Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Random Yankee thoughts: spring training start

Brian Cashman owes CC Sabathia a huge apology, both for doubting the big man’s major weight loss and for sharing those doubts with the media. Sure, it wasn’t the 30 pounds that CC thought, but it was close enough. BTW, CC’s admission that he lost those 25 pounds partly by swearing off his Cap'n Crunch habit made me crave the cereal of my youth. But I haven’t gone out and bought a box since it’s not exactly Weight Watchers friendly. I don’t even want to calculate how many points a bowl of that cereal would be under the new WW system.

• Is anyone else concerned that AJ Burnett is referring to himself in the third person? I’m glad to see that Burnett is aware of his importance to the New York Yankees and is working on his mechanics. But what’s with the “they really could’ve used AJ” and the “ain’t nobody’s fault but AJ’s” quotes? It doesn’t seem like an ego thing as it is with most athletes, but it’s still weird.

• Can Joba Chamberlain rise to Cashman’s challenge? The general manager made it clear that Joba has to earn a spot in the Yankees bullpen or face the prospect of being sent back to the minor leagues since he has options. Perhaps it’s just something Cashman said to motivate Joba because some in the Yankees organization feel that he needs to be challenged. I just hope it doesn’t have the adverse effect of putting more pressure on him and messing with his head.

• Manager Joe Girardi tried to put a potential controversy to bed when he stated that Derek Jeter would bat leadoff for the Yankees. There have been intimations in the media and blogosphere about putting Brett Gardner in the leadoff spot, mostly due to his youth and speed and Jeter’s off year. But Jeter’s numbers were still better than most leadoff guys. I can’t blame Girardi for not wanting this to become an issue. He already has enough on his plate.

An Andy Pettitte return this year seems like wishful thinking on Jorge Posada’s part, just like he probably secretly wishes to be the #1 catcher again rather than the third option behind the plate. I don’t doubt that Pettitte could get the itch to play baseball again, but he made it pretty clear that he will not pitch in 2011. Maybe a year off will be just the thing he needs to get the baseball juices flowing again. Diamonds are forever, but retirement doesn’t have to be.

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