You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2008.

A-Rod boldly claimed Derek Jeter would win the AL MVP this year.

Is this A-Rod’s way of trying to patch things up between the two teammates? Relations between these two were not so warm last year. Now he makes that prediction. At least it’s more sane than Kevin Millar’s dumb prediction that the Orioles would win the World Series this year.

Seriously…Jeter had a good year last year with .322/.388/.452. While those numbers were not as high as his second-place finish in the 2006 MVP voting (where he had a .343/.417/.483), it was still consistently trademark Jeter.

However, Jeter has struggled in the playoffs as of late. He hit well in 2006, but faltered in 2007. Voting for the MVP award does not include playoff performance.  Any given year, Jeter could win the MVP. He’s that good.

Wouldn’t that be cool if there were two straight Yankee MVPs, the first time since the 1960s. Look at the list of consecutive Yankee MVPs below:

1941: Joe DiMaggio
1942: Joe Gordon
1943: Spud Chandler

1950: Phil Rizzuto
1951: Yogi Berra

1954: Yogi Berra
1955: Yogi Berra
1956: Mickey Mantle
1957: Mickey Mantle

1960: Roger Maris
1961: Roger Maris
1962: Mickey Mantle
1963: Elston Howard

2007: Alex Rodriguez
2008: ???

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After a long meeting yesterday morning, the full squad took the field for the first time together this season.

That has got me stoked!

A-Rod needs to get a PR director. He gave a very short interview with the media yesterday, and said that he was tested “9 to 10 times” last year for amphetamine use and steroids. PeteAbe reports that it’s usual to be tested 1-2 times a season. Oops.

With A-Rod’s new contract and his pursuit for all of the records he can get, he’s got to be careful at what he says. After all, he plays in the biggest baseball media capital.

According to multiple blogs and ESPN, the Yankees are doing more conditioning and running during this camp. Can’t blame them after a rash of hamstring injuries last year, most notably to Phil Hughes. It’s better to be in near-prime conditioning condition (isn’t that a good combination of words?) at the end of spring training than at any point during the regular season.

Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, among others, are all reporting to camp in better condition than last year and ready to hit the ground running. Apparently Kei Igawa isn’t. What a fat $4 million waste he is so far. Ben at RAB reports that John Harper at the Daily News says that Girardi’s lit a fire under the current squad of Yankees. Good for him.

Hal Steinbrenner offered his first interview in 20+ years. Read it at GQ here.

Congrats to the folks at RAB on their one-year anniversary! Hats off to you guys!

Yesterday, Pettitte faced the media for the first time since the congressional hearing last week.

He apologized for using HGH.

That’s pretty much all he said. He didn’t discuss Roger much, except that they’re close friends and their relationship is a bit strained right now.

Girardi, Cashman, Jeter, Mo, and Posada were all there to offer their support. That’s what true teammates are.

Aside from the continued stigma surrounding steroids in baseball and the Yankees (doesn’t anyone else think it’s unfair that the Yankees got all the attention and no other team/player has, even with the countless names in the Mitchell Report?) it was a quiet day.

Ben at RAB wrote this cool piece about sponsorship opportunities abound at the new Stadium. Anyone want to help sponsor 3G?

Pete Abraham claims to have plenty of time on his hands while waiting for his laundry to dry. Among those precious minutes, he explained the two duties that Girardi has:

The manager of the Yankees has two duties in spring training: get the team ready and take good care of Lawrence Peter Berra.

Yogi’s golf clubs arrived yesterday, and he won’t be there for a few more weeks. The golf clubs are now in Girardi’ office, protected 24/7.

I just want this steroids thing to go away. Will someone please make it all disappear?

Andy Pettitte returns today. After missing four days of spring training, the vanguard of the Yankee pitching staff is scheduled to come to camp and will host a press conference at 3 p.m. If I’m free, I’ll be watching. I’m willing to bet that Roger Clemens and his lawyers as well as the Feds will be watching too.

Pete Abraham reports that Joe Girardi will be there, and possibly other front office staff.

Back to spring training, yesterday was the third day of camp and Tony Pena did catcher drills with his catcher corps and the pitching crew continued their drills, including fielding drills and running to first base, that sort of thing.

George Steinbrenner was seen at Legends Steinbrenner Field and met with Girardi, Cashman, Goose Gossage, and Ron Guidry. It was the first time that Girardi had met with the elder Steinbrenner since his signing in October.

Jack Curry had this nice piece over at the New York Times yesterday about Posada. Posada confesses his love for catching and fully intends to catch when he’s 40 and avoid DH/1B at all costs.

Nate Silver at Baseball Prospectus wrote this piece today about the power of the AL East. It’s fairly obvious how strong the division is with the two powerhouses at the top, and with Toronto being a fairly decent team and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays sometimes pulling off the customary upset. Not surprising, NL Central is the weakest division. That would probably justify Ryan Dempster’s prediction last week.

Have a good day, folks!

Yesterday was the official numero uno day of spring training. I spent it at work. Only if I could be in Tampa for the next six weeks, soaking in the rays and watching my favorite team. Someday…someday….

The biggest news of the day, IMO, was the renaming of Legends Field to George M. Steinbrenner Field. I’ve gotten particularly attached to Legends Field and now having to change my mindset will take a while, but it’ll always be Legends Field to me. At the least, the Yankees have vowed not to sell naming rights for the new Stadium. If they do, I’m going to host a quiet protest for the rest of my life and refuse to call it by its corporate name.

In this morning’s New York Times, Rep. Waxman admitted that hosting the hearing was unnecessary.

I think Clemens and McNamee both came out quite sullied, and I didn’t think it was a hearing that needed to be held in order to get the facts out about the Mitchell report.

Well, duh. My sentiments echoed. That theater of the absurd was unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money. Considering where billions of dollars are going these days, I can’t complain too much about waste of money.

Times columnist William Rhoden in today’s column quoted Rep. Elijah Cummings in saying that “the same people who looked at the Marion Jones case and Barry Bonds are looking at Clemens,”… “I have full faith that they will use the same standards and will do what is appropriate.”

We still don’t know what’s going to happen. Rep. Waxman also said that he doesn’t know whether perjury was committed and whether the committee will recommend the next step to be taken.

Moving on…

Pedro Martinez, of “who’s your daddy” fame came out loud as he always does and announced that he dominated the steroids era clean. Well, good for you, Pedro. I’m incredibly proud of you. Oh, don’t you see my hint of sarcasm? How about a bigger dose?

Chien-Ming Wang went to arbitration with the Yankees yesterday. The difference? A measly $600,000. Yessir. The team with the biggest payroll in baseball last season couldn’t pay an extra $600,000 to a pitcher who has given them 38 wins the last two seasons. Unreal, considering how much they pay Kei Igawa (5 year, $20 million), of Scranton Wilkes-Barre fame.

Paul O’Neill last wore number 21 for the pinstripes. It was announced that Morgan Ensberg would wear that number. Judging from the comments left on Pete Abraham’s LoHud blog, it’s mixed. Me? I’m still undecided now, but if I had to make a decision now, I’d say don’t retire #21.

Today is the first day of workouts at the Legends Steinbrenner Field complex. Play ball!

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