Archive for March, 2013


Posted by on Thursday, 28 March, 2013

March 28, 2013

George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

By: Rocky Julich

It’s been unusually chilly cold and windy during this March Spring season in the Grapefruit League.

Much like the weather, during Spring Training the New York Yankees experienced a season of cold players. The cold appeared in the Yankees line-ups.

Consider the use of six players at first base with left handed #55 Lyle Overbay with the “inside track” as the likely candidate to open the season in The Bronx. Overbay was signed on March 26th after being released by the Boston Red Sox. He appeared in three Spring Training games in a Yankees uniform. The Yankees released recently signed #54 Juan Rivera who covered first base for much of Spring Training. The reason may be that the last time Rivera played in a Yankees uniform was in the original Yankee Stadium outfield during the 2003 season.

Expect that after recovering from a torn right tendon sheath, #25 Gold Glove Mark Teixeira should take over at first base sometime after the month of May.

We watched five talented players commit 20 errors at third base and none had the number 13 of Rodriguez on the back of the uniform. At third base, for his first Opening Day in Pinstripes, #36 Kevin Youkilis of Red Sox fame is not a Rodriguez look-a-like. Will A-Rod, the real third baseman pivot at third after the All Star break?

Roaming between left field, centerfield and right field, twenty players took 94 turns at home plate with a total production of 107 hits, eleven homeruns and 47 RBIs. During the 2013 season, #56 Vernon Wells, #11 Brett Gardner and #31 Ichiro Suzuki will individually bring a lot of this and a lot of that to the fans of The Bronx. #14 Curtis Granderson, recovering from a fractured right forearm is expected during early May playing LF/CF?

Looking for a Yankees Catcher? #40 Francisco Cervelli and #19 Chris Stewart will be the men behind the mask.

DHing for the New York Yankees? No players lacking here. The bench will be kept warm.

New York Yankees Captain, shortstop Derek Jeter will be missed as he starts the season on the disabled list. Five players filled in at short, but #26 Eduardo Nunez has proven, as best he can, to be the replacement for the fan favorite Jeter. Derek will remain in the Minor Leagues for an extended Spring Training.

Only three players from the 2012 Opening Day line-up will step out of the dugout for the Yankees Home Opener on Monday, April 1st vs. the Boston Red Sox; #24 Robinson Cano, #11 Brett Gardner and #52 pitcher C.C. Sabathia.

Superstar second baseman Robinson Cano and MVP of the 2013 World Baseball Classic “is not feeling pressure to carry the Yankees”.

And so the time has come. It will be future Hall of Fame closing pitcher #42 Mariano Rivera’s final Opening Day. After 18 seasons in a New York Yankees uniform, Mariano is optimistic despite the injuries to the Yankees star players. Throughout his career, it is his talent and faith that has sustained him.

While #65 Phil Hughes will remain with the Minor League Club pitching during extended Spring Training, as he recovers from a bulging disk in his upper back, the Yankees team is returning to The Bronx with a strong pitching rotation and a healthy bullpen. Among the arms, #52 C.C. Sabathia, #46 Andy Pettitte, #18 Hiroki Kuroda, #41 David Phelps, #30 David Robertson, #62 Joba Chamberlain, #48 Boone Logan, #96 Vidal Nuno.

Vidal Nuno is the recipient of the 2013 James P. Dawson Award given annually to the outstanding Yankees Rookie in Spring Training. He is a left handed long reliever. His record: 1-1, 0.61 ERA with one save in seven appearances (2 starts). He permitted one run in 14-2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits, walking four and striking out 13.

It will not be a walk in the park to October for the ever highly competitive Yankees in the American League East.

In conclusion, please remember, these are the ever confident New York Yankees and injury set-backs have never put a tweek in their winning bravado.

In the meantime, the following is the projected Opening Day line-up at Yankee Stadium:
CF Brett Gardner
RF Ichiro Suzuki
2B Robinson Cano
1B Kevin Youkilis
DH Travis Hafner
LF Vernon Wells
3B Jayson Nix
SS Eduardo Nunez
C Chris Stewart
P C.C. Sabathia

Do you like the chances of the playoffs with the transitional Yankees line-up? Perhaps it might be fun to use the player numbers in your local lottery.

Stay tuned.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional baseball Leagues

H.O.P.E. Week 2013

Posted by on Saturday, 23 March, 2013

March 21, 2013
New York Yankees Spring Training
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida

By: Rocky Julich

HOPE Week 2013 will return for the fifth consecutive season at Yankee Stadium in New York from July 8 through July 12. The Initiative is a unique week-long community program that brings to light five remarkable stories intended to inspire individuals into action in their own communities.

During the 2012 HOPE events, it marked the beginning of a new tradition for the New York Yankees as all of the organization’s minor league clubs held their own HOPE Weeks, allowing the initiative to reach five new cities.
Hope Week is rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture.

Helping Others to Persevere & Excel can be compared to the colors of the rainbow. HOPE is driven by the outreach of the rainbow like individuals, families and organizations.

During Spring Training, the New York Yankees kicked off HOPE Week prior to the Yankees game against the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees were proud to host the HOPE ceremony with the Twins in attendance, as the Minnesota organization continues to embrace the HOPE Week concept with their third annual HOPE Week planned for June 10-16 in Minnesota.

During the pregame ceremony, in the spirit of the H.O.P.E. Initiative, the Yankees recognized 73-year old Ken Guill, founder of the non-profit organization “Missions Made Possible”. The organization provides lifeguard and emergency relief flights for those in need of transportation due to health problems and medical needs.

Ken Guill is a look-a-like to Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger, pilot hero of the Hudson River. Pilot Guill along with his crew of “Missions Made Possible” Vice President Joe Kemmer, Co-Pilot Chris Meyer and Flight Nurse extraordinaire Vicky Smith were the honorees of the HOPE Initiative at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The H.O.P.E. honorees were presented with a $5,000.00 check to aid “Missions Made Possible” in their medical missions.

One Airplane. “Missions Made Possible” is able to transport non-ambulatory individuals using specialized FAA-approved stretchers which are secured inside the airplane.

Since its founding during 2005, the “Missions Made Possible” team has transported over 90 severely ill individuals; ranging from newborns to the elderly, to their respective hospitals, doctors and clinics in cities across the country.

“Missions Made Possible” has flown from home base Orlando, Florida to as far away as Pittsburgh, Little Rock and Tulsa to pick up passengers who are then flown to other cities for urgent care. The work of “Missions Made Possible” is a lifeline for individuals whose families cannot afford the costs of arranging critical medical treatment far from their home.

A nurse is always present on flights to ensure the safety and health of patients being transported. Vicky Smith, nurse retired after 20 years of service from the Florida State Penal System Department of Corrections was honored for her work in helping others persevere. She considers the service she volunteers to provide rewarding “by the act of completing the missions made possible by however it takes to help the patient in need, sometimes under not the most favorable weather conditions”.

We asked Nurse Smith if she ever flew with a recognized celebrity during one of the missions, to which she replied “every patient is a celebrity”. She continued “and today, the New York Yankees honored us as if were celebrities”.

The group made comments how “the thrill and the whole experience of being with the Yankees as wonderful”. They all stood at Home Plate while being honored, listening to the Yankees announcer during the presentation and later remained on the field as each met and spoke with favorite players and posed for pictures. They received autographed balls. Nurse Smith held her autographed baseball and indicated to me that while a lifelong Yankees fan her favorite autograph belonged to Jennifer “Jenny” Steinbrenner.

Fans can learn more about the initiative and nominate inspirational individuals for HOPE Week recognition by visiting the official website at

You can make contributions to the non-profit organization “Missions Made Possible” by visiting the official website at

Stay tuned.

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


Posted by on Wednesday, 6 March, 2013

March 06, 2013
George M. Steinbrenner Field
Tampa, Florida


By: Rocky Julich

The New York Yankees Spring Training field was visited by various dignitaries from the Dominican Republic; among them, Jaime David Fernandez, Ministro de Deportes and Hector Pereida, Presidente de La Federacion de Beisbol. Leo Lopez, Director de Relaciones de Media.

Today, the player practice on George M. Steinbrenner Field took a different meaning as most of the vocal exchanges heard from the opposing team were in Spanish. The visiting team on the field is the baseball crazed Dominican Republic and they came prepared to play with a line-up that is unforgiving.

As I prepare the line-up sheet in my score book, it is interesting to note that all of the opposing Major League players have Spanish names. Vidal Nuno, Carlos Santana, Edwin Encarnacion, Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez, Eric Aybar, Ricardo Nanita, Alejandro DeAza, Nelson Cruz. Tony Pena manages the Dominican team, while Alfredo Griffin is at first base and Juan Samuel coaches third. Moises Alou is the General Manager.

It may be one of the rare times in franchise history that the New York Yankees have faced an all Latino Major League Baseball players line-up.

The New York Yankees line-up reads as follows; Hiroki Kuroda, Francisco Cervelli, Luke Murton, Jayson Nix, Kevin Youkilis, Eduardo Nunez, Matt Diaz, Melky Mesa, Juan Rivera. Joe Girardi is the manager. Brian Cashman is the General Manager, presently among the long list of injured players of the Yankees.

After losing in the Inaugural (2006) and second World Baseball Classics (2009) the Dominican Republic team is playing to win with a little bit of everything; power, hit & run, steals and player chemistry.

The 2013 Dominican Republic club include seven players who have participated in Major League Baseball All Star games. Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes and Robinson Cano played for their Country in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

As evidenced by the exhibition debut defeat of the Philadelphia Phillies by 15 runs, 28 hits in a 15-2 win. The Dominican Republic is passionate about winning the World baseball Classic. Playing the second game of competition, during the second half of the 7th inning, the Dominican Republic led the Yankees 6 – 0, with 10 hits vs. Yankees 0. Continuing play in the bottom of the 7th inning, the Yankees Zoilo Almonte, with two outs on the board, connected a two run home run. Dominican 7 – Yankees 2.

There were lots of fans in the seats (8,146), many of them waving the flag of the Dominican Republic with loud cheers for baseball Nationalism over the New York Yankees.

The Dominican Republic continues strong in competition in the World Baseball Classic with wins over the National League Phillies and the American League Yankees.

Final score:
Dominican Republic 8 runs – 13 hits – 0 errors
New York Yankees 2 runs – 2 hits – 2 errors

The question was asked of Yankees star second baseman Robinson Cano regarding the difficulty in his competing for the Dominican Republic vs. the team he plays for, the New York Yankees.

La dificultad en apoyar la Republica Dominicana sobre su quipo los New York Yankees.

No response necessary.
It’s just baseball with a bilingual flavor. Es un poquito de beisbol con sabor bilingue.

Stay tuned.

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