Spring Training Game Thread: Brackman in action

A.J Burnett will start against his former team this afternoon while showing off his new changeup for a pair of innings, but the big story is that 2007 first round pick Andrew Brackman is scheduled to pitch today. For many of us, it’s the first time we’ll get to see the 6-foot-10 righthander since he turned a pro. Here’s what he looked in college like almost four years ago, so it’ll be interesting to compare his delivery to what it is today. As luck would have it, Chad Jennings interviewed Brackman yesterday, who said he finally feels normal after coming back from Tommy John surgery (ST cliche alert).

Anyway, I’m looking forward to see the big guy on the mound, as well as Burnett’s change. Phil Hughes‘ looked pretty good yesterday, so let’s how A.J.’s is coming along. Here’s the starting lineup…

Jeter, SS
Granderson, CF
Posada, C
A-Rod, 3B
Winn, RF
Gardner, LF
Cervelli, DH
Miranda, 1B
Pena, 2B

Scheduled Pitchers: A.J. Burnett, Andrew Brackman, Jon Albaladejo, Boone Logan, Mark Melancon, Jason Hirsh, Romulo Sanchez, Amaury Sanit

Also scheduled to play: Colin Curtis, Jamie Hoffmann, Brandon Laird, Eduardo Nunez, Mike Rivera, Austin Romine, Kevin Russo, Jorge Vazquez, David Winfree

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET, and you can watch on My9 locally or MLB Network from afar.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP

Yanks “heavily interested” in Adeiny Hechevarria

Via MLBTR, the Yankees are heavily interested in Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria, who is now free to sign with any team after being unblocked by the OFAC. Joe told us everything we need to know about the 19-year-old last month, and it’s likely that he’ll receive a larger bonus than the $8.2M the Red Sox gave the all-glove/no-hit Jose Iglesias this offseason. Obviously, the Yankees need to start thinking about a shortstop of the future, but that’s a lot of scratch for a teenager, especially when you consider the track record of Cuban imports.

Open Thread: Forgettable

I’m sure you know what happened during today’s meaningless Spring Training game, so I’ll spare you the details. The most encouraging thing to take from it is the ten or so changeups Phil Hughes threw in his two innings of work, which looked pretty good. He even got a swing and miss on one of ‘em. Jesus Montero drew a pair of walks, though it was technically a walk and a strikeout. The called third strike was definitely out of the zone, it jut looked like the umps were ready to get out of there after such a long game. Eh, whatever.

So here’s tonight’s open thread. The Knicks, Nets, and Devils are all playing tonight, and of course there’s always the option of going on this Friday night. No matter what you choose, enjoy talking about it here.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens

Paterson didn’t really want those World Series tickets anyway

On Tuesday, Gov. David Paterson drew headlines for his role in an ethics scandal involving Yankee World Series tickets. He allegedly asked for and received free tickets to Game 1 of the Fall Classic despite the fact that the Yanks are registered with the state as a lobbying organization. Paterson has denied the charges, and the Attorney General is now investigating.

Today, the story gets better as The Observer highlights Paterson’s testimony about the tickets. The governor claims he asked for the tickets because he had to be “part of the ceremony,” and he didn’t even want to go anyway. Paterson, legally blind, says he couldn’t see from his seats and would have preferred to watch the game at home. I don’t think that defense is going to hold up too well in a court of law.

The walls come crumblin’ down

Tom Kaminski in Chopper 880 took his bird up for a trip over the Bronx earlier this week and returned with a few heartbreaking photos of the destruction of Yankee Stadium. The House that Ruth Built is due to be completely dismantled by mid-summer, and as we can see, the wrecking ball has already taken out large chunks of the upper deck. The two lower levels have long since be removed.

The newest scenes from the deconstruction show us the edge of the left field seats, the skeletal innards of the old stadium and the barren outfield where the bleachers once were. From the looks of it, people waiting for the 4 train on the elevated platform at 161st St. should have a clear view into the old Stadium from the southern end of the station. I’ll bring my camera up there in April to grab some shots. In a few months, a vacant lot waiting for a park will sit where the stadium stood for 85 years.

Report: Foreman/Cotto fight set for June 5

According to a report filed late last night by the AP, Bob Arum and the Yankees have reached an agreement to host a June 5 bout between Yuri Foreman and Miguel Cotto at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees will be amidst a six-game road trip that weekend, and while team officials say the Yankee brass still need to approve the plans, this fight will mark the return of boxing to the stadium in the Bronx. “We have a preliminary agreement with them. Nothing has been signed or finalized,” Yanks’ COO Lonn Trost told the AP. “We do plan, if things go well, to have it on June 5.”

According to the report, the main event — a match between Foreman and Cotto — won’t start until around 11:30 p.m. due to Foreman’s observance of the end of the Jewish Sabbath. The stadium will be configured for approximately 30 to 35,000 fans, and tickets will range from $50 to $400. “This is a crowning achievement in my career, to do the last fight in ’76 and the first fight at the new stadium in 2010,” Arum said. “You can’t imagine how good it makes me feel, how special it makes me feel. This is a great thing for my legacy.”

Spring Training Game Thread: Hughes & Joba battle it out

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP

Two games, two walk-offs so far for the Yankees. Of course, they were on the wrong end of it yesterday, losing to the Roy Halladay and the Phillies. If people in Philadelphia want to consider that revenge for the World Series, then be my guest. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

The battle for the fifth starter’s spot will resume today after Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, and Al Aceves stated their case on Wednesday. Phil Hughes will start this afternoon and toss two innings before giving way to Joba Chamberlain and his two innings. Next time out, Joba will start and Hughes will relieve. Apparently they’re just going to alternate each time out.

Here’s today’s starting nine, which isn’t far off from what we’ll see on Opening Day…

Jeter, SS
Granderson, CF
Teixeira, 1B
A-Rod, 3B
Posada, DH
Thames, LF
Cano, 2B
Swisher, RF
Cervelli, C

Scheduled Pitchers: Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Jeremy Bleich, Grant Duff, Dustin Moseley, Hector Noesi, David Robertson, Kevin Whelan

Also scheduled to play: Reegie Corona, Greg Golson, Reid Gorecki, Juan Miranda, Jesus Montero, Eduardo Nunez, Kevin Russo, Jorge Vazquez, Jon Weber

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET, and you can watch on either YES or MLB Network. Also, make sure you join in on our live chat, which you can find after the jump.

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