Archive for March, 2012


Posted by on Thursday, 22 March, 2012

March 16, 2012
Friday – 3:15 pm
George M. Steinbrenner (Legends) Field
Tampa, Florida


Andy Pettitte in Deer Park Texas
Telephone Press Conference
Transcript of questions and answers:

Jason Zillo, New York Yankees
Director, Communications & Media Relations

I’ve got the (media) crew here. Thanks for joining us, I know there is a lot going on today.

Wall Street Journal:
How much was your family behind this decision. Were they fully supportive 100%?

They are, they weren’t crazy about me retiring last year. I would’ve never have done this if, especially my wife, if she didn’t feel good about it. It’s been awsome being home, that’s for sure. Like I said, I’m sure we’ll get into it. When Cash called me and we kind of committed try tostart working out and kind of get this thing going. I couldn’t commit in January or February and I just was enjoying working out again. My family is behind this 100%, I’ve got a wife of absolute gold. She looks at me and she says you are the lead of the household and I am going to follow you and what ever you think is the right decision for us I’ll support you and I would love for you to do it if you want to do it, so it makes my life easier that’s for sure.

Star Ledger
Cash was telling us earlier that at one point he told you to shut it down from your throwing. Why did you keep throwing? You told him later on that you kept working, why?

All I can say is, tha’s exactly right. I was working out, I spoke with Hal. In January we were talking and obviously we talked and I couldn’t commit and he said we’ve got to build a team and I said I understand that so we kind of agreed that something may not happen so keep working out and let’s see if you can get the juices flowing and if nothing happens then we’ll see if you’ll be able to commit in a few weeks and obviously something happened, they signed Kuroda and Michael and so when they signed those guys they called me and said hey you can shut it down. The money that we were going to use is gone and you know the spot in the rotation you know obviously we have 7 starters now cause at that time they had A.J. (Burnett) and they said so just go ahead and shut it down and so I said o.k. And after three or 4 days, I looked at my wife and I said Babe I was loving it working out, I couldn’t commit to them but I was loving working out and she said well just keep working out, so I kept working out and that’s when I went down to Spring Training and didn’t know if I would tell them or not but I told Hal and I told Cash that you all told me to quit working out but I was working out and still was throwing and I think I would love to play man and they were like oh my goodness. How are we going to work this out so that kind has been the process.

You were just talking on TV about how important it was for you to be the man of the house and you wanted to spend a little time with your family. What was it that persuaded you to come back and do this and change the teams direction completely?

I think that it was just like I said, as a man, my desire to work is back . I felt like last year the desire to go to the gym and do what needed to be done to go to the gym just wasn’t there and the commitment level wasn’t there and once Cash and I spoke in December and I started working out again I don’t know if it was because I had a year off or I had however many months, it was 8 months from waking up and training and getting ready for the season was back and just my desire to work it’s just back and I love working and for me I guess as a man that kind of right now is just overriding and I guess also having the opportunity to be here to coach my kids to see my boys play high school baseball those things that I was missing so much, I’ve had the opportunity to do that and not that I’m not going to miss that, I’m going to really miss it but just when you pray about something which I have done continuously on this and when I look at my wife and she says she feels good about it, then I just kind of follow what I feel my heart is telling to do and this is where I’m at right now. And I think I told you all that when people ask me would I ever come back you know, I would probably be too embarassed to come back. Because I am retiring and I ‘m announcing a retirment and that’s really where I’ve been for the last 3 or 4 days. I am embarrased that I am coming back but then, I’m like what can I do, things have changed, my desire to do this has changed and I sure as heck don’t want to look back 10 years down and said I wished I would have done that. And the guys on the club when I am around the team the desire that they show that they want me to come back it’s just been amazing, for me it’s a no brainer. I’m not scared if this happens I don’t think I’m going to fail, but I’m not scared to coming back, I’m not worried about that. I’m going to come back and I’m going to trust in my heart that I am doing the right thing. And, I am hoping and praying that it’s going to be great.

George King:
Do you know you can win here or you’re going to find that out as this thing goes along?

George, I don’t think that I could do this unless I thought for sure mentally that I could get back to where I was and so I really believe that mentally I’ll be able to get back to where I was and so I believe that if I am mentally right then I’m going to win. I just believe that because I have pitched through so much stuff and, I’ve talked to you all plenty, you all know me as good as anybody. The biggest thing for me was mentally can I get back to where I was and I really believe I can and I needed to, the reason why I couldn’t commit to the Yankees earlier was because I needed to go through the process, I didn’t have time to get on the mound to do the stuff I felt I needed to do to tell them that I could get there. And during my work right now, my bullpen work and stuff like that, I can feel it all coming back as far as the mental the mental side of it also. I’m just hoping and praying physically that I hold together which I think I will and, but you never know as far as that. I mean 2010 my groin was hurting but my mind was as sharp as its ever been and I felt as I pitched great in the playoffs and that was with a bad goin and not great stuff and just felt as I grind my way to get through it. I’m ready for that challenge to do that to get through what it takes.

The Record – Pete Kelly
Do you know exactly when you are going to get to Tampa and what you would be starting to do immediately. Are you ahead of what a normal start of Spring Training training would be at this point?

I don’t know really. I plan on being in Tampa Tuesday night. It is my plan right now and then I’m not real sure. I have to get there and I’m sure I’ll be in touch with Larry (Rothchild) the pitching coach. And now it will be me and him just getting it figured out and just figuring out exactly how slow they feel like they need to take me. Because obviously like I said, I’m throwing bullpen where I am throwing 60 or so pitches in the bullpen so that’s built up pretty good right there but I may have to back off from that just to start getting my legs tough covering bases that stuff because I haven’t done anything like that on a daily basis.

Sweeny Murti – WFAN Radio:
What’s going to be the hardest part about this for you?

I think the hardest part will just be the next few days just knowing that I am coming back and I guess a little bit of the unknown for the first few days that I’m down there that will probably be the hardest part but I tell you man, the guys on the team are absolutely awsome and maybe it’s just me feeling anxious about it . Swish (Nick Swisher) just called me and was screaming on the phone (media laughter) and I talked to the guys, I texted pretty much everybody and right before we released this because I wanted the guys to know and I think everybody is fired up. I just can’t wait to get there. You just don’t know how important it isfor me to be around the guys and I just can’t wait to get there for me, even with the guys that are not there, to be able to build up the relationships and stuff with those guys and just looking forward to doing it. To answer your question, I think just because I have been gone and just the adjustment of the last time I walked in there I walked into the coach’s office and this time I will be walking to the other side again. That will probably just be the weirdest part of it. Once I stood on the mound the other morning it was like I never left even though it was Tuesday morning and Cashman was standing there with Gene Michaels, Joe and Larry it was like I never left, to tell you the truth it was really weird.

New York Times:
How much of this decision is just wanting to play baseball again and how much is it this team, in other words if there wasn’t an opportunity here there was not an opportunity in your mind anywhere.

That is correct. Obviously, I realize they’ve build a team. It was the Yankees or nothing. Obviously, you guys realize this is all about just me having the desire to do this again. For what I am coming back and playing for is an awful lot of money and I realize that but it’s a long ways away from what we were talking about in January, you know. But I just have the desire to work again and as a man I want to go to work and my work is baseball, it’s pitching and that’s what I know. I am going to get it cranked back up and do it again.

Mark Feinseind
And what was Jeter’s and Mariano’s reactions when you told them for sure that you were coming back?

Actually, Mo doesn’t know for sure. I’m sure he does now. Mo doesn’t carry a cell phone around anymore, so I have been told. He probably found out today. But I did talk to Jeter and they’re excited and pretty fired up and I tell you the first text message I got when it came out was from Jorgie (Posada) and he was fired up and was just saying welcome back and wishing me the best of luck so that was a pretty cool to get a text from him.

Andrew Marchand
ESPN-New York
Is Jorge (Posada) next?

Oh, I don’t know. I don’t think so, he definitely hasn’t told me anything like that I can tell you that for sure. I don’t believe so.

When do you think you will be on a Major League mound, when do you think will be your time table.

I’m just not sure. I mean, I hate to even start throwing stuff out there just because I’m not sure but I would imagine, I would think that if everything goes great, I don’t even know, I would hate to say anything just because I don’t know what the Yankees are thinking of yet how slow they want to take me, how careful they want to be, you know what I mean.

(Joel Sherman: Well just keep it between us)

We’re going to work together with that I think if they want me to go just from where I am right now, I think I could probably start doing rehab starts or starts in probably two or three weeks. That’s what I would think to be able to get out there and throw a couple of innings to start off with.

Mark Feisand (again)
On a separate note. Do you know if you are going to have to take time away to go to testify in the Clemens (Roger) trial?

Oh man that’s not anything that I would even want to talk about. You know, until you brought that up, that hasn’t even entered into my mind.

Joel Sherman – NY Post
I realize you are just coming back but are you coming back and are you thinking I am going to keep on playing if I like this, not just the 2012 thing.

I’m not sure Joel, I really am not. I can tell you right now in my mind it’s this year and then I would be like I’ve always been, just evaluate where I’m at and try to weigh my feelings, how I’m feeling and go from there so that’s probably the best answer I could give you right now is that I will probably be in the same boat I was in 2009 and 2010 and just try to go home and figure out exactly what I want to do.

Jason Zillo – anybody else?

Joel Sherman
Is Mariano (Rivera) retiring at the end of the year?

Laughter! Oh man, I’ll let him tell you guys that.

Media members – Andy, thank you.

All right guys, I appreciate it. It was extremely difficult to know that me and the Yankees were talking and to see you guys, a couple of you all said hey you look good why don’t you think about coming back in June. So that’s been tough and I am glad it’s over and it’s out of the way and I’m glad I can talk to you guys about it and looking forward to coming back and seeing you guys.

Sweeny Mirti
Next time you tell us the truth , no changing your mind, o.k? (Media laughter)

All right man.


Posted by on Thursday, 22 March, 2012

March 21, 2012
George M. Steinbrenner Field
(Formerly Legends Field)
Tampa, Florida

There’s a little area on my side of the chain link fence.  Three benches mark the spot.  I turn one of the benches around to face the field on the other side of the chain link fence

It is the New York Yankees pitcher’s practice field.

The time is 10:30 in the morning.
The perfectly manicured baseball diamond glistens after the early morning dew, as the warm sun prepares to overtake the day.

Waiting on the field are four Yankees pitching legends, as if choreographed, #54, #49, #33 and #46.

RHP – Rich “Goose” Gossage – The Goose is enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown;
LHP –  Ron Guidry – The “Gator” had his number retired at Yankee Stadium;
LHP – David “Boomer” Wells pitched a Perfect Game, when he played for the Yankees;
Standing on the pitcher’s mound, the youngest, newest legend LHP – Andy Pettitte.

The pitchers prepare for a fielding practice session, as Andy Pettitte once again trains to play Major League Baseball, after his announced retirement in 2010.

The Goose is at home plate holding a bat and ball, prepared to hit  come-backers to the pitcher;
the Gator is at 1st Base, glove in right hand;
Boomer stands near the pitcher’s mound offering advice to Pettitte on fielding to 1st Base.

Practice fielding proceeds as follows:
Andy Pettitte, on the rubber, does his wind-up and pitches an imaginary ball to Gossage;
Pettitte assumes position and waits;
Gossage bats the clean baseball on hand, to Pettitte on the mound;
Pettitte fields the ball and throws to Guidry who’s poised at 1st Base.  Out 1-3

Pitcher fielding practice continues for a timed 5 minutes.
When practice is over, the pitchers meet on the mound and one of them says “it is official”.

The pitchers exit the pitcher’s practice field through the gate of the chain link fence, as in a synchronized walk, one-by-one.  Yankees Legends – Ron Guidry, David Wells, Goose Gossage and Andy Pettitte

I observe with awe from “my place of privilege”.

Stay tuned.

A Long Way To The Bronx From Staten Island

Posted by on Friday, 16 March, 2012

March 16, 2012
New York Yankees Hines Field
George M. Steinbrenner (Legends) Field

Gulf Coast League Yankees
     Rookie – Gulf Coast League
     DSL Yankees 1
     Dominican Summer League – Rookie
     DSL Yankees 2
     Dominican Summer League – Rookie

Short Season – New York Penn League
     Staten Island Yankees

A – South Atlantic League
     Charleston Riverdogs

A – Advanced – Florida State League
     Tampa Yankees
Trenton Thunder
Scranton – Wilkes Barre Yankees

The future success of every Major League Team lies largely in its Minor League pipeline.

The New Yorkk Yankees have a deep reservoir of prospects in the minors that could help them remain competetve for years to come.

I have visited the Yankees Minor League training Hines complex in Tampa Florida.
This is what I saw:

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees

Posted by on Tuesday, 13 March, 2012

March 13, 2012
Major League Baseball Spring Training
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

The Rivary.

It does not matter where they meet.  Yankee Stadium.  Fenway Park.  Steinbrenner (Legends) Field or Jet Blue Park, the atmosphere will always be the same.  Competitive.

It is a Spring Training Game.  A night game.  There isn’t a seat available in the ballpark. Sold Out!  Every available member of the media covering the two teams and  Major League Baseball is in attendance.  YES, CBS, ESPN.  Asian Media.  Spanish language Media.   They are all here.  During batting practice, the field in front of the dugouts is crowded with reporters, just as if anticipating the playing of a World Series game.  Photographers are posted at every angle to catch an image of a player.  TVcameras are in place and microphones are tuned to receive that special interview – the player image and voices of the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.  The Yankees large Press Box is filled past capacity.

Boston pitches Felix Doubront.  A 26 yr. old Rookie from Venezuela.   23 games in the Major Leagues, 3 starts.  It is his first start during Spring Training.

The Yankees start Ivan Nova.  A 26 yr. old Rookie from Dominican Republic.  10 games in the Major Leagues, 7 starts.  Nova has open two games during Spring.

The line-up of both teams reads like a line-up of Spring Training.  A mix of old and new.

From the Yankees – gone, super-star #20 Jorge Posada, after 17+ seasons behind the Yankees catcher’s mask.  Two new pitchers have been added to the rotation; RHP Michael Pineda and RHP Hiroki Kuroda.  RHP Joba Chamberlain is still a fan favorite.  LHP C.C. Sabathia remains the heart of the pitching roation and RHP Mariano River (nearing the end of his career) is the team’s savior.  The outfield is covered by Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher.   Mark Teixeira at 1st, Robinson Cano at 2nd, “El Capitan”, shortstop, Derek Jeter and Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez at 3rd complete the shine of the baseball diamond of the Yankees.  Expectations are high for the 2012 season.

 Boston is sporting a “real” new look –  Bobby Valentine is the New Manager, and Boston also has a new General Manager, a new Spring Training ballpark, a new Closer RHP Andrew Bailey and a new shortstop Mike Aviles.   Returning  are RHP Josh Beckett, RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, Infielders  David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Outfielders Jacoby Elllsbury and Carl Crawford are the more familiar faces of the 2012 team.

The competition is fierce as the teams play 8 complete scoreless innings.  At the top of the 9th Boston scores a run and records the first game win of Spring Training vs. the Yankees.  “Let’s play two”.  The teams meet again on March 22 in Ft. Myers for a repeat performance.  The Yankees will play to win………so will the Red Sox!

Final Score:  Boston 1 –  Yankees 0
Time of the game: 2:46
Attendance:  11,048 – the 5th sell-out game of Spring Training for the Yankees.

The Japanese Influence – NY Yankees

Posted by on Monday, 12 March, 2012

March 12, 2012
Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

New York Yankees history will  note that pitcher Hideki Irabu was the first to bring fame to a  player from Japan pitching for the Yankees.  From the start of negotiations, it was Irabu’s decision that he would only pitch for the New York Yankees.  In 1977, under major league teams controversy, Irabu signed a 4-yr. , $12.8M contract with the Yankees.  The criticism by the teams on the negotiations for Hideki Irabu led to the creation of the “Posting System” currently used by Japan and Major League Baseball.

Hideki Irabu made his highly publicized Major League debut on 7/10/97 and pitched for the Yankees from 1997 until 1999.

During one Spring Training game, George M. Steinbrenner offended Irabu with a comment which criticized his weight.  Expectations were high.  Hideki Irabu was a pioneer player from Japan and he paid a price.
He developed an alcohol problem.

Hideki Irabu appeared in two World Series Championships, 1998 – 1999.  Despite only pitching in one postseason game and having no postseason decision, he was awarded two World Series rings.  He celebrated with the team during two parades down the Canyon of Heroes.  And, twice visited the White House and met the President of the United States with the World Series Champions New York Yankees.

After the 1999 season, the Yankees traded  Hideki Irabu to the Montreal Expos.  In 2002 he pitched for the Texas Rangers.  After 6 seasons of Major League Baseball, Irabu returned to Japan.  He never returned to the Major Leagues.

The gentle-man from Japan never achieved the success he sought, to make him proud to his nation as a pitcher in the Major Leagues.  On July 27, 2011, fourteen years after he signed his contract with the Yankees, Hideki Irabu sadly ended his life in California.

Fast forward Yankees/Japanese  player history to 2012:
Outfielder, Hideki Matsui – LHP,  Kei Igawa – RHP, Hiroki Kuroda.

Hiroki Kuroda made his 2nd start of 2012 Spring Training under the stars of  Steinbrenner (Legends) Field.
After losing his first start, he pitched for a no decison vs. the Astros in his second game.

Fourteen seasons later, it is a different time for baseball players from the “land of the rising sun”, Japan.

Stay tuned.

#42-Mariano Rivera-RHP New York Yankees

Posted by on Sunday, 11 March, 2012

March 11, 2012
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

The Yankees played their 9th & 10th  (split squad) games of Spring Training, vs. the Philadelphia Phillies at Steinbrenner Field, while a second team of player stravelled along with Manager Joe Girardi to Minnesota Twins, Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers, Florida, to manage the team and observe #65-RHP Phil Hughes pitch his 2nd start.

With Bench Coach Tony Pena substituting as Manager at Steinbrenner Field the Yankees star closer Mariano Rivera pitched his first game vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.  The fan favorite Panamanian pitched 1 inningof no hit, strikeouts, walks or runs.

A session of questions and answers  followed in the Yankees Clubhouse at the conclusion of Rivera’s one inning of pitching:

Reporter:  Was it where it would be at mid-season?
Rivera:  It’s at mid-form.  So at mid-form is where you have to be when you are ready to pitch.  You know what it means.

Reporter:  I just want you to say it.
Rivera:  It’s Spring training.  It’s the first outing.  You just have to do what you have to do.  I think I did what I wanted  to do.  I threw  my pitches, I feel good and I am waiting for the next outing.

Reporter:  Does it compare to other years, your first time out.  Is is similar?
Rivera:  Oh yea, definitely.  The same feeling, the same situation.  Just trying to get people out and go home.

Reporter:  Do you appreciate that you got a standing ovation, when you came out, do you appreciate that a little bit more?
Rivera:  What are you trying to say?

Reporter:  As you get older (laughter).
Rivera:  Be nice you guys. (laughter)  I always appreciate.  Don’t matter the situation, I always appreciate it.

Reporter:  The second hitter made you work a little bit.
Rivera:  That’s what it is.  That is the game.  You have to work,  you have to pitch, In a situation like that, I mean, you don’t want to throw 7 or 8 pitches, you want to throw the most you can, so that when the situation comes you are ready.

Reporter:  The large part of the crowd gave you a standing ovation even before you pitched when you came out.  You think that’s because a lot of them think this might be the last year?
Reply:  Thanks, I’ve got to go.  Laughter!

So, abruptly, ended the post-game interview with Mariano Rivera as he one again dodges the number one question  in the Yankees camp.  Is Mariano Rivera returning to the the Yankees team for the 2013 season.

Now, according to the fact that the average person is “willing to wait” 250 miliseconds, less than a blink of an eye – fans, you are going to have to wait until when and if Mariano Rivera decides he has had enough of the Yankees mound to announce his departure from the team.  A sad day it will be.  An end to a Yankees era.

Stay tuned.

The Yankee Pavillion

Posted by on Friday, 9 March, 2012

March 09, 2012
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

The Yankee Pavillion
Where there used to be a large open tent.
It was where New York Yankees #13-3B-Alex Rodriguez held his historic Press Conference on February 17, 2009, to declare his innocence regarding his alleged usage of steroids.

It’s really an impressive facility. It was constructed to the right of the George M. Steinbrenner pitchers back-field practice field.  The Pavillion is another way for the Yankees organization to generate additional revenue.  It’s a sophisticated reception hall with a capacity of 250-500 guests.  Designed for team activities, outside corporate functions, including weddings.
It really is fine looking in the inside.

It’s a museum.  It provides  another facility for the legendary team to exhibit additional memorabilia.  The New York Yankees.  It must be a challenge to display “everything out there”.  On exhibit in the Pavillion are baseball uniform shirts of the Yankees Legends; bats  and  balls.

The Eagle Medalion:
It is placed on a wall inside, at the the front of the Pavillion.
Familiar to the fans of Yankees Stadium in the Bronx.
They were originally designed and placed in 1923 on the original Yankee Stadium, “The house that Ruth Built”.  When the new Yankee Stadium was completed, 3 Eagle Medalions were commissioned; two were placed on the front face of the Stadium and a Bronze Medalion was placed inside the Stadium on the wall at gate 4 – the Press Gate.

The new Yankee Stadium medalions are engraved with the date 1923 at the top and 2009 at the bottom.  The Miles R. Braun design incorporates elements of traditional baseball.  The American Eagle proudly sits with outstretched wings atop a fascia of bats and gloves, over an abstraction of the baseball field.

Of special interest are the overhead lights in the Pavillion.  The pride of  Vice-President of Marketing Howard Grosswirth.

Look-up to the ceiling .  It is a delight of images of  Yankees Legends, past and present; Reggie Jackson, Don Mattingly, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Goose Gossage, Dave Righetti, Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner, Alex Rodriguez, Thurman Munson, Mark Texiera, Mariano Rivera, Jorge Posada, Robinson Cano, Roger Maris, Joe DiMaggio, Curtis Granderson and the great Babe Ruth.

The Yankee Pavillion – conducive to entertaining!  The exhibits – a trip down memory lane!  The overhead lights – a sight to behold!

Tampa Bay vs. NYY

Posted by on Wednesday, 7 March, 2012

March 07, 2011
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees

The Yankees are at 2-2 to start the 2012 Spring Training Season.  The Rays are  at 0-4.

Tampa Bay is in for the challenge of facing Yankees #18 RHP Hiroki Kuroda.  The native from Osaka, Japan is new to the Yankees pitching staff.  After spending four  seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, it is anticipated Kuroda will be taking over the spot left open with the departure of A.J. Burnett, pitching 2nd in the Yankees rotation following ace of the team #52 LHP C.C. Sabathia.

This is Spring Training so win/loss is not as important to the pitcher as is practicing pitches.
Among all Japan-born pitchers ever to play in the Major Leagues, Kuroda’s 3.45 career ERA is the lowest all-time among pitchers who have made more than 12 career starts, while his 523 strikeouts rank fourth and his 41 wins are fifth.  In 2011, he recorded the third-lowest single season ERA (3.07) among Japanese born pitchers to qualify for a Major League ERA title, behide only Hideo Nomo (2.54 in 1995) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (2.90 in 2008).

No Rookie, originally signed by the Dodgers as a non-draft free agent in December, 2007, Kuroda spent 11 seasons (1997-2007) pitching for the Hiroshima Tokyo Carp of the Japanese Central League.

In Hiroki Kuroda’s first ever start in a New York Yankees uniform he pitched two innings, 3 hits, 2 strikeouts and allowed 3 runs.  He practiced  his strike-out pitch against Tampa Bay batters throwing 27 pitches of which 20 were strikes.

After his outing, in the Yankees Clubhouse, Kuroda spoke through his translator expressing his excitment at getting his one game in.
When questioned about his personal goals, he responded “I would rather not talk about my personal goals but instead talk about the goals of the team and my helping to win a Championship”.

Back to the game between Tampa Bay and New York Yankees:
Tampa scored  three runs in the 2nd inning and one run in the 6th.  The Yankees remained scoreless.

And, so, on this day in Spring Training history, Tampa Bay Rays practiced their game against the Yankees and came out victorious for the first time in this Spring month.  It was a shut-out by Tampa .

Tampa Bay Rays:  4 R – 10H – 6 LOB
NY Yankees:  0 R – 4  Hits – 4 LOB

Winning Pitcher:  James Shields (1-0)
Losing Pitcher:  Hiroki Kuroda (0-1)

13 Pitchers were used in the game:  6 by Tampa – 7  by New York
A total of 36 players practiced in the game: 18 of  Tampa – 18 of New York 
Time of the game: 2:31 
Fans in attendance: 10,846 

Countdown: 30 Days until Opening Day

2012 Spring Training – NY Yankees

Posted by on Sunday, 4 March, 2012

George M. Steinbrenner Field
Formerly Legends Field
Tampa, Florida

March 4, 2012

The 110th Spring Training season in Yankees franchise history. After Ft. Lauderdale, it is the 17th consecutive season in Tampa.
It’s the home opener for the New York Yankees.
The teams line-up for the singing of the  National Anthem
It is a Yankees Spring line-up of players to behold, all 69 of them.  A team formation as no other.
Featured: 34 Pitchers, 8 Catchers, 15 Infielders, 12 Outfielders.
It marks the Yankees’ most players in camp since 2008.
Considering that the Yankees are undergoing a  major turnover with young talent, shortstop Derek Jeter and RHP Mariano Rivera become the first set of players to be teammates in 18 or more consecutive seasons since Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker played together for 19 straight seasons with Detroit Tigers from 1977-1995. 
Gone from the team after 17 seasons behind the plate, visibly missed by the fans, catcher Jorge Posada.

There  are nine different countries represented on the Yankees current 40-man roster: Canada, Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, Curacao, Panama, Puerto Rico, the U.S.A. and Venezuela.
And, they are tall in the sun.  The Yankees roster features eight players measuring 6’5″ or taller. 

It is a windy day in Tampa for a game in the sun for the Philadelphia Phillies with the  NY Yankees.
Manager Charlie Manuel on the bench for Phillies, Joe Girardi for the Yankees.
It is the second exhibition game of the Grapefruit League spring schededule for the teams.
The Yankees defeated the Phillies 8-5 in the first game in Bright House Field, Clearwater .
RHP, Roy Halladay starts the second game for the Phillies – RHP, Freddy Garcia starts for the Yankees.
In the 1st inning, with Ty Wigginton on base, Philadelphia rightfielder, Hunter Pensce connects  his second home run of spring putting the Phillies ahead 2-0.
In the Yankees 1st inning , 3B-Alex Rodriguez returns the homerun gesture .  Phillies 2 – Yankees 1.

The game continues, the Phillies score runs in the 6th and the 8th.
The  Yankees score runs in 3rd, 4th and in the 7th.
Final Score:
NY Yankees   7 Runs  –  9 Hits – 0 Errors – LOB 11 
Philadelphia   4 Runs – 12 hits – 4 Errors – LOB  8
Winning Pitcher:  D.J. Mitchell  1-0
Losing Pitcher:  Joel Pineiro 0-1
Save: Chase Whitley #1
Attendance: 10,981
Time of Game 2:44