePaula

2009 CHONE Projections has released the 2009 CHONE projections (hat tip to Marc Craig of Here's their projections for the American League:

Projected AL Standings
East W L
Central W L
West W L
Yankees 97 65
Indians 90 72
Angels 85 77
Red Sox 96 66
Tigers 85 77
A's 81 81
Rays 89 73
Twins 79 83
Mariners 78 84
Blue Jays 75 87
White Sox 73 89
Rangers 72 90
Orioles 74 88
Royals 72 90

The Phillies, Cubs and Dodgers were projected to win the divisions in the NL, with the Braves and Mets tying for the Wild Card with 86 wins apiece. For the rest of the NL standings go here.

They also released power rankings, with the Yankees ranked no. 1. The rest of the top five were the Red Sox, Rays, Indians and Tigers.

For more Yankees projections, check out's projections for their hitters and pitchers.

Reader Post: Restaurant of Dreams - Build it, and they will come!

This was posted by rpb, one of this blog's readers, in the comments section of a recent post. Enjoy...
Lonn Trost and Randy Levine talking to George Steinbrenner after the ground breaking for the new Stadium.

George: Lonn/Randy, I'm looking at this model here and I don't see how the fans in the bleachers can see around this restaurant in centerfield?

Lonn/Randy: Boss, this restaurant will make us more money in one homestand, then selling 1,000 bleacher seats at double the $12 asking price for a month of games. Its a gold mine. Like printing money.

George: But what about the fans?

Trost/Levine: The fans? The fans? They're sheep. They'll follow us anywhere. They'll be grateful just be able to get in the place. Obstructed views George? The patrons in the restaurant will have great views, who gives a shit about a few fans paying $12 bucks. Hell, if they complain, we'll ignore them. The press wont care, they have great seats behind home plate, heat, AC, we feed them. Shit, they're sheep too. They write whatever we tell them. The media? OK, we drop the price for a while, that'll keep them at bay, make us look like we give a shit. We're telling you Boss, its the big spender, the corporate dollars, that's what we're after. Its win/win for us.

George: you know me, I want the fans to be happy.

Trost/Levine: The big corporate spenders will love you Boss. They are the fans! They'll spend big money to come to your new house and its their money we're after. The $12 bleachers guy? Colateral damage. Price of doing business. In fact, we wanted to put another restaurant in the grandstands but the engineer said it would'nt hold the weight. We said put some steel column under it to hold it up.

George: Won't the steel columns obstruct the views of some of the seats? Fans would have to look around them. Like the original stadium. Can't have that Randy, can't have that Lonn.

Trost/Levine: Boss we got obstructed views everyhere, at every level. Handicap platforms, steel column in the main level. The assholes, I mean fans wont mind them, like we said, they'll be happy just to get in the place. In fact, we're thinking of putting some tables on the handicap platforms and calling them outdoor cafe's. We'll get more for the seats, plus they have to spend money for a meal. Big money there Boss.

George: I see, OK the centerfield restaurant can stay, but no steel column holding up another restaurant in the grandstand. I don't think we can get away with two big restaurants.

Trost/Levine: Wait, we'll put it off a big hallway away from the seats. They can watch the game on TV.

George: Who is going to pay good money to get into the stadium and then sit in a restaurant with no view of the field?

Trost/Levine: The same assholes, I mean fans who'll pay money to sit in a seat where they can't see the whole field. We're telling you Boss, they're sheep. Win a few games and they'll forgive and forget anything. Hell, if we had our way, the whole bleacher area would be a restaurant. Big bucks, great views from those tables.

George: OK you seem to have it all covered. As long as the fans are happy.

Trost/Levine: Boss the corporate fans will love you and pay big money to be associated with the Yankees.

George: And the cab drivers? the firefighters? the average working guy?

Trost/Levine: They'll be happy to get in and see the place. Don't worry Boss.

Spring Training Quick Cuts: Mark Teixeira

Here's another spring training Quick Cut from the YES Network:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mr. October Tells A-Rod To Shut Up And Play

There's nothing like a stern lecture from Mr. October to help a troubled friend focus on the priorities of life and career when enormous distractions are closing in and his reputation is crumbling.

"Hit the baseball and hit it when it counts," Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson told Alex Rodriguez at dinner on Tuesday night. "That's really about all that matters now."

I guess I'm not the only one who thinks Alex needs to pick it up in big spots...

Matter-of-factly, A-Rod mentioned he had dinner with Jackson on Tuesday night, but didn't elaborate other than to jest, "Reggie was probably one of those guys booing me."

Reggie said he spent time with Yankees general partner Hank Steinbrenner on Tuesday.

"'You deliver this message,' [Steinbrenner] said sternly to me. 'You tell him to hit the damn ball and hit it when it counts,'" Jackson said. "Yes, that's really the most important thing Alex can do at this stage. All the other conversations, they don't matter. The more you talk, the more you have an opportunity to make a mistake or say something stupid or something you can go trace.

"My dad used to say you can control the story as long as you still get a chance to hit. Take the bat away and you start running your mouth, you're going to get in trouble. Edit your own story with the bat, and as long as Alex does that, he's got a chance to change things."

Wise words from Mr. October: shut up and play. "Hit the ball when it counts" and don't say anything more. I agree completely. Anymore talking will only hurt A-Rod in the end.

A perfect example of a time where A-Rod said too much was regarding his cousin. There was no reason to bring him into this, no reason at all. I bought "boli" in the DR, and I used it for three years, that's it. That should have been A-Rod's story.

Like Reggie says, "The more you talk, the more you have an opportunity to make a mistake or say something stupid or something you can go trace."

Reggie also mentioned that he was disseminated to find out A-Rod used PEDs:

"When I started playing, I was a fan; when I played, I was a fan; and when I left the game, I remained a fan. I'm still a fan, so I get affected as a fan [when stories such as A-Rod using steroids surface]. I am saddened by it."

As for Rodriguez, Jackson added, "I'm disappointed, but Alex is a player I have feelings for."

From what I've seen so far it seems Yankees fans feel the same was as Reggie. They're upset, this whole thing bothers them a lot, but at the same time they're still pulling for A-Rod. Today's standing ovation was as good an example of that as you can get. I'm sure most of those fans weren't happy to hear about his past PED use, but that didn't stop them from giving him that ovation.

Obstructed View Bleacher Seats To Cost $5

You know those obstructed views in the bleachers that I've spoken about a few times? Well it turns out that fans who sit there won't have to pay the regular $12 price tag. Instead, those seats will sell for just $5. Here's more from Neil Best (Hat tip to Scott Proctor's Arm):
Yankees COO Lonn Trost just said on WFAN that the 600 obstructed view seats in the bleachers of the new Yankee Stadium will be sold for $5 apiece, not $12!

Hmm. This is new, no? Monday Trost said they cost $12 apiece, which also was the price indicated on the team's Web site
Yes, it is new. And it's the smart move. I don't think fans realize how much of the field is cut off by that stupid restaurant. To be honest, they should probably be giving those tickets away.

Yanks Beat Jays in Spring Training Opener

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The Yankees opened up their spring training schedule in grand fashion today, defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-1.

Alex Rodriguez responded to a chorus of boos by blasting a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Yankees 3-1 lead.

Brett Gardner led off the game with a solo homer.

Nick Swisher, Juan Miranda, and Todd Linden each added one RBI.

Also on the offense side, Derek Jeter went 1-for-3 with a run scored, Robinson Cano went 1-for-2 with a double and 2 runs scored, Austin Jackson went 1-for-2 with a double, and Kevin Cash went 2-for-3 and stole a base.

On the pitching side everyone but Jose Veras pitched well. Ironically, Jose Veras picked up the win.

Here's the box score:

Gardner, CF3111002.333
Jackson, A, CF2010011.500
Jeter, SS3110000.333
Pena, SS2000012.000
Cano, 2B2210010.500
Ransom, 2B1000101.000
Rodriguez, A, 3B11122001.000
Russo, 3B2000013.000
Swisher, RF1101211.000
Curtis, RF2000000.000
Duncan, S, DH3000024.000
a-Montero, PH-DH2010010.500
Miranda, 1B3011021.333
Leone, 1B1000011.000
Linden, LF3011013.333
Rodriguez, John, LF2010001.500
Cash, C3020000.667
Pilittere, C1000012.000

a-Singled for Duncan, S in the 7th.

2B: Cano (1, Bauer), Jackson, A (1, Hayhurst).
HR: Gardner (1, 1st inning off Cecil, 0 on, 0 out), Rodriguez, A (1, 4th inning off Romero, R, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Gardner 4; Jackson, A 2; Jeter; Cano 2; Rodriguez, A 4; Montero; Miranda; Linden; Rodriguez, John; Cash 2.
RBI: Gardner (1), Rodriguez, A 2 (2), Linden (1), Swisher (1), Miranda (1).
2-out RBI: Linden.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Gardner; Russo 2; Pilittere.
GIDP: Linden.
Team LOB: 11.

SB: Cash (1, 2nd base off Burres/Thigpen).

E: Gardner (1, throw), Pena (1, throw), Leone (1, fielding), Russo (1, throw).

Tomko 2.01000000.00
Veras (W, 1-0)1.01112209.00
Giese 1.01000000.00
Igawa 1.01000100.00
Garcia 1.00000100.00
Dunn 1.00000000.00
Jackson, S 1.00000100.00
Robertson 1.00001200.00
The Yankees take on the defending AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays tomorrow afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Phil Hughes will make the start for the Yankees. The game is at 1:05 p.m. and will be on YES.

Info on the Rotation

From Tyler Kepner:
Meanwhile, before leaving for Dunedin, Manager Joe Girardi announced his spring rotation. Starting March 6, it lines up this way: Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Joba Chamberlain. Girardi likes the idea of putting Wang between two strikeout guys.

“It’s a different look, a sinker as opposed to a couple of hard throwers,” Girardi said. “I also think what Chien-Ming Wang has done here is pretty special.”

Girardi said he had lined up the pitchers all the way through the 162-game schedule, and he projects Chamberlain for 30 starts. “I’m not sure we skipped him at any point,” Girardi added.
They can't seriously expect 30 starts from Joba, can they? After throwing just 100.1 last year I don't think it's reasonable to believe he will throw close to 180 innings (six per start) this year. And to be honest, I don't want him to throw that many innings. Don't risk the kid's future so he can throw an extra 30 innings in 2009.

That got me to thinking. The first game at the new Yankee Stadium is the Yankees’ 10th game of the season – the end of the second time through the rotation. If Chamberlain is not going to be skipped, does that mean he starts the home opener?

“I don’t really want to give up that, because a lot of things could happen in spring training that could change that,” Girardi said. “I can’t give that to you yet.”

I think it would be great for Joba to start the opener at the new stadium. But what might be more fitting is if they decided to flip flop he and Pettitte so that Pettitte can start the first game at the new place. He closed the old one, so why not open the new one too?