Thursday, January 31, 2013

Yankees Announce Invites Spring Training

Here's the list via
Pitchers (20): RHP Corey Black, LHP Juan Cedeno, RHP Preston Claiborne, RHP Matt Daley, RHP Shane Greene, RHP Nick Goody, RHP David Herndon, RHP Tom Kahnle, RHP Jim Miller, RHP Bryan Mitchell, RHP Mark Montgomery, RHP Zach Nuding, LHP Vidal Nuno, RHP Mike O'Brien, RHP Kelvin Perez, RHP Branden Pinder, RHP Ryan Pope, LHP Josh Spence, LHP Matt Tracy, RHP Chase Whitley.

Catchers (5): Francisco Arcia, Kyle Higashioka, J.R. Murphy, Gary Sanchez, Bobby Wilson.

Infielders (10): Greg Bird, Cito Culver, Walter Ibarra, Dan Johnson, Addison Maruszak, Luke Murton, Jayson Nix, Jose Pirela, Kyle Roller, Gil Velazquez.

Outfielders (9): Abraham Almonte, Tyler Austin, Matt Diaz, Adonis Garcia, Slade Heathcott, Ronnier Mustelier, Thomas Neal, Juan Rivera, Rob Segedin.
And remember, for all New York Yankees tickets, including all Spring Training games, click the tickets link in the nav bar or the banner to your right.

Report: A-Rod May Be Done

From the NY Daily News:
Alex Rodriguez is unlikely to ever wear the pinstripes again, sources familiar with the Yankees’ situation with their troubled third baseman told the Daily News, no matter what happens regarding new allegations that he is again involved with performance-enhancing drugs.

According to numerous baseball sources, the hip surgery Rodriguez is now recovering from will likely derail his playing career, leaving him in such a diminished role that he may consider a settlement or an outright retirement. He still has five years and $114 million left on his contract.

“I don’t know why he would want to go through the pain of rehabbing and trying to play up to the caliber of player he was, and come back to a game where nobody wants him,” said a baseball official.
“If he did that, he’d be a part-time player and presumably unable to achieve any of the incentive clauses in the contract or even the milestones.”

Even before the latest steroid allegations surfaced, Yankee officials had already privately begun preparing for the likelihood that Rodriguez would never finish out the mega-deal he signed in 2007. He underwent his second hip surgery earlier in the month and had begun rehabbing in Miami when the Daily News reported over the weekend that he had been involved with self-described Miami “biochemist” Anthony Bosch, who is the subject of federal, state and Major League Baseball drug investigations.


The Yankees will likely wait until more information is gleaned from law enforcement and MLB about the veracity of the New Times allegations before deciding on exactly how to proceed.
In other A-Rod related news, Dan Martin of the NY Post is reporting that Doctors have said that A-Rod's most recent hip injury was most likely not caused by PED use.
“I still don’t think any PED would have had an effect on the injury or the surgery,” said Dr. David Geier, Director of Sports Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. “They can impact tendons and muscles, but not what he had. They might impact recovery, but I don’t see the argument where the surgery itself would have been any different.”

“Even if this turns out to be true, it wouldn’t impact the hip joint. His problem was one of anatomy. I can’t imagine any effect.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rumor: Yankees May Be Close To Deal With Travis Hafner
Pronk, who hasn't been able to stay healthy since 2007, only played 66 games for the Tribe last season, hitting .228/.346./.438 with 12 HR and 34 RBI. If healthy, he could be a cheap and decent option at DH.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A-Rod Linked To Recent PED Use, Denies Everything

From Andrew Marchand:
The Miami New Times, in a long investigative piece, has details that suggest Rodriguez had close ties with Anthony Bosch, a South Florida nutritionist. The story says Rodriguez has made PED transactions as recently as during the 2012 season.


Bosch has been under suspicion for a long time. Bosch allegedly gave Manny Ramirez the women's fertility drug that ultimately led to his first suspension in 2009. MLB is investigating Bosch's practices.

The New Times writes about specific times when Rodriguez allegedly made transactions with Bosch for performance-enhancing drugs. In Bosch's files, Rodriguez was listed as "Alex Rodriguez," "Alex Rod" or a nickname, "Cacique," a pre-Columbian Caribbean chief. Rodriguez's name appears 16 times in the records the New Times obtained:

Take, for instance, one patient list from Bosch's 2009 personal notebook. It charts more than 50 clients and notes whether they received their drugs by delivery or in the office, how much they paid, and what they were taking.

There, at number seven on the list, is Alex Rodriguez. He paid $3,500, Bosch notes. Below that, he writes, "1.5/1.5 HGH (sports perf.) creams test., glut., MIC, supplement, sports perf. Diet." HGH, of course, is banned in baseball, as are testosterone creams.

That's not the only damning evidence against A-Rod, though. Another document from the files, a loose sheet with a header from the 19th Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine, lays out a full regimen under the name Cacique: "Test. cream ... troches prior to workout ... and GHRP ... IGF-1 ... pink cream."

IGF-1 is a banned substance in baseball that stimulates insulin production and muscle growth. Elsewhere in his notebook, Bosch spells out that his "troches," a type of drug lozenge, include 15 percent testosterone; pink cream, he writes, is a complex formula that also includes testosterone. GHRP is a substance that releases growth hormones.

There's more evidence. On a 2009 client list, near A-Rod's name, is that of Yuri Sucart, who paid Bosch $500 for a weeklong supply of HGH. Sucart is famous to anyone who has followed baseball's steroid scandal. Soon after A-Rod's admission, the slugger admitted that Sucart -- his cousin and close friend -- was the mule who provided the superstar his drugs. In 2009, the same year this notebook was written, Sucart (who lives in South Miami and didn't respond to a message left at his home) was banned from all Yankees facilities.

The mentions of Rodriguez begin in 2009 and continue all the way through last season.
Melky Cabrera, Yasmani Grandal, Barolo Colon, Nelson Cruz, and Gio Gonzalez were also linked to PED use in the report.

As you might expect, A-Rod is saying the report isn't true and his spokesman has issued this statement:
"The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch’s patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him. The purported documents referenced in the story -- at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez -- are not legitimate."
It's hard for me to believe that he would be THAT stupid, but then again, people do stupid things. If it is true, I'd hope the Yankees could do something to void his contract because I know that we've all had enough of A-Rod's crap already. Speaking of which, an article in Forbes today get into the specifics of how something like that could be done:
The question now becomes whether the Yankee’s may have cause to void Rodriguez’s contract? Article 7 of the Major League Uniform Player’s Contract specifically states that:

7.(b) The Club may terminate [a] contract upon written notice to the Player (but only after requesting and obtaining waivers of this contract from all other Major League Clubs) if the Player shall at any time: (1) fail, refuse or neglect to conform his personal conduct to the standards of good citizenship and good sportsmanship or to keep himself in first-class physical condition or to obey the Club’s training rules.

Article 3 of the contract also specifically states that:

3.(a) The Player agrees to perform his services hereunder diligently and faithfully, to keep himself in first-class physical condition and to obey the Club’s training rules, and pledges himself to the American public and to the Club to conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship.

It can easily be argued that the illegal usage of performance enhancing drugs may be construed as a failure to “keep himself in first-class physical condition” as well as a blatant violation to “conform to high standards of personal conduct”. Presuming that the Yankees can prove that Rodriguez misrepresented himself for not only failing to admit his usage of PEDs with the Rangers, but than subsequently lying that he never used them again with their organization, they may be able to at the very least shift the remainder of Rodriguez’s salary to a non-guaranteed deal.

Of course, from a legal prospective, unless the MLB and Yankees can come up with hard evidence of his usage of the drugs, the MLBPA will offer significant protection to Rodriguez.
Hard evidence will be hard to obtain, but if true let's just hope the Miami New Times did their due diligence and published a story that is based on something tangible.

Rosenthal: Pettitte Will Not Pitch in the WBC

From Ken Rosenthal:
Though Andy Pettitte has been known to change his mind, he will not participate in the World Baseball Classic, according to major league sources. The news is not exactly a surprise, considering that Pettitte is 40 and preparing for perhaps his farewell season with the New York Yankees.
Glad the Yankees/Pettitte are taking the safe route here. No need to risk an injury on a pointless preseason exhibition.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Yankees Sign Juan Rivera to Minor League Deal

From Andrew Marchand:
The New York Yankees have reunited with outfielder Juan Rivera, a source tells's Wallace Matthews. It is a minor league deal, allowing Rivera to compete with Matt Diaz and Russ Canzler to be a right-handed-hitting outfielder for the Yankees.
In 109 games for the Angels last season, Rivera hit .244/.286/.375 with 9 HR and 47 RBI.

Cashman Pineda With Throw Off Half Mound
Not a big step, but a step nonetheless.

Jeter Hits The Field For The First Time Since Injury

From USA Today:
Derek Jeter worked out on a baseball field Monday for the first time since breaking his left ankle last October.

The 38-year-old New York Yankees captain fielded 55 grounders on the grass in front of the infield dirt at shortstop at the team's minor league complex. He also hit in a batting cage.

"Everything went well," Jeter said as he drove out of the complex.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Yankees' Fiscal Restraint is a Good Thing

We have heard about the Yankees’ desire to get their payroll under $189M by 2014 for some time now. Personally, I love it. Don’t get me wrong though, if there is an absolute pressing matter at a certain position, then the Yankees should go out and acquire that player. Signing C.C. Sabathia is an example of a very expensive yet very smart signing during the winter of 2008.

Since the off season began, all I have heard from this fan base is consistent complaining about Free Agent after Free Agent getting passed over by the Yankees. There were a few impact players that could have been had, but their signing would not have made sense. Committing albatross contracts to Zack Greinke or Josh Hamilton would have been bad moves, and re-upping Nick Swisher for four years would have been as well. I love Swish, and besides his postseason performances, am glad he was a Yankee for four years, but it was time to move on. Soriano had an amazing season in 2012 but with Mo coming back and the Yankees’ plethora of high end relief prospects, giving him three or four years would have been a mistake.

The only complaint that had some merit was letting Russell Martin walk. Outside of September, he was a black hole in the lineup and his defense is overrated. I would have understood the reasons for signing him but I also understand the reasons for not doing so. Gary Sanchez is not close to being ready to take over the catching duties, Austin Romine cannot stay healthy, and J.R. Murphy still has to prove himself at AA. As it currently stands Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli are the catchers. I’m not thrilled with that duo but I’d prefer that they roll the dice with those two. People tend to forget that the catcher is not known for his offensive prowess. Jorge Posada’s presence in the lineup for so many years has clouded fans’ assessment of the position’s requirements.

Outside of the few impact players, this Free Agent class consists of mediocrity. Could guys like George Kottaras, Scott Hairston, Cody Ross, and Nate Schierholz have helped? Sure. Are they players worth getting upset about signing elsewhere though? No. So for the life of me, I cannot understand why so many fans are. I have heard fans questioning Cashman’s desire to win. I have even heard fans say that the Steinbrenner sons should sell the team. Seriously. Spending a ton of money is not always the answer. Sometimes standing pat is the right move to make. Knee-jerk reactionary spending is the reason that the Yankees are currently in this position.

Personally, I am looking forward to the 2013 season more than previous ones because there are question marks. For me, this makes the season more interesting because we have no idea what is going to happen. I know that no matter how stacked a team is, the unexpected can still happen, but you still have a pretty good idea what will. I hope the days of excessive spending are truly over & this is not just a short-term goal because over the past few years, it does not feel like I am watching baseball. It feels more like a corporation securing highly paid assets to further increase their own revenue stream.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Olney: 1998 Yankees Are The Best Ever

You can check out the article here.

Cashman Says There's A Chance A-Rod Could Miss The Entire Season

From WCBS:
there’s a chance that you might not see the 14-time All-Star wearing pinstripes at all in 2013, general manager Brian Cashman told WFAN co-hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Friday.

“Yeah,” Cashman replied when asked if there was a chance that A-Rod could miss the entire season. “I think because (of) the serious nature of the surgery and the condition that he’s trying to recover from, you know, there is that chance.”

The Yankees said in a statement after A-Rod’s surgery that recovery was anticipated to take six months, but Cashman warned that “there’s no guarantees in this stuff.”
I assume Cashman is just covering all his bases, but you never know. At this point, let's just hope he comes back and that Youkilis can hold down the fort in A-Rod's absence.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Yankees Add Outfilder Thomas Neal
He also updated his Twitter profile. He's just 25-years-old and has only played in 9 games for the Indians last season, hitting .207/.250/.261 with 2 RBI in 24 plate appearances.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Damage To A-Rod's Hip Less Than Expected

From Anothony McCarron:
Alex Rodriguez’s surgeon, Dr. Bryan Kelly, told the Yankees that he discovered less cartilage damage in A-Rod’s hip than expected, a good sign that the third baseman will have fewer complications as he tries to come back, a source said.

“It was minimal,” the source said. “Now it’s up to his rehab.”

Minimal cartilage damage means “they wouldn’t have to do a microfracture (procedure) or anything where they are trying to regenerate areas where the cartilage has worn away,” said Dr. Derek Ochiai, an orthopedic surgeon and hip arthroscopy specialist in Arlington, Va.

“That will mean his rehab has the highest chance of successfully getting back to the level with his hip that he was before his hip started hurting.”
The recovery time is still six months, but this is clearly good news.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jeter Gets The 'OK' To Begin Baseball Activities

Here's some more news on the injury front via CBS New York:
Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter says he’s been cleared to start baseball activity in his recovery from a broken left ankle.

The 38-year-old team captain reiterated Wednesday that he is on track to be in New York’s starting lineup for the opener on April 1.

Jeter won’t take the field for workouts until later this month. The 13-time All-Star said that is his normal pre-spring training routine.

“I’ve got the OK to start,” Jeter said before a launch party for his Turn 2 Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic. “But I don’t start until next week or the week after, anyway. In terms of baseball activity, I’m right where I need to be.”

Jeter broke his ankle lunging for a grounder in Game 1 of the AL championship series against Detroit on Oct. 13. He had surgery a week later and the Yankees said recovery time would be four to five months.

“Great … the leg is good,” Jeter said.
Jeter was also asked about the Yankees advanced age and had this to say:
Why would we be too old? Too old, or experienced? Which word do you want to use?” Jeter said. “I’ll go into the spring and see who’s there. We’re always full of surprises. You never know what’s going to happen. We’ll see when we get there how the team looks. It’s a long season. I’m pretty sure we’re going to be competitive and be right where we need to be.”
Jeter is a bit more confident than I am.

A-Rod: "Surgery Went Well"

Here's a photo Rodriguez posted on his facebook account along with this note:

"Surgery went well! The road to recovery officially begins ... looking forward to the challenges ahead."

The recovery time should be about six months.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Anyone else think it's stupid for Pettitte to pitch in the WBC?

From Anthony McCarron:
Andy Pettitte and Mark Teixeira, two Yankees who endured injury problems last season, are scheduled to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic in March, a source with knowledge of the roster confirmed Monday.


If a club does not want a player to participate because of injury, it can submit what’s called a “player objection notice” to the WBC’s disability review committee, which could rule on the objection. But with both Pettitte and Teixeira on track to be ready for spring training next month and both wanting to play, it’s not like the Yankees can prevent their participation.
I can understand letting Teixeira play. He's a notorious slow-starter and maybe a few competitive games prior to the season will do him some good. However, letting a 40-year-old Andy Pettitte, pitch in meaningless exhibition games masquerading as an important international competition is a joke.

Ichiro Pumped To Return To The Bronx

From the NY Times:
"Re-signing for the Yankees has awakened a fresh determination in me," the 10-times All Star told Japanese media after a workout in Kobe.

"This is a team that can select A-Rod as a pinch-hitter we're talking about," he added, referring to fellow future Hall of Famer Alex Rodriguez.

Ichiro's future with the Yankees had hung in the balance, the player unhappy that talks on a new deal were taking so long and threatening to negotiate with other clubs.

However, after agreeing terms on a deal worth $13 million over two years, Ichiro is expected to be the team's starting right fielder this season.

"It is an absolutely unique team," said Ichiro, who reportedly turned down more money from other MLB teams to remain in the Yankees pinstripes.

"Being able to take my place alongside such players has been something I have thinking about."
One of the things I'm really looking forward to for the 2013 season is watching a full season of Ichiro.

ESPN Releases Their Sunday Night Baseball Schedule

Today, ESPN released the first half of their Sunday Night Baseball schedule for the 2013 season.
March 31: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros
April 7: Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers
April 14: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
April 21: St. Louis Cardinals at Philadelphia Phillies
April 28: Atlanta Braves at Detroit Tigers
May 5: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
May 12: Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox
May 19: Detroit Tigers at Texas Rangers
May 26: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
July 14: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
July 21: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
I personally don't like the ESPN broadcasts so the less games the Yankees have, the better.

Kevin Long Getting An Early Start With Youkilis

From Dan Martin:
Long already has begun working with Rodriguez’s temporary replacement at third, visiting Kevin Youkilis in San Jose, Calif., last week.

“We looked at old film and compared it to 2012,” Long said. “We saw some considerable differences, mainly in his stance and it looked like the adjustments had an impact. ... I think we can get him back to being an all-star caliber player.”

Long plans on heading to Tampa shortly before pitchers and catchers arrive next month. He’s eager to put the pain of last year’s flameout against the Tigers in the ALCS behind him.

“It took a little longer for the sting to go away,” Long said of the sweep. “I feel like I’ve had a great career and done a great job, but that was a tough week. I feel good moving forward.”
I still think Long should have been fired after the way this team hit the last couple of seasons, but at least he's trying.

Soriano Signs With The Nationals

I will definitely miss untuck time.