Yankees saying and doing all the right things

Is it just me, or has the first few days of Spring Training set the expectations for the Yankees rather high? Sure, many of us can see through the media spin on the events of the past week or so. But even at that point, we’re seeing players do things, rather than just saying them. It’s a careful balance that the Yankees have executed perfectly so far. And I have to say, it has me more excited about this season than I have been in any year I can remember — though I’m fairly certain I say that every year.

First, we heard about the pitchers who showed up early. Joba, Phil, and IPK in particular were there before they required to, which is always reassuring. We also heard about Shelley Duncan showing up to work on his first base skills with Tino Martinez. And, Cap’n Jetes was there early, too. But he resides in Tampa, so it only makes sense for him to be around.

Then we heard about Brian Bruney losing weight. Good news, for sure. If anything, it shows that he’s at least a bit motivated. It’s certainly better than him showing up in the same physical shape as last year, and spouting off lines about his determination to make the team. PeteAbe also noted that Mike Mussina checked in lighter, which spoke to his off-season conditioning. We also heard about Kyle Farnsworth being less bulky, but then it was revealed that he dealt with a rather nasty staph infection last month.

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Cap’n Jetes in tax trouble

At a time when Alex Rodriguez is looking to bank some serious dough, Derek Jeter might be out some. The State of New York is seeking back taxes — possibly totaling over a million dollars — from the Yankees captain from the years 2001 through 2003. But it’s not that Jeter outright didn’t pay his taxes. It’s that he paid them to Florida, where he claimed residence, not New York, where he was a prominent figure for at least six and a half months of the year.

Lawyers for Jeter, who has an off-season home in Tampa, Fla., dispute the claims that Jeter “immersed himself in the New York community” and made “numerous statements professing his love for New York” during the disputed period, according to documents published this week on a state Web site monitored by FOXNews.com.

I’m not quite sure how his lawyers are disputing his immersion in the New York community. I’m also not sure how “numerous statements professing his love” for the city would denote his residence in it. He has claimed residence in Florida since 1994, when he spent the majority of his season with the Tampa Yankees.

That the State is seeking taxes from 2001 is significant for two reasons. First is his ten-year, $189 million contract which was signed that winter. Second is his $13 million purchase of an apartment in Trump Towers.

Honestly, I’m not sure how the law works in these instances of dual residency. If anyone can shed some light, please do so in the comments or shoot me an e-mail. All I know is that no one from the Jeter party is commenting on this case. It’s probably for the best, at least from a public relations standpoint.

ALDS food for thought

In the ALDS, Derek Jeter hit .176/.176/.176 and played a rather unspectacular defense. He hit into three double plays in two games and was responsible for a disproportionate 17 of the Yankees’ 108 outs. Yet, people are more apt to blame A-Rod, mosquitoes or Joe Torre for the Yanks’ early postseason exit. Doesn’t Jeter deserve more than his fair share of the blame considering he was responsible for more than his fair share of rally-killing outs this month?