Spring Trainging CF battle brewing

Lost in the hoopla of the last week was a very brief note at the end of a Newsday article. The Yankees are going to have Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner fight it out for the center field job during Spring Training. Interestingly, this news seems to confirm that Johnny Damon and Nick Swisher probably won’t be in the mix for that job if all things go according to plan. Melky, by the way, had x-rays after getting hit by a Daniel Cabrera pitch on Thursday. They came back negative.

Spring Training tickets on sale at 10 a.m.

Yankee Spring Training tickets are, by far, the hottest commodities of the Grapefruit League. The team usually sells out its slate of home games in a matter of minutes. That being said, going to Spring Training is one of the sheer joys of March, and the Yankees’ Grapefruit League tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m. The scheduling and ticket information is available here, and PeteAbe always puts together a great Spring Training travel guide. If you have any inkling of heading to Tampa in March, snap up some tickets and take a trip. It’s well worth it.

Ruining Spring Training

The Dodgers made some waves yesterday when the AP revealed some $90 tickets in the team’s new Arizona Spring Training home. That price tag comes as shock to this baseball fan who hasn’t missed a Spring Training trip since 1997. One of the joys of Spring Training has long been the price tag. It’s a time to kick back and catch a game under sunny skies in spring. The regulars play a few innings, and a bunch of prospects and non-roster invitees duke it out for the rest of the day. To charge $90 for what should be a $20 experience seems a bit excessive. But if the market can support, who am I to argue with economics?

LaTroy Hawkins says it best

In an update on some Yankee farmhands, Chad Jennings lands a great quote from LaTroy Hawkins. When asked about how his Spring Training, Hawkins, who’s thrown eight scoreless innings, said, “Spring don’t mean shit, dude.” While rabid Yankee fans and bloggers alike fixate on spring numbers, we seem to care more than the players. They know it doesn’t count until Monday. We should take a lesson.

A Spring Training observation

While Spring Training stats are, by and large, meaningless, if I’m in charge of giving out the rest of the $105 million owed to Barry Zito, I am alarmed by his spring numbers. In 12.2 spring innings, Zito has surrendered 21 H and 24 ER. He’s walked 10 hitters while striking out 0. That’s not a typo, and I sure am glad the Yanks didn’t sign him when they had the chance.

Top prospects visit Legends Field

The Yanks are taking on the Rays this afternoon, and both Evan Longoria and David Price made the trip for Tampa. You can catch the action on YES. Lineups courtesy of PeteAbe:

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
A-Rod DH (Posada to follow)
The Big G 1B
Cano 2B
Cody Ransom 3B
Molina C
Melky CF

Moose, Karstens, Farnsworth, Albaladejo, Ohlendorf on the mound.

Iwamura 2B
Crawford LF
Pena 1B
Bossman Jr CF
Floyd DH
Gomes RF
Longoria 3B
Riggans C
Bartlett SS

Garza, Dohmann, Anderson, Birkins, Munter, Price on the bump. Comment here on the action.

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