Pettitte throws his first game* of the spring

For the first time since Game Six of the World Series, Andy Pettitte took to the mound today against hitters trying to do some damage off him. He threw a two inning simulated game on a back field of the Tampa complex, throwing 36 pitches total to Colin Curtis (a lefty) and Randy Winn (a switch hitter). “Mentally, I feel like I’m seeing my pitches,” said Pettitte. “Especially, at my age, I’m happy at 9 o’clock in the morning to be able to get it going, I was up at 5:30 trying to get ready for this.”

Sometime in the next week, the bullpen trio of Mariano Rivera, Damaso Marte, and Chan Ho Park will get into an exhibition game. Pettitte and Javy Vazquez are the only remaining members of the projected starting rotation that have not yet gotten into a game against opposing players, but that should happen this week.

The Sunday Sports Section

Every Sunday it seems like there are tons of Yankees links in my reader. They’re all worth a read, or at least a glance, kind of like the Sunday sports section. I’ll try to make this a regular thing. This way, you’ll also know about what time I wake up on Sundays.

Saturday Night Open Thread

Have at it.

Tynan shippin’ up to Boston

When last we heard from Ronan Tynan, Will Leitch had profiled the troubled singer. Exiled from Yankee Stadium this fall after his anti-Semitic remarks became public, Tynan has since seen his public bookings dry up and his persona grow diminished in the eyes of his former fans.

The Times today checked in on Tynan and found that the one-time Yankee celebrity is moving up to the land of the enemy. He has sold his Upper East Side apartment and will be decamping for Boston shortly. Writes Corey Kilgannon:

He insists he has not given up on New York — he will keep a rented apartment here. Nor is he angry at the city. He said he was moving mainly for a change and because he had family and friends in Boston.

When pressed, however, he admits that life here has become strained: the barrage of angry e-mail messages and letters; the death threats; the surgeon who wrote saying he would let him die on the operating table, if Mr. Tynan were his patient; the prominent chef who steered him away from a table of customers because one of them was a Jewish man who refused to meet the singer.

“It hasn’t driven me out, because I love this city so much, but it has saddened me,” Mr. Tynan said in an interview this week at a friend’s apartment in Manhattan. “I’ve cried and I’ve laughed with New Yorkers, irrespective of creed or whether they’re Jewish or Catholic or Protestant.”

Tynan continues to claim that his remarks about the “Jewish ladies” were misconstrued and that he’s not an anti-Semite because he sang at an Anti-Defamation League. His remarks, still, were out of line.

When the news of his departure to New England popped up in the press this week, one publication wondered if he would come sing for the Red Sox. Tynan refused to speculate, but considering Red Sox Nation’s tolerance for anything Yankees, it’s hard to see them accepting him.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mike Segar

Johnson takes swings, set to play Monday

Nick Johnson, the Yanks’ own version of Mr. Glass, became the first casualty of Spring Training last week when his back tightened after he caught his cleat on the turf in the batting cage. While many in the media were up in the arms over the Yanks’ reliance on the fragile lefty, Nick and the Yanks insisted he was fine. The team opted to take it slowly so that the DH would be feeling strong, and he probably could have played had it been the regular season. This morning, we learn via Joe Auriemma that Nick took 50 swings in cage, is feelin’ good just like he knew he would and plans to play Monday. And exhale.

Happy Birthday, Frankie

Update (3:20pm): GM Brian Cashman said the CT scan was negative.

2:33pm: Birthday boy and backup catcher Frankie Cervelli left today’s exhibition game after being hit in the head by a pitch from Blue Jays’ reliever Zech Zinicola in the third inning. The impact was so hard, there was apparently an imprint of the seams left on his helmet. Cervelli suffered a concussion, and has been taken to a hospital for a CT scan. Remember, Cervelli suffered a head injury playing winter ball during the offseason.

We’ll update this post if there’s any more news.

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