Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
A local paper, the Albany Times-Union, printed a big steroids exposé today. A year-long New York state and federal investigation has busted a huge steroids ring, and their customer list included some famous names. Among them: Gary Matthews, Jr., Jose Canseco, Jason Grimsley, Evander Holyfield, and the Pittsburgh Steelers team doctor.
Then there's this article, about how Barry Bonds has grown in recent years. You wouldn't ordinarily expect a man in his thirties to be outgrowing his shoes and hats.
"The changes in his foot and head size," says the book, "were of special interest: medical experts said overuse of human growth hormone could cause an adult's extremities to begin growing, aping the symptoms of the glandular disorder acromegaly."
I'm still not entirely sure what happened in this game; hopefully there will be some articles about it tonight or tomorrow. But I gather it was not a great day for our hero. Bubba's team lost - and he had a hand it.
In the third inning, he misplayed a line drive to right, letting it get past him. It was originally reported as a three-base error, but it looks like they ruled it a double and an error. The speedy Dickerson, a cousin of running back Eric Dickerson, would later score from third - the only run of the game. But it came at a cost; Dickerson turned his ankle as he hit home plate, and had to leave the game.
The run was unearned, because of Bubba's error. Not sure how our boy did at the plate, but he didn't get a hit. There weren't many hits, which is pretty much to be expected in early spring training.
Hey, it's only an intrasquad scrimmage. Tomorrow is another day.
John Fay has posted the lineups for today's intrasquad game:
Team Nappy (Ed Napoliean)
Brandon Phillips 2B
Alex Gonzalez SS
Adam Dunn DH
Jeff Conine 1B
Josh Hamilton CF
David Ross C
Juan Castro 3B
Dewayne Wise RF
Chris Dickerson LF
Bronson Arroyo P
Team Bucky (Bucky Dent)
Ryan Freel CF
Chris Denorfia LF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Scott Hatteberg DH
Javier Valentin C
Mark Bellhorn 2B
Joey Votto 1B
Bubba Crosby RF
Paul Janish SS
Homer Bailey P
Bubba is starting in RF for "Team Bucky," batting eighth. But they said they want to give everyone a chance to play, so he might not play for the whole game (which is only five innings).
Bucky Dent - fondly known as "Bucky (Bleepin') Dent" in Boston - was the manager of the Columbus Clippers in 2004 and 2005, so he and Bubba have worked together before. Some have even speculated that Bucky was the one who encouraged Krivsky to sign Bubba.
Looks like there won't be live coverage of this game at Reds.com or MLB.TV. Sigh. But John Fay and C. Trent Rosecrans have promised to post updates in their blogs.
Let's go, Bubba!
On Sunday, Trent wrote about "baseball card day" - when boxes of baseball cards from Topps arrive. He said the prize was "a Derek Jeter card that had President Bush and Mickey Mantle Photoshopped into the background"; it set off a scavenger hunt for more.
I didn't think much of it. Sounded a bit odd, but baseball cards have some funky stuff these days. I figured it was a portrait-style card. It wasn't until I saw this article that I realized it was a gag card - apparently perpetrated by a prankster in the Topps company. Bush Photoshopped (not very well) into the crowd, and Mantle into the dugout. LOL!
The card had been going for about $2 on eBay, but since the story hit the press, it's been going for a lot more. Some people are paying hundreds of dollars.
I think the funniest thing is the Reds immediately noticed, but Jeter apparently did not. He knew nothing about it. I guess he's long past the days when he gets excited about baseball cards.
And speaking of baseball cards...many moons ago, Bubba Crosby and Josh Hamilton were consecutive 2001 Bowman Chrome cards.
Bubba was #255, Josh was #256. The Topps site somehow got the backs of the cards out of synch with the fronts (on their web page, not the actual cards). So card #256 appears to have Josh on the front, Bubba on the back.
In early outfield drills, Ryan Freel was in center, Dunn and Griffey were in left and Crosby and Hamilton were in right. Not that I think it means a whole lot, but it did happen.
What we do know, pretty much, is that Ken Griffey Jr. will not be the Reds' starting center fielder. In March.
He has the wrist thing from wrestling with his kids, and it has left Jerry Narron, the Reds manager, wrestling with his kids. Guys like Ryan Freel, Josh Hamilton, Bubba Crosby, Norris Hopper and Chris Denorfia will be rolling around in the grass of Ed Smith Stadium this spring.
Unlike last year, the manager did not say that center field is a done deal because the Reds already have the greatest center fielder of the generation playing it. He did not even say that those other guys will be playing center field in spring training just in case Griffey is not ready by Opening Day.
Griffey himself has gradually become less resistant to the suggestion of moving over where his legs can perhaps better stand the strain. Not that he's surrendering center field. Not that he's dancing to the trendy music when it comes on. But he's no longer covering his ears, at least, or snarling at the speakers.
Even Freel, who put the wreck in reckless, understands that a position of his very own is probably not the best idea.
"I like to think of myself as a utility guy," said the man who never put on a uniform he couldn't soil by the second inning. "I just like being able to be that versatile. It's fun doing stuff that not everybody can do.
"I want to play 162 games, but it would be really tough for me. Just the way I play. I'm going to get some bruises here and there."
The pattern has been proven out in recent years, quieting the clamor for Freel to be at the top of every Cincinnati lineup card. His bruises and bumps lead to little batting slumps, "which then turn to mental," he acknowledged, and lead to bigger batting slumps. The upshot is that center field remains unresolved in Redsland.
This article, about Ryan Freel, has more about the comments Narron made about the outfield yesterday.
Narron said Monday the Reds might consider keeping as many as six outfielders - including players like Freel and Jeff Conine, who can play the infield and outfield - on the Opening Day roster.
The candidates are many and the available spots are few in the Cincinnati Reds outfield.
Manager Jerry Narron says there are four for-sures, "And it is going to be interesting for the fifth spot."
The anointed four are Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Ryan Freel and Jeff Conine. The fifth spot is to be determined among Josh Hamilton, Chris Denorfia, Norris Hopper, Bubba Crosby and anybody who walks in off the street swinging a potent bat and carrying a magnetized glove.
Narron's answer to a question about Ryan Freel being a part-time starter and a plug-in player: "Ryan Freel is a starter. He just doesn't always start at the same spot. But this year he'll mostly start in center and right and won't be seen much in the infield."
Narron plans on carrying five outfielders and at the moment, already has four of those spots locked up for Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Ryan Freel and Jeff Conine. Hamilton is vying against Chris Denorfia, Norris Hopper and Bubba Crosby for consideration at the fifth spot. Narron also didn't rule out carrying a sixth outfielder if Freel was moved to the infield.
Because of his layoff and his past, Hamilton can be considered a long shot to break camp with the Reds. A lot will depend on if the Reds carry 11 or 12 pitchers, two or three catchers and injuries. Not wanting to risk losing someone with Hamilton's ability, Cincinnati will likely give him every opportunity to make the team.
...Rodriguez should have known the end began on that day last October in Detroit when Joe Torre batted him eighth. It may have been the prudent move on that day for the Yankees' playoff hopes, but it left Rodriguez marooned on an island of embarrassment from which there is no return.
Reds.com has updated their depth chart. (Hat tip to smartelf.) Check it out. Bubba is listed as the #2 center fielder, behind only Griffey. Ahead of Denorfia and Freel. He's also the third backup in right field (behind Freel and Conine) and the fourth backup in left field (behind Dunn, Conine, and Freel). Hopper and Hamilton are listed as the fifth and sixth backups for corner OF.
Not that I think is any kind of a guarantee or anything, but it suggests that the Reds will be giving him a fair shot. It's up to Bubba. If he plays well in spring training, he'll make the roster.
...appears to be dying down. Trent's clarification helped a lot. Bubba still has fans in NY, and many of them came out of the woodwork to support him, given a little cover.
And the ruckus appears to have been confined to the blogosphere. At least, I didn't see it in any of the dead-tree papers. Maybe they won't boo Bubba at Legends Field after all. We bloggers tend to forget that most of America probably doesn't give a rat's rear about blogs.
On the bright side, being reviled by Yankees fans appears to be a very endearing trait outside New York. I suspect Bubba could have rescued a kitten from a burning building, jumped into the Ohio River to save a drowning baby, and single-handedly foiled a terrorist attack on GABP, and it wouldn't have raised his stock among Reds fans as much as whipping Yankees fans into a frenzy of indignation did (inadvertent as it was).
In other news...the Reds currently have eight former first round draft picks on the roster. One of them being Bubba, of course.
Joe Torre's brother, Frank, needs a kidney transplant. His own kidneys have been damaged by years of medication taken because of the heart transplant he had ten years ago. I don't know if Joe is one of the candidates to donate.
The New York Times explores the Japanese Gyroball Mystery. Darn, I wish the Yanks had gotten Matsuzaka. Whether he throws a gyroball or not, I have a feeling he's going to be very good.
Kenny Rogers talks about "Smudgegate." He kind of admits he was using something, without actually admitting it. He justifies it by saying it's good for the batters, since they won't be HBP as often, and by claiming that changes MLB have made to the balls has made it necessary for pitchers to do something to swing the odds more in their favor. Kind of makes me believe that the rumors are true: all pitchers cheat a little.
in no way did bubba 'rip' torre and the yankees. he just said it was different.
he was saying in the national league a fifth outfielder -- especially one on jerry narron's squad -- is going to get a lot more at-bats than a fifth outfielder on an american league team.
this was unused, but better sums up the tone of the interview
"It was an honor that Joe had enough faith and trust in me to throw me out there. In '05 I started three of the five games of the postseason. But if an offensive situation came up and it was me or Bernie Williams, Bernie was going to hit. I understood that role."
i didn't even see it as being an anti-yankee rant, which some people are taking it as here. bubba said he knew his place in new york and he enjoyed his time there and his time as a yankee, but thought his skills were better suited to the national league
Acting on a tip posted by Lisa in the Meet Bubba Crosby comments, I dug up this article from the Houston Chronicle archives:
Crosby punching up his career
(Free registration required. Or, use BugMeNot.)
It's from Christmas Day 2005, and is about Bubba working out during the off-season by boxing, and how he thinks it helps his baseball game.
Speaking of working out...Bubba apparently knows Reds teammate and fellow Houstonian Adam Dunn, and sometimes works out with him.
Reds outfielder Bubba Crosby lives about 30 minutes from Dunn and has seen Dunn play since his high school days. The two Texans got together a couple of times during the winter, including a hitting session with Jacoby.
"He's not a guy satisfied with hitting 40 home runs and hitting .230, .240," said Crosby. "When Brook came down to hit with us, (Dunn) seemed very responsive to what he was saying. There wasn't any arrogance or cockiness at all. He was very receptive to Brook's ideas. I think that's the first sign of a guy who isn't satisfied with the year he had last year."
Crosby also points out that even though Dunn is two homers shy of 200 for his career, he is just 27 years old, a fact that Narron noted as well.
“The reality is there’s been a change in the relationship over 14 years and, hopefully, we can just put it behind us,” Rodriguez said. “You go from sleeping over at somebody’s house five days a week, and now you don’t sleep over. It’s just not that big of a deal.”
As I posted this morning, the Cincinnati Enquirer has an article about Bubba today, called Meet Bubba Crosby. Check out the comments. There's a reply from someone named "bubba." Dunno if it's really him or not, but even if it isn't, he probably is reading the comments. So if you want to send him a message, that's probably the place.
Someone named "Bobby" left this comment:
This guy is a class act. Great work ethic, focused, and has talent. Incredible work out regimen during the offseason. Thrilled to have him as part of the Reds Organization.
The Cincinnati Enquirer has a brief Bubba Crosby profile today. Nothing earth-shattering, but it's nice to see him get some ink.
I didn't know his favorite movie was Braveheart. (I guess any flick that features Mel Gibson's bare bum can't be all bad. ;-)
I'm not much into movies myself. I prefer more interactive entertainment. (Yes, I'm one of those people who watches TV shows and baseball games with a computer in my lap...so I can discuss it online while it's happening.) My favorite movie of 1995 was not Braveheart but Babe. (No, it's not about Babe Ruth. It's about a pig that wants to be a sheepdog.) A lot of fun, and surprisingly unsentimental for a kid's movie. More recently...um, well, I haven't really watched many movies recently. I did like Remember the Titans.
It's now the Year of the Pig. (FWIW, Bubba was born in the Year of the Dragon. Fire Dragon, specifically. The only reason I know this is my sister was born in the Year of the Dragon. The Dragon is by far the coolest sign of the Chinese zodiac. Or so she told me. Repeatedly. :-)
Spring training is gearing up. In Sarasota, Griffey has been cleared to play. But Gary Majewski's shoulder is still hurting.
Yahoo has some new spring training photos from Sarasota. None of Bubba yet, alas, but position players don't officially report until Wednesday. Most of the coverage is on pitchers and catchers, not surprisingly.
The Yankees soap opera continues. Bernie has not turned up in Tampa, though Torre, Jeter, and others are begging him to give it a shot. Position players report today for the Yanks, and he has not reported. If he's not there tomorrow for a physical, I guess that's the end of his Yankees career.
The Rockies are interested in Pavano. Though the Yanks just might be keeping him. Supposedly, his workouts have been impressive. And it's not like the Yanks have a lot of spare starting pitching, especially if Clemens really does retire, as he says he will.
The Red Sox are drooling at the idea of signing Mariano Rivera. I think Mo will remain in pinstripes, despite the tough talk on both sides, but jeez. If there's one player I don't want to see in a Boston uniform, it's Mo.
Pitchers and catchers report today. Not much going on yet, and no photos of Bubba so far, so I posted one from last year's spring training.
Griffey has finally revealed how he broke his hand: it happened when he was wrestling with his kids. (Dunno why it took him so long. It was his reticence that made it such a big deal.) He says the dirtbike story is untrue; he hasn't ridden since he blew out his hammy three years ago.
And oh, boy. The Yankees are really putting the fun in dysfunctional these days. Bob Klapisch says the Yankees' top need is Dr. Phil, and I see what he means. Even though I really hate Dr. Phil...
Let's see...we have Steinbrenner's son-in-law and heir apparent, Steve Swindal, arrested for DWI. (Cutting off a patrol car is generally a really bad idea, Steve.) Moose made a splash on the back pages, publically dissing Pavano (they kissed and made up yesterday). Torre is involved in a power struggle with Cashman over Bernie Williams' fate. Cashman doesn't want Bernie back, except for Bernie Williams Day. Torre does. He is begging Bernie to come to camp and try out for first baseman.
Gawd. It's probably lucky for Bubba that he's out of there. IMVHO, Torre's infatuation with Bernie has really hurt the Yankees. I love Bernie as much as anyone, but even the best career comes to an end eventually. Torre seems utterly unable to face this. It was clear three years ago that Bernie was dropping off rapidly. If they didn't think Bubba could do it, they should have gotten someone else. Either a free agent, or a trade, perhaps for a high-level prospect. Some have wondered if the Yankees didn't go after Vlad because Torre was so hell-bent on sticking with Bernie.
Last year, I read an article arguing in favor of signing Johnny Damon (this was before the deal was done). The writer liked the idea of Bubba as starting CFer...if Torre weren't manager. With Torre the manager, the Yanks needed to get a superstar CFer. Because, he argued, if Bubba went into a three-game slump (which happens to the best of them), Torre would bench him and put Bernie in. That certainly proved prophetic, as Torre's stated plans to platoon Bubba, Guiel, etc., quickly turned into "all Bernie, all the time."
And now Torre wants Bernie at first base (presumably at Andy Phillips' or Josh Phelps' expense). But if he's on the roster at all, Torre won't be able to resist using him in the outfield (sorry, Melky). I hope Cashman just says no.
Meanwhile...the Red Sox signed Wily Mo Peña, avoiding arbitration by the skin of their teeth. (Peña was originally drafted by the Yankees. He was traded to the Reds...for Drew Henson.)
Let me just say...I am a complete idiot for going to work yesterday. Hardly anyone was there. The roads weren't too awful in the morning, but by afternoon - oy. I'm lucky I didn't crash into anything.
I even had trouble walking in the snow. It was a very fine, powdery snow. The kind that won't pack into snowballs, no matter what you do. There was a huge plowdrift in front of my walkway. I tried to climb over it, but the snow was so fine I sank through it up to my waist. It was like being trapped in quicksand. I had to sort of crawl over/through it. Like swimming through snow. Sheesh. I hope no one saw me, because I must have looked ridiculous.
The Washington Post ran a nice Josh Hamilton profile on Monday. Nothing I hadn't heard before, but there's a lot more detail than I've seen in other stories.
Perhaps the most interesting bit is that the article claims the Rays weren't too upset to see Hamilton go. It says they were mildly surprised, but had little remorse. Maybe the Reds will be able to work out a trade after all.
Also, Josh's nickname is apparently "Hammer." (Wasn't that Tom DeLay's nickname?) In Josh's case, I assume it's from his last name. (There's a city in Ontario, Canada called Hamilton. A group devoted to revitalizing this city calls itself Raise the Hammer. Everyone always thinks they are communists or something, but no, it's a reference to the city's nickname: The Hammer.)
And Mr. Hamilton must be quite the physical specimen. The WaPo reporter writes an awful lot about what a hottie Josh is. Heck, even Trent comments on Hamilton's looks. If the men are this impressed, I suspect he's going to be quite popular with the female fans, if he makes the roster.
Ken Rosenthal thinks Griffey needs to move to right field. Whether he will or not is another story.
I can only conclude that the Reds outfield is wide open. With spring training starting this week, there are a ton of previews, predictions, etc. And very little agreement. Griffey in center, or in right...or on the DL. Freel in center, or kept as all-around utility guy, or traded for pitching. Hamilton kept on the roster no matter what, or returned to sender due to extreme rust. Denorfia, Hopper, and/or Crosby starting in center, kept as bench players, or sent to Louisville. I think it's all going to depend on how they do in spring training.
Lots of articles on Cashman's new power, and his coldly logical way of wielding it. But this one stands out, because it suggests that maybe Cash is going too far, treating Mo like he would any ordinary player.
Mo is clearly unhappy about it. I can understand Cashman's logic. Relievers tend to fall off a cliff unexpectedly, especially at Mo's age. It makes sense to wait until the last possible minute. But jeez, this is Mo. There is such a thing as being too cold-hearted, even for a GM.
The Yankees, who are basically wearing the same uniform Babe Ruth wore, have changed their spring training uniforms. There's now a white stripe on the sides of the jerseys, and white piping on the caps.
Here's new Yankee Kei Igawa in the new uni:
The hat is okay, but I'm not wild about the stripe on the jersey.
I guess this is how the Cubs are paying Sori's salary:
Not even Wrigley's ivy outfield safe from ads
And Mike Celizic writes a valentine to sports:
You wouldn’t trade in your true love; there are things you do with lovers that you probably don’t want to do with the home team’s left fielder.
Holy guacamole. CNN says Albany, NY may get as much as 50" of snow. Valentine's Day is pretty much a bust around here today. The roads are terrible, and just about everything is shut down.
I will probably go to work, unless they close the roads. Big project, overtime, etc. And if I don't go to work, I'll be plowed into my parking space. Besides, I want to save my time off for days when there's afternoon baseball.
Since Bubba is now in Florida...if you want to send him a note of support, a baseball card to be signed, a pair of your underwear, etc. here's the address:
c/o Cincinnati Reds
Ed Smith Stadium
12th St. and Tuttle Ave.
Sarasota, FL 34237
Remember to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you send something to be autographed.
According to Reds.com, Bubba is already in Sarasota, working out on his own.
The Reds will have 56 players at camp this year: 28 pitchers, 7 catchers, 12 infielders, and nine outfielders.
Ted Brown of Yahoo!Sports doesn't see Josh Hamilton making the cut:
In a "The Natural" scenario, Hamilton reclaims his unattended baseball tools, takes center field, and the Reds move the 37-year-old Griffey to right. More likely, Hamilton has his moments, isn't nearly ready for the big leagues, and he returns to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for another year or two in the minors.
And I'm not talking about Punxsutawney Phil's prediction. Pitchers and catchers report for the Yanks on Tuesday, for the Reds on Saturday.
In honor of spring training, I've re-edited my Bubba highlight video:
The Best of Bubba Crosby [9 Mb, RealMedia]
Here's hoping for many more highlights this season.
One of our anonymous commenters reported yesterday that Bubba has been working out in Arizona the past few weeks. He returned to Houston this weekend for his brother's wedding (congratulations, Tommy!), and will be heading for Sarasota this week.
The Cincinnati Enquirer has posted their projected 25-man roster. They don't see Bubba making the roster. Of course, they were only 20 for 25 last year, and it's usually the bench that's the biggest question mark.
They predict the Reds will carry twelve pitchers and three catchers, with one and a half reserve outfielders (Josh Hamilton and infielder/outfielder Jeff Conine). They think the Reds will keep Hamilton on the roster no matter how bad he is. If that's true, it's bad news for Bubba.
But I find it hard to believe they can afford to do that. Unless they're prepared to write off this season - and I don't believe that. Krivsky reportedly has a "win now" mandate. I know Narron has taken a personal interest in Hamilton, but they're an NL team. They need every roster spot. Most Rule 5 selections end up returned to their teams, and I still think that's Hamilton's likely fate. Unless they can work out a trade with Tampa - which may be the reason for the "we're keeping him on the roster" talk.
I really think they'll need more outfield depth than that roster has. Griffey is often injured, Freel tends to wear down when he has to play every day, and Hamilton is also very injury-prone. Conine is on the wrong side of 40, and I can't see them using him regularly in the outfield - not if the plan is to improve the defense, as Krivsky often proclaims.
If not Bubba, I would think Denorfia or Hopper would make the team as a reserve outfielder...but who knows? Bubba has a split contract, and Denorfia and Hopper still have options left. So I guess they could start them in the minors and call them up when needed.
Bernie Williams did a charity concert last night, with Chynna Wilson of Wilson Phillips. He talked to the press beforehand, and said he was going to turn down the Yankees' offer of a minor league contract and spring training invite. He doesn't think he has a legitimate chance to make the team that way, so he's not interested.
So what is he going to do? He didn't seem to know. He talked about how he's got a lot of other interests besides baseball, but added that he didn't mean he was going to retire. When asked if he was considering playing for another team, he said, "Not yet."
My impression is that Bernie is in denial. He's not ready to face the prospect of retirement or of playing for another team yet. Intellectually, he knows his career in pinstripes is likely over. Emotionally, he's struggling to accept it. He understands why the Yankees are doing what they're doing, but he feels hurt and betrayed anyway.
And he's hoping against hope that they change their minds. Maybe the injury bug will bite again. Maybe Melky Cabrera will be traded during spring training. Maybe the entire outfield will be abducted by aliens. If the Yankees call, Bernie will be ready.
Meanwhile...this guy thinks the Yankees will never win another championship with A-Rod on the team. Of course, he's got an ulterior motive. He wants A-Rod to play for the Giants. He claims that San Francisco won't mind that A-Rod is as phony as a $3 dollar bill. New York hates phonies, he says, but SF doesn't care if you're a phony, as long as you put up good numbers.
And in Redsland, Krivsky shocked everyone by signing Arroyo to a two-year extension. Arroyo still had two years left on his deal, and the rumor was he didn't like Cincy and wanted to go back to Boston. But Boston was not a factor. He said he loves Cincinnati, and the fans have "embraced" him. He just wishes more of them would come to the games.
This is good news for Reds fans. Signing Harang and Arroyo to long-term deals is a declaration of serious intentions.
Elsewhere...Kenny Rogers didn't have pine tar on his hand:
According to someone who would know, that substance on Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers' glove in the World Series was the tacky adhesive used by trainers in wrapping ankles.
Well, Da Bears went down in flames. So much for my prognosticating. I thought Chicago would have the advantage in the wet, sloppy conditions, seeing as Indy plays in a dome. But aside from that early runback for a TD, the Bears didn't put up much of a fight.
It was a dud as Super Bowls go. Vinatieri actually missed a chip shot (shocking, but true), but it didn't matter. The weather was a downer; part of the fun of the Super Bowl is usually the warm, sunny climate. This time, we got drenching rain. Even the commercials were a disappointment; I think this year was the worst showing for Super Bowl ads that I can remember. (And why is MLB.com trying to sell me Super Bowl stuff?)
At least Manning did finally win the big one and get the jewelry. He doesn't have to move to A-Rod's neighborhood after all.
Speaking of A-Rod...he's at the center of a media ruckus again. Apparently, what was supposed to be a nice children's book signing turned into a circus.
ESPN lays out the possible futures for A-Rod. Me, I wonder if he'll still be playing in 2013. He did once say he might retire at age 35, and I could see him doing it. He doesn't seem to enjoy playing baseball, nor does he have the kind of tight friendships with teammates that keep Bernie hanging around.
Bernie is still considering the Yanks' spring training invite. Sounds like Boras is still trying to get Bernie a Major League deal. He's also hinting that Bernie might sign elsewhere if the Yanks don't come through.
The article also quotes Jeter as saying he thinks Clemens will pitch this year, maybe for NY. (Jeter, Jorge Posada, and Miguel Cairo are already working out in Tampa.)
The final report on the Cory Lidle crash was released earlier this week. Looks like Lidle's legacy will be permanent flight restrictions over the East River.
The Post ran this interview with Joe Girardi a few days ago. They think he might step in when Torre retires.
And there's this article (scroll down to the bottom):
The Yankees are not seeking to enter discussions about extending Mariano Rivera's contract during spring training, according to a person familiar with the situation. In November, Rivera, 37, expressed hope "the Yankees will do the right thing," and extend his contract, which runs out after this season.
A couple of weeks ago, when the Colts were losing big at halftime, one of the studio guys dissed Peyton Manning by saying, "If he loses this game, he'll have to move to A-Rod's neighborhood, because that's where he'll belong." Ouch. Gratuitous A-Rod bashing, even in the off-season.
Well, Manning doesn't have to move, at least not yet. He led his Colts to a stunning come-from-behind victory. The biggest comeback in conference championship history. Chicago may be too much for him, though. I think Da Bears will be doing the Super Bowl Shuffle again.
I have overtime at work tomorrow, but should be out in time for the big game. (My boss runs the office football pool, so he understands. ;-)
The NY papers are reporting that Bernie Williams is leaning toward accepting the Yankees' spring training invite. He's not expected to make the team, but it would give him a chance to say goodbye to the fans. He will probably retire after spring training.
And the much-maligned Carl Pavano is hoping to shut up his detractors with his pitching. He may be the Yankees' fifth starter. Or they may trade him, if he does well. (Otherwise, it would be buying high and selling low.)
Meanwhile, in Cincinnati...Krivsky talks a little about his plan for the Reds here. Cincinnati had trouble scoring runs last year. Plus GABP is supposed to be a hitter's park. So many expected Krivsky to get some sluggers. But he hasn't. He says he's concentrating on improving pitching and defense, because it's the fastest way to improve a team.
Torre often says that pitching and defense is what wins championships. Of course, he says that, but keeps playing the likes of Jason Giambi.
On paper, the Reds' chances would appear to be slim. They did well last season until they faded down the stretch, but the other teams in their division have opened up their wallets, while the Reds have not. But if money bought championships, the Yankees would win every year. No one thought the Cards would win last year. Anything can happen.
Me, I'm expecting the Reds to beat the Yankees in the World Series this year. Bubba will be MVP.