Burnett in the bullpenWe’ve got our first split-squad action of the spring today [insert "you usually have to pay double for that kind of action, Cotton" joke here], and each game will feature a former Yankee great. AJ Burnett will take on the Astros at home, who will have Aaron bleeping Boone playing first and batting fifth. Phil Hughes and Co. are making the hour long drive down to Bradenton to face on the Pirates, who are sending old pal Ross Ohlendorf to the hill. This will be Burnett’s second start and Hughes’ four appearance (third start) of the spring.

Short on bodies because of the double-dip, the Yanks brought Eric Duncan, Walt Ibarra and Edwar Gonzalez over from minor league camp and will have them suit up for Team Burnett. Here’s the starting … err … eighteen:

Home vs. Astros
Gardner, CF
Damon, LF
Nady, RF
Matsui, DH
Ransom, 3B
Molina, C
Miranda, 1B
Berroa, SS
Leone, 2B

Scheduled Pitchers: AJ Burnett, Dan Giese, Brian Bruney, Edwar Ramirez, Chris Garcia

Away at Pirates
Melky, CF
Swisher, RF
Teixeira, 1B
Posada, DH
Austin Jackson, LF
Cash, C
Bernier, 2B
Russo, 3B
Pena, SS

Scheduled Pitchers: Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy, Jason Johnson, Jon Albaladejo, Mark Melancon

Both Edwar and Jason Johnson will be making their spring debuts after battling a sore shoulder and retinal cancer, respectively. The game against Houston will be on YES at 1:15, but I think I’d rather be watch the squad out in Bradenton. Hey, it’s better than nothing.

Photo Credit: Gene J. Puskar, AP

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  • Pudge willing to play other positions

    Still unemployed, Ivan Rodriguez said he’d be willing to play somewhere other than catcher if it helps the team win him get a job. This one comes from MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (h/t BTF). Other than catcher and DH, Pudge has played 55 innings at first and two innings at second in his career (both back in 2006), but he specifically mentions first base and third base as possibilities. He’s currently hitting .545-.583-1.182 for Puerto Rico in eleven WBC at-bats. If Pudge is willing to play third for a while and then settle in as the backup catcher … no, I didn’t just … no way, right? · (12) ·


One of the publicists for Busch Gardens in Florida sent us this photo of A.J. Burnett feeding Karnaubi, a 7300-pound Asian elephant. The park has five of these endangered animals in its Nairobi area, and Burnett, looking rather thrilled, helped feed one of them with his family on Thursday.

Now, that’s all well and good, but that is also a stunningly boring caption. So RAB faithful, let’s have a caption contest. The winner will receive a copy of The Greatest Game and the undying affection of everyone on RAB. We’ll do it run-off style with a general big vote and then one or two rounds of voting with the top entries.

To be eligible for the voting and the prize, make sure to put a valid e-mail address in the e-mail field down below. We’ll leave the caption contest open through Monday night. Click the image for a larger version, and have fun.

Categories : Whimsy
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  • Jennings takes stock

    Believe it or not, the Spring Training is nearing it’s halfway mark, and Chad Jennings took it as an opportunity to take stock in what’s gone on so far. The rotation and infield have basically been set since December, but the bullpen, outfield and bench – as well as just about the entire Triple-A Scranton roster – still have some unanswered questions. I’ll tell you what, Brett Tomko is making one helluva case to win that long man job, especially after tonight’s effort. Anyway, make sure you give it a look, as usual Chad is spot on. · (16) ·

The Yankees are playing the Red Sox in Fort Myers tonight, but alas the game will not be seen by those of us in the New York area. YES asked MLB Network to black the game out (as well as the ones on March 22nd and 28th), which is their right. I’m not sure why, but it’s dumb. Apparently no one ever bothered to ask them if MLBN could broadcast Yankees’ games. In case you’re one of the lucky ones who will be able to watch the game, here’s the lineup:

Gardner, CF
Ransom, 3B
Miranda, 1B
Nady, RF
J-Rod, DH
Molina, C
Shelley, LF
Berroa, SS
Pena, 2B

Scheduled Pitchers: Chien-Ming Wang, Brett Tomko, Mike Dunn, Anthony Claggett

Teams are only required to send three regulars on road trips, so they obviously took advantage of it this game. Here’s a slightly abbreviated hodgepodge of Friday Randomness links:

  • Hey look, Michael Ynoa exists. Oh, and it’s not Inoa anymore.
  • John Dewan, the man behind The Fielding Bible I & II, made a pretty significant discovery. Apparently defense is worth roughly half as much as offense. That’s higher than I would have though, but he backs it up with some evidence. (h/t MLBTR)
  • Project Prospect profiled first round draft prospect Kyle Gibson. I am an unabashed Gibson fan (I love the combination of super projectability and college seasoning), so you’l be hearing lots about him between now and draft day. (h/t CBB)
  • Things aren’t looking so hot for Dustin McGowan as he battles back from major shoulder surgery.
  • Speaking of injuries, Alan Horne’s doing well on his comeback trail.

Here’s your open thread/game thread for the night. In addition to the Yanks, the Knicks and Nets are both in action tonight. Anything goes here, just be civil.

Categories : Open Thread
Comments (56)

The Yankees missed Jorge Posada last year. It was mostly for his bat — most catchers are there for defensive purposes, so it’s a huge plus when a team has a catcher who can hit. Jorge has been one of the top offensive catchers for years, and losing his bat, especially considering the drop-off to backup Jose Molina, was devastating. However, that’s not all the Yankees missed from their backstop.

Jorge has always been described as a strong clubhouse personality, someone who will get in your face if he thinks you’re doing something wrong. I know we can’t quantify what kind of effect that has on players, but it certainly means something. It might rub some players the wrong way, thus creating a negative effect, but it can also motivate players. That seems to be the case with Joba Chamberlain.

After Joba’s putrid start against Team Canada, Jorge approached the ace-in-training and let him know what time it is:

“I caught him in the bullpen after that and I told him what I saw was embarrassing,” Posada said Thursday before a spring training game against the Tigers. “I told him to throw the fastball and stop waiting for things to happen. I told him he has to pitch like he can every time no matter what. Whether it’s as a starter, reliever or even in the bullpen, people are watching.”

Would Joba have pitched the same game had Jorge not gotten in his face? Perhaps. We really can’t know. That’s why there’s always a debate over the value of intangibles. You can see something in someone — Jeter’s cool, calm demeanor, or Jorge’s firecracker personality — and say it’s good for the team. But how good is it really? And is it good at all? We can only know these things anecdotally, and no matter how strongly we feel we have no idea of how it actually affects other players.

That said, I’m glad Jorge got on Joba’s case. Young players often need reminders from vets of what the game’s all about. Jorge seems to understand that, and he’s not afraid to do something about it. I’m glad to have him back on the field and in the clubhouse.

Categories : Spring Training
Comments (22)
  • Yanks release limited single-game ticket info

    As promised, we have an update on the status of the opportunity to purchase single-game tickets to Yankee games this season. Per New Stadium Insider comes word that the Yankees will be holding an online-only sale for 12 hours on March 23. Not everyone, however, will be eligible for this sale. Those that want to be entered into a drawing to earn a spot at this sale need to enter here by 10 p.m. on March 17. It sounds like most of us will have to go the StubHub/CraigsList/eBay route to get any single-game tickets this year. · (48) ·

  • Cano & Marte hurting

    Fresh off a dramatic and historic loss to the Netherlands in the WBC, Robbie Cano and Damaso Marte returned to the Yanks today nursing some minor injuries, says Pete Caldera. Marte has pain in his left pectoral, believed to be the result of weighlifting, while Cano’s right shoulder is barking. It’s possible Cano’s injury is a result of the workload and intensity of the WBC games. Both players are going to get checked out by the Yanks’ medical staff today, and won’t see action this weekend as previously thought. The injuries sound minor, so hopefully they won’t be out very long. · (19) ·


RAB Live Chat

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Categories : Chats
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When Barry Bonds broke the single-season home run record in 2001, most baseball fans knew he was on the juice. They had noticed his transformation from slender leadoff man to hulking power hitter. Not only that, but they noticed how he achieved such a mutation at such a relatively late stage of his career. It was pretty obvious, though it took a few years for anyone to do anything about it.

Another guy clearly on steroids at the time was Jason Giambi, then with the Oakland A’s. As we all know, he signed with the Yankees after the 2001 season. Giambi was outed for his grand jury testimony after the 2004 season, at which time the Yankees claimed they had no knowledge of his alleged steroid use. In fact, they knew so little of his steroid use that they thought it perfectly okay to remove any language referring to steroids from the guarantee of the contract. Yeah, that argument really holds up.

According to Jeff Pearlman’s new book, “The Rocket That Fell to Earth,” due in stores later this month, Brian Cashman seemed fully aware of the situation. Pearlman — he who wrote about Barry Bonds’s conversation in which he said he was going to use some hardcore stuff after the 1998 season — talked with a then-Yankee (or maybe a current Yankee?), who related this anecdote:

The book said that when Giambi went through a slump in the 2002 season, his first with the Yankees, Cashman was heard yelling at a television in the Yankees’ clubhouse during a game. Citing “one New York player,” the book said that Cashman screamed, “Jason, whatever you were taking in Oakland,” get back on it.

The book said that Cashman then added, “Please!”

Cashman, of course, denies the story, saying that Pearlman didn’t even bother to call him to confirm the quote. Pearlman owns up to that oversight, but stands by the story.

It’s tough not to believe Pearlman here, at least in that Cashman knew of Giambi’s steroid use prior to signing him (which was under directive from George Steinbrenner). Maybe the scene didn’t unfold exactly as told, but something similar might have happened.

It’s a funny scene, Cashman yelling at a televised Giambi to get back on the juice, because I’m sure many of us had similar sentiments at the time. The public outrage had not quite hit full swing, and there certainly weren’t any penalties at the time for players using. We knew players were using, and Giambi was one of the obvious cases. Which leads to an obvious conclusion: if we fans knew about Bonds, Giambi, and others using steroids, how could front offices not? The answer, of course, is that they did, but aren’t letting on more than they have to.

h/t BBTF

Categories : STEROIDS!
Comments (86)