New York Yankees Spring Training: First Week News And Notes New York Yankees Spring Training: First Week News And Notes New York Yankees Spring Training: First Week News And Notes
 

New York Yankees Spring Training: First Week News And Notes

2011 New York Yankee camp is in full swing down in Tampa, Florida.

As usual, Yankees are never short of drama and this week was no different, but both good and bad; with some heavier and some lighter notes.

The Yankees first Spring Training game is against the Phillies, this Saturday at Steinbrenner Field with first pitch at 1:30pm, which will force mouths to shut and baseball to finally be played.

Positive things to note:

  • Derek Jeter doesn’t seem to be done quite yet. The Captain went to work way before Spring Training and it was the first time in his career he met with hitting coach Kevin Long about three weeks prior to Spring Training to work on his swing. It is time for everyone to layoff Jeter, as a few bad months can be put to rest on the field and trust me Jeter will prevail.
  • All of A-rod’s jet setting paid off, as the slugger showed up seven pounds lighter and is in complete health. Rodriguez said he is ready to get back to work and is ready for a big season. Controversy free, minus Page Six on occasion, this A-rod seems ready for business, as the only number he is focused on is #28.
  • Robinson Cano worked out six days a week this off-season. Minus some plane ticket confusion, as Cano showed up a day late to camp, this season has MVP written all over it. Cano is ambitious and with his natural talent, he could put up numbers that will be mind-boggling.
  • Joining Cano in the Dominican Republic was Yankee catcher Francisco Cervelli, who credits Cano for his guidance in his off-season workouts. Coach Cano pushed Cervelli to help prepare the catcher to win the competition to be the back-up catcher on Opening Day.
  • The team seems hungry and motivated to win following what in Yankee Universe is considered a failed 2010 season. This is all great news for Yankee fans that still have a bad taste from Cliff Lee’s rejection.

  • Pitching prospect Andrew Brackman put on a talent show for Joe Girardi and the coaching staff in a bullpen session.

Not-so-positive things to note:

  • Brian Cashman said Yankees prized pitching prospects lefty Manny Banuelos and righty Dellin Betances will be headed for Double-A Trenton at the end of Spring Training. It would seem the rotation competition is not as open as originally thought, which is disappointing to think that Bartolo Colon is still a possibility.
  • Speaking of Bartolo Colon, it would seem that his chance to pitch at the major league level again wasn’t motivation enough for him not to show up 25+ pounds overweight. Colon has never been fit but now the Yankees have to put him on a special cardio workout, which is just another distraction and extra work. Attitude hasn’t changed much, as Colon stated:

“I would like to go down 25 more pounds, but it is going to be hard to do during spring training. It is too short.”

  • Next on the Yankees scale is pitcher Joba Chamberlain, who has never been accused of being skinny. Joba showed up significantly heavier to camp, but he claims to have installed a gym in his Nebraska home and that the added bulk is new muscle. Well, I think this kid has been put through the ringer enough so I will give Joba the benefit of the doubt.
  • Hank Steinbrenner speaks his mind, but this time Hank goes overboard and it seemed to be aimed at the Captain, poor Jeter can’t get a darn break lately:

“I think, maybe, they celebrated too much last year,” Steinbrenner said Monday. “Some of the players, too busy building mansions and doing other things and not concentrating on winning. I have no problem saying that.”

Hank did attempt to save himself when asked if he was referring to Jeter’s new home in Tampa Bay by stating:

“I’m not singling anybody out,” Steinbrenner said. “I’m saying that maybe they were riding the wave of ‘09 a little too much. That happens. Psychologically, that happens sometimes. This year in spring so far, from what I’ve seen and what I’ve been told, they’ve come in with a real, new drive and determination — the kind they had in ’09.”

  • CC Sabathia’s contract allows for a third-year opt out and this is his third season. CC in 2009 declared he was not opting out and was here to stay. That tune changed at the start of last week, as the ace says anything is possible. Trying not to stress about this will be tough for Yankee fans after an off-season full of disappointments. As much as it should not be taken to heart, it is hard to swallow because it is a different tune of what CC didn’t say.

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