First impressions: Alex is thinner, tanner, happier

arod_kim_blog_050809.jpgHello there. Today has been kind of crazy, as you would expect. Alex seems relaxed, as his first at-bat would suggest. First pitch? You’ve GOT to be kidding! He also looks thinner, tanner and happier than you might remember.

He says he’s refocused, which would be a great sign of personal growth. And we choose to believe him. He also says this “absolutely” represents a new chapter for him. (He must have read this blog yesterday.)

Anyway, he’s back and that’s a good thing. The circus was in full throttle today and hopefully will go away by tomorrow. That would be a very good thing.

Lots of news. Honestly, can’t repeat everything here; hopefully you saw the pregame. One addition: Cervelli is a very confident guy. He might find a way to make this work. (We say that with virtually no knowledge of his actual ability behind the plate, but Posada did give him an endorsement.)

Our most interesting conversation was with Mariano. That is often the case. He still has allergies, which he’s had since March. Or February. (We mention this incidentally; he says he’s allergic to yours truly, but that is totally, 100 percent impossible.)

Mariano says he is fine: “I believe and I know that I will continue to get better” in terms of velocity and arm strength following shoulder surgery after last season. He says that will happen naturally, by pitching.

Nothing about last night, Mariano says, “felt out of the ordinary” — except the two home runs, of course. Mariano shrugs, he credits Crawford for a good at-bat and says (like a ton of pitchers will say at some point this season) that Longoria can hit even the slightest mistake a long way.

Mariano seemed to be as good as ever in early-to-mid April when he didn’t allow a run in his first seven innings. His numbers turned with that 31-pitch, Jason Bay-polluted outing on April 24 in Boston. Since then, he’s allowed five earned runs and four HRs in 4 1/3 innings. But he says nothing changed before or during that Friday night game against the Red Sox. And he insists his shoulder feels better now than it has at any point this season.

His treatment on his shoulder is routine, the same as always, he says. When we spoke at about 4 p.m. or so he said he hadn’t even had any treatment yet. He was relaxing at his locker. If something were truly wrong, you’d think he would have been in the training room.
Just trying to be logical here.

Mariano also says — with a smile — that Yankees fans are “spoiled” — imagine that — and that as soon as he has a bad stretch, they wonder if he’s hurt or if he’s losing it.
He’s not losing it, he says. “At the end of the season, we’ll see numbers as great as they always are.”

More good news: It’s Crab Cake Night in the press dining room. The limit is one. We secured two. Much like elementary school, it pays to be nice to the cafeteria ladies. Kay has an enormous plate of grapes (and strawberries) in front of him. Much like a Roman emperor.

13 Comments

Nice post Kim, I still can’t believe what I saw on the first pitch to A-Rod! WOW! HR 3-0 for us! Mo is right too, we are spoiled but I like his comments to you and i believe him. Boy a nice job by Cervelli too. Good for him.
Don

Tell Michael grapes are a bad Atkins choice. Too much sugar.

Mo is a great guy. I have the utmost faith that he will continue to be the same amazing Mo that we’ve seen for so many years. He has so much heart, and I really, really enjoy watching him. He is one of my all time favorites.

That A-Bomb was A-mazing! :) Ask Kay if he’d share some of his grapes and strawberries with me, I’m craving some badly! I’d also love to sit in the booth with the guys, though that’s quite a dream that I doubt would ever come true, lol.

Melissa

We’ve gone through this many many times in the past and Mo STILL proves everyone wrong! Mo is a once-in-a-lifetime player. Why people attack him after a tough stretch is beyond me.It was awesome watching Arod do what he did. I was explaining to friends that the reason why the starters aren’t effective is because they are pitching from behind all night. Giving them leads allows them to pitch THEIR game.As always, thanks for the updates Kim!

It was real nice to have a starter go all the way! CC did a GREAT job tonight. I hope Hughes can follow suit tomorrow.
Don

Excellent game. Go A-Rod!!!!! CC was also fantastic. I could not ask for more.

Hey Kim, Wish my guy luck for tomorrows start for me!
Brandon

great post kim can you please ask girardi how much longer we have 2 wait til we can have cano in the 3rd hole and move tex down til he proves ges found his stroke because right now hes pretty much a sure out if they throw him breaking balls ty

Quick question for Mr. Kay if you see him. I note when looking at the replay of A-Rod’s homer that there were many people in the stands (we have a lot of Yankee fans out in Baltimore – I should have gone to the game) cheering for A-Rod when he came up to bat that first time, and yet Michael Kay said A-Rod was getting the type of reaction one would expect from his having admitted use of steroids. Did Michael not see the great fan support, despite some of the expected boos? Just wondering.

Actually, yanksfan123, it sounds like Kay is on the South Beach Diet.

If Mo returns to old Mo, there is hope.

I really think that the bullpen, specifically Mo since he?s the closer but everyone, may be forcing the Yankees to move Joba to the Pen. I?m all for Joba as a starter in ideal circumstances but our closer is old. In fact, how about this: Joba is closer and Mo is the set up man. I know the Yanks would never, ever do it, but they should.

That A-Rod HR was just incredible. Let’s send the script to Hollywood.

Last night’s game was exactly what they needed. Every penny was earned that night and let’s hope that Hughes can carry the momentum. Teix needs to shake off his “home town” boos and step up. The Yard is a perfect place for him to do that. If A-Rod can have a fabled return to the line up, the Teix can start a fabled season.
http://yankeemeg.mlblogs.com/

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