Wow! The live chat gets a billboard! So exciting. I can’t wait to tell Jim Leyland I’m doing a live chat.
Hello from a gray, drizzly Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Kay is eating fries. Leiter, Kenny and Kay ate in the press dining room. No food update for me yet. Bring back the Food Network buffet!
Had a chance to sit and talk with Wang, who is flying to Tampa this afternoon and will pitch in an extended spring game tomorrow. (The plan is for him to rejoin the Yankees Friday in Boston.) He knows he has work to do. He says his confidence remains intact. He is aware of his mechanical flaws, which result in his arm dragging behind his body. (He said the same thing after his bullpen last week in Tampa and then Saturday’s outing was a disaster.) He says he is not pushing off on his right foot with enough intensity but insists the foot feels fine. He doesn’t believe this is a mental byproduct from him being injured; I suspect that could be debated.
Perhaps, he was compensating for the foot at some point during rehab and has to relearn some balance-related movements as a result. That happens with injuries to those of us who are not pro athletes; common sense would dictate that athletes aren’t immune, either. That’s the hypothesis of the amateur physical therapist in me.
Wang is relatively upbeat. He appreciates the support of his teammates. A.J., he says, is always joking with him. That’s a good thing. As I mentioned last week, A.J. also uses a translation feature on his phone to e-mail Wang in Chinese. Wang thinks that’s pretty cool.
Wang and his wife are expecting their first child in June. For several reasons, it would be preferable if his pitching issues were behind him by then.
Oh, good, instant replay. Fellas, let’s try to beat 8½ minutes, okay?
Also chatted with Robinson Cano today. Here’s the deal with the media that has to be frustrating for some players: We would be ALL OVER Cano if he were starting slowly. He’s not. Coming into today, he’s batting .377 to lead the Yankees, has a team-high 20 hits, a respectable eight RBI and three HRs. So, we basically ignore him, myself included. Cano laughs this stuff off but did say he’ll do any interview with us anytime. So, we’ll get him on a Batting Practice Today show soon.
Funny line from Giambi to Gardner after the centerfielder’s great catch Tuesday: “Man, didn’t you see that ovation I got (from the fans)? You’ve got to let that drop.”
That delay was much, much shorter than eight minutes. Nice.
The Trop is unbelievably loud tonight. More cowbells than the state of Iowa.
Pregame was interesting. Clearly Wang needs to do what he didn’t in his first start – keep the ball down. He’s been getting encouragement from A.J., who yesterday sent Wang an email in Chinese that read, “preparation for domination.”
A.J. uses a translation feature on his phone. He said Wang is teaching him Chinese, little by little. A.J. has been a really, really good teammate in his short time as a Yankee.
Alex arrived in the clubhouse at about 4 p.m. He looks happy, relaxed and thinner. He said he weighs the same, when I asked him. He also said being in Colorado has allowed him to take a “20-second timeout” from the circus that had been swirling around him. You could argue it was more like a full timeout.
Joe Maddon is one of the smartest, nicest men I’ve met in sports. He had a full offseason, following up the World Series by getting married and visiting the Bush White House in early January for one of those “baseball couples” dinners. He said it was awesome. (The marriage AND the White House.) Asked him about Longoria’s hot start and he said, “A sophomore jinx is the result of failure to make adjustments. He’s making adjustments.”
I like that kind of stuff.
Upton and Crawford will test Posada when they have the chance. They Rays have always believed they could run on Wang. And they think Kazmir, coming off a great spring, is already locked in.
Awesome day so far, sunshine, clear skies, fun atmosphere for the game.
Oh, that reminds me: It was my turn to buy dinner, and I took it. For a mere $46, Kay got chicken fingers, Flaherty and I had grilled chicken sandwiches, and Cone had a burger. Four orders of fries, thank you. And I channeled my background as a waitress to carry it all back to the booth at the same time.
Sadly, there won’t be blogging during the game. Logistically, it’s not practical tonight. We’ll catch up soon.
Swisher had three Red Bulls and three RBI.
Teixeira had balloons — white, black and silver — hanging above his locker and was given a birthday cake by his teammates. A.J. might have been the organizer, not sure about that. Sources say the cake read: “Happy Birthday, Mark. From the Baltimore Orioles.” Nice touch.
Teixeira thinks he’ll play tomorrow but said his left wrist is sore. Joba-Meche should be a good one. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ransom gets a day off, but Girardi wouldn’t give away the lineup tonight. Both teams are holding optional batting practice; the weather, unfortunately, could be an issue.
Finally, folks, this could be a big night for the blog: Bruney not only asked about this little endeavor of ours, he promised to comment! Coolio! One of his teammates told Bruney he couldn’t use curse words. Bruney then said he didn’t know if that was possible. We shall see.
Had to haul tail to make the bus tonight, by the way. CC and his wife were a football field ahead of me as the bus came into view, and I KNEW they wouldn’t leave without them. I made it!
So I told Kevin Sullivan, our persistent internet guru, that I will become a blogger when Penn State wins a national championship in basketball.
The Nittany Lions won the NIT on Thursday night — Joe Paterno, Franco Harris and 35 busloads of students turned the Garden into a PSU party — so let the blogging begin!
All right, how exactly do you DO this?
Peter Abraham of the Journal News is the king of this stuff; his lohud.com blog is a completely natural and entertaining extension of his reporting/writing/opining. Neil Best of Newsday is obsessed with the millions of page views Watchdog receives. And Bob Lorenz is funny like he’s always funny.
Where does that leave us? Feeling like a fat guy in a little coat. Or a tad uncomfortable. We’ll get over it.
Thank God it’s baseball season
Which also makes this the perfect time to launch a blog. Really, just perfect. Phil Hughes suggested I take over his blog instead of starting my own. I think he’s lost some enthusiasm for blogging. I also think he’s still 22 years old and probably has a lot of other things to do.
Oh, yeah, the new Stadium
Were you there? We did the whole shebang, pregame, game and postgame Friday night. It felt oddly like the last night at the old Yankee Stadium. But different. If that makes sense.
It seemed fitting that Derek Jeter got the first Yankees’ hit. Perhaps it’s telling that Robinson Cano cracked the first home run. Arguably, it’s an omen that the Hideki Matsui and Cody Ransom homers each hit a foul pole. At the least, it was definitely illustrative that Nick Swisher inserted himself into a Johnny Damon postgame interview. And it was revealing that CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett knew they wouldn’t throw a pitch but stuck around until the last rainy out.
The clubhouse is oval-shaped. The starting rotation is together – Joba likes hanging with the veterans. I found it kind of interesting that best buddies Cano and Melky Cabrera are across the room from each other; I’ll have to ask Robbie about that. Jonathan Albaladejo and Swisher are on either side of the main entrance; Swisher is louder. Jeter and Jorge Posada are at the opposite end of the room, on either side of a hallway that presumably leads to the training room, shower area, coaches’ rooms and other as-yet-unknown destinations. The clubhouse is spacious, has impressive amenities (mounted laptop computers, electrical outlets and shelves for personal items/photos at each locker) and is very clean. AAA would give it five stars.
Just heard on TV
A nitwit who shall go unnamed saying Tom Coughlin has to “win over” the locker room after the Giants’ release of Plaxico Burress. Same guy then says something about Jerry Reese having to prove himself as a GM who can replace the wide receiver.
Ugh. That clichéd nonsense gave us a headache, which means it’s time to end this blog. Not the whole blog. Just, you know, say good-bye. For now.
How DO you end blog posts, anyway?