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.
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.
The Yankees unveiled their Spring Training schedule today, and the party gets started early this year. The Yanks’ first Grapefruit League game is Feb. 25, 2009, and the Bombers are set to take on the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Florida. They play their first game in Tampa the next day. Individual game tickets will go on sale in January. For more, check out the official press release.
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?
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.
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.
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:
A-Rod DH (Posada to follow)
The Big G 1B
Cody Ransom 3B
Moose, Karstens, Farnsworth, Albaladejo, Ohlendorf on the mound.
Bossman Jr CF
Garza, Dohmann, Anderson, Birkins, Munter, Price on the bump. Comment here on the action.
FYI: Patrick is looking for a few more Yankee bloggers for the YanksBlog.com Fantasy League. If you run a Yankee-focused blog and are interested in joining the league (I’m in it), head over there and sign up.