I know it’s just Spring Training, but anytime your team wins nine straight games you can’t help but crack a smile. Joba Chamberlain outpitched Jersey’s own Rick Porcello, allowing four hits and a run in 3.1 innings. He struck out five and walked none, throwing 61 of his 41 41 of his 61 pitches for strike. Porcello allowed two runs on four hits in 2.1 IP, uncorking a wild pitch as well. Joba appears to be over his early spring struggles, putting up a 9.1 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 11 K pitching line in his last three starts.
Melky Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base from the leadoff spot, and was relieved by Brett Gardner who picked up a hit in his only at-bat. Johnny Damon went 1-for-3 with an RBI double, and on top of that he threw a runner out at the plate. You know it’s going to be a good day if Johnny D. guns someone down. Mark Teixeira and Frankie Cervelli also doubled, while Cody Ransom, Jose Molina and Angel Berroa chipped in 1-for-3 efforts. Juan Miranda put the Yanks on top for good with a two run homer off Fernando Rodney in the seventh.
Jon Albaladejo replaced Joba and allowed three hits in 1.2 innings of work, and lowered his spring ERA to 1.08. Mariano Rivera made his third appearance of the preseason, allowing his first baserunner (a hit) and striking out. He needed a whopping 12 pitches (10 strikes) to retire the side. Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras each gave up a run in an inning of work, and Zack Kroenke picked up the save with with a scoreless ninth inning in his first action since being returned by the Marlins. The 4-3 win was the Yanks ninth in a row.
Cervelli was optioned to Double-A Trenton after the game, joining the six others that were sent down this morning. Al Aceves will face the Rays tomorrow afternoon while CC Sabathia throws in a minor league game. MLB Network is carrying the game, but it’ll be blacked out in the New York area because YES wants it to be. Story of my life.
Times reporter Jonathan Abrams trekked off to Vail to check up on Alex Rodriguez and found that the Yankee slugger is keeping a low profile. A-Rod’s doctor reiterated what Will Carroll reported yesterday — that A-Rod is ahead of schedule with his rehab. Meanwhile, in Vail, a city used to celebrities, A-Rod isn’t making a scene, and that, apparently, is news. · (22) ·
* Most Yankee fans like the LA Lakers in basketball, they root for the Dallas Cowboys in football, the Detroit Red Wings in hockey, and will tell you that Rocky Marciano was the greatest boxer of all time. What all of these “favorites” have in common is that they are winners. These are the Cleveland area fans who just can’t accept losing, so they manipulate the system at a young age and root for traditional winners. Let’s face it, the Cleveland Sports Faithful have not had much to scream about for the past 50 or so years. However, the loyalty of a Cleveland sports fan is so much more praiseworthy to me than the local bandwagon jumping fans of teams that win.
* The argument that Cleveland teams refuse to spend money to keep athletes gets old. Just because the Yankees have so much more to spend does not mean that the Browns, Cavs, and Indians, do not pay well. Let me put it to you this way: When you play monopoly with your friends, give the Yankee fan half of the deeds and three quarters of all of the money that comes with the game. We will call the other players Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Kansas City, and Cleveland. They have what is left to divide amongst themselves. This is why baseball sadly needs a salary cap.
Seriously, do you know anyone who roots for the Yanks, Lakers, Cowboys and Red Wings? I mean jeez, I know there’s some bandwagoners amongst us, but come on now. Oh, and the salary cap issue is so 2004, it’s time to get over it. Do you know what this is? It’s the world’s smallest violin.
Anywho, here’s you open thread for the night. Korea is taking on Venezuela in the first game of the WBC semifinals at 9pm. The Knicks are in Orlando, the Isles are in Ottawa, and the Rangers host the Sabres in a game crucial to their playoff fate. There’s also a pair of college basketball games starting at 8:15. I went 25-for-32 in first round, good enough to be tied for third place in RAB’s Bracket Busters coming into today’s games. Anything goes here, just be nice.
The PR folks representing Utz, the ten-year potato chip sponsor of the Yankees, sent along the above image this week. The company is offering up a special new Yankee Stadium edition of their chip bag. It’ll be available at the Stadium this year and throughout the New York area. I’d imagine that just about every company associated with the Yankees will be running similar promos this year. After all, we know that New Era hopped on board that train, and now Utz has too.
The Yanks unveiled their single-game ticket prices, and front row seats will cost $2625. Luckily, the rest of the seats are in line with what we would expect:
Individual game sales for the first season of the $1.5 billion ballpark start Tuesday, and the Legends Seats that ring the infield start at $525 a game, according to the team’s Web site. Those seats cost $500-$2,500 as part of full season tickets, and they include food and soft drinks.
Other field level seats cost $95, $150, $275, $300, $350 and $375. Then comes the Delta Sky360 Suite, where tickets are $375-$800, and main level tickets, which are priced at $60, $80, $95 and $150.
On the top deck, seats in the Jim Beam Suite go for $130-$150. Terrace seats are $50, $75 and $85, and grandstand tickets cost $23 and $30. Full view bleachers are $14.
Those prices are mostly in line with comparable seats from 2008 at old Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, the Yankees say that around 800 of their 4300 premium seat packages remain unsold. Sales of those tickets had been brisk until the economy tanked in the fall.
These tickets go on sale on Tuesday for those lucky enough to get an email from the Yanks yesterday.
Prior to this afternoon’s game against Detroit, the Yanks optioned Phil Hughes to Triple-A Scranton. Hughes made five appearances (four starts) in the preseason, putting up a 15 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 6 BB, 10 K pitching line while working on a new changeup grip. The Yanks also optioned Steven Jackson and Anthony Claggett to Scranton, while Humberto Sanchez was optioned down to Double-A Trenton. Jason Johnson and Sergio Mitre were also assigned to minor league camp. As camp draws to a close, there just aren’t enough innings to go around anymore. (h/t Bryan Hoch) · (26) ·
What do you do when you’re New York’s most eligible bachelor, making $20 million a year and with a five-bedroom, five-bathroom house in Tampa? Why, build another one, of course. That is, in fact, what Derek Jeter is doing.
According to a report on Tampa Bay Online, Jeter is constructing a seven-room, nine-bathroom, 30,875 square-foot mansion on Davis Island. The house, as TBO.com points out, is about three-quarters the size of your typical Best Buy. It’s big enough, in fact, for Derek to keep multiple girlfriends in the house.
I have to wonder two things though: Why will that house’s carbon footprint be? And will he make it hurricane-resistant? That’s a flooded out mansion waiting to happen. No matter; it’s good to be king.
I mean, seriously. KLaw had him at 99 last night, when he struck out fifteen in seven innings. On the year, he’s at 34.1 IP, 21 H, 7 R, 7 BB, 74 K. That’s a 19.40 Kper9 and a 10.57 K/BB. Remember when I said Price and Prior and all of them were better prospects? I take it back. This kid is as real as it gets, and is making a case to be the greatest amateur pitcher of all time. Insanity.
In other San Diego area news, Padres’ reliever Mark Worrell will miss the season with Tommy John surgery. The only reason I’m mentioning this is because I’ve been looking for an excuse to link to this video of him pitching for a few weeks now. How can you not laugh at that delivery? · (22) ·
Usually when the team has to make a two and a half hour bus trip, just about all of the regulars get to stay home. That wasn’t the case today, as Mark Teixeira, Robbie Cano, Hideki Matsui and Brett Gardner headed to Fort Myers to take on the Twinkies this afternoon. Phil Hughes got the start in place of Andy Pettitte (more on that later) and was solid, tossing four and a third innings of three hit, one run ball. He walked one and didn’t strike out any, but he got by thanks to a 10-3 GB/FB rate. Hughes was taken out after reaching his pitch limit (65 pitches, 41 strikes), and afterward said that he feels strong and ready to go, although he admitted his curve wasn’t cooperating today.
Jason Johnson relieved Hughes and allowed a run in his 1.2 innings of work, while the trio of Anthony Claggett, David Robertson and Kei Igawa held the Twins scoreless over the final three frames. Igawa loaded the bases on a hit and a pair of walks with one out in the ninth, but induced a game ending double play off the bat of Denard Span.The Kei-Man is up to 12.2 scoreless innings, but is anyone have a more under-the-rader spring than Claggett? Including today, he’s allowed just six baserunners (three hits, three walks) in nine innings this spring.
Trailing 2-0 in the sixth, the Yanks got on the board when Teixeira hit his first homer of the spring off Joe Nathan, who I hear is pretty good. Todd Linden – who’s only hit this spring came way back in the first exhibition game – hit a solo homer of his own off the uber-nasty Jose Mijares in the eighth to tie the game. Frankie Cervelli put the Good Guys out in front with a sac fly later in the inning, and Austin Jackson took ex-Yankee farmhand Jason Jones deep in the ninth for an insurance run. Cano went 1-for-3 and made several plays during the five innings he spent in the field, so it looks like the shoulder thing is behind him. Brett Gardner, Jose Molina and Shelley Duncan all contributed 1-for-3 efforts in the 4-2 win, the team’s eighth consecutive.
While all that was going on, Andy Pettitte threw against a team of minor leaguers back in Tampa. He tossed 5.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits and a walk. He also pulled a CC and struck out seven, throwing 44 of his 65 pitches for strikes. Catching him was Jorge Posada, who for the first time this spring played behind the plate on the consecutive days. He caught all of Pettitte’s 65 pitches, and had to make three throws to second base. All three players were successful on their stea attempts, and two of the steals were by runners put on intentionally to test Posada. Although it would have been nice to see him throw someone out, the important thing is that he said he felt fine after the game.
Joba Chamberlain will face Rick Porcello and the Tigers tomorrow afternoon in Tampa. Too bad it won’t be televised, that’s as good a matchup as it gets.
John Lackey, the 30-year-old Angels ace, is on the verge of free agency. While he and the Angels are currently attempting to negotiate an extension, the right-handers wants more money than A.J. Burnett because he, rightly so, considers himself to be better than Burnett. Says Lackey of the Angels’ efforts at retaining, “They’re not trying very hard.” Meanwhile, Theo Epstein, Brian Cashman and Steve Hilliard, Lackey’s agent are salivating at the thought of Lackey hitting the open market next year. · (69) ·