Pettitte Still Sidelined With Back Spasms

pettitteback.jpgAndy Pettitte might have a problem with his back, thus causing him to possibly miss his first start of the regular season.

Pettitte has been sidelined since Thursday with what he says is stiffness in his back. He last pitched on March 17th, where he threw 65 pitches in 3 1/3 innings. At the time, Pettitte was dealing with an elbow issue, but reported no pain after his outing. Now, the back spasms he is expirencing has set him back a few days, something that should cause Joe Girardi and the Yanks some concern. Although, Girardi did downplay his concern.
"I don't think it's a big deal," he said.

Andy skipped his start on Saturday because of the spasms. If he can play catch today and have a pain-free bullpen session tomorrow, then he is in line for either a minor league game on Friday in Tampa or pitch against the Marlins in Miami Friday night. That would then have Pettitte on pace to make his regular season debut against Toronto on Wednesday, April 2nd.
"I was really feeling pretty good last night, and feeling good about it, what today was going to bring," Pettitte told reporters at Legends Field. "Then I woke up this morning and it was kind of tight on me again.

"I've already lost two days. I don't want to set it back any. I'm just going to wait until tomorrow and hopefully it's a lot better and I can feel comfortable playing catch."

If he still is unable to go the Yanks will take it on a day to day basis and if necessary, push back his first start of the season to later in the week.
I'm definitely optimistic because I think it's going to clear up," Pettitte said "We've got options," he said. "It's just the first start of the season. I don't want to do that, but I want to make sure that I'm healthy and not go into the season with a bad back."

A healthy Pettitte is what the Yankees need. If they need to sit him out for the time being, then I say do it. He is much too valuable to the team going into this season and they need to be cautious. In any event, the last few weeks of fragility with Andy should raise some concern amonst the Yanks. Any time he misses will put more of a burden on the rest of the rotation, one that will include youngsters Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes.

Theres $16 million invested in that back, not to mention hopes and dreams of another championship in the Bronx, for Yankee fans, they all better hope Pettitte feels better sooner than later.

(Frank's articles can also be found at OnTheBlockNY)
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
Reactions: 
Links to this post

Yankees Bench Ready for Season

Over at Peter Abraham's LoHud Yankees Blog) he takes a look at the Yankees bench. With the addition of Ensberg Friday night to the 40-man roster, the bench is pretty much set.

Heres a look at the bench that manager Joe Girardi will have at his disposal:yankee-bench.JPG

Jose Molina (C)
Shelley Duncan (RF, 1B)
Wilson Betemit (1B,2B,SS,3B)
Morgan Ensberg (1B,2B,3B)

Not too bad, but Abraham also notes that their isn't much speed or defense on the bench. I agree with Peter on that notion. I believe the bench was set up this season so Girardi has more of a "B" lineup than a bunch of "fill-ins". Sure these guys are not the best guys to have come off the bench but the Yanks' have had worse. With Melky Cabrera, Johnny Damon, and Hideki Matsui sharing the duties in center and left, that would give Girardi another option in both positions if need be. As the season rolls along I'm sure we'll see changes but for now, this is the bench that will start the season. Let's hope the starters stay healthy and the bench all perform up to their potential, otherwise the Yankees might be in trouble.

(Frank's articles can also be found at OnTheBlockNY)
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
Reactions: 
Links to this post

Ensberg Added to 40-man Roster

ensberg.jpgThe Yankees have added Morgan Ensberg to their 40-man roster. Ensberg is out of minor league options which means he will more than likely start the season in the Bronx.

In order to make room on the 40-man roster, Carl Pavano was placed on the 60-day DL for the fourth consecutive year (is that a record?) Ensberg also plans on changed his uniform number. He is currently wearing No. 21, Paul O'Neill's old number. Since O'Neill is a hug fan favorite and since his number has NOT been distributed to anyone since his retirement after the 2001 season, the decision to hand out No. 21 has caused a stir.
"I can't wear Paul O'Neill's number," Ensberg said.

He plans on making an offer to Wilson Betemit for No.14, the nunmber he wore in Houston. It's nice to see the roster rounding out as Opening Day approaches.

(Frank's articles can also be found at HotStoveNewYork andOnTheBlockNY)
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
Reactions: 
Links to this post

Wang named Opening Day starter

wang-opening-day.jpgThe Yankees announced Friday that Chien Ming Wang will be their Opening Day starter. The Yankees are entering their final season at the current Yankee Stadium and Wang will be the last Opening Day starter in the historic ballpark.
"I'm very happy," Wang said. "This is my first time on Opening Day. For me, it's big. I'm very excited"....."It shows that the coaches trust me. I still have a lot to learn."

"He's earned it," Joe Girardi said. "He's won 19 games the last couple of years and he's thrown the ball well the last couple of years. I'm comfortable starting him Opening Day."

Wang, the current Yankees ace faces questions concerning being a legit ace. He performed poorly in his two postseason starts last year against Cleveland, but the Yankees don't seemed concerned.
"The two losses make me want to do even better this year," Wang said. "I want to make the coaches trust me even more in the future."

The season starts on March 31st, Wang's 28th birthday. The Yankees rotation has a few questions surrounding them but Wang isn't one of them. He is expected to carry his share of the load. He has won 38 games over the past two seasons, more than any other pitcher in the majors in that span. It's important the Yankees get off to a good start this season after getting off to slow starts the past few seasons. Wang hopes to help the Bombers get off to that good start.

The Yankees open against the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05 pm on March 31. Mission 27 is about to begin.

(Frank's articles can also be found at HotStoveNewYork andOnTheBlockNY)

Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
Reactions: 
Links to this post

Yankees show class while Red Sox just want cash

In less than 24 hours the world got to see how different the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are. The season hasn't started yet and already the comparisons and fire that go along with this rivilary are brought to light.

yankees-vt2.JPGYesterday the Yankees played a game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at English Field on their campus thanks to a prmoise made by Yankees owner George Steinbrenner last year. A year after a gunman killed 32 people, wounded 23 others, and then killed himself on Virginia Tech's campus. Steinbrenner donated $1 million to the school and promised that the Yanks would go down and play a spring training game agaist the school's baseball team. The Yankees fulfilled thier promise. Although the Yanks won 11-0, the bigger story was the impact the game had on the school, the staff, the players and everyone else.
"The Yankees - everyone always wants to call them 'Evil Empire' and stuff like that, (but) they're going the extra mile," Va. Tech first baseman Sean O'Brien said. "They don't have to do this. They have a lot of work to do to get ready. It's just amazing that they're doing this."

The Yankees brought most of their "A" team with them. Many, if not all of the Yankee players signed autographs and took photos for people who have not had much to smile about since that fateful day last April. I have to commend the Yankees for this show of support and for extending themselves in this capacity. It shows once again why the Yankees are the most recoginized franchise and set the standards for all the other teams in the league.

On the other half of this rivilary we have the Red Sox. They are slated to open their season in Japan in just a few days but due to a "misunderstanding" between MLB and the MLBPA the Red Sox were about to boycott their final spring training game (which was televised nationally on ESPN) and their season opening series in Tokyo. The reason behind it: apparently the coaching staff was not going to recieve the $40,000 pay that came along with the trip. Are you kidding me? The Yankees and Mets in recent years have made trips to Japan to open their season. There has never been an issue along the lines of what Boston was faced on Wednesday. So the Sox decided they weren't going to play and weren't going to board a plane to Japan unless their coaches got paid. Around 1:30 pm the issue was resolved.
“We felt we had to make a stand, and being on ESPN didn’t hurt,” Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell said.

He also stated, giving $20,000 payments to the coaches would not have been acceptable because the players were making $40,000.
“The club’s working on stuff and trying to get money where it needs to get,” he said. “It was definitely an experience of a lifetime, and it ended in a good way” said Kevin Youkilis.

redsox-japan.jpg This is a clear example of night and day. The Yankees went to a college campus to help people who have been suffering and mourning, while the Red Sox complain about their coaches not getting paid enough. This is a joke and a disgrace to the game of baseball! How dare the Red Sox jepordize the game's integrity by trying to put themselves first. It is a priviledge to be asked to apart of an event such as opening the MLB season in Japan. My friends up north have no class and consideration for the fans of MLB. What if we decide to stay home and not attend YOUR games? Where will YOU get your money from to pay for your players? It's nice to know where your priorities are. You rather get go on strike then play the game of baseball which you love (which you are getting paid for!) Remember, it's stilla job and people are paying to watch YOU play. If you don't like it then leave and let someone else take your roster spot. It's that simple. The Yankees know they are just like everyone else...human. You saw a humbling atmsophere yesterday at English Field on the YES network. What you saw on ESPN today, belongs right along side the trash on MTV.

I want to thank the New York Yankees for showing me what's important in this world, but most importantly, for showing me what's not and what's disgraceful.

(Frank's articles can also be found at HotStoveNewYork andOnTheBlockNY)
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
Reactions: 
Links to this post

Sabathia could be in pinstripes in '09

Yesterday at Legends Field, the Yankees and Indians faced off. The starting pitchers were Chien-Ming Wang against C.C. Sabathia respectively, a rematch of Game 1 of last year's Divison Series. Just another Spring Training game to most but to the Yankees and their front office, it was an up close look at a potential ace that could be in pinstripes in 2009 .

sabathia.JPGIt's a subject thats sure to be brought up multiple times over the course of the season. That's because Sabathia is a free agent at year's end and will not have any discussions over a new contract during the season. He has already turned down a four-year $68 million dollar contract extentsion from Cleveland. Sabathia for the time being has his sights set on the upcoming season.
"I'm just thinking about this season right now," Sabathia said after allowing three runs over four innings against the Yankees. "I think we've got a good chance with the team we're bringing back and that's all I'm really focusing on. At the end of the year when everything unfolds, I'll cross that road when I cross it."

At season's end, the Yankees will have around $80 million off their payroll due to expiring contracts (Bobby Abreu, Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, Kyle Farnsworth, and Carl Pavano to name a few.) Also, Mussina and Pettitte could call it quits leaving the Yanks with some major shoes to fill in the rotation. Sabathia seems like a good fit. He could be the new ace of a staff that heads into a new era as the Yankees move into the new Yankee Stadium in 2009.

Sabathia won the A.L. Cy Young last season compiling a 19-7 record and 3.21 ERA. Although he didn't perform well in the postseason last year, neither did the Yanks current ace Wang. In the event Sabathia does end up in the Bronx next year, it would surely help Wang and the rest of the rotation (Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, and supposedly Joba Chamberlain.) That is a strong young rotation that could lead the Yankees to the promise land for years to come, but for now that's only a thought for the imagination. But that dream could become a reality come 2009..lets see how this unfolds throughout the year. I'll be watching.

(Frank's articles can also be found at HotStoveNewYork)
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
Reactions: 
Links to this post

Duncan and Cabrera Suspended For Actions In Brawl

gal_fight2.jpgIt didn't take Joe Girardi long to put his stamp on the Yankees. A mere three weeks into Spring Training and we already see in a difference in the Bronx Bombers. With the exception of a few players, this is basically the same team that Joe Torre managed in his last game as Yankee manager last October. Yet, we there seems to be a world of a difference this spring.

I'm sure most of you have seen the recent developments between the Yanks and the Tampa Bay Rays. Last weekend saw Tampa Bay's Elliot Johnson run over Yankee catching prospect Francisco Cervelli, thus breaking his right hand. Wednesday the Yanks' Shelly Duncan went into second baseman Aki Iwamura with an aggressive slide, which led to a bench clearing brawl. As a result Duncan along with Melky Cabrera were suspended 3 games each by Major League Baseball for their actions in the brawl. Girardi was fined for the incident. The Rays' Jonny Gomes was also fined and suspended 2 games for his "tackle" of Duncan at second base (he plays right field, so how in the world does he end up at second base within seconds of the play?) That, in my opinion is worthy of at LEAST 5 games. A right fielder has no business at second base in what appeared to be an attempt a full fledged charge at Duncan.
"What Jon did was reaction to what they had done, and we did not start a thing," Tampa manager Jon Maddon said. "They perpetrated the entire situation. And then to have the punishment doled out almost on a similar basis, to me is unjust and it's not right. I'm sure we're going to appeal the situation and see what we can do."

"What's unfortunate is it's a situation that if our catcher didn't go down with a broken arm, I don't think (Duncan) would be suspended," Yankees Captain Derek Jeter said. "Now he's suspended and people talk about the way he plays the game. Shelley plays hard all the time. If I were Shelley, I wouldn't change the way I play. There's no reason."

I think too much was made of this situation, but on the other hand according to Don Zimmer and the rest of the Rays, the collision at home plate was "part of the game." So an aggressive slide into second base was "part of the game" as well. This was Girardi's message to the league...don't mess with the Yankees, because we'll get you back. It's something Torre never liked to do while he was manager, so I think this attitude that Girardi brings to the team is excatly what the Yanks need. They will not be push overs for anyone, especially the Tampa Bay Rays! Good for the Yanks and Girardi! The rest of the league has been put on notice, but for now lets just play baseball and get ready for Opening Day.

Oh by the way, the Yanks and Rays play Saturday at Legends Field, we'll see if this situation continues to esculate. Must see tv for Spring Training? We'll find out.

(Frank's articles can also be found at OnTheBlockNY )
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
Reactions: 
Links to this post

QUITE FRANKLY: Just a Few Thoughts

Looking around the 'net and watching tv these days, one topic that seems to cause a stir are predictions. Our own J Platt reported on John Kruk's bold prediction of the Mets finishing third. So I thought I'd throw my two cents in as well. Here's how I view the NL East finishing up:
howard-rollins.JPG
1- Phillies : Still the team to beat. You have to like Rollins and Howard leading a team that steamrolled their way into the postseason down the stretch last year. A year later, more confident and more expirenced.
2- Mets : Too many questions regarding the bullpen and injuries. If they can stay healthy, then the Mets will be very tough to beat, even with an "old" Pedro.
3- Braves : Gotta like the rotation even if it has question marks (Glavine,Hampton). How well those guys perform will tell a alot in terms of what direction the team will be going.
4- Marlins : Good youthful team, but don't expect them to pose a threat to place any higher in the divison.
5- Nationals : Well, let's just say Lastings Milledge will have a lot of time to record in the studio.

I'm sure I'll get debate on my predictions, but isn't that what makes predictions so great?

Apparently Derek Jeter is one of the worst fielding shortstops in the game. That's ok by me, tell me how many other shortstops have four World Series rings? Jeter is the man I would build my team around if I was starting from scratch. He's a team player and his attitude is ALWAYS team first. A mentality that gets lost in today's world. Ex: Red Sox closer Jonathan Palbelbon claimed he's worthy of top dollar beacuse he's a "championship closer" and he's now in the same class as Mariano Rivera. Jeter personifies the way the game should be played...the right way.

The Mets have continued to downplay the string of injuries that have hit the team this spring. How many times are they going to downplay MAJOR issues? They did it last September/October when trying to explain their collapse. Now they're collapsing before the season even starts! What would the Amazin's look like now if they didn't have Johan Santana? Barry Bonds all of a sudden doesn't seem like a bad option. It's New York, we're used to scandals and criminals, so why not sign Bonds? At least he wont be dancing in the dugout or after a homerun.

kidd-dallas3.JPGJason Kidd faced the Nets for the first time last night since the Feburary 19th trade that sent him to Dallas. The Mavs are 5-5 while the Nets are 3-7 since. A blockbuster trade it was right? Kidd scored all of three points last night, I agree with Mavs' coach Avery Johnson, he needs to shoot the ball more. Last night showed Dallas can afford a three point night from Kidd. The Nets used to be like that...ahh those were the days.

Isiah Thomas and Stephon Marbury should have their own reality show on MTV, they might get better ratings there than they do on the MSG Network.

The Roger Clemens saga seems to have died down for the moment. It's about time. It came to the point that I did believe Clemens was innocent, even after the Congressional hearings but when you listen to Andy Pettitte, you have to believe him over Clemens. The mysterious syringes, gauge and pictures of Roger at Canseco's party didn't do it for me. Pettitte being the man he is told the truth and I don't question his credibility, even if he used HGH. He's human and he makes mistakes just like all of us. He did it to help his teams at the time, I'm not syaing that justifies what he did, but give the guy a break. He admitted he was wrong like a man, he held a news conference and admitted his wrong doings again, like a man. That type of character is something that I hold credible and therefore Pettitte should be forgiven. He was put inbetween a rock and a hard place and still stood tall...can't say the same about Clemens.

A lot of people are counting the Yanks out of the playoffs....didn't this also happen last July? How bout we let the season play out for a few months and come back with the playoff predictions.

(Frank's articles can also be found at OnTheBlockNY and HotStoveNewYork.com)
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
Reactions: 
Links to this post

Rivera still makes it look easy

alg_rivera.jpg In his first action of the spring Mariano Rivera still seemed to have some juice left in his arm. He came into yesterday's spring training game in the 4th inning and dominated, throwing eight pitches, seven for strikes. Not bad for a 38 year old.

Rivera recorded two strikeouts in his inning of work. Of note, he didn't throw his cutter, a pitch that will send him with a first class ticket to the Hall of Fame.
"I didn't need to throw cutters today," Rivera said. "I felt real good out there. I was able to throw the pitches and hit the strike zone."

It's interesting to see that Rivera hasn't missed a beat according to yesterday's outing. He is set for 10 innings this spring and is scheduled to make back to back appearances at the end of spring to prepare himself for the regular season. Rivera is in the first year of the 3 year contract he signed over the winter. Yesterday's appearance was a good sign for Rivera and the Yanks, let's hope the rest of the season goes as effortless and smooth.


(Frank's articles can also be found at OnTheBlockNY and HotStoveNewYork.com)
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
Reactions: 
Links to this post

Yanks young trio striking in spring debut

alg_chamberlain.jpgI hope yesterday was a preview of things to come this summer for New York baseball. The Mets had their first look at their new ace Johan Santana in game action and he didn't look good. The Yankees had their prized three of Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy go in their game against the University of South Florida . The trio combined for five innings only giving up one hit.

"I think it's great for the organization, the scouts, the people who draft and develop," said Joe Girardi. "It's an organization thing that everyone should be proud of."

The world got to see how good these three can be. Ok so they were facing a college team, and it's still early in the spring but you have to be excited about these guys and their seemingly constant successful progression so far this spring. The baseball world, as well as those in New York will be closely watching these guys' every move. That comes along with the territory of playing in the Bronx, but since Yankees GM Brian Cashman was so stern on his stance of not wanting to trade his young talent, the microscope is even bigger on this trio.

Each pitcher seemed to be very attentive of the other's work on the mound as they complimented one another.

"I want Joba's fastball, Ian's change and Joba's slider," Hughes said. "And I'm keeping my curveball." Chamberlain said he'd love to have Kennedy's changeup and Hughes' cool demeanor.
"I'm a very excitable person," Chamberlain said. "Phil can give up a two-run homer or strike out 40 and he's the same. That's something we could all learn from.


Another day has passed and another step has been taken in the right direction. More work has to be done this spring before anyone gets giddy, but for right now it's ok. That's what spring training is all about, and for now, the Yankees are looking alright, which is fine by me.

(Frank's articles can also be found at OnTheBlockNY and HotStoveNewYork.com)
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
Reactions: 
Links to this post