Results for tag: New York Yankees
Posted by: Jack Curry on May 18, 2011 at 11:56:35 AM

The detailed conversations took place a few times every day. The words were exchanged in the batting cage, in the dugout, in the clubhouse and in front of a computer. Again and again, the two men discussed how to eradicate a problem that has been bothering both of them.

Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Long were the two Yankees who have had these talks and who have shared concern for Rodriguez’s vanishing act as a hitter. After Rodriguez dominated pitchers during the first three weeks of the season, he plummeted into a deep drought. How, Long wondered, could he help get Rodriguez back to being a prolific hitter?

Long determined the cause of Rodriguez’s struggles, detecting that the third baseman hadn’t been using the lower half of his body to ignite his swing. Rodriguez called

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Posted by: Jack Curry on May 11, 2011 at 04:46:13 PM

Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time around the Yankees across the last four decades has a Gene Monahan story. Most of the time, I guarantee, those stories revolve around how Monahan was classy, dignified or professional. Now that Monahan is retiring as the Yankees’ trainer after 2011, I want to share my Monahan story.

Spring Training with the Yankees was hectic in 1993. George Steinbrenner returned from a suspension to reclaim his position as principal owner and the man running the daily activities of the franchise. It was a major story, a story that essentially impacted everything else that happened that spring. Every beat reporter vied to be the first to secure an interview with Steinbrenner or at least be the first to snag some crumb of news about Steinbrenner and

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Posted by: Jack Curry on May 10, 2011 at 12:49:28 PM

Nine days ago, Derek Jeter was hitting .250. He had 23 hits in his first 92 at-bats, about half of them infield hits. As Jeter got ready for a Sunday game with the Blue Jays, I asked him a few questions by his locker. I was curious to know if Jeter felt better about his much-dissected swing, if he had made any adjustments, and how quickly he expected that .250 beside his name to turn into a thicker number.

When I mentioned Jeter’s career average of .314 during one of my questions, Jeter offered an interesting response. He didn’t answer the question. Instead, he honed in on the shiny statistic that I had cited and supplied his perspective.

"If I go 4-for-4 in the next two games, I’ll be there,” Jeter said. He was basically correct; if he went 8-for-8, he would

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Posted by: Jack Curry on May 3, 2011 at 03:19:26 PM

In Goose Gossage’s first appearance for the Yankees in 1978 he surrendered a game-winning homer to Richie Zisk in the ninth inning. The Rangers walked away with a 2-1 win and Gossage, who was New York’s splashy free agent signing and the reliever given Sparky Lyle’s closer job, stalked off the mound in anger.

In Gossage’s second outing with the Yankees, he couldn’t hold a 3-1 lead. He gave up another homer as the Brewers prevailed, 5-3. Gossage simmered, knowing how badly he wanted to have a stellar start as a Yankee. Billy Martin, Gossage presumed, was muttering about this lousy new guy.

In Gossage’s third game with the Yankees, he improved. Well, sort of. He was nicked for a homer for the third straight game, but that was the only run he allowed in 3

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Apr 28, 2011 at 09:33:45 AM

If Bartolo Colon never made it out of Spring Training with the Yankees, if his quest to make the team failed and if he never fired another pitch in the Major Leagues, he wouldn’t have had any reason to be embarrassed. It had been a memorable ride, a career that included a Cy Young Award, 153 wins and five trips to the postseason.

But Colon wanted more. Colon wanted to remember what it was like to stand 60 feet, six inches away from the best hitters in the world and know that he could silence them. It is an intoxicating feeling, a feeling fueled with excitement and tension. It is a feeling that Colon kept chasing.

That long, lonesome chase has proven to be worthwhile for Colon. After making the Yankees as a reliever, Colon has slid into the rotation for the injured Phil Hughes and given

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Apr 22, 2011 at 10:47:51 AM

The first time I introduced myself to Buck Showalter, he was reading a baseball publication. I don’t remember which one. Maybe it was Baseball America. But that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is that Showalter was immersed in baseball from the moment we first shook hands in 1991. He still is.

Showalter’s latest baseball immersion involves trying to transform the once-proud Baltimore Orioles into a proud franchise again. The Orioles haven’t had a winning season since 1997 and the fans that used to make Camden Yards one of the premier places to watch a game don’t flock there as readily anymore. It’s a challenging chore, which means Showalter is perfect for the manager’s job.

When the Yankees oppose the Orioles on Friday night, the most observant person

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Apr 20, 2011 at 06:26:39 PM

A foul tip smashed off Russell Martin’s mask in a recent game, causing the mask to twist almost entirely off the catcher’s face. Martin shook his head, spit and then reached back to the umpire to collect a new baseball. Only after doing all that did he finally pull the mask back into its proper position.

This scene from Martin’s life as a catcher lasted a few seconds, but it was another snippet of evidence that exemplified his toughness. Martin is tough. Most catchers are. But Martin being more concerned with getting a new ball to the pitcher than straightening out his mask was another small reminder of how tenacious he is.

As general manager Brian Cashman pursued Martin in the offseason, he was intrigued by Martin’s defensive abilities, superb athleticism and

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Apr 4, 2011 at 12:19:43 PM

Ivan Nova cruised into Spring Training in search of a permanent spot in the Yankees’ starting rotation. The Yankees portrayed the competition as Nova and three others wrestling for the final two spots in the rotation. It was Nova against Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon and Sergio Mitre. Or was it?

Unless Nova had a brutal spring, I thought that he was a cinch to be the fourth starter. The Yankees were confident enough in Nova to start him as they pushed for a postseason spot. Since the Yankees were impressed with Nova, it was logical to believe that he would have had to flop to get shoved aside. He didn’t fizzle and will make his first start of the season against the Twins on Monday night.

Regardless of how intense the competition was or wasn’t, Nova felt that he was ensconced

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Mar 22, 2011 at 06:09:13 AM

TAMPA, Fla. – They were cousins who were also best friends, two California boys who loved to play baseball for hours, ride bikes from store to store, compete in everything and laugh forever. Man, did they laugh. Whenever Austin Romine thought about Jordan Stanton, his cousin, he thought about the kid who was always one smirk or one syllable away from making him laugh.

Those priceless jokes and expressions that Romine adored are gone now, gone because Stanton is gone. Stanton, a Marine Corporal, was killed while participating in combat operations in the Helmand province of Afghanistan on March 4. The kid that Romine called “my little brother” was 20 years old and was scheduled to return home next month. He was to be married in July.

“At this point in time,” Romine

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Posted by: Jack Curry on Mar 7, 2011 at 11:01:03 AM

TAMPA, Fla. – The little lefty picked up the baseball and started throwing it in the same smooth way that he had always done. It was supposed to be a simple game of catch, a prelude to Manny Banuelos’s audition for the Yankees. But Banuelos’ motion was so effortless and so seamless that the tryout began from the moment he methodically flipped a baseball to a friend.

As Lee Sigman studied Banuelos on a schoolyard field in El Vergel Durango, Mexico three-and-a-half years ago, he was entranced with how comfortable the 16-year old looked. Sigman took a four-hour bus ride through a black night to get to an 8 a.m. workout with Banuelos. Any of Sigman’s grogginess dissipated when the Yankees’ scout saw Banuelos throw. Sigman’s eyes were wide open.

“I didn’t

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