Tuesday, March 31
Here is the roster for opening day:
Projected Starting line up:
(L) Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
(R) Dustin Pedroia, 2B
(L) David Ortiz, DH
(R) Kevin Youkilis, 1B
(L) J.D. Drew, RF
(R) Jason Bay, LF
(R) Mike Lowell, 3B
(S) Jed Lowrie, SS
(S) Jason Varitek, C
(L) George Kottaras, C
(R) Nick Green, IF
(L) George Kottaras, C
(L) Chris Carter, IF-OF
(R) Rocco Baldelli, OF
(R) Josh Beckett
(L) Jon Lester
(R) Daisuke Matsuzaka
(R) Tim Wakefield
(R) Brad Penny
The Band in the Bullpen
(R) Jonathan Papelbon (closer)
(R) Takashi Saito
(L) Hideki Okajima
(R) Justin Masterson
(R) Manny Delcarmen
(R) Ramon Ramirez
(L) Javier Lopez
Looks like JD Drew will bat 5th in the order so Tito can keep the lefty-righty match ups through the first 6 batters in the lineup. It will also allow Mike Lowell to ease back into things, if he's not completely in playing shape there will be less pressure on him to produce.
Mark Kotsay, Julio Lugo, and John Smoltz will start the year on the disabled list. Lugo is due back in mid April, Kotsay is expected back May 1st, and Smoltz is still on a June 1st time table.
Nick Green will play the utility infielder role while Lowrie starts at short. Chris Carter can play first and the outfield, he beat out Jeff Bailey for the last spot on the opening day roster.
Buchholz was sent down to Pawtucket, although he could start April 12th if Brad Penny is not ready to pitch. Perhaps this decision is for the best as Buchholz had his worst start of the spring against the Rays and what will pretty much be there opening day roster. Buchholz gave up 4 runs in the 4th allowing 2 doubles and 2 home runs. I don't mean to be all doom and gloom, I just think Buccholz needs to start in Pawtucket to build off his successful spring training. He'll pitch in the bigs again this year.
The Sox bullpen is set in stone, however as Tony Mazz wrote about, Papelbon is the one pitcher with a position as closer. I guess we can say the rest of the bullpen is setup by committee? We're not going to though I hate the way that sounds.
Certainly Tito can mix and match and try different guys out in the 8th inning setup spot, as well as other innings. Okijima and Masterson have setup Pap in previous years, Saito has closed before, Ramirez is lights out versus right handed hitters, and Delcarmen stated he wanted the setup job. Bottom line, the Sox have great options once Tito takes the ball from the starter.
5 days until the Sox open up at Fenway against the Rays, lock and load!
Monday, March 30
Sunday, March 29
Buchholz (outside of my boy Daniel Bard), has been the most impressive arm for the Sox this spring. He's put in the time at the gym and on a shrink's couch to prepare himself for a successul run at the big leagues. But simply put, the red sox, right now, don't need him in Boston. With Brad Penny most likely in the 5 hole and Smoltz showing signs he'llbe back sooner than later, Buchholz, through no fault of his own, appears to be the odd man out. Which immediatley brings up the topic of value. Save for just after he tossed a no hitter, Clay's value has never been higher, and some in Red Sox Nation think it's time to maximize that value via a trade for a young catcher or perhaps even more.
If I'm Theo, (which would be awesome) I surely explore theopportunity, but the old saying still holds true...you can never have enough pitching. So unless they can somehow land Hanley (with additional specs obviously), Buchholz should spend a significant amount of time in Pawtucket (which is beautiful this time of year), continue to build his physical and mental confidence, and look forward to a bright future pitching at Fenway...which could be sooner than later based on injuries and needs. Buchholz needs to build consistency and efficiency on the mound, something that shouldn't be tested underthe Fenway lights until we're absolutley sure he's ready.
All that said, I want to hear other opinions on this topic, anyone believe we should deal him at a high value for someone like Salty orTeagarden? Do we have enough studly arms on the way up through the farm system that we can afford the risk of moving him? Let's all playTheo for a few minutes....
PS: I just typed this up on my blackberry as I'm currently stuck on a plane facing delays while trying to get to Buenos Aires...that's dedication right there!
Wednesday, March 25
Catching Wakefield was George Kottaras who received great praise from his pitcher and manager Terry Francona. “He showed a little more assertiveness, calling some slow ones and mixing in different speeds on his call, not mine,” Wakefield said. “He just did a fabulous job.”
It puts my mind at ease to hear that Kottaras can handle Wake's knuckle ball; zero passed balls last night. After Kevin Cash left for the Bronx and Josh Bard was brought back many were having flashbacks to the 2007 season when Bard had an incredibly difficult time catching the knuckle ball.
Francona was happy with Wake and Kottaras' performances last night saying that he could see that, "They're starting to build a relationship which is good, because that’s not going to happen overnight.”
Coupled with Penny's start yesterday the Sox look to have all 5 of their projected starting pitchers on track for the start of the regular season. The beginning of the season is littered with days off so the Sox have the option to skip Penny in the rotation the first time through, or plug in someone like Masterson in for a spot start.
Dice K arrived in Fort Myers fresh of the WBC Championship and his 2nd WBC MVP. The plan is to have Matsuzaka throw one inning tomorrow and make a start against the Braves on Monday. There is a little apprehension surround Dick K after he throw 98 pitches against team USA on Sunday in only 4 2/3 innings.
Watching a Matsuzaka start tests the truest and most passionate of Red Sox fans, 100 pitches in 5 innings is enough to make anyone change the channel to Law and Order. The hope from the Red Sox was that Dice K would return more to the form everyone saw in the 2006 WBC, challenging hitters more with his fastball. We'll have to see what changes the Sox attempt to make with Dice K to get him pitching deeper into games. Last year the Dice man averaged 5 1/3 innings/start.
John Smoltz, who is on track to make his debut June 1st, is pitching off the mound for the first time this spring. Francona said Smoltz would throw 30 pitches, although Smoltz would probably want to throw 100. I can't wait for Smoltz to make his debut with the Sox, the guy is a warrior.
Baring any health problems the Sox starting rotation projects out as: Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, and Brad Penny.
Monday, March 23
The Japanese capitalized on a big fourth inning, in which they knocked starter Roy Oswalt out of the game in the process of scording five. Although only 1 for 5, Ichiro seems to have found his groove and energized the Japanese lineup. Young stud third baseman Kawasaki held up the other end of the lineup and made sure the American pitchers never got a breather. On the American side, only 2006 WBC snub Jimmy Rollins (4 for 4) seemed really to have much life at the plate.
Starting for Japan was our man Daisuke, who was, for better and worse, our man Daisuke. He pitched 4 and 2/3, where he reached his 100 pitch limit on a frustrating mixture of brilliance and tentative nibbling. As usual, he got himself in and out of jams and kept the American side to a modest 2 runs (including, again true to form, a first inning home run to Brian Roberts). All his pitches seem to be clicking (this early in the season, a very good sign). Unfortunately, what the Sox brass were quietly hoping would come to pass did not: Daisuke did not find his old WBC groove. The sbuttlebut in the Sox clubhouse was that being back in the patriotic garb might bring out the old aggressive Daisuke of the 2006 WBC---where he absolutely attacked each hitter and was a beast with two strikes---and send that version back to the Sox for 2009. Unfortunately, there was no such transformation, and we'll just have to be happy, it seems, with the man who went 18-3 and didn't pitch 170 innings over the season.
So the US heads home, again lamenting a disappointing performance. Though I won't be one to agree with them that it was necessarily a 'disappointment' in the sense of failing to live up to correct expectations. Fidel's on to something. It might not be good for the psyche of the national pasttime, but it speaks of some exciting possibilities for the future: Asia is playing some damn good baseball. Not to mention the Latin teams who populate the higher rungs of our own league. And the Dutch! So tonight's championship is highly recommended viewing. The Koreans and the Japanese already have their national animosity, and the most rabid fan bases at the WBC. It should be a doozy. And I hope that MLB is watching closely and thinking about the future of the game, not just its own little domestic antitrust violation.
Sunday, March 22
Dusty will be playing for the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, but he is still pissed that he won't be able to man second base for Team USA in a semifinal match against teammate Daisuke Matsuzaka and Japan......"I wish I was there and could be a part of it with those guys," Pedroia said. "It was an unbelievable experience getting a chance to play with all those guys. I'll definitely be rooting hard for them. I'll shoot them a text message, a little motivational speech for 'em. I'll get 'em going." Initial ITM expectations of what that text message would say includes far too many four letter words for us to share publicly....but we're sure it'll be classic.
Thursday, March 19
If you'll recall Pedroia felt a small pain in his oblique muscle during soft toss while at the World Baseball Classic. After that Pedroia was shutdown and sent back to Fort Myers to the Sox.
"I haven't felt it one time since I got back," he said. "I think the two days that I had off, actually three days that I had off, kind of calmed everything down. Every thing's been fine."
Kevin Youkilis came out today and said that the WBC was not to blame for his injured ankle and that he had been feeling sore for a few weeks. Not the greatest news if it is in fact true, part of me thinks Youk is covering for the WBC and Team America.
Red Sox, and boy wonder (when will he become a man wonder?) GM Theo Epstein said, "It was the right thing to do to shut him down for a few days, but it's nothing serious, nothing we're overly concerned with at all."
Youk added that if he had to play right now he could, the Sox are just being cautious, and why not? The season starts in a little more then 2 weeks, no need to push these guys. It's a long season and you don't win anything in April.
On the topic of the WBC and guys getting hurt, I'm not playing that card. They had a choice to play, ideally everyone returns healthy but I think we all knew there were going to be some casualties, unfortunately from the Sox this time around.
There doesn't seem to be a good time to play the WBC given the length of the regular season and a full month for the post season. I think they should shorten the season by 12 games and do the WBC in the middle of the season if they want to make it work, kind of like a prolonged all star break . Play it in two weeks when guys are in mid season shape, and you can still have pitch counts for the pitchers.
Of course someone is probably still going to get hurt and my plan is by no means perfect, but I thin it makes more sense then asking these guy to go from 0-100 mph in March. This is the 2nd year of the WBC and it certainly has its problems, like being televised on a station I have, but overall I like the upside of it.
Youk reported to Fort Meyers yesterday, where team doctors diagnosed a mild ankle sprain and mild Achilles' tendinitis. MRIs were negative, but "to limit movement and allow his ankle to heal," a Sox press release announced, "Youkilis will wear a walking boot for the next several days but is not expected to miss significant time.
For the time being, then, it doesn't sound too serious. More of an 'oh God, if they touch a single hair on his body we're pulling him out of the WBC' move. A common play this year, and understandable, if not entirely desirable.
Certainly there is cause for concern, though. As things stand, three of the four projected starting infielders for the Sox are injured. Which means Mike Lowell is the healthiest member of the crew. So, I repeat, there is some cause for concern. Let's hope that the right side, at least, bounces back from what seem to be minor conditions, and prove to be as reliable as they were last year. For the left side, I know you can do it, Mike. I believe in you.
Wednesday, March 18
This must mean that George Kottaras is going to be splitting time behind the plate with Jason Varitek in 2009. While ITM was down in Florida Kottaras looked good hitting the ball, and we've all forced ourselves to believe that Tek can teach him (or any young catcher) to work with the pitching staff.
Kottaras is a lefty and hit 22 home runs in Pawtucket last year, so he has a little pop in his bat. In comparison Tek can't hit a soft ball from the left side of the plate.
For Josh Bard this is the second time he's been shown the door in Boston. I don't recall any reports that Bard was struggling with catching the Wake's knuckle ball; I would think the Sox just see more upside in Kottaras.
More to come as this story develops.
“Why did I sign with the Nationals? When you go to a club at 4 in the morning, and you’re just waiting, waiting, a 600-pounder looks like J. Lo. And to me this is Jennifer Lopez right here. It’s 4 in the morning. Too much to drink. So, Nationals: Jennifer Lopez to me.”
Tuesday, March 17
And I find it hard to believe that anyone who watched Venezuela-Puerto Rico last night and paused for a moment to think, 'holy crap, it's only March,' doesn't agree. That place was pulsating. Salsa playing over the PA systems, beautiful women draped in flags, a level of sustained screaming usually associated with municipal disasters and the Jonas Brothers.
And from the game itself, what more could you have asked? Every inning someone was threatening, someone was in scoring position. Five times, five times I counted a pitcher leaping into the air and giving a fist pump that started down at his knees. And even when K-Rod did it after getting the third out in the 8th, I wasn't offended. Because there's something about this tournament. It's like the playoffs. When a guy pumps his fist, it doesn't feel like he's trying to show anyone up or create a signature gesture to cash in on with the sponsors (see K-Rod). It feels like he's actually expressing some sort of national pride. And this is in March.
I also find it hard to believe you weren't rooting just a little bit for the Dutch, who play small ball not by regal mandate of Mike Sciosca but because that's the only option available to them. Then just when you're thinking how cute and scrappy they are, they parade out some guy in the fifth inning doldrums who's throwing 95 with movement. 95 with movement from a Hollander!
So you start thinking, where the hell do these guys come from? And you get the pleasant sensation that baseball the world over is a sport of rugged individualists--a guy throwing 95 into a dyke, Aussies hurling rocks at outback crocs, and barefoot Syd Finch throwing 128 in Alaska. Yes, it's all a myth, but baseball, despite the 'roids and the inflated contracts and the 'dipsh#ts being dipsh#ts' has still got romance in spades. There's just something about midsummer nights.
And there's something about the ides of March nights right now, too. I love the WBC.
Monday, March 16
Sunday, March 15
But by this morning, the feared "oblique strain" that could have kept him out 6 weeks or so was tossed aside as Pedey joked around with reporters. He had a smile on his face, informed everyone he was feeling pretty good, and expects to be back in just a few days.... "When you have a physique like this," Pedroia said, "when you're shredded and everything, something might happen." Does this guy ever come out of character?? God I hope not.
So while the US team got douched on by Puerto Rico last night 11-1, Dusty was home healing up for April 6th. He'll be fine, breathe a sigh of relief Red Sox nation (and fantasy owners), we dodged a small-sized bullet on that one.
Lugo on the other hand, will require surgery on what is likely a torn meniscus. That injury usually requires about a month or so to heal, which would put Lugo back on the field right around, or just after opening day. I'd expect to see Lowrie at shortstop on the 6th, but Lugo and his studly pre season average will force his way back out there soon after.....can't believe I just wrote "Lugo" and "studly" in the same sentence.
Saturday, March 14
Friday, March 13
Anyways, Lugo complained of recent knee pain that really sparked up early in tonight's game. It's unclear how serious the injury is, in all likelihood this is mainly a procausionary measure, but we'll know more when the results come in. Most likely tomorrow.
Somewhere in Ft Myers, Jed Lowrie is dreaming of the starting role.... More as it develops.
Thursday, March 12
"I end up hitting a couple of line-drives that hit the top of the fence that I thought were gone. So I did my push-ups … real push-ups. Derek Jeter? Well, he didn’t really go down all the way. I’m not a trainer or anything, but those weren’t push-ups."
Wednesday, March 11
- Daniel Bard looked very good in the two relief appearances we saw him. A lot of people are high on this kid, but seeing him pitch in person was impressive. The Sox bullpen is pretty deep, but an injury could result in him coming up. The kid brings the heat!
- Julio Lugo is playing better. Again, it's Spring Training who cares, but he's making the plays at short stop and he's batting over .500. I think he knew he had to work hard in the off season and come into camp ready to play. Looks like he'll at least start the year as the starting short stop with Lowrie playing the role as the utility man.
- Mike Lowell seems like he'll be ready to start the season at third base. I'm sure they take it easy with him with days off when he needs, but we saw him sprinting before Tuesday's game and he's getting at bats as the DH.
- They don't have a radar gun at the City of Palms Park, which we found thoroughly annoying. Maybe the brass can spend a few dollars and install one for next year.
- Memo to the Tampa Bay Rays: you have proved that you can play in the AL East, drop all the cheesy minor league gimmicks, it's annoying.
- I hate paying for parking, if I did one of the "25 things about me" on facebook it would be on there followed by a rant where I quoted Thomas Jefferson. $7 to park on the grass, go screw.
- Jeff Bailey, Chris Carter, Jon Van Every and Nick Green all seem like they could major league ready. Not saying they would be all stars, but if we need to call someone up to because of injuries I think these guys could hang.
- Lars Anderson didn't do anything that made my jaw drop, but he's young, so I'm not going to hold that against him.
- One of the many running jokes we had was calling Lugo, Drew, and Tek (batting 2-3-4 in the lineup) Murders Row!
- Justin Masterson looked great. If Brad Penny isn't ready to start the season I wouldn't be opposed to him starting the year as the number 5. Arguments can be made that we should keep him in the bullpen and that the Sox can survive April with 4 starts because of built in days off.
- There are a lot of cool people at Spring Training and a lot of people who piss me off. The cool people comprise of the old guys who get drunk and casually enjoy the atmosphere. The people who piss me off are the people desperate to get an autograph. When I say desperate I'm being kind, I like baseball as much as anyone but I don't feel the need to burst into tears when Chris Carter walks by, sorry Chris.
- Heidi Watney is all that and a bag of chips! Saying that may contradict my previous bullet but she makes my heart flutter when she's near.
- Paying $7 in total fees at the ATM made me so upset I almost walked out of the park. Really? I paid for a flight, hotel, rental car, tickets, and now you want to rake me over the coals for another $7. How high would the fees be if we did sign Mark Teixeira, christ!
- Unless the Yankees will be competing in the Steeple Chase I'm not worried about their new third baseman.
- Wally the Green Monster job sucks, I was burning up and it was only 80 degrees, it must have been at least 128 degrees in that suit.
- 15 or so of the Sox are at the WBC, including Pedroia, Youk and Ortiz. It would have been nice to see them, however I can only imagine the crowd standing in front of my seat begging for their auto graphs.
Now that I've had my fill of Spring Training I'm ready for the season to start, sadly that is another 4 weeks or so away. Look for our season predictions in the near future.
Tuesday, March 10
Sunday, March 8
With great seats, weather, and beer, ITM was treated to a hitting clinic by the Red Sox this afternoon. The Red Sox ended a home and away weekend series against the Rays with an 8 to 2 bashing. Masterson started the game and went 3 strong innings, the Red Sox offense took it from there as the outcome was never truly in doubt after the third inning.
Some of the news and notes from ITM's day in Ft Myers....
- The current Grapefruit league MVP, Julio Lugo, continues to impress. Despite having his pants pulled up over his belly button, Lugo went 3 for 3,with two rbi and played great defense at short, especially on plays up the middle. Thus far this spring he has seemingly mastered the seeing eye single through the left side of the infield. He had two more of them this afternoon, as well as a line-drive double to the left-center gap. ITM note, he continues to run like Cologero from "A Bronx Tale"....an incredibly nonathletic looking motion.
- Zach Degeas, a double A Portland outfielder made a catch in left field and followed it up with a monster tater in the bottom of the inning. How often do we see that? ITM note, this kid can play, he hit .307 in Portland last year.
-We were quite impressed with Daniel Bard. The kid was lights out. He had a 15 pitch inning, striking out the side with a filthy mix of gas and off-speed pitches. His stock just went up in ITM's book.
-Junichi Tazawa settled down after a rough first inning, throwing two innings, giving up one run on two hits while striking out two. As expected, he showed signs of brilliance, but needs additional work and experience.
Players who have impressed ITM thus far:
-Jonathon VanEvery has shown power from both sides of the plate thus far. Another tater in today's game.
-Nick Green. Plays both second and third, good contact hitter with a solid glove in the field. Potential role as a big league utility guy down the road.
-Heidi Watney. She continues to wow the crowd with her sun dresses. Safe to say those who have been to games before make sure to stay a few minutes after the game to watch her on the field giving her post-game wrap up. Solid contributor.
Reports have yet to be confirmed, and we've asked around down here in Ft Myers without getting an honest answer, but if this is indeed true, the Sox have locked up another key young talent long term for relatively cheap money.
It's unclear if the the deal is full of incentives to increase the ultimate value, but paying a top left-handed pitcher 6 million per year throughout the prime of his career is a great business move by the Sox. It falls in line with their recent moves to sign Pedey and Youk to long term deals. While the tanking economy certainly has had its effects on contract values, the Sox are clearly selling the "let's stick together long term as a team" approach to sign their young talent.
Keep checking back with ITM as we'll have some more pictures and a wrap up of today's game against the Rays at City of Palms Park....we just need to sink a few more beers and do some cannon balls first...
1. Julio Lugo, SS
2. Rocco Baldelli, DH
3. Jason Varitek, C
4. J.D. Drew, RF
5. Lars Anderson, 1B
6. Chip Ambres, LF
7. Jonathan Van Every,
8. Nick Green, 3B
9. Ivan Ochoa, 2B
Yesterday ITM drove up to Port Charlotte to watch the Sox play at the Ray's spring training home. The Ray's ended up winning the game 15-7 despite being out hit by the Sox. The Sox made 6 errors, including two by Argenis Diaz, who is regarded as the best defensive player in the Sox system, oh well.
Tim Wakefield started and got roughed up a little, 3 earned runs in 4 innings. Wes Littleton came on after Wake and struggled to throw strikes.
Jonathan Van Every and George Kottaras both went deep, and Jeff Baily and Chris Carter continued their hot hitting this Spring. Bailey was the MVP of the International League last year with Pawtucket, looking like the Paw Sox could have some pop in their line up this year. In addition, Ellsbury wowed the crowd with his speed when he tripled over the center fielders head. He's certainly put on a few pounds of muscle, but he has by no means lost any of his speed.
The Rays stadium was renovated for this season, probably because fans are finally showing interest in the Rays. The stadium is very impressive, fans are into the game, and the outfield features standing room all the way around and an out door bar.
The one drawback is the organist never misses an opportunity to play some stupid sound affect between at bats, pitches, or innings. After every foul ball we were treated to the sound of glass shattering, yes that is clever, watch out in the parking lot!
The sun is coming out now and we're off to the game. We'll be in the left field boxes next to the Sox bullpen, I think the game is on TV, so watch for us rumbling with 9 year olds for foul balls and staring at Heidi Watney.
(we had good seats...Lars looks like he's about 12)
Saturday, March 7
Friday, March 6
We arrived at the City of Palms Park in the 4th inning, Beckett had already thrown another strong outing, 3 hits over 3 innings with 2 K's. Julio Lugo started at short and had 2 hits, improving his spring training average to .417. I would never throw a lot of weight behind spring training numbers but it's encouraging to see Lugo hit the ball, it's looking like he'll be the starting short stop and Lowrie will be the utility guy, especially with Lowell's initial health question marks.
Thursday, March 5
- Mikey Lowell is just about ready to play in a spring training game, he appears to be on schedule to start on April 6th.
- JD "Nancy" Drew took bp today, which included blasting a shot out of the stadium completely. he was quoted as saying "See how much I poured ITM?...Now quit calling me Nancy, it hurts."
- John Smoltz has had a great string of days this week. He reportedly looks as strong as ever.....there are rumors going around that he is healthy enough to be on the active roster at the start of the season, but the Sox will be holding him back and keeping him healthy for the stretch run. Expect a late May or early June Smoltz sighting on the field at Fenway.
-Lastly, and perhaps most importantly. Tomorrow at 8:30am ITM will be taking off from Logan International Airport, bound for the sunny skies of Ft. Myers, Florida. Once landing, it's likely that we'll go right to City of Palms Park for tomorrow's home game against the Marlins. We'll be covering everything from games to practices and everything in between while down there (including attempts at interviews with players and management). Be sure to check back to view photos and get some of our live updates.
Many of you have expressed both interest and hatred in the fact that we're traveling south to check in on the Red Sox (and Heidi Watney). Since we're all about Red Sox Nation, if you have any questions for us while we're down there (i.e., how well is this prospect playing?, can you ask Heidi out for me? how are the beers? etc), please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We'll do our best to share our answers on the blog.
Wednesday, March 4
Just as notable, though, were a couple of continuing story lines from the Sox rivals. Warning---if want to believe the hype about the Yankees' weak offensive projections going into the season, don't read any further.
First, and this is shaping up as one of the biggest stories of the spring, Jorge Posada continues to stroke the ball like it's 2007. If that's a harbinger, it could be real trouble for the AL East. Other factors will play in of course---can Posada still catch, and how will that strain affect his hitting? (Posada is now at DH with our old friend Kevin Cash doing most of the catching.) But there's no denying Posada's numbers. Posada went 2 for 3 in the game and looked like he owned American stud Roy Oswalt. That brings Posada to 5 for 8 for the spring, with a home run and 3 rbis, all that on top of the daily gift he's been giving fans and teammates at BP. Stick a hot-hitting Posada into the middle-end of the Yankees lineup, and all of a sudden run production isn't looking like much of a concern.
Derek Jeter was the star of the game, going 2 for 4 and driving in 2. He's had a nice spring, though the numbers might be a little misrepresentative---he's getting on base, but the contact hasn't been too solid.
Another point of interest---the Yanks are officially in the middle of an all-out battle for the center-field position between Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner. Gardner continues on a tear, going 5 for 10 this spring, with 2 home runs, 2 doubles, and a lot of speed on the basepaths. Melky's been decent, but not spectacular. If the competition ended today, you'd see Gardner patrolling the new centerfield at Yankee Stadium III.
And finally, I'd also add that Robinson Cano looks great this spring, but I just can't stomach the idea of Posada and Cano both having bounce-back seasons, so I'm just gonna assume without any real basis that his numbers (you can see for yourself) mean nothing. And I'll try to pretend that every time I flip by YES he isn't cranking the ball.
So, there you have it. A small sample, yes, but troubling nonetheless. But, on the bright side, it could just be a spring mirage, and all you Bostoners who have sources of tv baseball besides the pinstripes can just pretend it's not happening. I'll try to do the same.
---Side note. Before the game, Kevin Cash passed Dustin Pedroia and announced for everyone to hear that he thought it was really great that Team USA was bring its own ball boys along for the WBC.