Monday, February 20, 2012

Yankees baseball is back

There’s nothing like the first day of reporting for pitchers and catchers to get people excited about baseball again.

For me, most of March will be spent tracking Syracuse University’s (hopefully long) journey through the Big East and NCAA tournaments toward another national title. But I will make some time for spring training baseball. I was excited to see the YES Network announcement of the first broadcast of a New York Yankees spring training game on March 4. Sure, most of the Yankees regulars probably won’t even play and those that do will only play for a few innings at the most. But it will be fun seeing the Yankees take the field again after their disappointingly quick exit from the playoffs last year.

And the start of spring training will once again lead to a rash of last-minute activity. Brian Cashman finally managed to trade away AJ Burnett, but he will still have some decisions to make about the roster, namely filling out the bench roles. It’s looking less and less likely that Johnny Damon will return to pinstripes (which I had doubts about due to his desire to chase 3,000 hits), but Eric Chavez seems happy to reclaim his supporting role with the Yankees.

The Yankees have plenty of decisions to make heading into the 2012 baseball season. Who will be the odd man out of the starting rotation? Who will be the back-up catcher for Russell Martin? Do they hire a designated hitter with the money they saved from trading Burnett or do they leave the job open for the aging Yankee infielders? The answers will probably come slowly over the next few weeks, but they will make spring training interesting to watch. 

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