Greetings gang. It's been a couple of days since I last posted anything with real substance. Life has been a little busy lately and it's hopefully dying down. Not much has been going on with the Yankees, which is good because it means no major injuries (knock on wood), but here are some thoughts:
- CC missed a day with a stomach bug. Thank God that's all it was. It would really suck to lose the big man less than a week into spring training. We need CC to start 35 games. If he starts at least 35, I'm predicting he wins at least 20.
- Jeter has soreness in his right hammy. Thank God it's early and hopefully all it is is Jeter shaking off a little rust. To quote the Captain, "It's no big deal. I did everything but run. I'm sure tomorrow you'll see me running. It's really not an issue. If I had a game today, I would have played." That's why I love DJ. When it counts, he's a gamer. The Yankees need to figure out a way to clone Derek or at least find the gene that fuels his competitive spirit. I hope this doesn't keep him out of the WBC. I have tickets to the round 1 games in Toronto and I'd be disappointed if Jeter skips the tourney. But if it means a healthy Jeter come Opening Day, I'm all for it.
- According to reports, Jorge seems to be progressive well with his shoulder, throwing from as far as 220 feet. A healthy Posada is an important cog to the Yankees offense. We saw the impact that it had last year and I think we all can agree, assuming that we're all Yankee fans, we don't want to go through that again. There's an extreme gap between what Jorge brings to the table offensively and what Jose Molina has to offer. I love Jose Mo and all, but all I gotta say is hip hip Jorge.
- Kudos to Joe Girardi for the team building exercise he dropped on the fellas today. Girardi put together what's being called as the "Annual World Championship of Pool." In reading the article, it sounds like the guys had a really great time and it was met with rave reviews. The big winner was none other than Mariano Rivera. Is there anything he's not good at? The winners of the tournament were given restaurant gift certificates. Come on now. These guys make enough money that the last thing they need is a gift certificate to a restaurant. I can understand it maybe if it's a guy in A-ball or even Double-A, but I don't think it's something Mo is going to cash in. What I really want to know is if they shut down the pool hall for these guys? Imagine you're hanging out and shooting some stick and in walks the Yankees. And not just one Yankee, the whole team. I think I'd crap a brick right there on the floor.
- Phil Coke is going to pitch out of the pen. That shouldn't be a shock to anyone. There's really no room for him with all of the arms they have. Even in desperate times he probably wouldn't be needed. He's going to serve the team well in the bullpen. I wouldn't mind seeing him be the "lefty specialist" instead of Damaso Marte. Coke is it. OK, that was bad. I wouldn't blame the 5 readers I have if they don't come back after that one.
- We're 2 days away from the first spring training game against the Blue Jays. Brett Tomko gets the start. I more excited for the home opener when Phil Hughes gets the ball. I'm a big Hughes guy and still think he has the making to be a top of the rotation guy. I expecting big things from him the next time he joins the big club. I don't see him opening the year in the majors barring an injury to one of the 5 SPs. That's probably a good thing for Phil. I wouldn't mind seeing him get a little extra seasoning down on the farm. I'm hoping to see him pitch when Scranton comes to Buffalo for games 5-8 of the AAA season. The hometown Bisons open up at home with 4 against the Pawtucket Red Sox, followed by 4 with the Yankees. I'm a fan of that schedule. It's usually at least a month before some teams I want to see roll through town.
- I'm through chapter 11 of The Yankee Years and hope to be back with another Boogie Down Book Club installment tomorrow.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,