Archive for February, 2013


Posted by on Wednesday, 27 February, 2013

February 27, 2013
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

By: Rocky Julich

Prior to the afternoon of a spring training game, a lot goes on with the players. All types of physical conditioning; print, radio & TV interviews and meetings.

Today there was a player/union meeting. Mark Teixeira as the Yankees team representative, during a briefing of the media in the player’s Clubhouse presented a picture of the issues discussed.

Steroids. The one voice assured that “most guys are on the same page”. They want a clean game and are voicing each new issue as it comes up. The Yankees first baseman made his feelings clear as to solutions regarding steroids. He expressed belief that the sight of players becoming twice their size will be less common, as will the feat of hitting 60 homeruns.

Recognizing that steroids is a part of baseball which will not go away, Mark Teixeira is all for increasing testing, in order for the teams to stay ahead of the “cheats”. With union leadership, he would like to see fixing the science side. Having your “name dragged through the mud” is punishment.

The game of the day starts promptly at 1:05 pm as both teams place and test on the playing field the best players of previous seasons and the best players in development.

A, AA and AAA players each play to learn from the other during a spring training afternoon.

The Yankees lost this game early with the pitching failure of a young LHP being developed for the Major Leagues. To quote the manager Joe Girardi, “it was nerves, but a good experience for Nik Turley”.

Nine (9) Yankees pitchers followed Nik Turley on the mound to complete the game; Eppley, Daley, Rondon, Kahnle, Montgomery, Spence, Claiborne and Pope. Between the group, they combine one year of Major League Baseball experience.

With a score of Baltimore 10 – Yankees 7, the Yankees notched five (5) errors during the game. Manager Girardi “the game was sloppy, but these are young kids, our regulars are not healthy”.

There were bright moments in the Yankees fielding. Johnson to Joseph 5-3 out during Baltimore’s 4th inning. What a throw, what a leg splitting catch.

A Spring Training afternoon – observed, player development.

Stay tuned.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.


Posted by on Tuesday, 26 February, 2013

February 24, 2013

George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

By Rocky Julich

How many ways has it been written about the “rite of spring”? A good guess would be as often as has been written about the rite of Major League Baseball Spring Training. It was the year 1890 when the concept of Spring Training was developed as a time for the players of the day to experience the game through rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth.

Since 1903, the New York Yankees teams have experienced all of the above during the 111 seasons of spring, while training 18 consecutive seasons in Tampa and before then, 33 seasons in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

The Yankees have always been considered a resilient team. They have been a franchise which has been able to pull championships out of a hat or better yet out of free agents.

It is a different era in Major League Baseball and there can be no denying that the 2013 Yankees will place on the field what some consider the worst line-up in decades. The current players are a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
The oldest player in camp, RHP Mariano Rivera is 43 years of age. Eight players listed on the Yankees roster have more than 10 years of service. While their superstars 3B A-Rod and shortstop Derek Jeter are in the sunset of their careers.
So fans get ready, rebirth through youth is where the team is headed.

The Yankees players, vulnerable positions?

During the media press briefing Manager Joe Girardi stated, “I’ve said you never really know about the depth of your club until it’s tested. Well, it’s going to be tested here. We’re going to find out how deep we are.” During the rite of Spring Training.

The Yankees outfield is uncertain with the injury to Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner’s switch to centerfield. The infield is being held by the gloves of Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira. Perhaps looking forward to Rob Segedin at third? Catcher, catcher, how about the glove of youngster Gary Sanchez? And, starting pitching for the Yankees, straight out of Single-A may be Jose Ramirez and Nik Turley.

Stay tuned………