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13 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 2:04PM #1
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OK guys, I don't know about you but I'm tired of all the Arod-Torre garbage the last few weeks. It's almost time for real baseball and this thread will be dedicated to the latest Yankees real baseball news. It will be updated on a daily basis as I find articles until opening day.

13 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 2:07PM #2
Posts: 0


NICK OF TIME: Nick Swisher gets playful with fans will signing autographs Friday in Tampa. The steroid chatter calmed down some yesterday, allowing players to get back to baseball.

NICK OF TIME: Nick Swisher gets playful with fans will signing autographs Friday in Tampa. The steroid chatter calmed down some yesterday, allowing players to get back to baseball.


Last updated: 7:27 am
February 22, 2009
Posted: 4:05 am
February 22, 2009

TAMPA - OK. So you say you're tired of hearing about boli and testosterone and human growth hormone, you're worn out by what Alex Rodriguez may or may not have done, how he may or may not react to all the distractions swirling around him, how the Yankees may or may not react to having him in their midst every day, reacting to all those swirling distractions.

Baseball, you say. Give me baseball.

Tell me about blue Florida skies and green infield grass and a sun that blazes hot all morning long. Tell me how CC and A.J. are chucking it, how Teixeira and Damon are stroking it, how Jeter and Cano look turning two.

Tell me about the surreal sight of seeing Mickey Rivers running a drill with a small group of outfielders which, on the record, is a drill where they all try to reach over the wall and bring home runs back with their gloves like the young Junior Griffey . . . but in reality looks like Mick the Quick trying to see how many shoulders he can separate in the space of 15 minutes.

"You get into the rhythms of the baseball season pretty quickly, especially when you realize, like we do, that there's no margin for mistakes," Johnny Damon said yesterday, changing from running shoes back into baseball shoes so he could do a little extra hitting. "We got a brutal division and a lot of work to be able to win baseball games, so it's good to be able to lose yourself in work. The other stuff is ... well, other stuff. We're here for the baseball now."

That is music to your ears, isn't it? You have been looking for an A-Rod-free zone, and yesterday provided as clear a flying day as we've had so far this spring. His finances aren't frozen, as other Scott Boras clients' have been, so there's no news there. He hasn't gotten a date set yet with baseball investigators; nothing to talk about there.

Just baseball today. Making it a splendid baseball day.

13 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 2:09PM #3
Posts: 0


Posted: 3:58 am
February 22, 2009

The Post's Steve Serby chatted with the Yankees' ace lefty who is beginning his seven-year, $161 million contract.

Q: What did you weigh at birth?

A: Eight pounds, six ounces.

Q: Heaviest you've ever been?

A: 315.

Q: Weight now?

A: 309.

Q: What is your playing weight?

A: Anywhere from 300 to 305.

Q: Jersey size?

A: 56.

Q: Waist?

A: 44.

Q: Do you have a special diet?

A: I watch what I eat. My wife is a pretty good cook.

Q: Favorite item at Tao?

A: Kobe beef.

Q: Your mound temperament?

A: I like to think it's pretty even-keeled. I'm usually a pretty laid-back guy. Once I get on the mound, I get a little revved-up. I try to keep my emotions under wraps . . . having fun.

Q: Tell me about a time when you couldn't keep your emotions in check.

A: Ohmigod! Since I've been able to do that, I've been a better pitcher. All the way up to 2004, 2005, I'd get a bad call - I'd think a ball is a strike and they call it a ball - I'd get upset.

Q: Your most emotional moment?

A: It had to be 2004 in Chicago. I threw a curveball to Jose Valentin, and I thought it was a strike; he called it a ball. I threw my arms up, cussing . . . the umpire came from behind the plate. It was a big ordeal.

Q: You didn't get thrown out?

A: I was close, though.

Q: You know LeBron (James)?

A: I got a chance to watch him when he was in high school.

Q: Knicks fans want to know if you'll help them recruit LeBron.

A: I'll do my best (chuckles).

Q: What kind of guy is he?

A: He's a great dude, especially for as big a superstar as he is. . . . He's real humble.

Q: Do you think LeBron would be a good fit for New York?

A: I do, I really do. The biggest city in the world . . . the biggest stage. It would be the perfect place for him.

Q: Three dinner guests?

A: [President Barack] Obama; Jackie Robinson; Michael Jordan.

Q: Why Jackie Robinson?

A: Just to talk to him about what he went through.

Q: Why Obama?

A: Just to congratulate him and tell him what an inspiration he is.

Q: Why Jordan?

A: He's the ultimate competitor, man. Just to talk to him about what he thought in big-game situations.

Q: He had that killer instinct.

A: Exactly.

Q: Do you?

A: I like to think that I have that.

Q: You're driven to win a World Series?

A: Yeah. That's why I'm here.

Q: What have you learned about pitching in the postseason?

13 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 2:11PM #4
Posts: 0



Last updated: 7:31 am
February 22, 2009
Posted: 2:30 am
February 22, 2009

TAMPA -Pitcher Jason Johnson has been limited to indoor work due to being diagnosed with cancer of the retina in the right eye shortly before reporting to camp.



"I went to the eye doctor to get a new pair of contacts and they found it," said Johnson, who is in camp on a minor league deal and competing for the long-reliever role. "They sent me to the Wills Eye Institute in Philly. It's supposed to be the best in the world. Only 2,000 people a year get it. They put a radiation plaque on my eye for four days. They told me it has a 98-percent success rate. I can't pitch outside for two weeks. I can see, but not real well."

Johnson, 35, has pitched for eight major league teams and was the first pitcher granted permission to wear an insulin pump on his belt to battle diabetes. He was 1-2 with a 5.22 ERA for the Dodgers last season, and is 56-100 with a 4.99 ERA in 255 big league games.

"We expect him to get back on the field in March," manager Joe Girardi said. "I never heard of anyone having it. It was a scary moment [hearing about the cancer]."


CC Sabathia arrived at George M. Steinbrenner Field yesterday with a shaky stomach. Though he insisted he was good enough to throw batting practice, Sabathia vomited while warming up in the Field 2 bullpen and was scratched.

"This one comes from the house. He says his kid has it," said Girardi, who has the staff ace slated to throw batting practice today if he isn't dehydrated.

Bernie Williams, who is preparing to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, wasn't in camp yesterday and won't be today.

A.J. Burnett threw batting practice for the first time and demonstrated to Girardi that he no longer has to throw balls through walls.

"He was free and easy," Girardi said. "He understands his body and knows what pace to go at."


Joba Chamberlain's second batting-practice stint included two parts. He threw 20 pitches, sat down while George Kontos threw 20 and returned to the mound for 20 more.

"For Feb. 21, I feel all right," Chamberlain said.

Hideki Matsui will begin a light running program tomorrow and isn't expected to be the designated hitter when the exhibition season opens Wednesday against the Blue Jays in Dunedin.

13 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 2:13PM #5
Posts: 0



Last updated: 7:28 am
February 22, 2009
Posted: 2:30 am
February 22, 2009

TAMPA - The most talked about competition in Yankees camp will take place in center field between Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner.

Yet, move to right field and Joe Girardi says no decision has been made between Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher.

And in a perfect world, the manager doesn't want to rotate players.

"I haven't heard anything," Nady said of a competition.

"I just go out and try to help the team win. I am comfortable in right."

Acquired from the Pirates on July 26, the right-handed hitting Nady batted .268 with 12 homers and 40 RBIs in 59 games.

At the time of the deal he was batting .330 with 13 homers and 57 RBIs in 89 games.

"When it comes to spring training, all the guys are competing," said Girardi, who had the switch-hitting Swisher slated for first base until Mark Teixeira was signed.

"We expect all our players to do that. X had a great year last year and did a lot."

Girardi likes Swisher's ability to play first and the corner outfield spots and believes he will bounce back from a disappointing .219 season of a year ago for the White Sox.

13 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 2:16PM #6
Posts: 0




Last updated: 3:25 am
February 21, 2009
Posted: 2:42 am
February 21, 2009

TAMPA - When Jorge Posada began a throwing program to rehabilitate his surgically repaired right shoulder, the baseball had the velocity of a ping pong ball going into a blo-wer.

Yesterday, the catcher's throws from 220 feet to coach Tony Pena at George M. Steinbrenner Field were strong from start to finish. His shorter throws had zip to them.

"Wow," Pena said after the session was complete.

The key to the Yankees' season is Posada, their switch-hitting catcher. He has to be healthy and productive.

"It feels good," Posada said of the hinge that has been pain-free. "Today was good."

Because manager Joe Girardi isn't going to use Posada behind the plate until March 15, there is no need to rush. And because Posada is a veteran who understands what he means to the team, Girardi said he isn't worried about backing him off.

"We told him to take it slow, to remember it's spring training," Girardi said. "He used to come out throwing bullets the first day. He has been pretty good about it."


Girardi said he doesn't feel a need to talk to Alex Rodriguez every time there's news of his third baseman's steroid troubles.

"I am not going to talk to him about everything that comes up," Girardi said. "I will talk to him like the other guys. I thought [that] today his pulse was good. Each day it gets a little more back to normal. I was happy with what I saw today."


Chien-Ming Wang was the only starter to throw live batting practice yesterday. He faced Derek Jeter, former Yankee Bernie Williams and Robinson Cano.

"I threw everything," said Wang, who has been throwing off a mound since October after suffering a season-ending foot injury in June.

Williams, who is in camp to get into shape to play for Puerto Rico in next month's WBC, received an ovation for hitting a batting practice pitch into the right-field seats. It wasn't against Wang.

A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte haven't thrown batting practice yet. Pettitte threw a bullpen session.

13 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 2:43PM #7
Posts: 0

Andy Pettitte has motivation to pitch for himself

John Harper, NY Daily News

Saturday, February 21st 2009, 10:56 PM


Andy Pettitte, who finished 14-14 last year, is betting $4.5 million that he can stay healthy and reach incentives that would increase his salary for 2009 to $12 million.

TAMPA - When all the haggling was finally done this winter, Andy Pettitte turned down $10 million and wound up signing for $5.5 million with incentives, which is the kind of deal you think would get an agent fired in most cases.

Pettitte says no, he has no problem with Randy Hendricks and no problem with his deal. He was determined to get the $12 million he thought he was worth, and in the end maybe he paid a price for playing his hand too boldly, but he insists it was worth it for the chance to prove the ugly finish to last season doesn't mean he's one step from being washed up.

"Hey, around July last year I thought I was going to win 20 games," Pettitte was saying Saturday. "I felt that good. So don't tell me that based on my last 11 or 12 starts I'm done. I had a shoulder problem."

As it turns out, he's essentially betting $4.5 million that he can stay healthy and reach the incentives that could get him to $12 million, and for a 36-year-old pitcher with a history of elbow injuries to go with last year's shoulder problem, that's a risky bet.

It's unclear how much more the Yankees would have been willing to guarantee at the end, after Pettitte turned down the $10 million and the Bombers signed Mark Teixeira for $180 million, but the veteran lefty says he opted for the incentives.

"To me, there was principle involved," Pettitte said.

Pettitte says he was fine with taking a pay cut all along, after he saw his season go from 12-7 in late July to 14-14 at the end, at least partly because of the sore shoulder. He didn't have much leverage because the Yankees were willing to move on without him after signing CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, and Pettitte wasn't willing to pitch elsewhere.

"I could have made a lot more if I was willing to sign with another team," said Pettitte.

Still, the longer the negotiations went unresolved, deep into January, the more Pettitte became defiant about proving his point. The Yankees may have been trying to prove a point as well, still miffed that Pettitte had agreed to terms for $16 million in early December of 2007 without telling them that his use of human growth hormone might show up in a matter of days in the Mitchell Report.

Even so, Pettitte thought the Yankees understood that his numbers suffered because he pitched through pain for the good of the ballclub. With Chien-Ming Wang out for the season, and Joba Chamberlain out at the time as well, Pettitte says he felt a responsibility to try to keep the Yankees in the pennant race.

"To be honest, I probably should have shut it down for a while and gone on the disabled list," Pettitte says now. "And if we'd had other guys healthy, I probably would have. But in that situation, I feel like it's my job to go out and pitch.

13 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 2:45PM #8
Posts: 0

Xavier Nady hoping to hold off Nick Swisher for starting job in right field

Saturday, February 21st 2009, 10:43 PM

Xavier Nady might be getting a run for his money from Nick Swisher. Antonelli/News

Xavier Nady might be getting a run for his money from Nick Swisher.

TAMPA - For most of the winter, it looked as if center field would be the only position battle to watch in Yankees camp.

Nick Swisher had been acquired to play first base, while Xavier Nady was looking to build on his career year in advance of becoming a free agent next fall.

Then the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira.

That move sent Swisher and his first-base glove packing, seemingly relegating him to a bench role or possibly trade bait.

Not so fast, said Joe Girardi, who declared on the first day of camp that Swisher would be given an opportunity to challenge Nady for the right-field job. The only problem was no one ever told Nady that his position was up for grabs.

"I haven't met with anybody," Nady said Saturday. "This is the first I've heard of it. I'm planning on helping this team win and being a part of the lineup."

Girardi reiterated Saturday that the job is there for the taking, a competition that he feels is an integral part of any spring camp.

"It's something that I have to balance and juggle, and possibly make some tough decisions when spring training ends - or the decisions might be made for us," Girardi said. "To me, when you come to spring training, you're all competing. You have to prove yourself in this game over and over and over. We expect all our players to do that."

While the sentiment is understandable, it was pointed out to Girardi that players such as Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez aren't in danger of losing their jobs this spring. The same can't be said for Nady, who established career highs last year with a .305 average, 25 homers and 97 RBI in New York and Pittsburgh.

"You know that they want to play, and that's how you want it," Girardi said. "X had a great year for us and showed us a lot. For us to know what's going to happen April 6 right now, you'd like to be able to predict but we can't. Players get ready and we'll make the decisions. The more great players we have on the team, the better team we're going to be."

Girardi noted that several veterans shared playing time on the 1996 Yankees, but Joe Torre was able to sell his players on a team-first philosophy that prevented it from being an issue. Tino Martinez, Cecil Fielder, Darryl Strawberry, Tim Raines, Wade Boggs, Charlie Hayes - they all shared playing time at one point or another as the Yankees charged toward a world championship.

"It's important that, as players, you understand that you're doing what's best for the team," Girardi said. "When I played here, that's the way the team was. You had veteran guys that didn't necessarily play every day, but we thrived as a team. That's why the team concept is so important. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the good of the team and it's important that players buy into that."

Nady, 30, learned a lot from his experience last year, especially after coming to the Bronx at the trade deadline. After playing with the lowly Pirates, Nady was energized by the trade, and even though his numbers in Pittsburgh (.330-13-57) were better than they were in New York (.268-12-40), playing every day for a contender was something new and exciting.

"It's fun to come in with a chance to win," Nady said. "Realistically, last year, we felt like we had a good group of guys but we had a long way to go. Here, when you add a guy like Swisher, you add a guy like Teixeira, you add the pitching that we've added, it gives us a lot of depth. I'm excited to be here."

Of course, those additions could cut into Nady's playing time, potentially hindering his numbers in his walk year. Girardi has no plans to use Nady and Swisher in a platoon, stressing his desire to use the same lineup as many days as he possibly can. Nady doesn't seem too concerned, confident that he'll be the Yankees' right fielder when the season starts in six weeks.

"I'll just play the game like I always do," Nady said. "Whether it's a competition or not, there's always someone out there that's behind you, coming up that can take your job. If you don't produce at this level, you're going to find yourself somewhere else."


13 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 2:49PM #9
Posts: 0

Yankee fans call ticket downgrades on season deals a 'slap in face'

Saturday, February 21st 2009, 7:06 PM

A brigade of cranky Yankees fans say the team is pulling a squeeze play when it comes to season ticket packages.

Longtime ticket holders say they're not getting equivalent seats in the new stadium and are being forced to pay A-Rod-like prices to sit in the nosebleeds.

Mark from Bayside, Queens, said he's held a partial plan that gave him tickets on Saturdays and Sundays only. Now the team is offering 14 weekday tickets instead, which he can't use.

"I realize that the Yankees wish to have an all-soldout stadium, and I am in no way the big spender," he said, "but I feel this is a slap in the face to many fans who have supported this team for many years."

He is one of many Yankee loyalists who came forward after the Daily News reported hundreds of full- and partial-season ticket holders got word that they can't have their old seats.

One angry fan, who was relocated from field seats to the bleachers, forwarded The News an e-mail he received from the Yankee box office after complaining.

"Clearly the seating locations aren't anywhere near what you had last year and are a result of the limited seating availability that we had for partial plans," the salesperson wrote.

"I'm sure that my explanation of the process does little to soften the disappointment regarding the locations, but unfortunately they are the best locations that we had available when your seniority date was reached," the e-mail said.

"You feel like you're getting coerced into buying bad tickets," said Michael of Long Island, who would not give his last name for fear of retaliation by the Yankee box office.

Michael, a partial-season ticket holder, paid $65 a ticket for 46 night games last season and sat behind the visitors' dugout. He requested the same for the new Yankee Stadium.

Instead, he was offered $85 tickets in far right field.

"I didn't want to be shut out altogether, and it's too expensive to buy individual games," he said. "And we want access to playoff games," which are sold first to season ticket holders.

Michael said that even if he'd been offered better seats, he probably couldn't afford the new $100 price.

"They're forcing out most of the middle-class people in favor of all these very wealthy or corporate accounts," he said. "These prices are so far off the charts, especially with the current economic conditions."

Marian Falcone's group of partial-season ticket holders was horrified to learn that they had been moved from the main reserved section to center field bleacher seats.

Falcone said the team's representative "basically said take it or leave it - that they have a waiting list and if we chose not to take them, somebody else will."


13 years ago  ::  Feb 22, 2009 - 2:57PM #10
Posts: 0

Swish! Nothing but net for ebullient new Yankee


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