The Yankees’ fantasy football draft took place last night at the ESPN Zone in Baltimore. There was nearly perfect attendance as some players picked their teams and others watched, and all enjoyed the show put on by league commissioner Eric Hinske.
Hinske, apparently, had a comment for nearly every draft pick — mostly indicating to his competitors that they had just made a terrible selection. He also watched the clock. Owners had two minutes to make their picks; those who duplicated a pick already made — because they were immersed in research instead of paying attention — were fined $100. There were five of those miscues.
Hughes had the first overall pick, selecting Adrian Peterson. Bruney, last year’s runner-up, went with Maurice Jones-Drew. And Hinske picked DeAngelo Williams third. Last year’s winner, K-Long, selected a bunch of his hometown Cardinals, beginning with Larry Fitzgerald eighth overall.
A few people have asked about Jeter’s involvement. He was a late addition to the league, asking to join Hinske’s team. Hinske was prepared to go it alone but accepted the Captain’s offer.
“He just wants to be on the winning team,” Hinske said.
The players are having a lot of fun with this, and some spent a long time in research before the draft. We’ll have plenty on the draft and the fantasy league in the coming days.
Hideki Matsui: He indicated today after hitting in the cage that his knees feel “great.” (No translator needed.) The Yankees training/medical staff has done a great job managing his knees this season and draining his knee on a couple of occasions. Tonight, he plays in his seventh consecutive game. If he doesn’t get a day of in Baltimore tomorrow or Wednesday, he’ll surely get one in the four-game set on the Toronto turf.
Alfredo Aceves: He won his ninth game yesterday and today he took a liner off his left — left — biceps during BP. Aceves stayed on the field for the entire batting practice. In the meantime, a bruise had formed. He said he was fine.
Phil Hughes: He’s going to love seeing this: Peterson just scored on a 75-yard run on the first play from scrimmage against the Texans.
Michael Kay: He has a heaping spoonful — emphasis on heaping — of peanut butter on a plastic plate in front of him. That Atkins diet has to be a ton of fun, doesn’t it?
In three hours, the Yankees will disperse in many directions, with most coaches and players going to their offseason homes and three Yankees heading to St. Louis. There are a bunch of people hoping to not do a whole lot over the next four days. A four-day All-Star break is big. We’ll be on WFAN from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this week with Adam the Bull. Yes, we’ll try to blog a bit during the week. And, no, Twitter won’t be happening anytime soon.
Phil Hughes: We can’t help you with posting the Innerview. Really, we just don’t know how. But, Internet Guru Kevin Sullivan reads this blog. Hopefully, we’ll get back to posting those Innerviews here for those of you who, for some reason, miss our “Batting Practice Today presented by Audi.”
Bobby Abreu: He seems to enjoy playing against the Yankees, huh? But not as much as Howie Kendrick, who mystified the Angels with his awful start to the season but has hit the Yankees. Of course.
Chone Figgins: He’ll be a free agent after the season. It would be interesting to see how the free market assesses his value. He’s just perfect for the Angels.
Joba Chamberlain: Had a nice pre-game chat at his locker. His frame of mind is good. He truly believes he’ll have a strong second half. (Then again, what’s he going to say?) He figures a few quiet days at home in Nebraska will do him good.
Eric Hinske: He’s fitting in quite nicely. After he was acquired in a trade, a bunch of Yankees, perhaps chiefly Damon, were absolutely certain he’d make a strong contribution. Two starts — and three home runs — in, they seem to be correct. It’ll be interesting if Girardi can keep all of his outfielders happy — Hinske makes five for three spots — if all of them continue to play well.
Sergio Mitre: His eight scoreless innings for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre have to make him the odds-on favorite to start against the Orioles a week from Tuesday. He struck out five and walked none and, unlike Aceves, starting Mitre won’t tax the bullpen for days. Or shouldn’t.
Mark Teixeira: Overheard at his locker today, a reporter asking Teixeira, “When did you know you could bring the thunder?” Teixeira’s response: “What does that mean?” The reporter, who isn’t a regular on the Yankees beat: “Swing the bat.” Teixeira then answered.
The All-Star break is coming at a good time. We’ll look forward to mixing in some Q&As with players and coaches in the second half. This initial run with the blog has been fun, if a bit of a work in progress. As always, thanks for reading.
What a beautiful night! Clear skies (so far) and an on-time start. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Our last chat prior to the All-Star break will be 12:45 p.m. Monday, just before the Yankees conclude their four-game set with the Blue Jays. All day games. Hope you can make it.
As far as the last chat goes — we got a lot of repetitive questions. So we answered them. In the future, if we don’t have enough of a variety of queries, we’ll end the chat so as not to offend with repetition. And we enjoy answering some lighter questions. Apologies to those of you bothered by them.
Hughes was the guest for our Innerview for “Batting Practice Today presented by Audi” and was asked your questions. He seemed to have fun with it. Thanks for the questions you submitted. As far as Tino goes, we haven’t seen him. We’ll keep your questions until we do.
Paul O’Neill: He had quite a meeting in the visiting clubhouse manager’s office yesterday. He was talking with Yogi when Ichiro walked in. Then Griffey Jr. joined the conversation. What a quartet. What did they talk about? “Ichiro wanted an autograph from Yogi, which was cool because he appreciates the history of the game,” Paul said. “Then Ichiro and I talked for about five minutes.” They discussed the game and their mutually preferred sneakers, Asics. As for Griffey, he just wanted to say hello. “A really nice guy,” O’Neill said.
Eric Hinske: He’s here, wearing No. 14 and says he’s “excited and honored” to be a Yankee. He said he talked to the Yankees during the offseason about signing but thought he would have a better chance to play in Pittsburgh. When he wasn’t getting at-bats with the Pirates, Hinske credited GM Neal Huntington for trading him. Hinske considers himself an “AL East journeyman,” having played for the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Rays. He says he’s ready for whatever role the Yankees ask of him — outfield, infield, third base, first base, whatever.
Ramiro Pena: He handled being optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as well as a youngster can. He smiled, said he was happy and knows he needs to play every day. The Yankees want him to play some outfield, and he’ll start in center then move to the corners. He envisions playing two days a week in the outfield and the others at second base and shortstop. He’s never played outfield before, having only shagged some balls in recent BP in case the Yankees needed him in a pinch. Pena is popular with veterans; they’ll see him again in September, if not before.
Michael Kay: So, on his radio show today, Kay felt the need to announce (truthfully) that we — the two of us — are not dating and never have dated. Uh, thanks, Michael. But what in the world prompted this? Seems his radio show receives text questions from listeners and four of them – four! – asked about some rumor that we were a couple. So Michael cleared it up for all to hear. And now he’s very, very proud of himself.
Woody Freiman: The YES exec (VP, Production and Programming) bought dinner tonight — Lobel’s steak sandwiches. They were very popular among the announcers. Thank you, Woody! Full disclosure: There are still two pizzas in the booth and assorted pasta dishes that have gone unclaimed.